Shadowman Gets Reviewed!

Shadowman-1-Valiant-2012-BMy Kindle Worlds short story, “Shadowman: The Red Sash,” picked up a new review on Amazon. A reader named “zagain” gave it 4 out of 5 stars and titled his review “A Mixture of Valiant and pulp.” Here’s what he had to say:

The novella focuses initially on Palmer Harrison, an FBI agent who has spent the last three years investigating a series of incidents in which members of the Yih King crime organization were murdered and the crime scene was tagged with a special paint and a familiar catch phrase — “God help the guilty.” Harrison had listened to old radio programs and read pulp novels in his youth that focused on a crime fighting vigilante known as The Red Sash. The phrase used at the crime scenes was the same as the slogan used by the 1930’s era pulp vigilante. Eventually, Harrison learns the truth behind the murders and ends up facing some difficult choices as a result.

The current murder scene Harrison is investigating happens to be in New Orleans, home to another hero — the Shadowman. It turns out Shadowman and his associates, Dox and Alyssa, have their own interest in the Yih King organization. Khan, leader of the organization, and Lotus, a mysterious and mystical woman working alongside Khan, acquired a supernatural object known as the Jade Goddess — a piece they planned to use to breach the walls between the worlds of the living and the dead.

Overall, the novella is a solid, quick read that’s written in a pulp-ish style which fits with one of the primary characters of the work. The Shadowman characters are true to form, and the Red Sash characterization is handled very well in that it remains true to its 1930’s era roots while remaining in line with Valiant’s realistic approach to their characters. It would be interesting to see more stories utilizing the characters introduced in this work.

Glad you liked it, zagain! It was fun to write one of my favorite Valiant characters and, time permitting, I’d love to try my hand at more of them in the future.

News, Updates and Reviews!

thumbsupHello and welcome back to another day at Ye Olde Blog!

After much contemplation, I took the plunge and returned to tumblr. If you’re brave, you can give me a follow over there and I’ll do the same for you. It’s mostly going to be just pictures and videos of things that excite me.

Didn’t get much writing done yesterday. I just couldn’t get into this Pulse Fiction thing I’m working on, even though I got off to a good start last week. Hopefully the magic will return.

Over at Amazon, a number of folks have been commenting on my books. A reader named John posted the following about The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume One:

My First New Pulp book and I loved it! I have read several Doc Savage and The Shadow novels from the 30s and 40s and I loved them. I was a little hesitant about the New Pulp, but Barry Reese has nailed it. I enjoyed The Adventures of Lazarus Gray even more than the original pulps that I have read. 5/5 stars.

Thanks, John! I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the book and I hope you’ll continue to check out New Pulp works – both from myself and from others. There’s a lot of good pulp adventure out there. And I’m deeply honored that you enjoyed my book more than the Doc Savage and The Shadow novels you’ve read. High praise, indeed!

Meanwhile, Shadowman: The Red Sash has gotten two reviews so far. My Pro Se publisher Tommy Hancock said:

Barry Reese’s ‘THE RED SASH’ featuring Valiant’s Shadowman is typical of Barry’s work. That is to say, it is exciting, well paced, full of emotion and characterization, and great read for anyone who is a fan of comics, pulp, action adventure, and the like. Barry brings his own touch to Shadowman and it definitely makes the story stand out.

Doc Panic’s review went like this:

This was an enjoyable book from start to finish. I have read probably all of Barry’s work, and this story like most of his others, was very well written. Pulpy goodness bestowed upon a comic character. Highly recommended!

Thanks, guys! So far, I’d say that most of the people reading The Shadow novella are people who are already reading my other works. I was curious to see if I’d pick up any new readers — it’s too early to really tell. Hopefully Valiant fans will eventually sample this story and then jump onto Lazarus Gray or Gravedigger. Fingers crossed.

