IMG_0594 copyThank you so much to everyone who showed up for CAKE AND PROSE: A BOOK RELEASE CELEBRATION. The evening offered a beautiful mix of art—literature, theater, and music. The Margo Jones was the perfect venue, and we had the perfect audience: friends, friends of friends, and a few delightful strangers. It was a privilege to hear my stories read by such talented actors, providing a new perspective on something so familiar. Plus, Greg Schroeder. The guy does not disappoint. He's an incredible musician and an all-around badass. I recorded the event. It's not a professional recording—just me with my trusty Sony digital recorder—but it's all there, every story and every song. Enjoy!

Cake and Prose (1 hour, 37 minutes)

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This event benefited the Birthday Party Project. All money collected at the door went to support their efforts to bring joy to homeless children through the magic of birthday parties. Last Friday, we raised enough money to provide a party for 75 kids. If you choose to listen to the audio, please consider donating a few dollars.






Below, I've posted my introductions for each segment. I wrote everything out word-for-word, for fear that I'd ramble, but then I'd occasionally go "off script" anyway.

Introduction: It Might Be Worth Something

IMG_0619This is what happens when the Wild Detectives bookstore doesn’t respond to my emails. I inquired about doing a signing there to promote my short story collection, because I love that place. I never heard back from them. So I thought, fine, I’m an independent author. I’ll throw my own party. I asked my friend Brad McEntire for some guidance. Brad is a man of the theater. I greatly admire him for his work with the Audacity Theater Lab and the Dallas Solo Fest. We brought two other talented actors on board, Maryam Baig and Bryan Pitts. Greg Schroeder is also here tonight to perform a few songs. He’s an amazing songwriter, one of my favorite local artists, who tells these incredible stories, peering out through the verses. And then, Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery offered to provide the cake. Next thing you know, we have something bigger than a book signing.

IMG_0620Book signings are weird anyway. I’ve done them before, and I always grimace when someone has me sign a book, then he or she waves it in front of me and say, “Who knows? It might be worth something someday.”

It really is the worst possible thing you can say to someone about a book they wrote. “It might be worth something, someday.”

Because that’s what I’m thinking while I’m writing it: It might be worth something. Just maybe. Someday.

There comes a moment in the creative process where you realize that it is worth something. It’s worth something to you. These stories take on a life of their own, and you have to finish, because there are fictional lives at stake. The stories are yearning to live, to be free. There is life in the good fiction, in good art, and you feel its burden.

The stories we’re sharing tonight are about life yearning to be free, that life is temporary and so it is precious, that choices shape our lives and that indecision is a kind of death. We choose who we love and, at the same time, we find ourselves so compelled to love that it carries the gasp, the hush of inevitability. Tonight, we’re celebrating what’s good in life. Stories, music, cake, and love.

Shopping Mall at the End of the World

IMG_0629I wrote this story for D Magazine. It’s one of my favorite pieces. It’s about apocalypse. A popular subject, one of my favorites. In fact, the novel I’m working on is called, “Wear Chainmail to the Apocalypse.” (Good advice by the way.) The apocalypse refers to a final destruction. The word also means to “uncover” or “reveal.” In a sense, all good stories are apocalyptic—in both senses of the word.

In stories, we condense the world down to a few people.

For instance, in Moby Dick, our whole world is reduced to a small boat on a great sea, the remnants, a small wandering tribe. In the journey, we uncover what it means to be desperate, afraid, and heroic. Great Gatsby is a grand party at the end of the world. Huck Finn is about two people searching for freedom while the society around them descends into madness.

This story is about the apocalypse through the eyes of a mall. I present “Shopping Mall at the End of the World” as read by Brad McEntire.

If You Could Be

IMG_0630Usually, an author attempts to endear himself or herself to an audience. However, I’m going to share one of the worst things I don’t remember doing. Let me explain. I dated a girl briefly when I was in high school. But I can’t remember what year it was. I was definitely old enough to drive, but it couldn’t have been my junior or senior year, because I was dating a girl named Susan at that time. So, maybe my sophomore year? I had a policy of rarely dating girls from my school because I found that girls at other schools had no idea how uncool I was.

This girl who I’m fairly certain was my girlfriend, but I don’t remember her name, we went out on a few dates, and here’s the thing: I don’t remember breaking up with her or her breaking up with me. I think I just stopped calling her, but not as a conscious decision. I literally, and I don’t even know how this is possible, I literally forgot I had a girlfriend. She was pretty. I liked her. We had similar interests, but somehow she disappeared.

How does that happen? Sometimes people slip away. In part, that’s what this story is about. “If You Could Be” as read by Bryan Pitts.

Escaping Venus Texas

IMG_0658This next story actually started as part of a comic book series that never found an artist or a publisher. A few years ago, I counted up what I’ve written in comics. 2,000 pages. Half has been published in some form. Half has never seen light of day. (Symmetry!) This story was in the latter pile. It was a subplot that I decided I could rewrite as a short story. It may be the most intentionally unromantic story ever.

