Sgt. Janus (Icons Writeup)

Sgt. Roman Janussgtjanus
aka The Spirit-Breaker
Copyright Jim Beard

Prowess 5
Coordination 5
Strength 4
Intellect 4
Awareness 5
Willpower 6

Stamina 10

Powers
*Gadgets 6 (Typical examples: religious symbols, holy water, enchanted weapons)

Specialties
Athletics (+1 bonus), Investigation (Expert +2 bonus), Mental Resistance (Expert +2 bonus), Military (Expert +2 bonus), Occult (Master +3 bonus), Sleight of Hand (+1 bonus), Weapons – Military Issue (Expert +2 bonus)

Qualities
The Mysteries of Janus House
Military Bearing
A Hunter of Ghosts

Background

Situated in the rural back country of Edwardian England is an old, mysterious house whose unique owner earns his living as a Spirit-Breaker, a hunter of ghosts. A former military veteran, Sgt.Roman Janus has devoted his life to aid those haunted, both emotionally and physically by obsessive wraiths whose spirits are still anchored to our world. Part detective, part occultist, Janus is himself a man of mystery whose own past is shrouded and the motivations behind his calling kept hidden.

Note that every Sgt. Janus adventure uses a different narrator (his clients are required to write up reports about their cases) so everything we see of Janus is filtered through their viewpoints.

Created by author Jim Beard, Sgt. Janus can fill that “Dr. Thirteen” type role in your campaigns – the mysterious, capable ghost hunter that is called upon for a special case or who inserts himself into the proceedings without any request from your heroes.

Properties that need to be translated to prose – ASAP!

night-forceMy buddy Jim Beard and I have had some success translating the Captain Action toy line into prose and we’ve certainly seen novels based on tv shows, comic book characters and so forth over the years. But there are some properties out there that I’d love to get to see in prose… and maybe even write myself!

What things am I thinking about? Let’s see…

The Six Million Dollar Man – These days, he’d have to be updated to Six Billion or more, right? Anyway, I always thought this was a pulpy kind of show and I think it would be fun to see new prose adventures that followed the television continuity.

Challengers of the Unknown – Let’s pretend the Ron Goulart novel from the 70s never happened, okay? The notion of these guys living on borrowed time is a great one and would translate easily into a New Pulp take.

Sheena, Queen of the Jungle – Everybody loves a good jungle girl story, right? I think Sheena is ripe for a revival and updating. If Sheena were unavailable, maybe we could get the tragically aborted Savage Beauty concept revived and explored in prose.

Micronauts – This toy line spawned a classic Marvel comic book but revivals since haven’t been able to hit the right notes. I actually read a prose trilogy based upon one of the later continuities… and I think there’s a lot of potential here, even if it hasn’t always been present since Marvel lost the license.

Sandman Mystery Theatre – This comic series dripped with pulp flavor and I can think of a number of writers working in the pulp field today that would knock this out of the park.

Night Force – This Wolfman/Colan creation was a lot of fun from DC Comics back in the day and I’d be ready to follow them into prose adventures, as well. Baron Winters is a great character and the premise is just made for a continuing series of adventures.

What old properties would you like to see revived in prose?

 

“Captain Action Does It Again!”

Over on Amazon.com, a user named Chris posted a 4-Star review of the newest Captain Action novel that I wrote with my buddy, Jim Beard. Here’s what Chris said:

Captain Action does it again!

This third volume in the saga of Captain Action hits the right buttons. Jungle action, alien evil, romance, secret disguises and high-tech gadgetry, all rolled into a 1960’s fast-paced, smile-inducing adventure. Fans of the Captain Action character and toys will be pleased, as will fans of men’s adventure fiction.

Thanks, Chris! I think I can speak for Jim in saying that we both wanted to create an homage to Sixties-era Bond tales crossed with a healthy dose of pulp adventure and it sounds like you felt we achieved that goal. Thanks for taking time to post your review.

A Review of Captain Action: Cry of the Jungle Lord!

img_9090Ray Johnson posted a review of Captain Action: Cry of the Jungle Lord over on audible.com and I thought that I’d share his comments here. He gave the book 5 stars out of 5! This review is, as you may have guessed from the audible reference, about the audiobook version.

 Action + Pulp= Good Readin’! 

