Barry Reese

Pulp Writer Extraordinaire

barry-reese-1To celebrate the fact that I started work on this today, I’m going to re-post the original press release about Assistance Unlimited: The Silver Age!

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Pro Se Productions and Reese Unlimited are proud to announce a new series that will continue the proud tradition of New Pulp excitement!

In 2018, the best-selling series The Adventures of Lazarus Gray will receive its first spin-off as Assistance Unlimited goes global!

ASSISTANCE UNLIMITED: THE SILVER AGE will launch a brand-new ongoing series of novels set in 1964 and starring another member of the long-running Grace family. Emily Grace is the daughter of Samantha Grace (one of the starring members of the Lazarus Gray series) and she makes her debut in the final chapter of The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume 3, which will also be published sometime in 2017.

The new series not only stars Emily Grace but also Benjamin Falk (a former Secret Service agent that was present for Kennedy’s assassination), an aged Lazarus Gray and several more familiar faces that will appeal to both long-time readers and new fans.

“As we move into the Sixties, I’ll be tackling global espionage and high-adventure,” author Barry Reese states. “Think James Bond, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., I Spy and The Avengers. It’s definitely still New Pulp but there will be some tweaks to our storytelling that I think will make the series quite fresh. By the time THE SILVER AGE begins, Assistance Unlimited has gone global, offering their unique brand of help to citizens around the world.”

assistanceunlimited_cvr_smlAlong for the ride with book one is cover artist Steven Novak and interior artist Chris Batista. Batista has been a contributor to the Reese Unlimited line for quite awhile, having worked on The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Five and Gotterdamerung. Batista worked closely with Reese in designing the look of the main character and he has contributed multiple images that will run as illustrations for book one.

Reese wants to caution fans that the spin-off project does not mean the end of the main Lazarus Gray series. “Volume seven of the Lazarus series should be out in a month or two and volume eight is currently scheduled for a 2018 release. We’ll continue detailing the ‘Golden Age’ adventures of Lazarus and his friends in the years to come but the Silver Age books will allow us to look at the characters and their world in a different light. As usual, I’ll be striving to make the new series completely accessible to those that are unfamiliar with the other books that have come before.”

Look for Assistance Unlimited: The Silver Age Volume One – Broken Empire in early 2018!

gravediggerTweaked the look of the blog — I may fiddle with it a bit more… but hey, now we have that snazzy George Sellas image back on top!

Recently read FROST by Donald Wandrei… that guy could *write*. I love his characterization and descriptive passages. I was proud to write a I.V. Frost/Moon Man teamup that will appear soon from Moonstone. Great character.

Still working on THE SECOND BOOK OF BABYLON — on pace to finish before the end of this month!

Currently reading Spider-Man: Forever Young by Stefan Petrucha. This is a prose novel, basically an adaptation of the old Life Tablet storyline that Lee and Romita Sr. did back in the 1960s — only updated to the present, so you get references to Lady Gaga. It’s been fun so far.

I’ll be back soon with more news and upates.

Our art today is by Mitch Ballard and features Gravedigger!

11746dcd0c65886c_Kate-Upton-Elle-2Hello, folks — sorry for the delay in updating the blog but I’ve been pretty busy lately. I did want to give everyone an idea of what’s going on and what will be coming out soon, though.

  • The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume 7 is about to move into formatting. I’ve approved the edits, turned in an author headshot and done all of the back-end stuff that I’ve been asked to do. Hopefully you’ll see it soon.
  • Nightveil: The Quiet Girls is also coming soon. I haven’t seen any edits on it yet but I do know that Pro Se is trying to fast track this one.
  • I’ve been working on The Second Book of Babylon and should be finished with this novel within the month! What’s that? You don’t remember the First Book of Babylon? That’s part of the fun! I’ll tease more about this one soon.
  • I’m about halfway through the writing of The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume 8 and I’m also looking forward to starting Assistance Unlimited: The Silver Age Volume 1 when I’m finished with Babylon.
  • No ETA on the publication yet, but The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume 3 is in the hands of my publisher and hopefully editing work will begin on it soon.
  • My Captain Action novel is likewise in the hands of that respective publisher — I think we’re waiting on Rob Davis’ schedule to clear so he can do interiors on that one.

If you’re curious about a specific project or character, feel free to let me know!

The lovely lady adorning this post is model Kate Upton.

So, over on Amazon I received a new review on The Adventures of Lazarus Gray. The previous 25 reviews were all 4 or 5 stars but this one… this one will bring the overall average down a bit. James A. Pappas, Jr. gave the book 2 stars and said the following:

D-R-I-N-K-Y-O-U-R-O-V-A-L-T-I-N-E!

