Another 5-Star Gravedigger Review!

gravedigger_small_colorAmazon user Ray Bara gave The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume Two a 5-star review. Here’s what he had to say:

Another Barry Reese masterpiece. I enjoy the way Barry writes. He writes action well, he writes characters well, he’s good with giving new stories that old pulp fiction feel.

I have to admit that when he first introduced the Gravedigger character, I was a little skeptical. He already had the Rook (oops, I mean the Peregrine) and Lazarus Gray in his Sovereign City world. How would the Gravedigger fit into that universe? Well, I loved the first Gravedigger volume, and I loved this current one as well.

Beyond the action and the Sovereign City setting that I really dig, I liked learning more about the Gravedigger’s associates in this one. Li Yuchun, Mitchell, Cedric were really filled out in this one. But more importantly, I liked how Mortimer Quinn was a focal point of this story, and that he will play a role in both Gravedigger Volume 3 and the next Lazarus Gray story as well. I like the idea of a former Gravedigger who doesn’t age taking a prominent role in these stories.

Barry Reese truly knows how to write. Gravedigger Volume 2 is not a long book; it won’t take more than a day or two to read. But that day or two will be great. Get this book and anything else Barry Reese writes!

Thanks very much, Ray! That’s high praise and I definitely appreciate it. Glad you enjoyed the way the supporting cast was handled — I have to admit, I find the personal lives of Li, Cedric, Mitchell and Mortimer just as interesting as the more melodramatic adventures that bedevil Charity!

The Dark Gentleman Is Here!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SOVEREIGN CITY’S NEWEST HERO DEBUTS-
BARRY REESE’S PRO SE SINGLE SHOT SERIES BEGINS-
THE ADVENTURES OF THE DARK GENTLEMAN!

From the creator of Lazarus Gray and Gravedigger comes another hero of Sovereign City! Award Winning Author Barry Reese takes the fight against crime in Sovereign to the city’s very own streets in his very own Pro Se Single Shot Signature digital single series- The Adventures of the Dark Gentleman!

Sovereign City has many champions but not all of them get the limelight. The Dark Gentleman is a crusader for justice, taking out the small fry criminals so that others can focus on the bigger picture. But for those whose lives are saved by the masked hero, he is just as important as Lazarus Gray or Doc Daye… He is the Dark Gentleman and he’s cleaning up Sovereign City, one petty thug at a time.

In his debut short story, The Judgment of the Shadow Court, The Dark Gentleman comes against a group intent on controlling the city by corrupting and perverting the law itself. A one man army against crime, The Dark Gentleman stands toe to toe with the Shadow Court, his life and the soul of Sovereign City hanging in the balance!

The Adventures of The Dark Gentleman- The Judgment of the Shadow Court features atmospheric cover art and logo design by Jeff Hayes and digital formatting by Russ Anderson. The first short story in this new series set in Sovereign City is now available for Kindle at http://tinyurl.com/nvaeknt and for most other digital formats at http://tinyurl.com/ov8wpp5 for only 99 cents.

For interviews with the author or more information on the Pro Se Single Shots Signatures, contact Morgan McKay, Pro Se’s Director of Corporate Operations, at directorofcorporateoperations@prose-press.com.

For more information on Pro Se Productions, go to http://www.prose-press.com. Like Pro Se on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.

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Updates Galore

black_terror_01_smallHello, my friends!

Though things might have seemed quiet as of late, work has been going on behind the scenes. Within the next few weeks you should be receiving the first installment of The Dark Gentleman’s e-book series and the fifth volume of the Lazarus Gray series. I hope you’ll enjoy both!

I also have word that my Johnny Dollar story, written quite a ways back, will finally be seeing print from Moonstone! I had a blast writing it so I’m glad you’ll finally be able to read it.

I’m also working hard on wrapping up the crossover novel within the next month!

And I’m proud to say that I’ve been spending a good bit of time lately doing proof-editing on Will Murray’s The Sinister Shadow, which will not only be the 200th volume of the Doc Savage series but also returns The Shadow to the prose world that he best belongs in! I was deeply honored to be a part of this project and I think all of you will enjoy the end product. I know that I loved it!

I’m also hard at work on a new project that will feature The Black Terror. I’ve written this public domain superhero a few times in the past but this will be the first time that he’s headlined a project of mine. The cover will be by Anthony Castrillo with interior pieces by George Sellas! One of them accompanies this post, in fact — showing The Black Terror alongside Lazarus Gray. These two met in one of the Lazarus Gray volumes and I think you’ll enjoy what I have in store for The Black Terror… I tweaked his origins a bit in his Lazarus appearance and I think the new elements add some real depth to him.

