Things went kind of crazy after the announcement that Pro Se had bought my intellectual property – my Facebook lit up and we got a lot more traffic here on the blog than usual. I think it’s all calmed back down now and I’ve begun writing Lazarus Gray # 12.
Went and saw Ready or Not this weekend and I highly recommend it – if you love horror movies, it’s a must-see. It had me grinning from beginning to end. The film has a wicked sense of humor, plenty of action and a star-making performance from Samara Weaving. I truly loved it – it and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood are my favorite movies of the year so far.
Since I’ve returned to podcasting with In the Stacks with Barry & LaToya, I’m thinking of starting up another show – no, it won’t be The Shadow Fan making a return. I want to do something new but I have too many options! We’ll see what I come up with.
What follows is the press release announcing the sale of my Reese Unlimited properties to Pro Se Productions. For those of you wondering what this means, just know that I wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t thought it was a good deal. I’ll still have the ability to write new Lazarus Gray novels (he’s the character nearest and dearest to my heart)… it’ll just be work-for-hire instead of being “mine.” I’ve been privy to some of Pro Se’s plans for this universe of characters and I’m pretty darned excited to see them! I’ll continue writing – and blogging – about Reese Unlimited. The changes are really just behind-the-scenes things – I know that some of these characters are beloved by many readers and, rest assured, they are in good hands.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRO SE PRODUCTIONS PURCHASES AUTHOR BARRY REESE’S ‘REESE UNLIMITED’ PROPERTIES! MAJOR PLANS IN WORKS FOR ICONIC NEW PULP CHARACTERS!
In 2011, Pro Se Productions, then a fledgling New Pulp Publisher, licensed the property now known as The Peregrine, a well known character in the New Pulp Movement even at that time, from author Barry Reese. In eight years, now award winning author Reese has not only continued to publish with Pro Se, a cutting edge independent Publisher of New Pulp and Genre Fiction, but he has become prolific enough that Pro Se gave its first author imprint to his universe, calling it REESE UNLIMITED. Characters such as Lazarus Gray, Gravedigger, Babylon, and many others populate the literary world Reese has created. Today, Pro Se Productions announces the acquisition of all creations, publications, and all rights to concepts created by Barry Reese that are under the umbrella of REESE UNLIMITED.
This is an opportunity,” says Tommy Hancock, Editor in Chief of and Partner in Pro Se, “that doesn’t come along very often. First, to be associated with a creator of Barry’s caliber for so long and to watch a literal entire fictional universe grow from his work is an honor all by itself. But now, to be trusted with the creative future and success of these worlds he has created, to not only carry on the quality of work Barry has produced, but to be able to expand on it, both with more works from Barry and new projects featuring other writers, honor doesn’t even cover it. Now as a permanent part of Pro Se Productions, we will carry on the legacy Barry successfully started- to make REESE UNLIMITED not just the name of an imprint, but a proven fact. There’s no limit to where these concepts can go.”
Reese will continue as the sole author of THE ADVENTURES OF LAZARUS GRAY, seven volumes published and four more already completed. He will also contribute, by his choice, to future works. In the coming days, Pro Se will make announcements concerning plans and submission calls for a variety of characters in the REESE UNLIMITED catalog, including The Peregrine, Gravedigger, Babylon, and many others. Anthologies and novels are being considered for multiple characters, with the intent to produce 4-6 books a year in the REESE UNLIMITED line.
“All creative people understand that their characters are like children,” says Reese, “and there are very few people on this planet that I would trust with my ‘kids.’ The folks at Pro Se have been like family to me and I definitely feel safe knowing that the various heroes and villains of the Reese Unlimited universe will be safeguarded by the likes of Tommy Hancock. I’m looking forward to continuing my association with Lazarus Gray and I’m eager to see what Pro Se has up their collective sleeves for the likes of Gravedigger and The Peregrine.”
Any authors interested in being a part of the plans Pro Se has for the REESE UNLIMITED imprint, may email Hancock at email@example.com for further information.
With The Peregrine, most of his enemies were dead and buried by the end of each adventure, though he had a few (The Warlike Manchu, for instance) who made return appearances. When I created Lazarus Gray, I knew that one of the things I wanted to do with the series was to create a series of recurring villains. I wanted him to have a vibrant rogue’s gallery that could return again and again.
