Month: August 2013

Book Signing Today!

banner01_smallIf you’d like to meet me, I’ll be at Avalon Comics in Macon, Georgia today! I’ll be appearing there from 11:30 am to around 1:00 pm. The store is located at 2384 Ingleside Avenue and is a great place to come and hang out. It’s also just down the road from Red Lobster, which is always a good thing, right?

I’ll be bringing along copies of all three Lazarus Gray books, plus The Adventures of Gravedigger and several other items. And if you already own one of my books, I’d be glad to personalize it for you for free.

The last time I was there, I had one of the best days ever in terms of moving product — so I’m hoping for a similar turnout this time around. Of course, last time was for Free Comic Book Day but you never know. This particular promotion is their “5th Annual We Couldn’t Afford to go to Dragon*Con Sale” and everything in the store (aside from snacks) will be 50% off. Normally I’m actually at Dragon*Con but I elected not to submit an application this year. While I love Dragon*Con, it’s getting so expensive and so huge that I decided to skip it this time around.

If you miss me at Avalon, you can still catch me at the Crossroads Writers Conference on October 5, 2013 and at COMO on October 10, 2013, plus at the Georgia Literary Festival November 9, 2013.

Hope to see you soon!

A New Eidolon Review!

laz3coverOver at Amazon, a new review of The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Three: Eidolon has been posted! It was reviewed by SteamDave and this is what he had to say:

New Pulp – Classic Elements, Modern Sensibility – 5 stars

For the uninitiated, Lazarus Gray is the central character in Barry Reese’s series of pulp stories set in Sovereign City in the 1930s, and featuring crime-busting, evil-thwarting team, Assistance Unlimited. An obvious, heartfelt homage to such Lester Dent classics as Doc Savage and The Avenger, Lazarus Gray is a man of mystery and action – his past gone, he swears to bring justice to the city, and assistance to anyone in need. And so he does.

The Lazarus Gray stories feature all the classic pulp elements – the stalwart, omnicompetent hero, his varied team of quirky assistants, a choice of villains, thrilling locations, superscience, ancient mysteries, the supernatural…
In a proper new pulp twist, Mr Reese approaches his materials with a modern sensibility, sidestepping the trap of political correctness by providing us with a fresh, modern, intelligent take on “delicate” issues such as gender, race, politics.
This is pulp like in the days of old, but without the outdated and unpleasant biases of our grandfathers.

The third book picks up where the earlier entry in the series (Die Glocke) left off, and shows us that the universe in which the characters move is still evolving – there’s big changes in the air, there’s lots of stuff happening, old enemies are back in the game, new enemies are in, too. The author’s willingness to let his characters grow, change and mutate is another element of fun and interest in the series. There is a dynamic quality, in Sovereign City and its denizens, that keeps the reader’s attention up.

This is new pulp as it’s meant to be, and to me, the Lazarus Gray stories are an almost perfect template of how it’s done – they are complex, tightly-plotted, hard-hitting, fun.

The ebook edition of the third volume in the series – which goes by the title of Eidolon, but let’s not spoil the fun by revealing more – also includes a short, gorgeous comic and a selection of black and white illustrations. Not bad, for something like 3 euros.

Defects? There’s too little of it – the Lazarus Gray stories are a fast, fun read, and the new book’s over way too soon.

All in all, a highly entertaining, intelligent, stimulating read.

The whole series is highly recommended.

Thanks so much for the review! I’m really pleased that you enjoy my efforts to meld the best parts of the classic pulp era with the modern sensibilities and techniques we have available to us today. I enjoy seeing my characters grow and evolve and think that such things are part of what make a series so much fun to write (and read!). I think you’ll really enjoy what’s coming up in Volume Four — I’ve already written that book and it’s currently in production with George Sellas working on the cover. Look for it in early 2014!

Medic!

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Well, this will be a fairly short post, I think. My son was ill last evening so I didn’t get any sleep until around three this morning and even then, it wasn’t particularly restful since I was curled up in a chair!

As a result, I probably won’t add anything to the Lazarus Gray story I’ve been working on – which is a shame since Brother Bones and Lazarus are about to meet for the first time. In classic tradition, they’re going to throw down before teaming up. Cliche? Sure! But it’s all about The Fun.