You may not realize this, but Captain Action started out as an Action figure line, in which alternate costumes were made for him so that he could become different heroes. FOr example, there was a Superman costume as well as Lone Ranger one. He was made to kind of offset the domination of the market by the GI Joe action figure. While beloved by the few who got it, the line died, and was revived back in the 90’s. It died too. Then they made some comic books which didn’t last long, either. So the Capt. has had a rough time.

That’s why I’m glad They’ve somehow made it to a third installment of a series of novels, since CA has never really had any luck. I’m going to be honest, even though this is the third novel i the series, it is the first one I have read. I have the other two, but I got this one first, and it is narrated by Roberto Scarlato, one of my “MUST LISTEN TOO” narrators. So, I’ll start there, Scarlato, per usual, nails the narration like he were an electric hammer on overcharge. The man can do voices and drive home action like nobody’s business. He makes the book fun, and when the action starts he is the guy holding the guns. So, expect some amazing storytelling, and settle in for a long listen as he’ll suck you into the tale faster than a sinkhole in Florida.

The story itself is very pulpy, something I appreciate and hope you will too. Books like this are a rare thing nowadays, and listening to this I had the feel of a young kid laying on the floor before a giant radio listening to an Old Time Radio show for the first time. It is fun, nostalgic, and chock fulla action, but just one Captain Action. I really think Beard has a true feel for the Cap, and Reese balances him out. This is a great story that you will not want to miss. 

Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, inspired me to be more honest. In fact, getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like me will decide based on my review.

Thanks for the kind words, Ray! It was so much fun working with Jim on this project and I hope to be able to revisit that collaborative partnership someday in the future.

Pulp Factory Awards Voting is open!

The tenth Annual Pulp Factory Awards has unveiled its list of finalists and I’m pleased to announce that two books that I worked on are up for awards. Captain Action: Cry of the Jungle Lord (which I co-wrote with Jim Beard) is up for Best Novel while Restless: An Anthology Of Mummy Horror is nominated for Best Anthology.

Voting can be done at https://tinyurl.com/ybcyey7 and runs through Midnight, March 12. Winners will be announced at the Windy City Pulp and Paper Con.

Go and vote!

New Pulp Recommendations: Quest for the Space Gods

QUEST_Cover_FinalWhen I was a kid, Chariots of the Gods by Erich von Daniken was everywhere. Not only were there sequels galore but the notion of ‘ancient astronauts’ popped up on episodes of In Search of… and even formed the basis for Jack Kirby’s Eternals. I remember reading Chariots of the Gods and coming away convinced that we’d been visited by aliens in our ancient past. Of course, I was a sucker for all things ‘weird’ at the time, devouring material about Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, UFOs and Atlantis.

All of this brings us to Flinch Books’ newest release, Quest for the Space Gods: The Chronicles of Conrad von Honig. This book features stories by Jim Beard, Desmond Reddick, Frank Schildiner, Brian K. Morris, Terry Alexander and Fred Adams, Jr and all of the tales follow the exploits of author Conrad von Honig — he’s basically von Daniken only cast in more of an action hero mode. Despite the variety of authors, the character remains remarkably consistent throughout, which is a testament to both the overall concept and the editorial oversight of John C. Bruening and the aforementioned Jim Beard.

The setting is great, taking place in the late sixties/early seventies — not only is this a time period that you don’t see much in New Pulp but it feels perfectly suited for the material and all the authors do a fine job of capturing the flavor of the era.

My favorite story was probably Reddick’s and I have to give him props for not only writing a corker of a tale but I love the title of his story and wish I’d thought of it first. Other stories that really appealed to me were the ones by Beard and Morris but all of the tales are quite good.

I could easily see this being a series of television movies or even an ongoing show. The cover reinforces that feel — I wanted Lee Majors starring in this!

Highly recommended for all fans of New Pulp and/or ancient astronauts!

An Action-Packed Review!

Amazon user Marshall gave the new Captain Action novel 4 stars out of 5. Thanks so much, Marshall!

Here’s what he said:

I really enjoyed this third book in the Captain Action series (not counting the Lady Action book which I also enjoyed). The book refers to the prior adventures, but you don’t have to have read those to enjoy it. Fast-paced and full of all the things Cap is known for (disguises, weapons, etc.). If you liked the prior books, this is more of the same (plus a great homage to another character we know and love). Heartily recommended for Cap fans.

Labor Day Updates!

20120407-174323.jpgHello, everyone! I’m enjoying the Labor Day holiday by spending some time with the family but I did want to update you on a few things.