I’ve grown tired of stories where the girl ends up with the guy, and that’s a suitable conclusion to her story. At the same time, I wanted to acknowledge there is something special about a lifelong commitment to another person. So I decided to tell two stories about two women, one who left and one who stayed.

I present “Escaping Venus Texas” as read by Maryam Baig.

Ladies and gentlemen, Greg Schroeder...


All photos by April Hopkins.


IMG_0637 IMG_0643 IMG_0644 IMG_0645 IMG_0647 IMG_0650

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I've been invited to participate in a panel discussion next Thursday at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in Downtown Dallas. The title of the event is Mean Business: Women in Comics. Heather Lowe, manager of the fine arts division, will be moderating it. Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. J. Erik Jonsson Central Library 1515 Young St., Dallas, TX 75201 4th Floor Performance Space

The four guests are: Iris Bechtol, Gallery Director and Adjunct Professor of Art at Eastfield College in Mesquite, TX Keith Colvin, owner of Keith’s Comics Taffeta Darling, media personality and host of the webshow “Fangirls” David Hopkins, writer, graphic novelist and co-host of Fanboy Radio’s “Indie Show”

It's not the first time I've spoken about women's issues in comics. But now, fortunately, I have a moderator and three other people to bounce around ideas. It should be a great discussion. If you're the kind of person who likes to discuss women in comics, welcome! We'll be on the fourth floor.


CakeAndProse-942x600 Cake and Prose is a unique presentation of essays, short stories, and music. There will be readings from WE MISS ALL THE GREAT PARTIES, performed by local actors (Brad McEntire, Bryan Pitts, and Maryam Baig), and live music by the talented Greg Schroeder.

Plus, there will be cake. Let's not forget the cake.

The details:

  • The event will be on Friday, May 1st at the historic Margo Jones Theatre in Fair Park.
  • Admission is a pay-what-you-can donation to The Birthday Party Project, cash or check accepted. It's a wonderful non-profit that brings joy to homeless children throughout the Dallas area.
  • Cake generously provided by Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery in Arlington. They have the best cakes in North Texas. Absolutely delicious.
  • The event starts at 7:30 and will probably last about two hours.
  • Parking isn't terribly complicated at Fair Park, but you will probably need this webpage to guide you.
  • Copies of WE MISS ALL THE GREAT PARTIES will be available for sale (both paperback and hardcover).

Facebook event page at: If you can't see the event page, it probably means you need someone to invite you. (Facebook is weird.) Just post a comment or send me an email, I'll add you to the list. Either way, please come. Facebook is not necessary for your attendance or your acceptance in this life.

Why the hoopla?

It took way too long to get this damn short story collection finished. Now I want to celebrate and sign some books. I'm knee-deep working on my novel, with no end in sight, and it's my last hurrah before I have to go back into hiding. And yes, May 1st is also my birthday. But if you think I'm the kind of person to host an event on this scale, just so I can force my friends to listen to my stories, as performed by actors, to drag some musician I greatly admire across north Texas to play some music, then hand out cake, all as a pretense to have a kick-ass birthday party, then you sir (or ma'am) might be on to something.

In truth, I wanted to have this event sooner, but May 1st was available and it kinda fit into the whole theme ("We miss all the great parties"). It was the birthday aspect that made me want to donate all the money raised at the door to The Birthday Party Project. Kennedy and I volunteered for them about two years ago, and ever since I've been enamored by their mission. It's possible, but not confirmed, that the executive director of the organization will say a few words at the beginning. I emailed them about this project a few weeks ago, and they were very excited.

A huge thank you to Brad McEntire for helping me plan everything. As a man of the theatre, he's been an invaluable sounding board and resource to make sure the event will kick ass.

So, let's pack the Margo Jones. It has a capacity for about eighty people. And maybe we could fit a few more in? All are welcome. We can celebrate the good things in life: stories, music, love and compassion, friendship, and cake. Let's not forget the cake.

Any other questions? Feel free to post a comment below.


11053877_10102989026069687_7746252422717411390_nLast Friday, I spoke at Union, a spiffy coffee house in Dallas that I'm fairly certain is a church in disguise. That's a thing, isn't it? Churches pretending to be coffee houses. This one is more subtle than most. The pastor is a good guy. (He calls himself a "community curator"... what does that even mean?) The place is cool. And Union certainly beats going to Starbucks. If you go, I doubt anyone would start asking you about the sorry-ass-state of your immortal soul. You're safe. Anyways. Union invited some fellows from D Academy to speak at its Naked Stage series. All of it was to promote the Big D Reads event in April. I was one of the speakers. Most people spoke extemporaneously and did a wonderful job. However, I wanted to prepare a written essay that I could share—a call to arms against anti-intellectualism in America.