I haven’t watched episode two of Sleepy Hollow yet but I really liked the first show. As many of you know, I’m a sucker for The Headless Horseman and used him as the big bad in the first Gravedigger book. If you’re looking for a pulpy supernatural way to spend an hour on a Monday night, I think Sleepy Hollow will fit the bill.

See you guys tomorrow!

Monday Morning Musings

billHello, folks! It’s the start of a whole new week and I’m feeling a bit low-key this morning. Got to get those creative juices flowing! Wish me luck.

Shadowman: The Red Sash made its Kindle Worlds debut last week and hit # 3 on the Action/Adventure cart before settling in at # 5, which is where it’s been the past few days. Several people have asked me if I plan to do more and my response is — not any time really soon. I have a couple of projects-with-deadlines that I have to work on and I’d like to finish off Lazarus Gray Volume Five… and then there’s this crossover novel that I’ve been teasing you guys with (the one that will sport a Chris Batista cover). So I have plenty on my plate! But I enjoyed the experience and if more Worlds are added, I might reconsider. Hell, I’d love to write a Batman story, for instance… and this seems like the perfect way for some of the rights holders to the old pulp characters to gauge public interest in a revival. Put someone like Norgil or Seekay up there and see how fast I’d jump on that!

Pro Se publisher Tommy Hancock attended a convention this past weekend and reported strong sales for The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume One, which is always nice to hear. I was really pleased with how that book turned out and all the positive feedback it’s garnered has been flattering. Hopefully people will enjoy the second book just as much.

I have a lot of work to do this week at my “real” job and the pressures there sometimes conspire to not allow me much time for writing. In a perfect world, I’d be making enough off my pulp adventure stuff to just do that full-time but that’s unlikely to ever happen. In the meantime, it’s a fun sideline and occasionally brings in a nice check to supplement everything else.

For those of you excited about the guest blogger that I’ve been teasing — hang in there! He’s making sure that all his t’s have been crossed and his i’s have been dotted, so to speak.

I’ve been greatly enjoying the album True by Avicii. It’s a lot of dance kind of stuff but it’s got more depth than usual for that genre. The instrumentals (especially Heart On My Sleeve) are very strong and there’s even some folksy stuff infused with the dance beats. It’s a really strong album and highly recommended, even if you don’t normally go for that sort of thing. Sample a few tracks and you’ll see what I mean.

I’ve been thinking about giving tumblr another try. I had an account there for awhile but finally deleted it because pinning pictures just seemed… kinda pointless? I don’t know. I have a blog so I don’t need to use it for that and I have a Facebook plus a Twitter… but I was thinking of using tumblr this time for my music interests and maybe some comic book stuff. I don’t know… Anybody out there use tumblr and love it? Am I missing something?

Take care, folks — see you guys tomorrow!

Friday Fun

lg04_walther_lunt_smallHello Everyone!

Earlier today I uploaded the 50th episode of The Shadow Fan’s Podcast. I interview legendary writer/producer Michael Uslan on this one and it was a great time. I really enjoyed talking to him and I think that even if you’re not a fan of The Shadow, you’ll find something to enjoy — he talks about producing the Batman movies, writing the current Shadow/Green Hornet series for Dynamite and even gets into the nitty-gritty about what his favorite Shadow novels and characters are. I hope you’ll give it a listen!

The past few days have seen this site getting a lot more hits than usual. Not sure what’s driving the increased traffic but I appreciate the folks who come back every day to read my ramblings. Thanks so much for supporting this site.

Also, thanks to everyone who has checked out my Kindle Worlds story featuring Valiant’s Shadowman character. It’s currently # 3 in Kindle World’s Action/Adventure category, as of 9 am EST! It’s called Shadowman: The Red Sash and I hope that folks who are fans of Shadowman or just my own writing will enjoy it.

Currently working on my Pulse Fiction story for Pro Se and I’m having a ball with it so far. These characters were given to me in pretty broad form so I’m getting to do a lot in the way of defining them and they’re definitely the kind of characters I would have created on my own, which makes the process easier and far more fun.

