Johnny Dollar brings home an award!

j_dollarYours Truly, Johnny Dollar has been voted Best Anthology of the Year in the Pulp Factory Awards. I contributed “The Swamp Manor Matter” to this collection, which featured brand-new stories starring the classic old-time radio character of Johnny Dollar. Moonstone published the book, which also featured stories by Gary Phillips, Bobby Nash,  Ron Fortier, Eric Fein, Joe Gentile, and Joshua M. Reynolds. The book won best cover as well, so congratulations to Douglas Klauba! I’d also like to extend congratulations to Tommy Hancock, who edited the entire package.

I’m pretty proud of my story and if you’re looking for some good, old-fashioned detective-work, you could do a lot worse than picking up a copy of this book. Thanks to all who voted.

Pulp Factory Awards

thumbsupThe Pulp Factory is now open for nominations. To nominate, you have to be a member of THE PULP FACTORY GROUP so join at right here today!

A list of my projects that are available to be nominated are…


The Second Book of Babylon by Barry Reese

‘The Swamp Manor Matter’ by Barry Reese (Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar – Moonstone Books)

Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar (Moonstone Books)



Lombard, Illinois – January 27, 2019

Every year in April, fans gather at the Westin Hotel near Yorktown Mall in metro Chicago to celebrate the best in classic and New Pulp literature. As part of those celebrations, nominations for the Pulp Factory Awards are open. The 2020 PFAs will cover works published during the calendar year 2019.

The nomination process will be as follows:

Members of the Pulp Factory Facebook group have through Monday, February 24 to submit their initial nominations for the Pulp Factory Awards. Any work published in print in 2019 can be considered for nomination. (Digital-only books are excluded.) Reprints are not eligible for individual awards such as Best Short Story but may be included in collections if those collections feature stories published for the first time in 2019.
Nominations (by members of the Pulp Factory only) should be e-mailed directly to, with choices in any or all of the following categories. (You may nominate as many works in each category as you wish.)


The Best Pulp Anthology category covers any anthology or collection featuring multiple stories by a single author (a collection) or stories by a variety of authors (a normal anthology). The book must have been printed in 2019 and must have contained at least one new story. In the case of a new story plus reprints, the book is eligible for Best Pulp Anthology but only the new story is eligible for the Best Pulp Short Story category. Members are encouraged to discuss their choices on the Pulp Factory FB group but note that your nominations must be e-mailed directly to to be included.
After February 24, the committee will tally and craft a final ballot for voting (deadline to be scheduled), and that ballot will be submitted for fans to vote electronically for the awards. Awards will be handed out to winners during the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention on Friday, April 17, 2020
Questions and nominations should be directed to This will ensure a more prompt response than reaching out to individual committee members.

Thank you for your interest, and looking forward to your nominations!

Current Works

41228_900I’m over 17,000 words into the Liberty Guard novel, which features some of the old Centaur Comics’ characters. It’s going well so far and at this rate, I expect to finish up sometime in April or May. I am that point of the novel where I have ideas for things to do after this, though, and it always takes self-control to avoid giving in to them. I’ve been kicking around ideas for a Gothic romance with some pulp elements tossed into the mix. I’m so far ahead of publication with Lazarus Gray that I don’t plan to return to Sovereign until I at least see THE SECOND BOOK OF BABYLON or the eighth book in the Lazarus series in print.

Approved the edits on my story for the Johnny Dollar collection coming from Moonstone… I’m proud of that tale, which I wrote waaaaaay back in 2011, so I’m glad you’ll finally be able to read it.

The lady accompanying our post today is Camila Mendes, who plays Veronica Lodge on one of my favorite television shows – Riverdale.

A Spooky Time of Year

hands.jpgHalloween is almost here and the crisp bite of Autumn is definitely noticeable in my neck of the woods.

I just got a hardback copy of The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume 3 and it’s a beauty. This is the first time I’ve seen one of my books in hardcover – well, some of the anthologies I’ve contributed to have had hardcover releases but this is my first solo work that’s gotten the treatment.