But which of his enemies stands above the rest? If our hero is defined by his villains, which of those foes is his dark mirror?
Obviously, Lazarus Gray has Walther Lunt, his former mentor. Lunt was a major force in Volumes One and Two but his death in 1936 (“Die Glocke”) has left him as a shadow looming over the series. He did return to battle Lazarus in a winner-returns-to-life battle but his defeat there has seemingly ended his threat forever.
And then there’s Nemesis, whose very name suggests that he should be Lazarus Gray’s arch-foe. He plays a key role in volumes 7-9.
Bur are either of them really Gray’s arch-enemy? Or should that honor go to the equally-deserving immortal known as Femi?
Major Events specific to certain stories and novels are included in brackets. Some of this information contains SPOILERS for The Peregrine, Lazarus Gray, Gravedigger and other stories.
~ 800 Viking warrior Grimarr dies of disease but is resurrected as the Sword of Hel. He adventures for some time as Hel’s agent on Earth. [“Dogs of War” and “In the Name of Hel,” Tales of the Norse Gods].
1748 – Johann Adam Weishaupt is born.
1750 – Guan-Yin embarks on a quest to find her lost father, which takes her to Skull Island [Guan-Yin and the Horrors of Skull Island].
1776 – Johann Adam Weishaupt forms The Illuminati. He adopts the guise of the original Lazarus Gray in group meetings, reflecting his “rebirth” and the “moral ambiguity” of the group. In Sovereign City, a Hessian soldier dies in battle, his spirit resurrected as a headless warrior.
So I finished writing the 11th volume of Lazarus Gray the other day and the ending is quite the shocker – in fact, I refused to spoil it for my publisher, wanting him to have an unbiased reaction to it. He was so surprised that he used some language that I can’t repeat here and he immediately quizzed me about what I had planned as a follow-up. Volume twelve will be entitled “The Life and Death and Life of Lazarus Gray” and will definitely be a series-defining entry. I know that some of you have voiced displeasure with the speed with which the books are being released and I’ve been told that there’s a strong possibility that volume 8 will be out before the end of the year and Pro Se is going to make every effort to get 9 and 10 out in 2020. Plus, there’s a Lazarus Gray/Nightveil crossover book that should be coming out soon.
Some pretty big news will be coming out soon that will impact the entire Reese Unlimited line at Pro Se. I’ll be sure to let you guys know all the details when it’s safe to do so.
Right now I’m uncertain if I’ll jump right into Laz 12 or take some time to work on something else first. I’m honestly enjoying having my schedule free for a few days!
By the way, I’ve returned to podcasting, resuming my old In the Stacks with Barry and LaToya show. It’s a weekly look at all things geeky and pop culture and features a lot of humor between myself and my pal, LaToya. Check it out! There may be even more podcast-related news to come…
Sorry for the lack of updates lately – I’ve been super busy as school has started back up again and I’m not only teaching high school American Literature and Ninth Grade Literature, but I’m also working a second job. I have managed to keep working on the 11th volume of Lazarus Gray, though – I’m closing in on the 50,000 word mark and hope to finish it soon.
I’ll be attending Dragon Con this year – though not as a guest! I haven’t been since 2013 when I was a guest for the second time. This time around I’m looking forward to just being able to enjoy the spectacle as a fan. If you’re going to be at the Con in Atlanta over the Labor Day weekend, let me know and perhaps we can get together to talk pulpy adventures!
Our image today is of Donald Duck and is by legendary artist Don Rosa – whom I look forward to seeing again at Dragon Con!
Some interesting characters here!
Superheroes rule pop culture right now and readers demand more superhero items whenever I go too long without one. Here’s a look at yet another neglected pantheon of comic book heroes who don’t get the attention that Marvel and DC do.
Secret Identity: Phil Anson
Origin: A young American ran off to Tibet in 1915 and spent 25 years studying with the Grand High Lamas to learn some of their mystic secrets. After mastering them he returned to the U.S. to fight the forces of evil.
First Appearance: The Funnies #45 (July 1940). His final Golden Age appearance came in 1941.
Powers: Phil Anson only had superpowers in his astral body. He would go into a trance – during which his vulnerable physical form would be guarded by his sidekick, bellhop Whizzer McGee. While in this trance Anson’s astral form, Phantasmo, could fly, had massive super-strength and could grow…
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