One cool thing I can share is that longtime comics artist Grant Miehm is working on the cover to Tales of The Rook Volume Two! Grant has worked on numerous projects both in and out of comics but I’ll always have a soft spot for his Legend of The Shield series. I’m thrilled to have him onboard.

Take care, folks! I’m gonna hang out with the little guy and maybe catch some zzz’s when he goes down for a nap later.

Characters I Love # 17: The Huntress

huntressEvery Wednesday, I focus on a character from adventure fiction (film, comics & prose) that I simply adore. This week we’re talking about: The Huntress. Now, there have been several versions of this character over the years but I’ve liked them all. Here’s a handy-dandy guide to the various Helena Wayne/Bertinelli Huntresses we’ve been presented with:

The Original – This was Helena Wayne, the daughter of the pre-Crisis Earth-Two’s Batman and Catwoman. This Huntress was a member of the Justice Society and carried on her father’s work in Gotham City. She was a strong female character in an era where too many women were still treated as secondary to the male heroes. She was best friends with Power Girl and the two of them later went on to become members of Infinity, Inc.

Post-Crisis – After the multiple Earths were seemingly done away with in DC’s big Crisis on Infinite Earths series, Helena was reborn as Helena Bertinelli, a mafia princess. Turning against the crime that had made her family wealthy, Helena began hunting criminals as The Huntress. This version of the character was a little more hard-edged than the others and she frequently sparred with Batman over her methods. She had romances with both Nightwing and The Question (Vic Sage).

New 52 – The current version is very similar to the original, hailing from a new Earth-Two and being the daughter of that world’s Batman and Catwoman. She is currently trapped on the main DC Earth, along with Power Girl. It’s interesting to note that even though she’s once again Helena Wayne, the Bertinelli identity has not been completely discarded, as it’s been used as an alias for her. This current Huntress is, once again, very intelligent and capable, which I really like.

I’ve always liked the fact that Helena didn’t become Batwoman or Batgirl or anything along those lines (though she did wear the Batgirl costume briefly during the No Man’s Storyline during the post-Crisis era & in the New 52 she was Robin before graduating to her own identity). She’s basically been her own woman from the start.I like her friendship with Power Girl and, to be honest, she’s probably my favorite member of the Bat-family. I’d much rather see her pushed to the forefront than Batgirl.

Our art today is by Marcus To, one of my favorite Huntress artists.

Updates & Avalon Comics Appearance

11746dcd0c65886c_Kate-Upton-Elle-2Hello, folks!

I just uploaded the 46th episode of The Shadow Fan Podcast, so you can head over and download that one if you’re a fan of pulp’s greatest crimefighter. At the end of the episode I reveal who will be joining me on the 50th episode! I think people will really enjoy the conversation I had with this famous Shadow creator.

Work continues on the Lazarus Gray/Brother Bones crossover story. I’ve crossed the 6,000 word mark so I think we’re making good progress. Once I’m finished with it, I’ll pass it on to Brother Bones’ creator, Ron Fortier, for his approval and comments. If he gives it the green light, then I’ll have knocked out two of the five stories that will run in Lazarus Gray v. 5. It all adds up, doesn’t it? It’s interesting to note that once that book is released, I’ll have written almost as many Lazarus Gray books as I have The Rook.

I’ll be at Avalon Comics this Saturday from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm so if you’re in the Macon, Georgia area, please stop in and say hello! I’ll be there selling and signing books. Avalon is a great store and it’s located down the road from a Red Lobster so you can do what I’m doing and grab lunch afterward. Pulp fiction and cheddar bay biscuits… where could you go wrong?

I’ll be exchanging emails with my frequent collaborator George Sellas this morning, firming up our schedules for the next few months. Even though Chris Batista and Jen Broomall have been doing work with me lately, don’t think I’m letting George slip away. He’ll continue defining the looks of my characters for a long time to come, if I have anything to say about it!

Our accompanying photo today is of the lovely Kate Upton. She’s obviously doing some reading in bed, which makes it appropriate for inclusion on this blog. ‘Cause we promote literacy and stuff.

