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Pose-off with John Scalzi

ETA: While the overall response to the fundraiser and pics continues to be exponentially awesome, I’ve also seen a few areas where response has begun to shift from, “I say, those poses seem remarkably impractical, and how exactly does one do that without dislocating one’s ankle?” to “Hey, guys dressing or posing like girls are both ugly and hilarious!” Which misses the point so badly it’s not even funny. Please see this follow-up post for my thoughts on the context of these poses, the hotness of John Scalzi, and my apology for not better framing and presenting this post in the first place.


When I started the Aicardi Syndrome Fundraiser, I recruited bestselling author and ukelele prodigy John Scalzi to be a bonus goal when we hit the $1000 mark.

We raised that much on the first day. Which meant it was time to see once and for all (at least until the next round) who was the true cover-posing master!

I issued the challenge, offering him the choice of three book covers to imitate. With the help of his readers, he selected The Taste of Night [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], by Vicki Pettersson.

This was the big one. After warming up, I took a break to walk off the pains of the previous poses, and to mentally prepare myself. I meditated for three days and six nights. I purified my body with a diet of crushed ice, unbuttered toast, and green Skittles. I studied one of our cat to learn the true secret of flexibility. Unfortunately, all I learned was the secret of well-timed cat farts.

But my training period was over. I put the Rocky soundtrack on the stereo, changed clothes, and began Operation Sexy Leg.

My wife took eight photos, helping me to adjust my stance each time, then giving me a chance to fall down between takes. But I think it was worth it!

Dear Internet: I present to you my version of The Taste of Night!

Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


( 83 comments — Leave a comment )
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Dec. 11th, 2012 07:09 pm (UTC)
The man who shaves his legs wins.

Are you two wearing the same shoes?
Dec. 11th, 2012 10:56 pm (UTC)
Not quite, but they're awfully close!
Dec. 11th, 2012 07:20 pm (UTC)
John's got that ankle just right.

Just sayin'.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 11th, 2012 08:27 pm (UTC)
You have a shaved leg, a much more accurate pose, and attitude. He has a wig. It is so hard to choose. Of course, I might be a little distracted by the fact that you both seem to own crossbows...that worries me *just* a little!

But I'd say you win. It's the tilt of the head... (That's my story and I'm sticking to it, Mr. Sexy Legs)
Dec. 11th, 2012 09:00 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I was wondering about that.

Perhaps I should poll my more serious martial arts geeks friends - but I suspect a minority own crossbows. (Now, the SCAers? That's another matter entirely.)

[Added for clarity: I don't own a crossbow. I mean, I have a student who gives me weapons every quarter or so in lieu of tution* and I still don't have a crossbow. A combat fan, yes. I'm not sure if I'm more puzzled or put out. Though I'm pretty sure I don't want a crossbow right at the moment.

* I don't charge tuition, and I didn't used to take donations. Some of my students took exception to this. And got kind of creative. Eventually the creative got scary enough that putting a donation basket in the zendo atrium was the path of discretion... but R is old school, and stubborn. (And an instructor in his own right, and a wonderful student, and what can I do?)]

Edited at 2012-12-11 09:08 pm (UTC)
Dec. 13th, 2012 03:53 am (UTC)
My crossbow is far more novelty item than weapon, though I'm pretty sure it was intended in all seriousness to be the latter. But I was young at the time and neither knew nor could afford better.
Dec. 11th, 2012 09:53 pm (UTC)
*dies laughing*

My vote goes to Jim - you have better leg posture and you shaved! :D

John gets credit for the wig, though! XD
Dec. 11th, 2012 10:26 pm (UTC)
LOL!! Brilliant!!
Dec. 11th, 2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
Brent's comment: "Did he shave ONE LEG?"

Also, we both agree that the most disturbing thing about John's pose is the TWINKLE in his eye. He is enjoying this TOO MUCH.
Dec. 11th, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC)
My favorite part is that both you and Scalzi just happen to have a crossbow laying around.
Dec. 11th, 2012 10:49 pm (UTC)
Doesn't everybody?

(Actually, I think John went out and bought his last week, specifically for this picture.)
Dec. 11th, 2012 10:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, well in that case, clearly he is a cheating cheater who cheats.
Dec. 12th, 2012 08:53 pm (UTC)
I seem to recall him tweeting about it being a great excuse to get one, though. ^_-

Also, congrats on making it to Boing Boing! Hopefully that will bring in some Happy Mutant donations.
Dec. 11th, 2012 10:47 pm (UTC)
Jim definitely wins for overall pose, though John Scalzi, I think, may have managed the smouldering-challenging-flirtatious eyeball thing a bit better.
Dec. 12th, 2012 01:20 am (UTC)
Mr. Hines, you have it by a leg. ;D
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 12th, 2012 02:46 pm (UTC)
John's bent knee and head are turned incorrectly, and while yours aren't quite as dramatic as the original they're closer. (Also you went to the effort of both shaving and mocking up a cover.) I see a clear winner here. :)
Dec. 12th, 2012 07:59 pm (UTC)
For the sheer fun of it, you should do Scalzi's pose up as a mock cover too, when the mood strikes. At least, the poses are close enough for a cut-and-paste, and if you layered the original graphics, then a second mock up could be fun.

Yours was the more serious effort, but it looks like Scalzi had fun with it, too, and that counts.
Dec. 13th, 2012 04:04 am (UTC)
You realize that you're going to have to start referring to yourself as "the biggest poser on the Internet" now, right? :)
Dec. 13th, 2012 12:39 pm (UTC)
I'm a writer. I've felt like a poser for well over a decade now :-)
Dec. 13th, 2012 04:22 pm (UTC)
Based on form you are the clear winner. I will say that Mr. Scalizi has a most enticing gleam in his eye...charisma indeed.
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