D Magazine's Frontburner blog shared my essay. And now, I'm sharing it with you.

I want to discuss a popular TV show my wife and I have been binge-watching on Netflix. It’s the story of a family man, a man of science, a genius who fell in with the wrong crowd. He slowly descends into madness and desperation, lead by his own egotism. With one mishap after another, he becomes a monster. I’m talking, of course, about Friends and its tragic hero, Ross Geller. Read more →

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DSF_Large Interstitial AdAudacity Theatre Lab is pleased to announce the 2014 Dallas Solo Fest, May 15-25, 2014 at the Margo Jones Theatre in Fair Park. Eight solo shows highlight this inaugural festival with several local performers as well as performers coming in from around the country. The inaugural Dallas Solo Fest line-up includes Deanna Fleysher’s Butt Kapinski, Veronica Russell’s A Different Woman, John Michael’s Crossing Your I’s, Zeb L. West’s Innocent When You Dream, David Mogolov’s Eating My Garbage, Alexandra Tatasky’s Beast of Festive Skin, Elaine Liner’s Sweater Curse: A Yarn About Love and Danny O’Connor’s Bouncing Ugly. Collectively, these performers represent a wide variety of solo performance styles from storytelling, puppetry and improvisational clown pieces to pieces that defy easy explanation.

The purpose of the Dallas Solo Fest is to celebrate extraordinary solo theatre as well as increase awareness and appreciation for the form in the north Texas area.

The Dallas Solo Fest will be produced by Audacity Theatre Lab and will play at the Margo Jones Theatre. Located at the Magnolia Lounge in Fair Park at 1121 First Avenue, Dallas, TX 75210, the Margo Jones Theatre features ample free, well-lit parking, access to the DART Rail, and a handy BYOB policy!

Single tickets and Festival Passes for all shows go on sale April 23. Festival Passes, now on sale, include one admission to each festival show and are $55. Individual ticket prices for each show are $12. Reservations can be made at the Dallas Solo Fest website or by calling (214) 888-6650. Details about the shows, artists bios, the full schedule and ticket information at:

The inaugural Dallas Solo Fest line-up includes:

A Different Woman: A True Story of a Texas Childhood by Veronica Russell (New Orleans), adapted the book My First Thirty Years by Gertrude Beasley. This solo show presents an unvarnished, unapologetic and cynical tale of a rural Texas childhood told by a woman who pulled herself out of the cycle of poverty and abuse in which she found herself. A Different Woman is a darkly humorous stage adaptation of Ms. Beasley's controversial banned memoir. Playing Thursday, May 22 @ 7:30 pm, Friday, May 23 @ 9:00 pm, Saturday, May 24 @ 10:30 pm

Beast of Festive Skin by Alexandra Tatarsky (New York City) is an absurdist vaudeville about alchemists, rappers and other creative visionaries stuck in Hell. These deranged darlings of the underworld tell their tales of woe with a truly fiery need to get by. The horror of existence! The agony of creation! The one-woman show people are dying to see! Playing Friday, May 16 @ 10:30 pm, Saturday, May 17 @ 7:30 pm, Sunday, May 18 @ 5:00 pm

Bouncing Ugly by Danny O’Connor (Dallas) recounts his experience as a bouncer at the Coyote Ugly Saloon in NYC. He has stories, oh yes, he has stories. Playing Thursday, May 15 @ 9:00 pm, Saturday, May 17 @ 9:00 pm, Sunday, May 18 @ 8:30 pm

Butt Kapinski by Deanna Fleysher (Los Angeles) stars as Private Eye Butt Kapinski. The audience is invited to co-star in an improvisational film noir fantasy. This funny, filthy, fully-interactive ride is riddled with sex, sin, shadows and subterfuge. Playing Thursday, May 22 @ 10:30 pm, Friday, May 23 @ 7:30 pm, Saturday, May 24 @ 9:00 pm

Crossing Your I’s by John Michael (Dallas) concerns John’s experiences learning from and working with dementia patients. This World Premiere solo show about intergenerational understanding and the messiness of human connections is filtered through John Michael’s uniquely kinetic and hilarious perspective. Playing Thursday, May 15 @ 10:30 pm, Friday, May 18 @ 9:00 pm, Friday, May 23 @ 10:30 pm

Eating My Garbage by David Mogolov (Boston). Dumbfounded by a call from a political pollster, David searches himself for a reason to believe the nation isn't utterly doomed. When he can't quite think of one, he turns to irrational reasons. That's when his search gets more promising. Playing Friday, May 16 @ 7:30 pm, Saturday, May 17 @ 10:30 pm, Sunday, May 18 @ 7:00 pm

