The Curse of Being So Far Ahead…

So I write fast. Back in my fanfiction days (yep, I used to write fanfic), that wasn’t a real problem but now… it sorta is. I mean, I’m usually years ahead of my publisher. Look at this way: I’ve written a novel called Omnium Gatherum, four volumes of Straw-Man stories, and three Dark Society novels… none of which any of you will see for god know’s how long. By the time they see print, they’ll be way in my rear-view mirror and it’s hard to get excited about it… or to feel that I’m doing good things now when nobody but my editor will read them for years.

It’s frustrating.

That’s not even counting when I contribute to anthologies that are never published because other writers never turn in their stories! It almost makes me want to do the self-publishing thing just to get these stories out there.

Frankenstein’s Monster…

Frankenstein’s Monster was, of course first seen in Mary Shelley’s classic. In the Reese Unlimited universe, he ended up frozen, entering a state of suspended animation. He remained in this state from the 18th century until 1943, when he was revived by the villainous Doctor Satan. Satan promised to heal the monster’s scarred visage but he actually used him to locate a hidden land called Vorium. In my universe, he was described as, “…nearly eight feet tall, with translucent yellow skin that barely hid the veins and muscles underneath. The stranger had watery, glowing eyes, flowing black hair, dark-tinged lips and white teeth. Birthed quite literally from death itself, the sorrowful monster had no name other than ‘the Creature.’”

After being betrayed by Satan, the creature ended up meeting Max Davies, the Peregrine. They agreed to work alongside one another to prevent Satan from stealing Vorium’s power sources. After they succeeded at this, the creature decided to adopt the name Vincent for himself.

In 1944, the Peregrine organized a strike force composed of Revenant, Frankenstein’s Monster, Catalyst and Esper. The group was known as The Claws of the Peregrine and they took part in two notable adventures in this year: a battle against the diabolical Mr. Dee and then later against an alliance between Doctor Satan and the Warlike Manchu.

In 1946, a pair of villains named Samuel Garibaldi [aka Rainman] and Dr. Gottlieb Hochmuller united — the Claws of the Peregrine teamed up with several other heroes to put a stop to them.

After this adventure, we don’t know what became of Vincent… not until he made a brief appearance in 2024! At that point, the sensitive giant was seen alongside Nature Boy, Nature Girl, Jennifer Black, the Peregrine, and Fear Devil in helping to rescue a catpured Dark Society. Will we eventually discover what happened in the missing 80 years, between 1946 and 2024? And what happens after that? Will he end up becoming a Dark Society member?

Only time will tell.

Our header image is by George Sellas. The one at the bottom is by Will Meugniot.

Pulp Factory Awards

The nominations were officially unveiled last night and, once again, none of my works made the final list. I’ve talked at length about the way the process is slanted in certain directions so I don’t see the need to do it again but it’s still a bit disappointing — I’d hoped a few folks would nominate one of the Lazarus Gray releases from last year so our 20th anniversary ‘celebration’ would have had something to celebrate but I’ve increasingly realized that while my books have their hardcore fans, those fans are not WRITERS and the nomination process is almost entirely comprised of fellow writers.

The Occult Forces Project

One of the background elements that has featured in a lot of my pulp adventure stories is the Geheimnisvolles Kraft-Projekt, also dubbed The Occult Forces Project or OFP. Founded in the late 1930s, the OFP was dedicated to utilizing super-science and magic in the name of The Reich and was a subset of The Ahnenerbe. The group had several notable successes when it came to creating larger-than-life figures who spread the Nazi ideals across the globe. Thankfully, they were defeated at every turn by heroes like The Peregrine and Lazarus Gray. A division of the OFP was known as the Department of Occult Armaments (D.O.O.M.) and was headed by Dr. Meer.

Here are some of the more notable agents of the OFP that we’ve seen thus far:

Silver Wolf – This werewolf agent of the SS named Karl Raider battled Lazarus Gray and The Darkling in 1937 during the events of “Eidolon” (The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Three). He was enslaved by Princess Femi before he had a fatal encounter with The Darkling.

Geist – General Luther Strauss was a graduate of the OFP who encountered Assistance Unlimited in 1937. An accident in Tibet left him with the ability to manifest ghostly powers. Blackmailed by The Darkling, Geist worked as a double agent until his skills were no longer needed and The Darkling killed him. His story is told in “Eidolon” (The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Three).

