Take to the Skies — With Richard Knight!

We’re taking a break from previewing Anthony Castrillo’s Lazarus Gray comic t0 focus on the release of THE NEW ADVENTURES OF RICHARD KNIGHT! I have a story included in this one and it was a fun project to work on. This is kicking off Pulp Obscura!

Press Release

Pro Se Productions, a leading Publisher in the New Pulp Movement, announces today the release of the first collection from its PULP OBSCURA line. Pro Se, in conjunction with Altus Press, noted Publisher of Pulp reprints as well as the home of Will Murray’s new Doc Savage novels, developed the PULP OBSCURA line to spotlight characters from the classic days of Pulp Fiction that are considered unknown or rare in the modern era.

“This concept,” stated Tommy Hancock, Partner in and Editor in Chief of Pro Se, “is really the brainchild of Altus Press’ founder and publisher, Matt Moring. He saw the potential in many of the characters he plans to reprint the original adventures of via Altus Press to be used in new stories by modern day writers. The characters he and I discussed are in the Public Domain and therefore free writers to tackle and publishers to print. Out of that rose PULP OBSCURA, a name I’d come up with a year or so ago out of my own thoughts of one day focusing on rare characters that most people, even the hardcore Pulp fans, don’t know exist.”

The first PULP OBSCURA volume is THE NEW ADVENTURES OF RICHARD KNIGHT. The title character originally appeared in FLYING ACES Magazine in the 1930s and was written by Donald E. Keyhoe, an author known later in his career for his writing on UFOs. Appearing in numerous tales into the 1940s, Knight was considered a flying detective type, an agent of the government who used the cover of millionaire flyboy to investigate plots, usually those involving things such as lost valleys or other oddities, against America.

As stated on the book itself-
From the past flies new tales of one of Pulp’s forgotten heroes! Pro Se Productions in conjunction with Altus Press presents the first volume in its PULP OBSCURA line! Bringing adventures and heroes lost in yesterday blazing to life in new pulp tales today! Six high flying, wild and weird adventures from I.A. Watson, Barry Reese, Frank Schildiner, Joshua Reynolds, Terry Alexander, and Adam Lance Garcia!

Come fly with this hero of the airways as he battles threats to America from the common to the extraordinary! The first new stories since 1942!

THE NEW ADVENTURES OF RICHARD KNIGHT is available now from Pro Se Press as a Kick Off Special for PULP OBSCURA. Altus Press’ volume which this New Pulp book is a companion to, THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES OF RICHARD KNIGHT, VOLUME ONE, will be out within days. In the future, Hancock explained, Altus’ reprint volume and Pro Se’s New Pulp companion volume will be released on the same day. “We did this,” Hancock said, “as a special gift to those who have been following the development of PULP OBSCURA and readers eager to see what we’re doing. There’s been a lot of buzz about this project, which we all greatly appreciate, and we wanted to reward that.”

THE NEW ADVENTURES OF RICHARD KNIGHT features a spectacular cover by Mike Fyles and the cover design work of Sean Ali. Interior Format and Design is the work of Matt Moring and the ebook design is by Russ Anderson. THE NEW ADVENTURES OF RICHARD KNIGHT is now available via Pro Se’s Createspace store at https://www.createspace.com/3783368 and will be available via Amazon in print within the week, $12.00 in print. It is also available for $2.99 for the Kindle on Amazon and in various formats at http://www.smashwords.com and coming soon to Barnes & Noble for the Nook.

Lazarus Gray’s Comic Debut… by Anthony Castrillo

What you’re looking at is a rough layout for page one of the Lazarus Gray “Origins” story, drawn by Anthony Castrillo. Please ignore the misspelling of Gray’s name in panel one — it’s gonna be corrected, don’t worry. This is just a quick layout to show how Anthony’s handling the script I sent him, but it gives you a good idea of what the final version will look like.

Is this hot or what?!

I might share page two with you guys tomorrow…


New Pulp Bestseller List (Based on Amazon Sales Ranks 1/30/12)

Not long ago, I decided to check the sales ranks of the ten most recent New Pulp releases. It was so popular that I kept doing it, adding to it more books as they came out.

Originally, I just included all the recent releases that I could think of and ranked them — over time, people have pointed me towards other new releases that I was unaware of and they are now factored in. If there’s a recent New Pulp title I seem to be forgetting, let me know and I’ll try to include it next time for a more accurate Top 10 on Amazon.

This list does not include eBooks. For now, I’m tracking only print sales. I don’t think it’s fair to compare books that routinely cost $10 or more against eBooks that are usually $3 or less. An eBook list may be coming in the future.

