Tag: Frank Brunner

The Mystery of The Peregrine’s Mask

When I wrote the very first Peregrine story (“Lucifer’s Cage”), I never knew that the mask I gave our hero would prove so challenging. Here’s how I described it for the very first time:

“On his face was a small domino mask affixed with a bird-like beak over the nose.”

Easy enough, right? But the mask has been interpreted in various ways over the years, with some folks adding wings on the sides and some dispensing with the beak entirely. I’ve enjoyed seeing the various takes on the mask and believe that artistic interpretation is fun. Besides, there’s nothing to say that The Peregrine doesn’t have several variant masks stashed in his closet.

In recent years, George Sellas has become the primary artist for my pulp universe line of heroes and he’s done wonders to define the core design of The Peregrine.

Here’s a few different looks that Max Davies has sported :

Storn Cook’s Version

 

 

 

Ver Curtiss’s Version

 

 

 

brunner_head

Frank Brunner’s version

 

 

 

Anthony Castrillo’s Version

 

 

 

Ed Mironiuk’s Version

 

 

 

sellas_head

George Sellas’s Version

 

 

 

So what’s been your favorite?

Barry’s Rambling. Again.

Rook Volume 2Hello, everyone! We’re one day closer to the weekend and that’s always cause for a smile, right?

Work continues on the newest Lazarus Gray story and I’m pleased to say that it’s rolling along smoothly. These characters are so familiar to me right now that they practically write themselves. I just finished a nice scene between Morgan and Samantha that not only showed how deeply they both care about Lazarus but also the delicate relationship they have between each other. There are so many things that they leave unspoken because there’s no need to say the words — they, and the readers, know how much they’ve come to depend upon one another. Fun stuff.

I’m also going through the first set of edits for The Rook Volume Three Special Edition but it’s slow going. I despise looking back at my old work and going over edits on something that’s over five years old is particularly headache-inducing. Kinda makes me want to throw my hands up and say “Just make whatever changes you want and leave me alone!”. I usually like my current project and the one that’s just over the horizon — never ask me to look back because all of that is crap! I’m sure I’m not the only writer who feels this way.

Someone on Twitter took Pro Se to task last night for the credits they gave (and didn’t give) on a licensed property I was associated with. I’m not sure what universe this person lives in where he thinks the responsibility for that lies with the person licensing the character from someone else. Every stage of the project was completely approved and signed off on by the company that owns the character… and the credits were written in line with what they said to do.

To me, it would have been like me demanding of Marvel during my time with them, “Why the hell aren’t you giving more credit to Jack Kirby on this book??” Might have been a very ethical stance to take, depending on your views, but you know what… I was a hired hand. I was paid to do a project and I did it. Marvel can credit whomever they want.

Same thing with this job. If the company whose character we’re talking about wanted us to credit creators x, y and z, that ‘s what we would have done. Pure and simple. Nobody on the Pro Se end of it would benefit from slighting anyone. I have no idea what the contracts looked like between the original company and those creators — and it’s none of my business, frankly. My assumption is that those creators were doing work-for-hire, pure and simple, as the copyright is in the name of the company.

And if someone doesn’t like it, they really should go and harass the company the character was licensed from.

Honestly, some people are freakin’ idiots.

This Sunday will see another set of Marvel Heroic RPG stats going up. I have a small group who enjoys seeing those — but I know the vast majority of you don’t really care, especially when the characters aren’t pulp-related (this one isn’t). I never want to bore anyone but at the same time, it’s my blog and sometimes I just wanna do something fun for me 🙂 You’ll just have to bear with me on those rare occasions.

Our art today is from the cover of the Wild Cat Books’ edition of The Rook Volume Two and is by the legendary Frank Brunner! It was a really interesting experience working with Mr. Brunner. If you ever meet me in person, I’ll tell you the story. Anyway, the final piece is lovely, isn’t it? It was definitely an honor to have him depict one of my characters.

Author Q & A

Breyfogle_Rook_A_smallEvery now and then I let some of the questions I’m asked pile up so I can answer them all at once. Here’s the latest batch! And if you want to play along, just send me a question by replying here or through Facebook!

What characters would you love to write?

Well, I’ve had the chance to write some iconic heroes — The Avenger, The Green Hornet and G-8, for instance — but there are a few I’d still love to get my grubby little hands on. The Shadow definitely tops the list, followed by Batman, The Doom Patrol, Challengers of the Unknown, The Phantom and Norgil. I’d prefer to handle those characters in prose but I wouldn’t turn down any opportunity, be it in comics, on the back of a cereal box or whatever!

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever written?