Innocent When You Dream by Zeb L. West (Austin) takes place in the belly of a whale. A heartbroken castaway, swallowed and driven mad has only two books to read - Don Quixote and Moby Dick. He acts out the books using puppets and masks fashioned from flotsam. This solo adventure uses physical comedy and sea shanties to smash two literary epics into an hour of shameless antics! Playing Thursday, May 22 @ 9:00 pm, Saturday, May 24 @ 7:30 pm, Sunday, May 25 @ 3:30 pm

Sweater Curse: A Yarn About Love by Elaine Liner (Dallas) was a 5-star hit at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Bring your knitting (or crocheting) and stitch along as Dallas writer-performer Elaine Liner shares her obsessions with great literature, old movies and the romantic entanglements of knitting sweaters for significant others. Playing Thursday, May 15 @ 7:30 pm, Sunday, May 18 @ 3:30 pm, Sunday, May 25 @ 5:00 pm


Tonight, I presented a talk for PechaKucha 12 at the beautiful Lakewood Theater. The PechaKucha presentation format is simple. 20 slides, 20 seconds each. This time, all the talks centered around the theme "This is My City." We had lots of great people: Lily Smith-Kirkley, Stefan Reddick, Tom Dennis, Angela Mondragon, Catherine Cuellar, Cone Johnson, Robbie Good, Jenn Dunn, Alan Lidji, Jim Hart, Fred Holston, and me. Thank you Frances Yllana (via AIGA DFW) for inviting me to participate. Here's what I had written for my 6 minutes and 40 seconds. I went off script just a few times to better accommodate the timing of each slide.


1. I love that word “metropolis.” It simply means the main city of a region, but thanks to Fritz Lang and Superman the word now carries the weight of terrifying grandeur. It’s a place to behold, to cherish, to protect, to be inspired by. It’s a utopia constantly on the brink.

2. Metropolis was a German film, made in 1927, directed by Fritz Lang. It’s a story about the distant future, 2026, when industrialists rule the city from towering skyscrapers. It was a silent masterpiece of tremendous ambition and imagination.

3. Twelve years later in 1939, Metropolis was reborn in Action Comics no. 16 as Superman’s New York-esque adoptive home. There, Superman fought the corruption of industrialists. While Batman’s Gotham was a dire place, drawn for the night, Superman’s Metropolis was the shining hopeful city of tomorrow.

4. From the word “metropolis,” we also get the neologism “metroplex” which is an ugly creation, a blight upon our language only possible from the demented brain of a copywriter on deadline. Which is what happened. In 1971, the North Texas Commission wanted to promote the region and DFW Airport.

5. So, Harve Chapman of Tracy Locke stitched together this word from the Greek “metropolis” and the French/Latin word “complex,” the lyrical and the utilitarian, to designate what had been known as Dallas-Fort Worth. I hate “metroplex,” but I love “metropolis.” And Dallas is the metropolis of my childhood imagination.

6. Superman needs Metropolis to be “super.” Nothing happens in Smallville. I grew up in Smallville, a town 25 miles from Dallas called Mansfield. Actual dirt roads connected my town to other cities. By contrast, Dallas was a place of adventure, this large, loud, bawdy, thriving pulse of humanity.

7. In the 80s, my dad would take me to watch the Dallas Mavericks. Reunion Arena had the aesthetic of a parking garage. The stark, boring usefulness was endearing. Even the location of Reunion Arena said: “Come for the game, then go home.” There was nothing around it.

8. To get to the game, my dad and I would cross a series of railroad tracks. Occasionally, a train passed and it would halt our journey. It gave the city this sense of being off-limits. I left my suburban nest, trespassing into this other world of concrete, hardwood, steel and noise.

9. Other times, my mom would drive my friend Wim and I into Dallas for the Fantasy Fair. It was a comic book convention in downtown. One year, it took place at the Statler Hilton—which then was called the Dallas Grand. Wim and I would wander the convention floor.

10. While my mom spent all day in the lobby, reading her romance novels, we would explore. We were surrounded by comics; these fantastic stories packed into cardboard boxes. I felt like a boy who just joined the circus. Here I decided I wanted to be a writer, a high-flying wordsmith.

11. In high school, I cheated on Dallas with Fort Worth. Closer, more places to hang out, and, at one time, they had a better arts district—but Fort Worth could never have my heart. Too safe, too well-played, too calculated. A good town—but not for me.

12. I wanted to go to SMU, but I couldn’t afford it. Instead, I went to a college in Commerce, Texas. Wim went to SMU, and I would visit him on weekends. I’d sleep on his dorm room floor. Yet again, Dallas was my first choice—while I was estranged elsewhere.

13. After college, my first wife and I moved to Dallas, an apartment on East Grand. It was the happiest year of our marriage. Everything felt close. For instance, it was close to a nice neighborhood. Nearly safe. I only saw one knife fight. And I should’ve never told my in-laws.

14. When Melissa found out she was pregnant, her parents bribed us into moving “some place safer.” We were poor, and they were not. How could we refuse? They graciously paid for the closing costs on a house in Arlington.

