Yeah, I’d Like to Write That…

challengers-kirbyI was able to write one of my all-time favorite pulp heroes — The Avenger — for Moonstone. Twice!

I’ve also written The Green Hornet, G-8 and His Battle Aces, The Black Bat, The Black Terror and lots more. I’ve written sourcebooks that were all about Spider-Man, Marvel’s Avengers and a lot more…

But there are still some dream projects out there that I’d like to tackle:

Batman. I’ve read some good Batman prose novels but I’d love to handle Bruce Wayne and company just once. I think it would be a blast.

The Shadow. Taking on Walter Gibson’s signature character would be intimidating as hell but I’d jump at the opportunity.

Conan. I’m not sure I’d ever be able to live up to the passion of Robert E. Howard’s writing but I’d give it my best shot.

Airboy. I’m not too big on aerial pulp, despite having written both Richard Knight and G-8… but Airboy’s appearances in the Chuck Dixon comic book series made me a fan.

Challengers of the Unknown. I didn’t much care for the Ron Goulart novel that came out way back when… I like to think I could do better. The themes and characters are right up my alley.

Seekay. One of the greatest obscure pulp characters ever!

Norgil the Magician. Walter Gibson’s *other* great hero. I have a ton of ideas for this crime-solving magician.

The Phantom. Lee Falk’s classic hero would be a blast to write!

There are other projects that I’d love to tackle, too, but those are the ones that keep popping up in my heart and mind. Someday, maybe…

Super Sunday

200px-Super_Bowl_logo.svgIt’s Super Bowl Sunday! I’ll be pulling for Peyton Manning and the Broncos, though I have a feeling the weather conditions and that defense might lead to a Seahawks victory. We’ll see!

Thanks to everyone for making January the biggest month this blog has ever had. Even with all the turmoil around here, more people visited this site in January than in any other month in the site’s history! I’m not sure what’s bringing people in but hopefully they’ll find something of interest and go buy some books.

Work continues on the crossover novel — both Pro Se and myself would love to get this one out there before the end of 2014 but we’ll have to see.

In some sad news, Moonstone announced this week that they no longer had the license to the Popular characters — which means that my G-8 story won’t see print in its original form. Maybe we’ll see it in a slightly revised version, though…

Enjoy the game if you’re a football fan — and if you’re not, hope you find something else diverting today!


On the Horizon

rook_v1_evelyn_smallPeople always want to know what’s coming soon and I can tell you that The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Four should be out very soon. It’s been through two sets of edits and all the files are in the hands of my Pro Se editors. This one will wrap up the big storyline that’s been brewing since Die Glocke (volume two) and I think it’s a great finale to that particular saga.

They’re also moving forward with the second Tales of The Rook. Not sure when that one will come out but hopefully it will be soon, too.

The second Gravedigger novel has been written but we don’t have a cover yet – George Sellas, who hit such an amazing home run with the first book’s cover, is going to have a hard time topping himself on this one!

Beyond that, there’s a lot of things out there that I don’t know when they’ll be published – G-8 and Johnny Dollar stories for Moonstone, plus a Box Thirteen story for Radio Archives, for instance.

Even with all the turmoil in my life right now, you should have plenty of reading material from me in 2014 — one of the benefits of having worked so far ahead for so long, I suppose.

Our image today is of the lovely Evelyn Gould (later Evelyn Davies) and is by the amazing George Sellas. It appeared in The Rook Special Edition Volume One.

It’s My Birthday!

So today I turn forty-one years old. As always, such an event makes you want to look back on where you’ve been and also cast an eye on where you hope to be going. I was pretty happy with the words I wrote last year on this date so here they are once more. They’re just as applicable now as they were then:

I’m thankful that my birth father introduced me to pulp when I was a young kid. I love that stuff.