Work continues on the tenth volume of Lazarus Gray – closing in on 30,000 words. I might take an extended break from Lazarus after this. I’m not tiring of the character, it’s just that volume 7 is the last one to see print from Pro Se and having three full books in the can is a bit silly. I think I’ll wait to write more until at least volume 8 is in print!

The Johnny Dollar collection from Moonstone should be the next book of mine to come out – I have no idea when The Second Book of Babylon will come out from Pro Se. Soon, I hope.

Once I’m done with this book, I’m not sure what to work on next. I have a new female hero in mind that I might do something with… or there’s Nature Boy, a character that Pro Se recently got the license for. I find him interesting and plan to pitch something once they open up that anthology. I might also do something with the AC/Femforce characters… heck, I have a fully written Lazarus Gray/Nightveil/Gravedigger book that needs to see print at some point! There’s a lot of material out there waiting for publication!

Hope everyone has a nice, spooky time tomorrow – and save some of that candy for yourself!


Writing Update

IMG_0210I’m closing in on the 30,000 word mark of Lazarus Gray volume 10 and it’s shaping up to be an unusual book… it starts with the attack on Pearl Harbor, sets up our heroes for their wartime exploits and also features some rather unusual love stories. Is it a romantic book? I don’t know if I’d go that far – but there are certainly plenty of moments where the action takes a backseat to characterization.

Don’t worry, though – lots of stuff gets blown up! I’m not forgetting this is an adventure novel, after all.

Looking forward to seeing the Johnny Dollar book I promoted the other day in print. It’s been nearly seven years since I wrote that story! That’s the longest time I’ve ever had go from creation to publication.


Johnny Dollar is on the way!

Moonstone has issued the following statement: COMING SOON – Brand new Johnny Dollar! Plus an exclusive hardcover with the bonus feature reprinting the long out of print Johnny Dollar 48pg comic!

I wrote this particular Johnny Dollar story several years ago and I’ve been really anticipating seeing it in print as I was really proud of it. A bunch of other talented writers will also have stories in this – Tommy Hancock, Gary Phillips, Joshua Reynolds, Ron Fortier and Bobby Nash are just a few of the names you may recognize.

Johnny Dollar was a radio program that aired on CBS from February 18, 1949 to September 30, 1962. Featuring action-packed stories about “the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed expense account — America’s fabulous freelance insurance investigator,” this series was a lot of fun. If you’re not familiar with it, go looking for episodes and then be prepared for Johnny Dollar to return in a triumphant manner!

What’s Up Next?

dead_of_nightSo this week I hope to put the finishing touches on a novella that I’ve been working on for awhile… I’m looking forward to putting it behind me. I’ve enjoyed the characters but I always end up reaching the point where I’m ready to move on to the next project.

Speaking of projects, I have a few that are in various stages of the pipeline at various publishers. Pro Se has completed edits on The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume 3 and The Second Book of Babylon… they also have manuscripts for Assistance Unlimited: The Silver Age, The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume 8 and a Reese Unlimited/AC crossover that brings together Lazarus Gray, Gravedigger and Nightveil. Moonstone also has a Johnny Dollar story from me that’s waiting for ages to be published. Fingers crossed that 2018 will be the year for that one!

When I finish the current work-in-progress, I have nothing immediate that I have to work on. I might begin brainstorming ideas for the next Captain Action novel… and I have a few ideas for new projects, though I definitely don’t need to start any more series!

The art accompanying this post is by Storn Cook and depicts Max Davies, aka The Peregrine!

What Lies Ahead (2017 Preview)

captain-action00-cover2016 has been a busy year but the one that lies ahead is shaping up to be an even bigger one! We should see two more releases in the next few weeks and I’m excited about both. Look for The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Six from Pro Se and Restless from Flinch Books — hopefully both will sneak in under the 2016 wire.