First off, the Captain Action novel that I did with Jim Beard for Airship 27 is currently available. This exciting tale plunges the good Captain into a plot that revolves around nothing less than the Moon Race! It also introduces a few new characters that I’m quite proud of. Please let me know what you think of it!

I’m about 1/4 of the way through writing the first ASSISTANCE UNLIMITED: THE SILVER AGE novel, which will be titled Broken Empire. It’s set in 1964 and carries my pulp adventure universe into the era of superspies.

I’ve recently approved the galley for the seventh volume of Lazarus Gray so I think that will be coming soon — as will NIGHTVEIL: THE QUIET GIRLS! I think both books are among the best I’ve ever done. I’m waiting for Pro Se to announce a fun little project that I’ll be working on for an early 2018 release that will continue my association with both Lazarus Gray *and* Nightveil… how’s that for a tease?!

The third volume of Gravedigger has gone through edits, as well — so maybe we’ll see that before the end of 2017!

Exciting times, my friends. Exciting times!

 

It’s Time For Action!

PRESS RELEASE

Airship 27 Productions and Captain Action Enterprises LLC, are thrilled to announce the release of the third volume of Captain Action’s new pulp adventures.1969 – Something mysterious is happening in the depths of the Yucatan jungle and Miles Drake, aka Captain Action has been sent to investigate. His superiors believe their main nemesis, the alien criminal known as Dr. Evil, is hunting something called the Sky Rock; a supposed fallen meteor containing strange energies. But as soon as Drake arrives on the site, he’s met with two other unexpected characters that may or may not be involved with Evil’s nefarious plans.

One of these is a beautiful female Mexican agent named Selena Rubio, whereas the other is a strange masked figure woven from local Mayan myths called the Gibbon, the Protector of the Jungle. Whose side are they on and how does Evil’s actual scheme involve the forthcoming Cape Kennedy space rocket launch? The deeper Captain Action delves into the affair, the more dangerous it becomes with death awaiting him at every twist and turn along this deadly verdant path.

Writers Jim Beard and Barry Reese weave a face paced, new pulp thriller filled action galore, exotic locales and larger than life characters to offer up a great new chapter in the exploits of one of the most iconic heroes of the 1960s, Captain Action. Miles Drake is his name but Action is his game!!

“This entire series was writer Jim Beard’s idea,” Airship 27 Production’s Managing Editor Ron Fortier recaps. “It was Jim who initially hooked us up with Ed Catto and Joe Ahearn of Captain Action Enterprise LLC. Generally, most small publishers avoid working with licensors, but in this case our partnership has been a great working relationship for both companies. No doubt because both Ed and Joe, and their new partner, Michael Polis, are still fanboys at heart.”

The original plan was to have Beard write all three books solo but when scheduling conflicts arose, he turned to another popular New Pulp author, Barry Reese for assistance. A long time fan of Captain Action, Reese was happy to sign on and contributed the bulk of this third original book. Canadian artist Ted Hammond provides the stunning cover and Airship 27 Production’s Award Winning Art Director Rob Davis the interior illustrations as well as book design.

About Captain Action Enterprises

As Retropreneurs, Captain Action Enterprises, LLC specializes in taking old properties and rejuvenating them for a new generation. Captain Action’s appears in comic book series, lithographs, statues, action figures, books, T-shirts, model kits and more. Additional properties include Lady Action, Captain Action Cat, Dr. Evil, Khem, Destiny Zero and Savage Beauty. For additional information, please contact Ed Catto at ed.catto@bonfireagency.com.

AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS – PULP FICTION FOR A NEW GENERATION!

Available now from Amazon in both paperback and on Kindle.

(https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946183237/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1504199764&sr=1-1&keywords=Captain+Action+Cry+of+the+Jungle+Lord)

A Small Update

RU Proof r1Hello, folks!

I sent off the first draft of the Captain Action novel to my co-conspirator, Jim Beard. As soon as I get back edits and changes, I’ll try to put the finishing touches on that one. It was a blast working on the character!

I’m currently writing the Nightveil novel and quite enjoying it. She feels like she’d be right at home in my pulp adventure universe. I’ll be paying tribute to both her golden age career as The Blue Bulleteer and her later mystic adventures. I hope you guys will appreciate it!

The sixth volume of Lazarus Gray has been approved so it’s a matter of time before you’ll see the press release here on the blog. I’ve already written volume seven and I’m part of the way through the second story in what will eventually be volume eight.

Good times for pulp fans!

Thanks for all the support, guys. I quite literally couldn’t do it without you.