Mr. Death – Otto Luther was a sadistic Nazi scientist before being transformed by the blood of The Mother of Pus into the skeletal figure known as Mr. Death in 1938. His madness became even greater than before and he clashed with Lazarus Gray, Gravedigger and The Peregrine during the events known as Götterdämmerung before later teaming with The Torch to combat Lazarus Gray in Transylvania. His body ended up being housed in Lazarus Gray’s super-prison, Tartarus (Götterdämmerung novel and “The Strands of Fate,” The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Six).

The Torch – August Hauff was a famous scientist whose body chemistry was altered to the point that exposure to the air caused his body to burst into flame. He had to wear a protective suit that could also project fire – which he could then control via his mind. The Torch was sent after Mr. Death when Otto Luther went rogue and the two of them embarked on a scheme to capture the Eye of Cagliostro in Transylvania. He soon became a prisoner in Tartarus (“The Strands of Fate,” The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Six). His exploits took place in 1938.

Heidi Von Sinn – This young woman was a pseudo-vampire, afflicted with an enzyme disorder that forced her to consume human blood to survive. She was stronger and faster than a normal woman. Heidi Von Sinn was her codename, assigned to her by a fetishistic scientist who also designed her leather-clad outfit. She was sent to Sovereign City to retrieve a mystic artifact, which led her into a short-lived alliance with an out-of-control Golem. This was in 1938 and depicted in “Tapestry” (The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Six).

Nemesis – Nemesis was another name for Paul Alfred Müller-Murnau – the handsome Aryan that had once been an agent of The Illuminati. Nemesis was the result of a complicated mystic ritual that had imprinted all of Lazarus Gray’s skills onto another man. While this transformed Müller-Murnau into a dark mirror image of Lazarus, it also eradicated all traces of the man he had once been. In fact, Müller-Murnau was very possibly not even his real identity… his fingerprints were known to no agency on earth and there was no history of anyone with that name until he’d shown up in Sovereign City, on the very same night that Richard Winthrop had become Lazarus Gray. Nemesis had used his versatile abilities to rise to two positions of power in just over half a decade: he had been the President of a bank and also the head of one of the largest German-American Bund organizations in the nation. He had finally realized his true purpose as Gray’s opposite number and turned to a life of crime, allying himself first with the ancient Egyptian named Princess Femi and later with his own twisted version of Assistance Unlimited. It was during his imprisonment in Tartarus, the super-prison designed by Lazarus, that Nemesis had managed to cast his own spell, mystically impregnating Samantha Grace so that she could give birth to what he hoped would be the ubermensch. In late 1940, Nemesis resumed his ties to the Nazi party and was assigned a high-ranking position within the OFP. 

The Iron Maiden – Kirsten Bauer ascended through the ranks of the OFP and gained possession of a deadly suit of armor. An expert in Norse mythology, she was involved in something called Project: Ragnarok, which sought to use ancient Norse relics to boost the power of The Reich. To this end, she pursued the so-called Sword of Hel to Atlanta, Georgia in 1941. Eventually falling in love with The Peregrine’s friend Will McKenzie, The Iron Maiden defected and began using her abilities to help the Allies. Her first appearance came in “The Iron Maiden” (The Peregrine Volume One) and she was a frequent supporting character in the series after that.

The Grim Reaper – Not long after Bauer’s defection, Werner Richter arrived in America. Using the fearsome identity of The Grim Reaper, Richter battled The Peregrine for possession of three crystal skulls that contained tremendous power. These events are shown in “The Three Skulls” (The Peregrine Volume One). Though he died in battle with The Peregrine, he was restored through an OFP ritual. In 1944, he abandoned the German cause and instead pledged himself to an ancient being known as The Elder. When The Elder was destroyed, Werner willingly returned to Hell in hopes of learning black magic. This took place in The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Fourteen.

The Black Zeppelin & Sun Koh – Lamar Bane was a brilliant scientist who became involved in the creation of something dubbed The Un-Earth. This project resulted in the creation of a Nazi superman known as Sun Koh. Bane battled The Peregrine, Catalyst (Nathaniel Caine) and Esper (Rachel Winters) in 1942. That adventure was depicted in “Catalyst” (The Peregrine Volume One) and The Peregrine’s encounter with Sun Koh was depicted in “The Scorched God” (The Peregrine Volume Two), also set in 1942.