15. Exiled in Arlington, longing for Dallas—where all my friends were, most who lived in Lakewood, a few miles from this theater. I visited when I felt lonely. Lakewood was the place of weddings and weekends. I wanted this city to be mine, but it belonged to them, those who stayed.

16. Of course, Wim never left. He started Lakewood Brewing Company. He recklessly followed his dreams. Dallas, the Metropolis, does that to people. And since he jumped, I wanted to jump too. I wanted to quit my teaching job to become a writer--hoping this city would catch me.

17. The metropolis did, in a sense. Through a series of mutual friends, I was invited to serve on the advisory committee of La Reunion. I met people who loved this city as I loved it. We wanted to bring art, beauty, and wisdom to its concrete shores.

18. These connections led to others. And with my writing, I got a break. An editor at D Magazine saw something in my work and passed me along to another editor willing to mentor me. I quit teaching and dove into magazine writing, with Dallas as my muse.

19. I couldn’t return, but I could endear myself. I joined D Academy. “Academy,” another beautiful Greek word from “Akademos,” named for the garden where Plato taught. D Academy would host the Big Read, attempting to rebrand Dallas as a city of readers, a city of reckless imagineers, not just industrialists.

20. I may not live here, but this is my city, my metropolis. I lost my sense of place when my Smallville was destroyed by suburban sprawl, when my parents moved to California as I stumbled toward college, as I was displaced in Arlington. Like the lone survivor of a dying planet, Dallas, adopt me, please.


Today is a good day for people who love the finer things. It's Star Wars Day ("May the 4th be with you"). It's Free Comic Book Day. And Iron Man 3 is out this weekend. Zeus Comics (new location on 1334 Inwood Road) is celebrating it all.

May the 4th be with you! Happy Star Wars day. We have the wonderful Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) with us at Zeus starting at 10am. It's Free Comic Book Day too! Come meet 8 other wonderful comic folk including Phil Jimenez, Stephen Sadowski, Randal Keith Milholland, Robert Wilson, Chad Thomas, David Hopkins, and Benjamin Hall! Zeus will be handing out over 5,000 free comics over the course of the day and our back-issues are half off today only!

I'll be there with some free comics too. Come by and say hello.


Last year, I participated in an independent comics panel at Eastfield College This year, Iris Bechtol invited me to participate in the Eastfield Literary and Fine Arts Festival. I will be presenting a comics writing workshop on Thursday, April 19th at 12:30. We will be in either G-101 or G-102. I don't see any registration or fees listed on the website. So let's assume it's free and open to the public. Grab your lunch and come join us. I won't mind if you eat in front of me. The first thirty minutes will be an overview of how comics operate as a form of visual storytelling--what comics do well and what they don't do. The next thirty minutes will be about working with artists, script formats, tips and suggestions. After that, be prepared to write. I have several exercises designed to help you get comfortable with scripting comics. (Bring a laptop or pen/paper.) At the very end, I'll talk for ten minutes about getting published and what options are available.

I promise this workshop won't waste your time. I'm not going to ramble on and on about how I got into comics or where you can find my comics (uh, this website). I'm not going to eulogize the industry. This won't be a workshop thinly disguised as an egocentric Q&A. We're going to write, and we're going to learn something.

Next Thursday, skip work and let's level up on telling stories with pictures.


678_568942399796444_899770519_nToday, we distributed copies of Fahrenheit 451 to the ninth and tenth graders at Trinidad Garza Early College High School. It was a great event. Mountain View College President Felix Zamora gave a few opening remarks, as well as Trini Garza principal Dr. Janice Lombardi. Dallas City Council member Delia Jasso was our keynote speaker. Best of all, the school's step team performed a routine based on the book. When in doubt: step team. They make everything more fun.

I also had the opportunity to say a few words. I talked about my love of reading. And to my knowledge, it's the first time I've spoken publicly about my dyslexia. Certainly, it's the first time I've mentioned it on this blog.

Here's what I said, more or less:

First, I want to thank Dr. Lombardi for organizing this event with us. You’re a great school. You should be proud of your education here.

My name is David Hopkins. I taught English and Creative Writing at Martin High School for twelve years, and now I write for a living. I’m a member of D Academy, the group behind the Big Read Dallas. Our hope is that you would join us and the rest of the city in reading Fahrenheit 451. That’s why we’re here. We’re counting on you, the ninth and tenth graders of Dallas ISD, to lead this charge. We’re going to give every single one of you a copy of the book. Once you get them, you'll notice The Big Read Dallas logo and a note to you on the inside. This is a special edition of the book. And it's yours.

We’ve planned a lot of events for people to attend in April. We have a movie screening of the book; we’ve got a censorship debate; a sci-fi panel; events at the Perot Museum; and a Read In at Klyde Warren Park. Go to to see all our events.

