Tag: George Sellas

Another One Down…

lg09_eun_jiwon_smallFinished writing the tenth volume of Lazarus Gray today – always feels nice to type those magic words, “The End.” Pro Se now has volumes 8, 9, and 10 in various stages of production and I plan to take a long break from Sovereign City. I’ll definitely miss Lazarus and the gang but considering I’m now three books ahead of the releases, it makes sense to take a breather and focus on other things.

Volume ten will feature not one, not two, but three brand new villains in a novel-length tale. I think it turned out pretty well and it’s set in and around the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Next up is a mystery project that I haven’t publicly announced yet but it’s set in another writer’s universe – three books have appeared in his line so far and I’ll be writing a spinoff series. It’ll mark my first time working with a particular publisher, as well, so there will be a lot of firsts for me. Look for a full announcement soon.

Our art today is from George Sellas and features Eun Jiwon, a member of Assistance Unlimited.

 

The Warlike Manchu

rook_v1_manchu_smallIn classic pulp hero tradition, most of The Peregrine’s enemies don’t make return appearances. But The Warlike Manchu is the exception to the rule — in fact, he appeared in each of The Peregrine’s omnibus editions! Obviously inspired by Sax Rohmer’s classic Fu Manchu, The Warlike Manchu does not consider himself a villain at all. He’s out to rule the world with an iron hand because that’s how humanity needs to be governed, lest our baser natures get the best of us. The Warlike Manchu was one of Max Davies’ tutors during his time preparing for his role as The Peregrine but when he learned of the Manchu’s connections to organized crime, Max refused the offer to rule at the Manchu’s side.

Aided by a group of assassins dubbed The Ten Fingers, The Warlike Manchu controls every manner of vice in Asia and eyes expanding his empire to the West. Though Chinese by birth, my take on The Warlike Manchu incorporates elements of various Asian mythologies to play up The Warlike Manchu as the ultimate “yellow menace” from the old pulps. He hates the Japanese but is willing to use their trappings and folklore to his own advantage, for instance.

The Peregrine and The Warlike Manchu have become the most bitter of enemies, clashing again and again. The highlights of their feud include:

“The Abomination” – In this story set in 1939, The Warlike Manchu re-enters The Peregrine’s life for the first time since they parted ways in 1922. Allied with an Egyptian necromancer named Ibis, The Manchu revives an ancient entity of pure destruction known as The Abomination. The Peregrine foils their plans for world domination but The Manchu escapes.

“Blitzkrieg” –  Set in 1940, The Warlike Manchu returns with a new pupil, a German named Hans Merkel, who has adopted the guise of the Japanese god of death, Shinigami. Merkel is The Peregrine’s true opposite number — like Max, he is haunted by the spirit of his dead father but in Merkel’s case, he slew his own father and enslaved his spirit. In this story, The Warlike Manchu kidnaps Max’s son, forcing The Peregrine to unite with the Manchu’s daughter in an attempt to stop the madman. Shinigami is killed and The Manchu’s immortality formula fails, reducing him to dust.

Death lasts only about two years, however, as The Warlike Manchu is revived in 1942’s “The Resurrection Gambit”. In this story, The Manchu embarks on a quest to find the Philosopher’s Stone, a search that leads both he and The Peregrine on a global chase. In the end, The Manchu escapes once more, swearing revenge on his most hated of enemies.

In 1943, The Warlike Manchu and The Peregrine are forced into an uneasy alliance, as both men seek to foil the plans of the Nazi vampire Baron Randolph Gustav. It’s clear that The Manchu respects Max greatly and would still seek an alliance between the two — but he also has come to believe that The Peregrine’s opposition to his plans has renewed the spark of life in his wretched heart. This is chronicled in “Dead of Night.”

1944 finds The Warlike Manchu teaming with Doctor Satan and Moriarty in “A Plague of Wicked Men,” one of the first adventures of The Claws of the Peregrine. The Manchu is apparently killed when the island he’s on sinks beneath the waves.

Once again, death seemed incapable of stopping The Warlike Manchu. At some point, he returned to bedevil Max Davies and his family — but his final defeat seems to have stuck. In 1967, William Davies (Max’s son) battled and defeated The Warlike Manchu, killing him while battling for possession of a magical Mayan tablet (“The Four Peregrines”).

No details about The Manchu’s activities between 1944 and 1967 are known — and given how many times he cheated death before, it’s conceivable that he has at least one more resurrection in store, even post ’67.