The Furies – Three beautiful but deadly agents of The Axis Powers, the Furies were created by the OFP. They were feared throughout the world before they embarked on an adventure to locate Sun Koh. They were at his side when his plan to destroy Washington evaporated and all three women were killed. This adventure took place in 1942 and was shown in “The Scorched God” (The Peregrine Volume Two).

Steel Jaw – Albert Speiros was disfigured by a grenade blast but he was given new life as part of D.O.O.M., a subset of the OFP. After the large number of defeats the OFP had suffered, Steel Jaw was one of the few remaining from the original program as of 1942. Unfortunately, he had the misfortune of encountering The Warlike Manchu and during the two’s battle, Speiros was brutally murdered. This was shown in “The Resurrection Gambit” (The Peregrine Volume One).

Baron Rudolph Gustav – An ancient vampire with designs of his own for ultimate power, Gustav was loosely affiliated with the OFP before he gained possession of The Rod of Aaron and attempted to use it to take over the mind of The Peregrine’s wife — who was also Gustav’s reincarnated lover! This exciting battle, which culminated right in front of Hitler himself, took place in “Dead of Night,” from The Peregrine Volume Two. This was set in 1943.

Marching On…

So we’re in February now, the second month of my big 20th anniversary celebration. I plan all year long to enjoy two decades of my professional writing career. There are a lot of completed books in the hands of my publishers and hopefully we’ll see a few of them before too long. For awhile now, I’ve been building up a whole new section of my Reese Unlimited universe — horror/superhero titles featuring Straw-Man and the Dark Society… I’m working on the 7th book in that area of the universe right now but you still haven’t seen the first of them! It’s frustrating because I want feedback and besides my editor, I haven’t gotten any yet.

I’m going for a feel like the Marvel horror books of the Seventies or the more modern Justice League Dark titles. It’s superheroics but with a pulpy horror feel.

For Lazarus fans, the next volume to see print will see him fighting against Fantomas!

20 Years!

Growing up, I wanted nothing more than to be a professional writer. I loved the little biographies of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard that would be included with some of the pulp reprints that I bought… and I dreamed of someday being just like them. I submitted stories to comic book companies and other publishers for years, got a stack of rejection slips, and finally decided that as I moved into my Thirties that it was time to realize that it wasn’t going to happen. I told myself that I was okay with it – that’s I’d tried my best.

Then I got an email that changed all that. A friend that I’d made on the Internet while writing fanfiction had gotten a gig at Marvel Comics and when they asked him if he knew anybody that would work – cheap – on some Ghost Rider-related material, he thought of me. He emailed me to ask if it was okay for him to give my name to Marvel and I, of course, said HELL YEAH! Less than 24 hours later, I was sending a writing sample to editor Jeff Youngquist and they hired me the same day.

Since then, I’ve written multiple projects for Marvel Comics, gone on to write classic characters like the Avenger and the Green Hornet, and been published dozens of times. I’ve been a guest at Dragon*Con, Pulp Ark, and numerous other conventions. I’ve seen my books on the shelves next to my idols.

Despite all the stress and disappointments of life, I accomplished one of my dreams – and I want to celebrate that success. This year marks 20 years as a professional author – and that’s partially thanks to all of you that’s bought one of my books, supported my works, and posted a review somewhere. Even if the review wasn’t positive, it still helped – it made me better as a writer and helped me develop a thicker skin, which is actually a useful trait.

This image was done for me by Gilbert Monsanto and features a whole host of my characters surrounding the Reese Unlimited logo. There are big plans to make 2023 a year to remember. Stay tuned!

The Dark Society

While I try to be relatively spoiler-free, there ARE some slight spoilers to be found here – so read on at your own risk!

As with many things that are supernatural, the origins of the Dark Society had their roots in Grove’s Folly, the sleepy hamlet located just down the road from Sovereign City. Grove’s Folly is chiefly famous for two things: its massive Pumpkin Festival held every Halloween and the fact that it was host to one of the bloodiest — and most unusual — battles of the American Revolutionary War.