I’m only going to speak for a few minutes. I’m anxious to see the step team perform—and I never like getting in the way of awesome, talented people. But I do want to share something important with you.

The purpose of the Big Read isn’t just to get people to read; the Big Read wants people to enjoy reading, to put it in the center of their daily experience, to help shape their outlook on the world, to understand that reading is a uniquely enjoyable experience—and not just something that Mr. Lopez makes you do for homework.

It’s not enough to be able to read. To truly experience literature, you have to love it.

It was hard for me. I have dyslexia. It’s a learning disability that affects phonological awareness and decoding, it’s an inability to associate letter symbols with sounds—simply, your brain makes reading harder than it should be. I can look at a word, and I know what the word means, but something in my brain says it’s not really that word. As a kid, I had every kind of tutoring imaginable. I was held back in first grade—making me the oldest kid in my class. I thought I was an idiot.

The breakthrough came when my grandparents bought me a stack of comic books. The word balloons grouped the sentences in a way that made reading more digestible. The images reinforced the words, which sped up my comprehension. And I loved the stories.

From there, in junior high, I started reading Stephen King novels—terrifying, gruesome horror stories that I knew my parents wouldn’t approve of, which was part of the fun. In two years, I read 16 of his novels.

In high school, I met some other book lovers. They shared with me their favorite authors—Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, Franz Kafka, J.D. Salinger, Douglas Adams. We’d talk about the books we loved. “You haven’t read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy? Oh man, you have to read Hitchhikers Guide.”

And like that, I became a reader for life.

Reading and writing still take me a little longer than it should. (Yes, I notice the irony that I have dyslexia, and I’m reading these words to you. Hey, I practiced.) Even to this day, if I mean to write the word “want,” there’s a 1 in 3 chance I’ll write “what” or vice versa. So, let’s think about this for a second. Kid has dyslexia and he grows up to get a job where he spends all day looking at words.

What convinced me to not give up was when I found out that Pulitzer Prize winning author Richard Ford also had dyslexia. He saw it as a blessing, in that it forced him to approach books at a slow and thoughtful pace. If he could do it, I had to at least give it a try.

I love reading and writing too much to give up on it.

Fahrenheit 451 is about not giving up in the face of overwhelming resistance—it’s about a society that gave up on reading, that institutionalized their ignorance, and then a radical group that rediscovered the books their society had rejected. It’s a story about censorship and about the pursuit of knowledge, wisdom, and the courage to be different.

You love to read. Awesome. Share your love with others. Talk about the books you like. The same way you’d talk about a movie you just saw. If you don’t care for reading, I would encourage you to give it a second chance. Maybe you haven’t found that book yet. And maybe it’s this book.

I promise when you find that book—it’ll open up everything to you, every world, every opportunity. It’s yours. Thank you.

photo by Krista Nightengale


I'll be here on Friday.

The Big Read is giving free copies of Fahrenheit 451 to all ninth and tenth grade students in the Dallas Independent School District. It’s part of The Big Read’s mission to have the entire city reading and discussing Ray Bradbury’s classic science fiction novel during the month of April. To celebrate the book distribution, Trinidad Garza Early College High School is hosting a kick-off event on Friday, March 15th. Dallas City Councilmember Delia Jasso will be speaking, along with Principal Janice Lombardi and D Academy member David Hopkins. Trinidad Garza’s step team will perform a specially prepared routine inspired by Fahrenheit 451.

The event will be held at 3 p.m. on the Mountain View College campus in the outdoor foyer between buildings S and W. It is open to the public.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The Big Read brings together partners across the country to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.

Trinidad Garza Early College High School, located at Mountain View College, is a unique public school that offers students the opportunity to earn an associates degree during their high school years. “Trini” Garza places a high priority on rigorous academic study and is a true success story in the Dallas Independent School District.

For more information about The Big Read visit:

For more information about Trinidad Garza Early College High School visit:


Because what's the fun in divorce, if you can't turn it into a live performance as part of a storytelling series? I mean, am I right? High five? Anyone? Next Tuesday, I'll be talking about my divorce. If you've often thought, "Sure, I've heard David talk about his divorce before, but I'd really like it as a finely-crafted and well-delivered personal essay." You're in luck. I'm presenting my essay “One Request Before You Leave: How a road trip, the Beatles, and a motel in Missouri made me a better ex-husband" at the Oral Fixation Show, as part of their season two kickoff.

Other presenters include: Catherine Cuellar, John Gorman, Whitney Presley, Paul Scott, Jim Smith, and Debbie Vaughn. They will talk about other things, all around the theme "Baby Steps." It won't be divorce, divorce, divorce. What's the fun in that? I'm friends with Catherine, so you should go to see her speak too. She is always awesome with whatever she pursues.

The link:

You should buy your ticket in advance. It's $15, instead of $20 at the door, and it will guarantee seating. The show is at the MAC (3120 McKinney Avenue), which is a pretty cool place.