I’m thankful that my parents allowed me the freedom to pursue my own interests and to be a little bit weird. My father (really my step-dad but he’ll always be a father to me) passed away a few years ago and I still miss him. He was a great man and he taught me that you should always be able to laugh, no matter what the situation. I honestly think if you can do that, you’ll never be sad for long. His humility and grace are standards I’ll never be able to reach. My mom taught me that you love with all your heart and you don’t give up on the people that really matter, even if they disappoint you.

I’m thankful for my wife, who has stood by me through thick and thin. It hasn’t always been easy but our love remains firm — she’s my friend, my lover and my partner. She puts up with me when I’m being annoying and she’s with me through the triumphs and the tribulations.

I’m thankful for my son, who entered my life a little over seven years ago. He’s so smart and tries so hard to be good… I wish I could protect him forever. He’s reminded me of the fun of being a kid and how precious those first few years really are. I remember being his age and thinking I’d always live with my parents and always be safe with them watching over me. I’m sad he’ll have to learn that won’t be the case but I hope that he’ll end up having a happy life and be a good man. He’s off to a good start.

I’m thankful to Gary Dreslinski and Eric Moreels, who helped me get my job at Marvel. Because of them, I’ve had so many wonderful opportunities in the years since. Thanks, guys.

I’m thankful to the editors at Marvel, Moonstone, Pro Se, Wild Cat Books, West End Games and all the rest, for trusting me again and again. I’ve been able to work on The Avenger, The Green Hornet, G-8 and lots of other wonderful characters. I’ve been able to put my small stamp on them and that means I’ll live forever.

I’m thankful to my collaborators, like George Sellas, Anthony Castrillo, Tommy Hancock, Will Meugniot, Chris Batista, Tom Smith and so many others, all of whom have helped me along the way.

I’m thankful to you, my readers. I know I’m not the best writer out there but you keep coming back and trying my new projects. Thank you.

And most of all, I’m thankful to Life itself. Whatever force is out there, be it random bits of science coming together or some all-powerful entity that I’ll never comprehend, I’ve been here. I’ve smiled, I’ve laughed, I’ve made love and I’ve made my mark. I’ve made my share of screw-ups but all in all, it’s been a good life. Hopefully, I’ll get another 41 years to improve upon the first.

Moonstone Monday

TREE_smallWelcome back to Ye Olde Blog! We’re starting a new week and I have high hopes that it will be a good one. I’m still working away on my Box Thirteen story and at present, I’m a little over 3,300 words into it. I’m going to try and do my very best to finish this one before Friday. Since it only has to be 10,000 words long, I think I can do that. Fingers crossed! Once I’ve put this one to bed, I might be able to squeeze in a day or two of work on the fifth volume of Lazarus Gray before I have to begin my Pulse Fiction story for Pro Se Press.

I’ve been reading all kinds of things lately as I try to make a serious run at clearing off my “To Read” shelf. At one time, that shelf actually spanned about three different shelves but now I’m down to about 20 books. With luck and perseverance, I might actually end up with no books sitting around to be read. Every book in in my collection will have been read.

Obviously, that means I need to go and buy some new books, right?

Since I teased my upcoming G-8 story that will be published by Moonstone last week, I had someone ask me exactly what things I’d written for the longtime comics and New Pulp publisher. The answer? Not all that much, really! But here’s what they’ve published by me:

The Green Hornet Casefiles (2011) contains my story “Summer of Death”

The Avenger: The Justice Inc. Files (2011) contains my story “The Devil’s Workmen” which won the 2012 Pulp Ark Award for Best Short Story

The Avenger: Roaring Heart of the Crucible (2013) contains my story “The Box of Flesh”

In addition, I’ve written the aforementioned G-8 story and a Johnny Dollar story, both of which are still waiting to be printed by Moonstone. So eventually we’ll be able to add those books to the list. Working with Moonstone has been a real honor, especially since it gave me the chance to work on The Avenger, who has always been one of my favorite pulp heroes.

Our art today is by Anthony Castrillo and depicts one of the evil villains from The Rook Volume Five. Spooky stuff, eh?

Hope you guys have a happy and productive Monday!