This list does not include every New Pulp book ever published. I do this on my own time and can’t possibly check every New Pulp book’s sale ranks every week. What I did was pick a starting date and MOVED FORWARD. So you won’t see The Rook Volume One or Will  Murray’s Doc Savage titles from the 1990s. This is stuff that I’ve been tracking since Fall 2011 FORWARD.

Now, how Amazon calculates those things is mostly a trade secret and they vary wildly from day to day. If I checked this tomorrow, the list could be very different.

But these are the sales ranks as of Monday morning, January 30, 2012. These sales ranks do not include sales from any site other than Amazon — so they don’t include Barnes and Noble or face-to-face sales or sales through any other website. It’s only sales through Amazon.

As an example, I know that Fortune’s Pawn is the bestselling book in Pro Se’s history but a large percentage of those sales obviously did not go through Amazon (at least not recently). So you have to take these sales ranks with a wink and a nod. Likewise, some things didn’t show up at all on Amazon or else had zero sales rank. That doesn’t mean that those books are not selling (I know they are!) but just that they aren’t selling yet through Amazon, for whatever reason.

Without further ado, here’s the completely and totally unofficial New Pulp bestseller list as of right now (title then sales rank):

1) Under the Moons of Mars by Various (Simon & Schuster) – 7,304
2) Doc Savage: Horror in Gold by Will Murray (Altus Press) – 40,208
3) Doc Savage: The Desert Demons by Will Murray (Altus Press) – 132,165
4) Sherlock Holmes: The Crossovers by Various (Moonstone) — 202,414
5) The Lone Ranger Chronicles – Paperback Edition (Moonstone) – 345,849
6) The Lone Ranger Chronicles – Limited Edition Hardcover  (Moonstone) – 573,685
7) The Avenger: The Justice Inc. Files by Various (Moonstone) – 583,345
8 ) The Green Hornet Casefiles by Various (Moonstone) — 702,967
9) The Lone Ranger: Vendetta by Howard Hopkins (Moonstone) – 750,355
10) Tales of the Vagabond Bards by Nancy Hansen (Pro Se Press) – 752,824

That sales ranking for Under the Moons of Mars is the best I’ve seen since I started track New Pulp sales. That’s no misprint — that’s actually 7,304. That book is selling, folks. The Doc Savage books are juggernauts in the New Pulp field and there’s around 33,000 ranks between # 1 & # 2 here. Wowza. Moonstone continues to dominate the list, coming in at # 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9. That’s six spots out of the top ten. But we have a newcomer this week, as Nancy Hansen’s Tales of the Vagabond Bards cracks the Top Ten! Challenger Storm by Don Gates, which had been a fixture in recent weeks, slipped out of the Top Ten. We continue to see a sharp divide between the bigger companies (Altus, Moonstone, etc.) and the smaller players.

Just missing the list was The Halloween Legion by Martin Powell (Wild Cat Books) – 755,315.

Take it all with a grain of salt, folks.

A Brief Update

Tomorrow I’ll give everyone their first peek at Anthony Castrillo’s comic book pages for the Lazarus Gray feature. They look really solid!

In the meantime, enjoy your Sunday!

The art for today is an excellent John Byrne drawing of Indiana Jones.


Saturday Teasings!

Woke up this morning to find two Anthony Castrillo sketches in my inbox. They’re pages from the Lazarus Gray project I announced yesterday and are things of beauty. Expect to see them here soon!

But today is about Tales of the Rook! What can you expect to find in this book? How about….

– The Rook battling to save a bevy of beauties during his Boston days, courtesy of Ron Fortier!
– A rollicking teamup between The Rook and Mike Bullock’s Xander!
– Bobby Nash’s action-packed tale of an arsonist loose in Atlanta!
– An adventure featuring The Rook of the 21st century (Ian Morris), from Percival Constantine!
– Tommy Hancock pits The Rook against a classic pulp supervillain!
– Max and Evelyn’s failed attempt at a vacation lands them on a mobile Nazi base disguised as an Island!

Great stories, great art – what more could you want?

This George Sellas pencil rough is from Tommy Hancock’s story – recognize this famous villain?


Assistance Unlimited… In Comic Form!

Anthony Castrillo is a no stranger to the New Pulp crowd. In recent years, he’s done the covers for The Rook Volumes 3 & 5, as well as the cover for Four Bullets for Dillon by Derrick Ferguson and The Adventures of Lazarus Gray by me. He’s also done interior art for The Rook Volumes 3, 4, 5 & 6, winning Best Interior Art in the Pulp Ark Awards for Volume Five. This year, he’s nominated for Best Cover (Lazarus Gray) and Best Interior Art (Rook v. 6).

In the comics world, Anthony has worked for Marvel, DC, Valiant and a lot more.