2017 should see the following books definitely published:

  • The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume Three: King’s Judgment will wrap up the Charity Grace trilogy. It’s written and the interiors by Chris Batista are complete. We’re still waiting on the George Sellas cover.
  • The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Seven is completely written and all artwork is in.
  • Captain Action Volume Three is co-written by myself and Jim Beard. I’m about to start work on this one.
  • An anthology project from Jeff Deischer. I haven’t seen him mention the title yet so I don’t want to reveal it but I’d be working on a character created by Jeff.
  • Nightveil is one of the first books in the new AC Comics/Pro Se partnership and I’m writing a digest novel starring this magical heroine.
  • Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar – I wrote a short story for this character several years ago and I thought it turned out really well. Hopefully we’ll finally see it in print in 2017 from Moonstone Books.
  • I.V. Frost/Moon Man is a team-up that I wrote for Moonstone. It’s been approved and gone through edits so hopefully we’ll see it in 2017.

In addition to the above, I’ll be writing the eighth Lazarus Gray book over the course of 2017 for publication in 2018. I’ll also be writing the first book in the Assistance Unlimited: The Silver Age series and I hope to get it out in 2017 but it might end up in ’18. We’ll see how it all shakes out. Then there’s Peter Pixie. I started this novel earlier in 2016 but it got set aside for other things. I plan to go back and finish it off.

Hopefully I haven’t forgotten anything…

I thank you for supporting me on all my past projects and I hope you’ll stick around for the ones coming up!

Our art today is by the legendary Paul Gulacy and depicts Captain Action!

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.

The Cover to Satan’s Circus… Revealed!

lg4_cover_final_paint_smallWelcome back to Ye Olde Blog!

Today I’m proud to share with you the cover to Lazarus Gray Volume Four, which should be coming your way in early 2014! The art is by my friend and collaborator, George Sellas! I really love it… it shows off Abigail Cross, who went missing at the end of Volume Three. Looming in the background is one of my all-time favorite villains, Doctor Satan. Let me know what you think of this image — I think it will be really eye-catching on the printed book.

All the story and art files for Volume Four have been turned over to my publisher so it’s just a matter of it being slotted into their schedule and formatted for release (including editing). I can’t wait for you to guys to read it as it ties together things that ran through Volumes Two and Three! When it’s all said and done, you’ll see that it was all one big story… And the title to volume four? The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Four: Satan’s Circus.

Work continues on the current Lazarus Gray story, which is simply kicking all kinds of ass. I’m really enjoying it. I’ve gotten into a nice groove with Lazarus where even the uneven stories are still damned fun — and this one is firing on all cylinders. I should finish it sometime next week, which means I have to switch gears and start doing prep work on the Sherlock Holmes thing I’m writing. Wish me luck on that one — I’ve used Holmes before in a supporting role (see The Rook Volume Five) but it will be quite different doing a full novella. Thankfully I’m not supposed to ape Doyle’s writing style… I’m just doing a Barry Reese story with the characters. Obviously, I typically insert supernatural elements into my stories but I promise that Holmes won’t be facing Cthulhu… though that could be damned cool. Several of my non-supernatural stories that I’ve written have simply not seen print — hello, Box Thirteen and Johnny Dollar, for instance. Hopefully you’ll get to enjoy those soon.

I uploaded Episode 55 of The Shadow Fan’s Podcast this morning. I offer up reviews of The Shadow # 18 and The Shadow/Green Hornet: Dark Nights # 4, both published by Dynamite Entertainment. There are lots of great Shadow comics out right now… but there are also a few that are not-so-good. I’ll leave you to the episode to figure out which I think these two are.

I think I’ve started to give up hope on acquiring the license I was seeking. I pitched to someone pretty major, hoping to snag one of the smaller but still significant characters in their catalog. Unfortunately, it looks like it’s gone quiet on their end. In similar news, I submitted a writing inquiry to someone else that already has a license I’m interested in but no response there, either.

Oh, well. It’s really their loss!

In future release news – Rabbit Heart, Tales of The Rook Volume Two and The Rook Volume Three Special Edition are all in various stages of production. I’m sorry we missed the Halloween release date for the new edition of Rabbit Heart, but now you can get a bloody Christmas present instead.

Take care, folks!