From the newsletter:

Arrive early for best parking, to have a drink or snack, and to peruse the fantastic MAC galleries. Plan to stay after the show to enjoy a reception in the lobby of The MAC to chat with cast and audience members alike. Live streaming election returns will be available in the MAC lobby both pre- and post-show for your viewing pleasure.

The MAC is a blue building on the east side of McKinney Ave 1 1/2 blocks south of Hall Street. Parking is available in the lot, on Oak Grove, behind Cafe Express and behind City Vet.


I didn't attend this year's Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, but I drank there. Tim Rogers invited me to join them at the hotel bar. He's a fine hospitable fellow. I had a good time, arriving at around 9 PM and didn't leave until 2 AM. It was an interesting gathering of talented writers from all over the country. This happened. So did this. And this.

I need to register for next year's conference. From what I heard, the workshops and seminars were all good. Plus, a hotel room might make the late nights less daunting.

I get a little skeptical about writing conferences. They sometimes cater to a desperate constituency. Maybe because the conference is hosted by UNT, and not Writer's Digest, it reaches a different crowd. If I do attend a conference next year, I'll give Mayborn a shot. If nothing else, they have the bar.

UPDATE: Peter Simek wins the Mayborn report. Forget what I've written and just go here.


Zeus and I have a special relationship. They keep my comics and graphic novels in stock and available through their online store (sales be damned). I do signings at their store whenever ANYTHING of mine is available. I put shameless self-promoting postcards and fliers on their counter. And in exchange... well, I haven't quite figured out what they get out of this friendship. But they seem to like me, so we'll go with that. They like me.

And on Wednesday, July 11th, I will be at Zeus signing copies of the recently released, complete, and not available in any stores (that I know of) ASTRONAUT DAD. Also, for anyone too jaded to click the "Buy Now" button on the right-side margin of this website, I'll charm you into a subscription for SHORT STORY OF THE MONTH CLUB.

Mark your calendar: Signing at ZEUS COMICS 4411 Lemmon Ave, Dallas TX Wednesday, July 11th, 11 AM to 6 PM

Thank you, Zeus. I'm sure someday I'll be worthy of your love.


Success brings its own challenges. Now that Dallas Comic Con has moved to the Irving Convention Center and has expanded its guest list to include heavy hitters like Patrick Stewart and Stan Lee, the organizers have to figure out what to do with people who swarmed the two-day event. I once referred to Dallas Comic Con as "a small convention that feels big or a big convention that feels small." Those days are over. The exhibit hall was crowded, and the lines were long. No one seemed to mind too much. Everyone was in good spirits. These problems are typical for large conventions, and Dallas Comic Con has graduated to elite status. From Dallas Comic Con's website:

A sincere thank you to all that came out to the biggest Dallas Comic Con in history. The turnout was almost twice last year’s attendance, which filled the Irving Convention Center well beyond our hopeful goal of 15,000 attendees.

And also:

As you might imagine, we will also be looking for alternative locations that can better handle larger gatherings, adding day(s), and other ways to help service more fans. North Texas deserves its own Comic Con, we hope that if you left with less than a perfect experience, you realize we are aware of it and we will do everything possible to address these issues.

None of Dallas Comic Con's "problems" were all that epic or unusual, and I'm sure they'll solve them for the next show. The organizers are proactive, and Dallas Comic Con will get better. At the same time, some "problems" are here to stay, because they are simply part of hosting a large event. The regulars will get accustomed to it, and all is well.

I was among the small press guests located on the fourth floor. There was some concern if we would get any of the heavy traffic from the exhibit hall. However, we had a steady flow of people and all the artists I talked with were satisfied with what they earned over the weekend. In all the years I've set up at Dallas Comic Con, I had my best convention thus far. Of course, it didn't hurt that I had a new book to sell. I sold out of ASTRONAUT DAD and will need to order more copies.

Kennedy had a great time at Dallas Comic Con. (Convention tip #1: Sundays are for kids. It's not as crowded, and they will enjoy it more.) She was able to occupy her time and didn't get bored. Thank you to Chad Thomas, Jake Ekiss, Paul Milligan, and Josh Howard for drawing in Kennedy's sketchbook. She loves the art. Kennedy found some X-Men toys. I found Fantastic Four #21 and #27. We also had a Matrix-style light saber duel (click here).

Thank you Pat Bussey for the monster sticker. Thank you Cal Slayton and Erik Reeves for being my weekend neighbors. Thank you Kristian Donaldson for bringing the beer to Fratelli's.

Being at my booth, I was somewhat sheltered from the Saturday chaos: Taffeta Darling gives her thoughts. It's definitely worth a listen.