I’m proud to say that he’s currently collaborating with me on a short comic feature starring Lazarus Gray and the members of Assistance Unlimited. The script has been delivered and Anthony is currently hard at work on the art — it’s basically a primer for anyone who is interested in the characters, explaining who they are, how they came together, etc. Not sure if it will make its debut in Die Glocke or if you’ll have to wait a little bit longer but eventually it will be a handy resource for anyone looking to get into the series, whether they’re starting with the third volume or going back to the beginning.

The genesis of the project was Airship 27’s announcement that they were working on a second issue of All-Star Pulp Comics. I wrote a Rook story for issue one but for issue two, I wasn’t initially invited back because I didn’t have my own artist lined up (Ron Fortier was gracious enough to pair me up with someone for issue one). I approached Anthony to see if he was interested in doing something with me and then got to brainstorming: should I do another Rook adventure or something else?

When I decided that I wanted to do Lazarus Gray, I knew that my contract with Pro Se would preclude me from pitching that story to Airship — the only reason I was able to get The Rook into issue one was because I had agreed to work on it before I signed my deal with my current publisher. So that led to the current idea — a short piece that I can actually use again and again, for promotional and informational purposes.

I think you’re all going to really like seeing what Anthony and I have come up with!

All the artwork that accompanies this post is by Anthony Castrillo, showcasing his incredible skill! Look for preview images from Anthony’s Lazarus Gray pages soon!

New artwork and a cool fan-vid

The image accompanying this post is a rough from Tales of the Rook. It depicts The Rook of the 21st century (well, the years 2009-2012, anyway), Ian Morris. It’s going to be used with Perry Constantine’s short story. Drawn by George Sellas, it’s like ten kinds of awesome! I really dig it. Previously, Ian had only been depicted by one other artist (Storn Cook, in The Rook Volume Four).

My “big announcement” is still coming tomorrow and hopefully I’ll have some visuals to share with you. That’s out of my hands, unfortunately, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Stay tuned!

I won’t be able to attend Pulp Ark this year (very sad!) but I will be at both Dragon*Con in September 2012 and the Crossroads Writers Conference in October. If anything else develops, I’ll let you guys know.

Watched The Mummy again the other night — never get too much of that film. And, of course, Evelyn Davies (wife of The Rook) was inspired by Evie, the character in that film, so it has a special place in the hearts of Rook fans everywhere.

One of my favorite underrated movies is The Shadow (1994) with Alex Baldwin. I love that movie and the following is a fan-made “trailer” for the film. I really dig it! Check it out and let me know what you think:

General Pulp Talk

So it’s Wednesday and I’m more than ready for the weekend.

Currently working on a Lazarus Gray story that’s going very well — and prepping for the Three Months of Reese that will come your way in April, May and June. That’s when we’re going to see the second Lazarus Gray book released, Tales of the Rook and a collection of mostly out-of-print material known as The Family Grace. But before all of that… will be the Richard Knight collection from Pulp Obscura. Not sure exactly when that one will be out but it should be soon.

About halfway through Horror in Gold by Will Murray. So far it’s been okay — I haven’t enjoyed it nearly as much as The Desert Demons, though. Something feels ‘off’ to me — not sure exactly what it is yet but maybe it will crystallize eventually. It’s not a bad read but it feels more like a ground rule double while Demons was a triple, I’d say.

I cast my vote for Best Writer in the Pulp Ark Awards to Wayne Reinagel. The guy’s written some true New Pulp classics and if you haven’t tried them yet, do so! My personal favorite is The Khan Dynasty.

The image with this post is by Anthony Castrillo and comes from The Rook Volume Six — Anthony won Best Interior Artwork in the 2011 Pulp Ark Awards for his work volume five of The Rook. He’s nominated this year for Best Cover (Lazarus Gray) and Best Interior Art (Rook v. 6).

Expect a big announcement from me on Friday (1/27/12). It’s gonna be coooooool.




The Nominated Works

I was lucky enough to receive several nominations in the 2012 Pulp Ark Awards and the following is a list of links so you can purchase those items. I’m very proud to be associated with these works!

The Avenger: The Justice Inc. Files – Contains “The Devil’s Workmen.” Nominated for Best Short Story.

The Green Hornet Casefiles – Contains “Summer of Death.” Nominated for Best Short Story.

The Adventures of Lazarus Gray — Nominated for Best Collection/Anthology, Best Cover, Best Interior Art

The Rook Volume Six — Nominated for Best Collection/Anthology, Best Interior Art

The Damned Thing – Nominated for Best Novel, Best Cover, Best Interior Art, Best New Character (Violet Cambridge)

How the West Was Weird Volume II – Contains “Desolation.” Nominated for Best Collection/Anthology

All-Star Pulp Comics # 1 – Contains an 8-page Rook story. Nominated for Best Pulp-Related Comic

Thanks again to everyone who nominated my work!