Hope you agree!

In addition to all of the above, George Sellas is also designing two new pulp heroes for me that will star in their own projects in 2016!

I’ll be back soon with more news – and hopefully a few announcements that will knock your socks off.

The Delightfully Deviant World of Rabbit Heart

rabbit_heart_newWith a new edition of Rabbit Heart out now from Pro Se Press, I thought I’d share snippets of past reviews that the book has garnered.

Enjoy!

“Delightfully deviant. I’ve simultaneously wanted to laugh my ass off and puke my guts out while reading this. That’s pretty impressive.”

“Okay, I’m halfway through Rabbit Heart and that is GROSS, Barry!”

“Almost done with Rabbit Heart and it’s compelling. Pornographic but compelling.”

“Rabbit Heart was like a train wreck: horrifying and disturbing, but you just couldn’t look away. While this book is definitely not a part of my normal genre reads (humor, adventure, nonfiction), I found it very interesting and couldn’t put it down.”

“I finished your book Rabbit Heart and I must say I was quite entertained—you have quite a vivid imagination. Well done!”

“Rabbit Heart is extremely graphic. It’s brutal, gruesome, and strangely erotic—sometimes all at once. Sex and violence mix together in a way that may be disturbing to some, but is nonetheless gripping. I found it impossible to tear myself away from the book—I was disgusted and shaken to my core and I say these things as compliments.”

“There is plenty of gore, sexual brutality and blatant acts of depravity all meticulously embellished with not a gruesome detail omitted. If you’ve the stomach for it, Rabbit Heart is a savage reading experience but it is not for the timid.”

“When I first picked up this book I thought “Oh my… Whoa…. Holy Crap! NO WAY!” Haha this story continuously surprised me! It is not for the faint of heart nor children at all! But I can tell you that I absolutely loved it! It is a must read!”

“Reese is good at showing the action from a variety of characters. You may not like being in the head of a horny college student, but he forces you to see the world from those eyes. It’s a difficult trick, showing multiple viewpoints, but he neatly pulls it off.”

Gravedigger Carves Up A New 5-Star Review!

gravedigger_cover_02_small_mockupJose Rivera gave the new Gravedigger book a 5-star review at Amazon. Here’s what he had to say:

It’s been a while since the last volume of Gravedigger, but you know what? It was totally worth the wait!

Barry Reese gives us one story in this volume, but it’s densely packed and gives us a great payoff to the “Other” thread from the last volume.

Reese’s strength has always been his characters. Charity is learning to accept her role as the Gravedigger and her supporting cast gets more time to shine, particularly former Gravedigger Mortimer who is trying to not only help Charity but find his place within the group.

I was surprised by the inclusion of Pandora (yes THAT Pandora of myth) but that turned out to be one hell of a nice surprise as Reese makes Pandora just as much of a seasoned warrior as a tragic character. Pandora’s story overall tugs at your heart strings and makes you cringe a little by the end.

I enjoyed this volume immensely and can’t wait to see where the story goes. Charity may only have three years, but she’s sure as hell making the most out of her time as the Gravedigger and the next adventure can’t come soon enough!

Thanks, Jose! I’m glad that you enjoyed it and particularly pleased that you found Pandora so interesting. I had fun writing her.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy Gravedigger’s role in the upcoming crossover novel just as much!

Updates!

ru-proof-r11.jpgContinuing to add to the crossover novel in dribs and drabs. Well over 40,000 words and I’ve been going back to flesh out prior scenes as I go. It’s good stuff but such slow going. I know for most of you, this isn’t a big concern since you’re getting “new” work from me (Gravedigger 2 and, soon, Lazarus Gray 5) but I started working on this thing back in late 2013 so this is an incredibly long time for me.

I have plans for a Black Terror collection to come soon — I’ve previously written the character in several different places, most recently in the second Lazarus Gray volume, where I gave him what I personally think is a pretty elegant origin that mixes his old Golden Age comics history with something quite new. Anyway, he’ll be briefly mentioned in the crossover novel and he’ll be starring in all-new adventures soon enough. In fact, George Sellas is soon to be hard at work on some new artwork featuring him!