Old timey – like reading the script of a radio play contemporaneous with The Shadow or Charlie Chan, but in a bad way. Seriously, everyone in this universe is a martial-arts master or a gum-snapping moxie or both. There’s Eun, who is a “master of martial arts” and “Korean”, but that’s pretty much all we know about him. How’d he get so good at them martial arts, what do those martial arts look like in practice? We don’t know, and never find out, and everyone seems to be able to punch a demon into unconsciousness, no matter what flavor of fisticuffs they favor. Morgan is a former wiseguy of some sort, who shoots stuff, punches stuff and generally knows people named Lefty, Muggsy, or Bugsy. Samantha is a total fox, we are told, who is also a master of martial arts, and doesn’t realize how attractive she is (seriously that could be a verbatim description from the book).

The title character, Lazarus Gray, is a kind of Doc Savage-type, a mystical pugilist or something, who seemingly knows everything about everything, even though he starts as –sigh– an amnesiac on a beach. It hurt me to type that last bit out. Every so often when we need the plot to advance without killing a good guy, Lazarus will “recall” the necessary plot information and solve the whole caper with some fiddly bit of ritual magic or ritual magic interference. Every villain is some sort of cabalist, illuminati, demon, witch or what-have-you mystical hoodlum. There’s a character named The Peregrine who is a millionaire in Soveriegn city and also a masked vigilante who, wait for it, saw his parents gunned down as a child.

This sort of thing was original and engaging maybe the first few times Alan Moore or Warren Ellis did it in comic form, now it’s just another tired cliche by an author who couldn’t produce one original thought in 400 pages of stilted chop-socky.
+1 star for it being 99 cents. Give it a pass.

Well, James, I’m sorry that the book didn’t please you. Sometimes you stumble upon something that you really enjoy and sometimes you end up with a dud. I’m pretty proud of the Lazarus Gray series but it’s obviously not what you were looking for.

Better luck next time!

Amazon user ChickJ is back and he’s given the second Peregrine Omnibus a 5-star review. Here’s what he had to say:

And I thought I loved the first book the best. Silly me. This book is much better. I was wondering about the Black Mass and The Four Peregrines answered it. Satan’s Trial and The Diabolical Mr. Dee are just pure wonderful pulp. A Plague of Wicked Men was great, but my favorite was The Devil’s Spear. The only thing about the book was The Scorched God. It was very enjoyable but it should have been put much earlier in the book. It had a few so-called surprises which were already explained in previous tales. Still this book, along with Peregrine One, is a must read for lovers of pulp. The future of pulp has arrived.

Glad you enjoyed the book! It’s funny that you cite The Devil’s Spear as your favorite – as a writer, I felt like that one got away from a bit and I’ve never thought of it as one of my best. You never know how readers will respond to something!

As for The Scorched God, you’re right that chronologically it occurs before some of the other stories in this Volume. It was decided to run it in order of publication but we honestly could have gone either way with it. I really enjoyed writing The Furies and Sun Koh.

Thanks again!

yorkMost of the villains in my pulp adventure universe are of the done-in-one variety: they pop up, bedevil our hero and then get killed. The Warlike Manchu, Doctor Satan and Princess Femi are probably the biggest exceptions to that rule.

But what about the deadly Doctor York? Why doesn’t this bad guy get the credit he deserves as one of the big bads of my universe?

Who’s that, you say? You’ve read almost all of my books and aren’t familiar with Doctor York?

That’s because he’s faced The Peregrine multiple times but never done so in prose (at least, not yet!).

York first appeared in All-Star Pulp Comics (2011) # 1, in a story written by me and drawn by by Craig Wilson. Set during The Peregrine’s days in Boston (1933), this tale introduces us to our would-be master villain. York is a former scientist that is now in service to the Elder Gods. His body is the receptacle for dark energies that have had the unfortunate side-effect of altering his appearance. His brain now floats in a clear glass dome above his torso… York has plans to sacrifice the daughter of one of The Peregrine’s friends but our hero manages to foil the scheme and York is dragged off to the nether-realms by his angry masters.

Case closed, right?

Not quite!

Illustration 4York returned in The Peregrine Animated Script that was recently reprinted in The Peregrine Omnibus Volume Three. In this story (set somewhere in the 1936-1937 period), York has managed to acquire the body of Princess Femi, the immortal enemy of Lazarus Gray. York revives her in hopes that she’ll aid him in destroying The Peregrine but once again he is dispatched back to Hell. How did he survive his prior defeat? We’re told that York was persuasive enough to convince the Elder Gods that he deserved a second chance. I imagine they weren’t so forgiving after yet another defeat.

In the upcoming novel The Second Book of Babylon, we get to see York make his debut in prose form — he’ll be clashing with the titular hero of the book. Those events are set in 2011 and while we won’t be told right away what York’s been up to between 1937 and 2011, I’m sure we’ll get more details as time passes.

I originally created York because in both the comic book and proposed animated adventure I wanted someone with a really strong visual. He turned out to be quite fun and I have a feeling that he’ll continue to bedevil our heroes in years to come.

Image # 1 is by Craig Wilson and appeared in All-Star Pulp Comics # 1. Image # 2 is by Steven Wilcox and will appear in The Second Book of Babylon.