It’s Finally Friday!

rowlingIt’s Friday! It seems like it’s been a long, strange journey to get here…

Reluctantly put away the second story for Lazarus Gray Volume Five so I could focus on this Box Thirteen tale for Radio Archives. I’m about 3,000 words into it. The entire thing only has to be 10,000 words and it’s not due until the end of the month so I think I’m doing fine. I’m still curious as to how it will be received by the editor as I think it veers into some slightly different directions than some of the episodes that I’ve listened to. Still, if they hate it, I can always strip-mine it and turn it into something else. I’ve been known to do that before! Never throw out anything, folks.

Moonstone is still moving forward with their latest Return of the Monsters project. I wrote a G-8 and his Battle Aces story for that one and it’s going to feature accompanying artwork by Sedat Ozgen, who has done a good bit of work for Moonstone in the past, including working on The Phantom when they had that license. Hopefully you guys will have the chance to see this one in print soon.

Finally got around to updating my Bibliography page, adding the third Lazarus Gray volume and Strange Trails. Counting all the individual issues that my work appeared in at Marvel, plus all the anthologies I’ve contributed to, I’ve now been published about 54 times in my career. That’s not bad for ten years as a professional! And that number is continually increasing. It’s been an amazing, thrilling ride and I thank all of you for making it possible.

The image accompanying this post features a quote from JK Rowling – “The stories we love best do live in us forever.” I like that a lot and definitely believe in it. All of my beloved favorites go on and on in my heart and in the hearts of all the others who share that passion.

May some of my heroes live on forever in your hearts, too.

A New Week Begins!

lg01_lazarus_solo_with_textWelcome back to Ye Olde Blog, as we usher in a new week. My goal is to add another 10,000 words to The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume Two this week, which would take me pretty close to the end of the novel. I’ve been really happy with the book in general to this point and hopefully I’ll be able to craft a conclusion that will leave people feeling satisfied. Once I’m done with this, I need to dive into a project I’m going to be doing for Radio Archives. That one will be a 10,000 word short story… as soon as I’ve completed that, I’ll be able to start on a story for a project called Pulse Fiction. That will be another 10k story… After *that*, I need to finally do that Sherlock Holmes novella that I promised all of you (and my editor!) at the beginning of the year. I do want to make it clear that I’m not attempting to do a pastiche for the Holmes novella. I am not aping Arthur Conan Doyle’s writing style — this will be a “Barry Reese” story using those characters. I will be faithful to Holmes canon but it will be filtered through my peculiar viewpoint.

All of this will probably take me to the year of 2013, which means that continuation of my work on the fifth Lazarus Gray book probably won’t resume until January.

It’s good to be busy, I suppose — but, wow, when I look at that list, it makes me wonder if I’ve gone insane!

I’ve been thinking about doing a Gravedigger “origins” strip like we did for Lazarus Gray. The origins strip ran in The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Three: Eidolon and though I haven’t heard much in the way of comments about it (most people have focused on the prose itself, which is nice, I suppose) I think it might be a good feature to add to my other ongoing series.

I’ve also talked to artist extraordinaire George Sellas about doing a couple of other fun things with me in the near future. One of them isn’t for publication but it might find life on my blog here and my Facebook page as a potential cover image. Stay tuned!

As for previously written works… I completed a Johnny Dollar story ages ago, as well as a G-8 and His Battle Aces for Moonstone and a Weird Western for Mechanoid Press. I have no idea when those will be published but hopefully they will see the light of day at some point.

I hope all of you have an excellent and productive day! I’ll be back tomorrow with more pulpy goodness.



Psst-Masked-GirlI feel awful today. Started getting sick yesterday and woke up around 2:30 this morning, feeling like I had one foot in the grave. I managed to get myself up and dressed but we’ll see if I can manage a full day of work or not. I did record The Shadow Fan Episode 24 and it’s now live, so you can download it and hear me talk about Dynamite’s upcoming comics, Masks # 4 and 1937’s “Foxhound” by Theodore Tinsley.