Also signed on for an editing job that’s simply amazing… but I can’t discuss it quite yet. Stay tuned. Suffice to say I’m excited to be a part of this historic event!

Over at Amazon, Liz Tadehara posted this review of Gravedigger Volume Two:

Wonderful sequel to a most unusual “New Pulp” take. Can not wait for volume three.

Thanks, Liz! I’m thrilled that you enjoyed it. Gravedigger appears next in the crossover novel and then I’ll see about starting work on volume 3 of her series.

I’ll return soon with more updates, my friends. Until then, stay pulpy!

 

My Favorite Fantastic Four Runs

ffI’ve been on a Fantastic Four kick lately, re-reading lots of old FF adventures and loving them. Like DC’s Challengers of the Unknown, the FF is a very pulp-style concept and it lends itself to those kinds of storytelling. The family aspect of the team is also very appealing and sets them apart from other superhero groups.

So what runs are my favorites? Let’s take a gander:

8. Mark Waid/Mike Wieringo – I don’t love this run as much as others do. While I am a huge Wieringo fan, something never clicked with me during his FF run and the plots varied wildly in quality. Having said that, I actually enjoyed the mystic-centered Doom storyline and appreciated the fact that the FF’s family relationships were highlighted so strongly.

7. Chris Claremont/Salvador Larocca – Yes, it was basically the FF hanging out with all kinds of X-Men concepts but it had some great moments and it gave us Valeria, for which I will always be grateful. Besides, I liked the stuff with the Captain Britain Corps, Ronan and even Crucible. It was a fun period for the FF but it did rely too heavily upon Claremont’s mutant storylines.

6. Steve Englehart/Keith Pollard – This much-maligned run is a real guilty pleasure of mine. I always adore Englehart’s characterization and thought this run did a lot to recapture the epic scope of the FF. The team traveled all around the globe and into other dimensions, while uncovering all kinds of hidden Marvel lore. It also guest-starred Mantis, Kang, the Beyonder (they did a storyline called Secret Wars III that was, to me, absolutely wonderful) and tons more. The artwork was solid and the team dynamics — for most of the period, the squad was Ben (as leader), Johnny, Crystal and She-Thing — were a lot of fun to watch.

5. Marv Wolfman/Keith Pollard/John Byrne – The Wolfman period featured not only the greatest Reed/Doom battle of all time (issue 200) but also featured a wonderful multi-issue storyline where the FF teamed up with Nova and the Champions of Xandar to take on Galactus and The Sphinx. The throwdown between Galactus and The Sphinx remains one of my all-time favorite FF moments. As always with Wolfman, the characterization and plotting are pitch-perfect.

4. Carlos Pacheco/Jeff Loeb/Rafael Marin – First off, the art was incredible. Second, these guys actually made me enjoy two villains that had always bored the crap out of me: Diablo and Annihilus. The characterizations were great, the plots were exciting and I only wish that Pacheco could have stayed on even longer. I never hear people talking about this era but they should: it was tremendously fun!

3. Tom DeFalco/Paul Ryan – Yes, there were missteps along the way (Sue’s peekaboo costume, for instance) but there was so much great stuff, too. Even Sue’s costuming had a story explanation — Malice was influencing her, after all. I dearly wish this entire run was collected in trade. The art was solid and some of the storylines are just sheer, unadulterated fun. It really was like a Silver Age comic written with a dash of 90s sensibilities thrown in. Plus, it was one of the last times where it felt like the Fantastic Four title was a place where Important Things Happen. The “death” of Reed led to a heavy emphasis on both Kristoff and Ant-Man, which was fine by me, and I actually even enjoyed Hyperstorm.

2. John Byrne – An absolutely masterful run. Some of these stories are such absolute classics that it’s hard to limit yourself to naming just a few — the terror in a tiny town issue, the battle with Gladiator, the “everybody vs. Galactus” story, the arrival of She-Hulk to the team, etc. This period is rightfully considered one of the title’s Golden Ages and if you haven’t read it in its entirety, you haven’t read the FF.

1. Stan Lee/Jack Kirby – How can you not put this at the top? A 102 issue run (plus annuals) that set the foundation for the entire Marvel Universe. The Inhumans, Doctor Doom, Galactus, The Silver Surfer, the Kree, the Skrulls… you could go on and on. Kirby’s art was at its peak, Lee’s grandiose storytelling was never better… this is the pinnacle of the Marvel Silver Age.

What about you guys? What are your favorite FF runs?