Hmm. In terms of quality? Or do you mean in terms of being disgusting or something? I’m not sure. I do know that my book Guan-Yin and the Horrors of Skull Island is the worst-reviewed book I’ve done and, in retrospect, it is a bit of a hot mess. It was meant to be a fun, quick little romp with pirates, the undead and a giant ape… but it ended up being more “mess” than anything else. In terms of being disgusting, probably Rabbit Heart, which was all very intentional. One character is anally raped to death in that one! Good times.

If they made a Rook movie, who would you want to star in it?

A few years ago, I would have said Nathan Fillion would have made a fantastic Max Davies. He’s starting to get a little old for it now, though. I’m terrible at those kinds of questions, actually. I never cast movies in my head the way other people do. I’d just be happy they made a Rook movie at all!

What’s your favorite Rook story?

Ask me tomorrow and you might get a different answer but my favorites have been “Lucifer’s Cage” (Volume One), “Kaslov’s Fire” (Volume Two), “The Resurrection Gambit” (Volume Three), “Dead of Night” (Volume Four) and “The Scorched God” (Volume Six). I can’t narrow it down any more than that.

For each of your heroes, who is the best villain you’ve created for them?

Good question! The Rook has faced an awful lot of villains in his time and I enjoy a lot of the one-off villains a lot. But I guess I’d have to say The Warlike Manchu, who is not only an homage to Fu Manchu but to the greater Yellow Peril in general. I think he started off rather one-note but some of the later stories with him I’m pretty proud of, including the one where he is revived from the dead “The Resurrection Gambit” and the one where he and The Rook team up (“Dead of Night”).

For Lazarus Gray, I think I’d go with Walther Lunt, even though he’s killed off in Volume Two and as of this writing (I’m working on Volume Five now), he hasn’t returned. I think Lunt works because he has a classic visual and his origins are so intertwined with those of our hero.

Gravedigger has only had one book published and another completed but not yet released, so I don’t think it’s fair to really pick one yet.

Any artists you’d like to work with?

Tons! I’m proud to say that so far I’ve had guys like Frank Brunner, Anthony Castrillo, George Sellas, Fred Hembeck, Will Meugniot, Bob Hall and Norm Breyfogle do work for me. There are always more out there whose work I really love, though. My “dream list” would include George Perez, Alan Davis, Chris Batista and Jae Lee.  Our art today is the original black-and-white version of The Rook Volume Four that Wild Cat Books published — with gorgeous pencils courtesy of Norm Breyfogle.

Thanks for the questions, guys! Keep ’em coming!

From the Vault: The Mystery of The Rook’s Mask

When I wrote the very first Rook story (“Lucifer’s Cage”), I never knew that the mask I gave our hero would prove so challenging. Here’s how I described it for the very first time:

“On his face was a small domino mask affixed with a bird-like beak over the nose.”

Easy enough, right? But the mask has been interpreted in various ways over the years, with some folks adding wings on the sides and some dispensing with the beak entirely. I’ve enjoyed seeing the various takes on the mask and believe that artistic interpretation is fun. Besides, there’s nothing to say that The Rook doesn’t have several variant masks stashed in his closet. In recent years, George Sellas has become the primary artist for my pulp universe line of heroes and he’s done wonders to define the core design of The Rook.

Here’s a few different looks that Max Davies has sported :

Storn Cook’s Version

 

 

 

Ver Curtiss’s Version

 

 

 

brunner_head

Frank Brunner’s version

 

 

 

 

Anthony Castrillo’s Version

 

 

 

 

Ed Mironiuk’s Version

 

 

 

sellas_head

George Sellas’s Version

 

 

 

 

So what’s been your favorite?

The Rook’s Mask

When I wrote the very first Rook story (“Lucifer’s Cage”), I never knew that the mask I gave our hero would prove so challenging. Here’s how I described it for the very first time:

“On his face was a small domino mask affixed with a bird-like beak over the nose.”

Easy enough, right? But the mask has been interpreted in various ways over the years, with some folks adding wings on the sides, some dispensing with the beak entirely, etc. I’ve enjoyed seeing the various takes on the mask and believe that artistic interpretation is fun. Besides, there’s nothing to say that The Rook doesn’t have several variant masks stashed in his closet. In recent years’ George Sellas has become the primary artist for my pulp universe line of heroes and he’s done wonders to define the look of The Rook’s masks.

Here’s a few different looks that Max Davies has sported :

Storn Cook’s Version

 

 

 

Ver Curtiss’s Version

 

 

brunner_head

 

Frank Brunner’s version

 

 

 

Anthony Castrillo’s Version

 

 

 

Ed Mironiuk’s Version

 

 

sellas_head

 

George Sellas’s Version

 

 

So what’s been your favorite?