Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

June 17, 2010 at 4:21pm

The return of Matt Youngmark!

I stole this picture from the Chooseomatic website - chooseomaticbooks.com. When Youngmark was editor of the Reporter, it wasn't that easy.

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A long time ago, in - basically - the same place, I wrote for a snarky, gritty little rag known as the Tacoma Reporter. Even back then, Tacoma was Tacoma. I was a lot younger. The landscape was full of metal and mud wrestling. People still preferred cheap beer. There was a place in Ruston called the Shoboat - no "w".

Times were good.

Matt Youngmark, a supremely talented dude and author and creator of Zombocalypse Now - a nerdy-hip, choose-your-own adventure zombie book conveniently released by Chooseomatic Books - was the editor, er, creative director, er, co-owner, er, all of the above at the Reporter. Basically, he was the guy behind the computer screen 22.5 hours a day, somehow creating a paper every week while running on caffeine and being denied basic human necessities like sleep and food that doesn't come from a vending machine and end in the sound "-os". Before the Reporter, Youngmark was one of the people behind Pandemonium Magazine.

Basically, he was the shit. And he was my boss. And - at least I liked to think - he was my friend.

Anyway, to make a long, somewhat sappy story short - almost a year ago Youngmark sent me a copy of Zombocalypse Now for review in the Weekly Volcano. I told him I'd do it because, let's be honest, a choose-your-own-adventure zombie books for adults is a fucking brilliant idea, and - as I said - he's my friend.

Problem is, I never reviewed the book. Shortly after Youngmark sent it to me - or perhaps right before (it's kind of a blur) - my dad passed away. I only mention this because my dad, Frank Driscoll, as a staff writer at the Reporter, is the person that introduced me to Youngmark and the connection that got me a shot I probably didn't deserve at the paper. Really, if it wasn't for my dad having that job, and the Reporter being desperate and overwhelmed enough to a) give me a chance, and b) keep me around out of sheer desperation even when I made inevitable mistakes, there's a very good chance I wouldn't have the job I do today.

But back to Zombocalypse Now. I carried it around for a long time. I told myself I'd get around to reviewing it. I really did. Eventually, I became ashamed of myself. But even that never spurred me to action. The guilt just grew and grew and grew.

For all I know, Youngmark and I may not even be friends anymore.

Luckily, he's going to forgive me. Why? Well, because I know you. After reading the preceding touching and heartfelt Spew post, you'll be moved enough not only to buy multiple copies of Zombocalypse Now immediately, but to show up Saturday at Comic Book Ink for the "Homegrown Heroes" book signing event and get your multiple copies of Zombocalypse Now signed by Youngmark himself.

That's right! Youngmark will be in attendance, and participating in HIS FIRST EVER BOOK SIGNING! Come meet the legend! And help me move on!

The "Homegrown Heroes" event also includes appearances by members of The Dockyard Derby Dames, local cartoonist Mark Monlux and James Stowe - and plenty more. If I'm not mistaken (and, yes, it is my job to know such things), the Volcano's Joe Izenman is working up some words on the event right now, for publication on Spew soon.

Youngmark blogged about the Homegrown Heroes signing earlier today. Since we're not back on speaking terms yet, I'll just still a few juicy quotes.

"John Munn at Comic Book Ink has been a tremendous supporter of Zombocalypse Now, and I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be signing at his store. I'm not just saying that, either - John was the very first retailer to stock the book, was instrumental in helping me get picked up by Alliance Games and Diamond Comics, and sold books for me at this year's Emerald City Comic Con. Without his tireless support, there's no chance that the book would have had a fraction of the success it's enjoyed so far," writes Youngmark.

"The Homegrown Heroes event is a bit of a homecoming for me, since after 18 years of T-town bliss I moved northward to Seattle last year to be closer to the day job (and shack up with my sweetie)."

Welcome Youngmark back to Tacoma in style, from 2-5 p.m. Saturday. Also, help me erase some of this guilt. Buy the damn book!

Over and out.

Filed under: Books, Arts, Events, Media, Tacoma,

Comments for "The return of Matt Youngmark!" (3)

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Matt Youngmark said on Jun. 17, 2010 at 4:40pm

Aw, man. I never sweated that review copy -- I used to pretty much have your job, remember? I know how stuff goes down. Thanks for the press! And we're long overdue for that beer -- what are you doin' at 5:01 this Saturday?

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RR Anderson said on Jun. 17, 2010 at 4:42pm

this guy should be in CLAW

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Matt Driscoll said on Jun. 17, 2010 at 4:59pm

You're too kind, Mr. Youngmark. I figured you'd understand, but still. I think it's been a year. Unacceptable - though I appreciate your forgiveness. I'll sleep easier tonight than I have in ages... not that it's saying much. I'm a pretty good sleeper.

We are SO overdue for the beer. Naturally, I have about a gazillion things going on over the so-called "weekend," but I'm really going to try to make it up Saturday.

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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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