In recent years, a viral video of the cryptid known as the Straw-Man has given Grove’s Folly a new revenue stream: a surge in tourism related to monster and ghost hunters. Though few know that the city was built atop an open pit to Hell (known as a Hellmouth), the arrival of the Straw-Man has coincided with a number of supernatural sightings and events. The Straw-Man (in actually a gestalt being formed of a young local man named Samuel Hain and Gwydion fab Dôn, a magician, hero and trickster of Welsh mythology) also kicked off a new generation of heroes within the area. In addition to the Straw-Man, several other heroes frequented the area to team up with the Straw-Man or, in some cases, to fight him: Jupiter, Catalyst, Singularity, and the American Crusader.

When a cult attempted to use the Large Hadron Collider at CERN to open portals to both Heaven and Hell in an attempt to bring about the supposed end of days, a collection of heroes came together to oppose this plan. In addition to the heroes named above, Geist, Babylon, and Calavera journeyed to Geneva. In the end, the group saved the world — but at great cost: Babylon was seemingly destroyed in the conflict. In the aftermath, the team swore to come together again if needed.

All of the above is depicted in The Dark Society Book One: Calavera.

Later in the same year, the Dark Society established a headquarters in Romania. It was dubbed The Dark House. They were soon caught up in the machinations of August Messenger, who sought the resurrection of Cthulhu. The Society teamed up with The Peregrine for the adventure, which is shown in The Dark Society Book Two: August Messenger.

If you want more information about the individual members of the team, follow the links to roleplaying game writeups of each — and be on the lookout for the Dark Society tomes, which should be released after the first three Straw-Man titles are released.

Our art is by Gilbert Monsanto.

Writing Stuff

Things have been pretty busy as usual around here – I’ve been writing the second Dark Society novel, which hopefully you’ll see eventually. There are three Straw-Man books that have to be published first, then Dark Society: Calavera, followed by Straw-Man volume 4, and THEN Dark Society: August Messenger. Once I’m finished with DS: AM, I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do next. I have the 15th volume of Lazarus Gray that I set aside awhile back — that one’s about halfway finished. Then again, I also have a few ideas for a third Dark Society book. The first two are novel-length tales but I think the third book will be a collection of short stories. It’s been fun moving into the supernatural superhero realm. I mean, my pulp stuff always flirted with the lines there but this erases that line completely. I always admired my friend Van Plexico for having his Sentinels series that was a love letter to Jim Starlin and Cosmic Marvel. Straw-Man and the Dark Society are my way of showing my appreciation for Bronze Age Marvel weirdness and such series as Tomb of Dracula, Man-Thing, etc. That’s my jam and I’ve enjoyed it — but working so far ahead does make it weird for me. None of you have met any of these characters yet–!


In the meantime, folks, Happy Holidays!

Thanksgiving News

To all my American friends, Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your day with family – and remember all the things that you have to be thankful for.

Around here, I remain thankful for each and every one of you that read my work – even those of you that leave negative reviews! Your feedback helps me get better and hopefully you see that in my newer releases. Also, big thanks to Pro Se Productions, for publishing my crazy rants.

Finally, thanks to my own family and friends, both of whom do their very best to keep me (mostly) sane. I love and appreciate you.

I’m currently working on the second Dark Society novel (who’s the Dark Society?? Stay tuned) and next year will mark my 20th year as a professional writer so expect lots of great celebratory events!

Lilith Gets A New Review!

Longtime reader Ray Bara has posted a new review of The Chronicles of Lilith on He gave the book 5 stars and titled his review “Another Wonderful Barry Reese Romp!” Here’s his full review:

“Another epic Barry Reese novel. He never fails to deliver a great tale. I love the Lilith character and would love to see more of her. My only complaint about this story, and it’s a small one, is that I would’ve liked to see more of Lilith’s Crimson Ladies. I feel they are big part of what makes Lilith interesting. More of them would’ve made the book even more interesting. I also loved the way Reese brought in an old favorite character, very ingenious! All in all, a great adventure. Go read it!”

Thanks, Ray! Sorry you didn’t feel we got to see enough of the Crimson Ladies. I definitely agree that they’re a key ingredient in the Lilith recipe. Since this was Lilith’s first solo book, I did want to keep the emphasis on her as much as possible but if there are future volumes, I’m sure we’ll explore more of the Crimson Ladies. Glad you enjoyed the guest appearance by Max Davies 🙂

The image accompanying this post is of actress Mia Goth.