Lakewood Brewing Company is close, so close. (Click here to read their latest update.) A few months ago, I wrote a story for D Magazine about the three Dallas-area breweries. And now, Lakewood has its equipment. All the paperwork has been filed. They have TABC approval. The plumbers and electricians are doing what they do. So close, you can almost taste it. Literally. It's beer. I don't know where you'll be when you have your first Lakewood beer. However, in honor of this new start, I'd like to give a toast to my friends Wim and Trevor. Raise your glass. I'll raise mine.

"No life is wasted in the appreciation of simple pleasures. Some pleasures are the product of long days and loving artistry. I'm talking about the beer here. It may sound silly to be inspired by a beer company, but Lakewood Brewing has inspired me. Wim talks about his company--and I hear a person not disheartened by hard work, not daunted by the dedication required, and not embarrassed by his own enthusiasm. The end result of such focus is never wasted. I have unwavering respect for Wim and Trevor, for what will be an incredible adventure over the next few years. For me, beer never tasted so good. Cheers."

For more about Lakewood Brewing, go here.


May 19th and 20th, Dallas Comic Con returns with a ridiculously impressive line-up of comics and media guests. I'm also on the guest list. Visit the official site and scroll down, way down. I'll still be here when you return. See! I'm there.

In addition to my usual stash of comics and graphic novels, I plan to sell copies of the newly released COMPLETE ASTRONAUT DAD and promote my Kickstarter project (big surprise). I'll try to have some other nifty surprises available.

Ever since the Dallas Comic Con moved to the Irving Convention Center, the two-day event has reached even greater levels of awesomeness. If you live within 200 miles, make the drive and thank me later.


So yesterday really happened. I saw on Twitter that Good Records was hosting an "Amanda Palmer Ninja Gig." I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but it's Amanda Palmer--so I wanted to go. I like her solo work and her previous band Dresden Dolls. Years ago, I first heard "Sex Changes" on KTCU, and I immediately went to iTunes for more. When April and I arrived at Good Records (forever the best music store in Dallas, if not all of Texas), the place was already packed. People crowded the aisles. One guy in front of me leaned his hand heavily on the LPs, and it drove me crazy. You're hurting the vinyl! It was hard to see the stage. Amanda played the ukulele and talked about each song. Then, to my surprise, she called her husband Neil Gaiman to the stage.

Neil Gaiman is here?

That caught me off guard. I assumed she would travel solo. I don't know why. Neil Gaiman can write wherever he has access to a word processor, pen and paper, or his brain. They are married, why wouldn't he travel with her?

Dressed in black, crazy Tom Waits hair, tired eyes, Neil Gaiman stepped up and shared some of his writings. He has a voice built for nighttime fairy tales. I could have listened to him for hours. Then, he sang a song with Amanda assisting on the ukulele.

I admit, my geek-heart was smitten. This was very, very cool.

Afterward, April and I walked across the street for pizza. She listened while I rambled through an annotated bibliography of his greatest hits. Occasionally, I threw in comments about Amanda Palmer to be fair. "Wasn't that cool?"

I love April for many reasons. At the same time, my love for her needs no reason. I simply love her. I love that she's an artist, that she cares about creative and thoughtful expression. When I considered writing full time, it was April who most fervently supported this decision--not because it was the best economic choice (I'm giving up a stable teacher's salary), but because she understands the creative impulse. I've always wanted to be part of a creative duo, John and Yoko, Amanda and Neil, Charles and Ray, that we could support each other in our art.

I see Neil and Amanda in a loving and equitable relationship, where each partner has their own independent creative pursuits. And that's pretty cool.

D Magazine's FrontRow blog has photos from the event: click here.


My rockstar artist wife designed the new logo for my website and business cards. I think the logo looks great, nice and simple, partnered with the portrait by my friend Dave Crosland. I'm getting ready for June 2012... more on that soon. I've ordered 20 copies of ONE NIGHT STAND and should have 20 copies of the complete ASTRONAUT DAD ready for STAPLE! April and I reserved our hotel room. We're set. No other conventions planned yet.

I'm also working on a new story for D Magazine about Scarborough Renaissance Festival, which I should have finished by the end of the week.

Not much else to report.


This Friday, January 27th, will be a panel discussion and reception for the In[k]dependent: Comic and Zine Art exhibition that my friend Josh Rose co-curated with Iris Bechtol at Eastfield College. The panel discussion is from 6 PM to 7 PM in G101 and features comic writer David Hopkins (that's me) and artists Esther Pearl Watson and Mark Todd.

I will be talking about my mini-comic projects SOME OTHER DAY, MINE ALL MINE, ONE NIGHT STAND, AN ILLUSTRATED COMPANION PAMPHLET, DANGERZONE DAVE VS THE REALISTIC DOLPHIN, and FIGHTING DAVID PARROT -- particularly how I use these projects to experiment with the comics medium.

The reception will take place immediately following the discussion, from 7:30 PM to 9 PM in Gallery 219 (room F219C).

For directions and further information, click here.