Plus, it’s Kate Upton.

Booyah! The Crossover Novel’s Cover Artist Is….

LEGION_SECRET_ORIGIN_5It’s the start of a whole new week and I’m hoping that I’ll get a lot of stuff done — I have to record episode 46 of The Shadow Fan Podcast (in which I’ll be reviewing a classic novel and the newest issue of The Shadow/Green Hornet series), I’m still working on the Lazarus Gray/Brother Bones crossover story and, of course, I have a day job.

So I won’t be lacking for things to keep me busy.

The big news, though, is that I’ve been talking with superstar artist Chris Batista and he’s agreed to do a cover for a Reese Unlimited book! He’s going to be doing the cover to a special novel that I have in the planning stages — it will bring The Rook, Lazarus Gray and Gravedigger together for the very first time! We’ve seen The Rook paired with Lazarus Gray and both of those heroes have worked separately with Gravedigger but now the three of them will be gathering to face a titanic threat that will not only imperil Sovereign City but the entire world!

Chris has had celebrated runs on Steel, the Legion of Superheroes, JLA and Robin, among many others. He’s also the artist on the villain’s month issue Grodd, coming out next week from DC Comics. His clean, sleek style has made him one of my favorite artists working in comics today and I’m very, very excited to see what he comes up with for this cover. Our accompanying artwork today showcases the incredible stylings of Mr. Batista — if you’re unfamiliar with his work, I’m pretty sure you’ll understand why I’m such a fan after looking at this image.

The team-up novel doesn’t have a title as of yet so feel free to suggest one – The Rook/Lazarus Gray/Gravedigger Team-Up Book just doesn’t cut it, I’m afraid. The current plan is for me to finish up this LG/Brother Bones story, then I’ll work on some Pro Se work-for-hire stuff, then I’ll put the emphasis on completing the rest of Lazarus Gray Volume Five (the Brother Bones story is the second of a planned five stories to run in that volume)… and *then* I’ll write the big team-up book. Since I’m writing Lazarus Gray Volume Five first, you can be sure that I’ll be seeding the team-up’s plot in that one, making a smooth transition for folks who are reading all of the titles. You will, of course, be able to jump right into the team-up if you wish, though. I try to make all my books new-reader friendly.

It’s been an exciting time for Reese Unlimited lately, with the announcements of both the Brother Bones crossover and now Chris Batista’s upcoming cover work… but the announcements may not be quite complete just yet… Stay tuned for more.

 

My Favorite Shadow Novels (Updated 8/25/2013)

946458-S253-TheVampireMurdersAs most of you know, I’m a big fan of The Shadow – in fact, I host a weekly podcast entitled The Shadow Fan. Today I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorite Shadow novels, so that if you are looking to jump into the series, you’ll have some recommendations about where to start. These are by no means all the great Shadow stories — it’s just a handful that I really love. In addition, there are still Shadow novels that I haven’t read yet — so I might go back and add to this list as time passes.

To be honest, I think it’s a great idea to simply start with the first story and go forward — but that’s not always possible, I know. So here are my favorites, in order of publication:

The Living Shadow – April 1, 1931

The Eyes of The Shadow – July-September 1931

The Shadow Laughs – October 1, 1931

Gangdom’s Doom – December 1, 1931

The Death Tower – January 1, 1932

The Ghost of the Manor – June 15, 1933

The London Crimes – September 15, 1935

Crime, Insured – July 1, 1937

The Shadow Unmasks – August 1, 1937

The Green Hoods – August 15, 1938

Death From Nowhere – July 15, 1939

The Golden Master – September 15, 1939

Shiwan Khan Returns – December 1, 1939

The Invincible Shiwan Khan – March 1, 1940

The Prince of Evil – April 15, 1940

Masters of Death – May 15, 1940

Murder Genius – July 1, 1940

The Man Who Died Twice – September 15, 1940

The Devil’s Paymaster – November 15, 1940

The Thunder King – June 15, 1941

The Devil Master – September 15, 1941

The Book of Death – January 15, 1942

Death’s Bright Finger – May 15, 1942

The Vampire Murders – September 1, 1942