I’m finishing up the last of the edits on The Rook Volume Two Special Edition today and then I’ll send them back to my editor. Hopefully that one will be in the hopper soon. I also received the edits on the first story for Lazarus Gray Volume 3 and will start looking through those.

My Weird West story is going well though my illness might slow me on it just a bit. The character that I’m introducing here is one that intrigues me. I didn’t want to create another series for myself and I think I’ll be able to avoid the temptation but I do have ideas for what other adventures Miss Anna Holst could have… Hell, her background is fascinating enough to merit delving into, as well.

No! Must show willpower and not give in! I have enough series to occupy me.

Pulp-wise, I’m currently re-reading The Golden Master, which is the first appearance of Shiwan Khan in The Shadow series.Good stuff but different than the usual Walter Gibson material. I will, of course, be reviewing it on next week’s episode of The Shadow Fan.

I learned that Sedat Ozgen will be the artist on my G-8 story coming from Moonstone. This will be in the format of “one page of text, one splash page” that they sometimes do with their books. G-8 battles zombie pilots in my tale so you know it’s gonna be fun! Sedat is a talented guy who has worked on The Phantom: The Ghost Who Walks, Airfighters and Captain Action. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with!

Friday’s Here!

rook_v2_cover_mock_up_smallIf you’re like me, the arrival of the weekend is considered a good thing — it offers a chance to unwind and hang out with the family, get some reading done and momentarily forgetting the stresses of work. Friday is also a time when I can look over some of my writing responsibilities and get a sense of what’s working, what’s not working and what I never should have agreed to do in the first place! Here’s an update on various projects that I’ve talked about in recent months:

Gravedigger – In the hands of the folks at Pro Se. Should be out for sale in March or April.

Lazarus Gray Volume 3 – See Gravedigger.

Lazarus Gray Volume 4 – I’m about 47,000+ words into the writing of this right now.

The Rook Special Edition Volume 2 – See Lazarus Gray Volume 3. And Gravedigger. Should be out for sale in May, though. The cover mockup is here with this post. George Sellas did a great job on it!

The Rook Special Edition Volume 3 – George Sellas is working on the cover and interiors now.

G-8 and His Battle Aces – Moonstone has approved it, not sure when it will see print.

The Avenger – My newest Avenger story will be out in The Avenger: Roaring Heart of the Crucible, due out in April from Moonstone.

The Phantom Detective – Started on this story but got sidetracked by Lazarus Gray.

Sherlock Holmes – I’m supposed to do this for Pro Se… Maybe I can get started once Lazarus 4 is in the can.

The Rook – I need to do a short story for Tales of The Rook Volume 2 – I have an unfinished Claws of The Rook tale that’s been sitting in my Dropbox account for quite awhile. Maybe dust that off and complete it for this?

Phantom Musings

ProSeChristmas is just around the corner and for all of you who celebrate it, I hope you have a wonderful time with your family. For me, this week has been a good one — I sent off my edits to Moonstone for my G-8 story (we’ll see if they want more changes); received the last interior art pieces from Will Meugniot for Gravedigger and got the color cover for Gravedigger from George Sellas.

I’m currently reading some Phantom Detective stories before starting writing my own for Airship 27. This is one seriously vanilla character but I’ll try to find some hook that will let me write him. I always try to stay true to the original version but sometimes… sometimes I have to find some element that really appeals to me. For example, I’m not a fan of aerial pulps but with Richard Knight, I discovered that I really liked the friendship and interplay between Knights and his buddy Doyle. So I focused on that and played it up while writing “Richard Knight and the Stones of Heaven.” With G-8, I tried to focus on the hero’s optimism and confidence, which seemed somewhat refreshing in the usually gritty world of pulps.

That’s what I’ll do with the Phantom Detective, too. I won’t change him but I will focus my attentions on the aspects that appeal most to me and work for the story I want to tell.

See you guys tomorrow!