In addition to The Warlike Manchu’s appearances in The Peregrine’s series, The Ten Fingers have been name-dropped in both Gravedigger and Lazarus Gray, as The Manchu’s forces have infiltrated Sovereign City in the Thirties. In 1938, Lazarus met the Warlike Manchu face-to-face and managed to convince the villain that it would be in his best interests to avoid Sovereign in the future (“Tapestry,” Lazarus Gray Volume 6). It is unknown at this point if they had any later encounters.

Our image today is courtesy of George Sellas.

Digging in the Dirt: The Secret Origin of Gravedigger

Charity Grace – aka Gravedigger –  has appeared in three novels and she played a big role in the  “crossover” novel that paired her with Lazarus Gray and The Peregrine. She’s become one of my most popular creations, thanks in no small part to the stunning costume design that George Sellas came up with. But where did she come from? What inspirations led her to spring forth from my crowded little mind?

What follows is an essay that ran in the first volume of The Adventures of Gravedigger. If you’ve read it before, hopefully you’ll enjoy seeing it again — if it’s your first time, expect a few insights into my creative process. I’ve tweaked it from the original in a few places, removing a link to the blog and altering the name of Max Davies’ costumed identity.

Our art today is from my buddy George Sellas and is an homage to one of my all-time favorite comic book covers: All-Star Squadron # 1. The original was drawn by Rich Buckler but I think George captured the feel perfectly, replacing the original DC heroes with my own. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

And now on to the main event:

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The End is Nigh!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

THE EPIC END OF A GRISLY BEGINNING-BARRY REESE’S ‘THE ADVENTURES OF GRAVEDIGGER VOLUME THREE’ DEBUTS

From Award Winning New Pulp Author Barry Reese comes the third chapter in the literally death defying trilogy of The Adventures of Gravedigger. Creator of The Peregrine, Lazarus Gray, and more, Reese has crafted a heroine like no other in Charity Grace. THE ADVENTURES OF GRAVEDIGGER VOLUME THREE From Reese Unlimited and Pro Se Productions is now available in paperback, hardcover, and digital formats.

Charity Grace is running out of time.

Three years ago, she was resurrected by the mysterious Voice. She became its agent of retribution on Earth, a masked vigilante known as Gravedigger. Now the time has come for her soul to be judged once more… but before that can happen, she and her allies must deal not only with the origins of The Voice but a mystery that may put the entire world at risk!

With a stunning cover and logo design by George Sellas, dramatic interiors by Chris Batista, and print formatting by Sean Ali, THE ADVENTURES OF GRAVEDIGGER VOLUME THREE is available now at Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1722144335/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1530627338&sr=8-5&keywords=GRAVEDIGGER+REESE and through Pro Se’s own store at http://www.prose-press.com for 15.00.

This volume is also available in hardcover for $24.99 designed and formatted by Lo Iacono and Marina at http://www.lulu.com/content/hardcover-book/the-adventures-of-gravedigger-vol-3/23029179

The third Gravedigger entry is also available as an Ebook, designed and formatted by Lo Iacono and Marina for only $2.99 for the Kindle at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FJ72WHK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1530627338&sr=8-2&keywords=GRAVEDIGGER+REESE. This book is also available on Kindle Unlimited, which means Kindle Unlimited Members can read for free.

For more information on this title, interviews with the author, or digital copies to review this book, contact Pro Se Productions’ Director of Corporate Operations, Kristi King-Morgan at directorofcorporateoperations@prose-press.com.

To learn more about Pro Se Productions, go to http://www.prose-press.com. Like Pro Se on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.

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

 

 

 

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George Sellas’s Version

 

 

 

So what’s been your favorite?

What’s Happening, Barry?

gravedigger_small_colorWell, thanks for asking! I’ll let you know…

Looked over the galley for The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume 3 yesterday. This one will feature another stunning cover from George Sellas and interior art by Chris Batista. I think you guys will really like it.

Working on the final story for the eighth volume of Lazarus and I hope to finish it in the next week or so… then I have to put the pedal to the metal and finish off the first book in a new shared-universe series for Pro Se.

After *that*, I might be able to finally start coming up with ideas for the next Captain Action book from Airship 27. No matter what, it’s going to be another busy year for Reese Unlimited. I hope you’ll be along for the ride with me!