My guest blogger is still working on his post but I hope to be able to run it sometime soon. I think people will really find it interesting. I know I keep teasing it but it will be worth it, I assure you.

Our art today is of the evil Walther Lunt, one of Lazarus Gray’s arch-foes. It’s by the amazingly talented George Sellas.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

The Work Is Never Done!

fiction_writerSo my Kindle Worlds story is available now — Shadowman: The Red Sash is ready for you to download to your e-reader! I had a lot of fun writing the character and I would like to thank both Valiant and Amazon for joining together in the Kindle Worlds partnership and giving me the chance to do so. I’ve always loved the Jack Boniface character, both in his original incarnation and in the current version. Will I do more? Maybe something with my favorite Valiant hero, X-O Manowar? We’ll see. I’m curious how this one sells and how it’s received by fans. If there’s a clamoring for more, I might dip my toes back in.

With Shadowman in the rear-view mirror, I moved on to my Pulse Fiction story, starting it last night. I’m handling a story entitled “The Insanitors” and I think it’s off to a very good start. The characters and basic premise were furnished to me (this is work-for-hire) but there’s a lot of leeway for me to inject my personal tastes onto the project. So far, I’m enjoying the characters quite a bit. Since I’m doing the first story for them, I’ll be setting a lot of the parameters for how other writers will use them in the future, which is kind of fun.

After that, I owe Pro Se a Sherlock Holmes novella… and then I need to finish off Lazarus Gray Volume Five.

And then I can start on the Lazarus/Rook/Gravedigger crossover novel!

Anyway, go and read Shadowman – and let me know what you think!

Updates Galore

SM_003_CVRWelcome back to Ye Olde Blog! I hope to make some good progress over the next few days on this Shadowman story I’m working on for Kindle Worlds. Given how busy I was last week, it’s kind of stalled out at around 10,000 words but I definitely plan to type THE END in the next few days. It’s been fun… kind of reminds me of my old fanfiction days before I turned pro. The difference being that if this one is accepted, it’s officially licensed and I might make a few pennies off of it. That’s kind of fun! I wish more companies would consider going the Kindle Worlds route — I’d love to write Batman… or The Shadow… or any of a dozen other concepts that are either being ignored by their license holders or are simply unlikely to ever come my way.

Once I’m done with this current project, it’s on to several deadline-bearing work-for-hire jobs before I can return to my own characters.

Got to see the mock-up cover for my Liberty Girl book yesterday. Folks who have followed this blog for awhile know that I adapted the first Liberty Girl trade (and a few other issues) into a novella and then wrote an additional all-new story featuring the Heroic Publishing character (“America’s Bronze Goddess of Freedom”). It was an interesting experience! I can’t share the cover with you but I will say it’s *very* sharp. This is supposed to kick off a whole line of Heroic-inspired prose projects from Pro Se Productions and I hope the other books do very well.

I’m still getting positive reaction to the Chris Batista cover I posted last week, the one that will eventually appear on the Gravedigger/The Rook/Lazarus Gray crossover novel. Can’t wait to have the time to work on that book! Someday….

Sometime this week I hope to post a “guest blog” written by a prominent New Pulp author. It will be the first time I’ve turned over the blog to someone else and in this case, I think it’s very much warranted. This author has sparked a few interesting threads on Facebook with his ideas and they’ve been received fairly negatively by some. I think we need to discuss these issues and I hope that this blog will provide a forum for it. Stay tuned!

I’ve made a few pitches in recent months to major publishers about the use of their characters. Fingers crossed. These things always take time but nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Today we have another Shadowman cover courtesy of Valiant Entertainment, in the hopes it will inspire me to finish off this story!

Monday Morning Stuff

emma-stone-gangster-squad-379x302Welcome, folks, to the show that never ends — Ye Olde Blog continues to roll along, week after week.

Finished reading The Complete Adventures of the Secret 6 from Altus Press. I enjoyed it but it’s safe to say I’ll never reread these stories. Some good moments but long stretches in each story where I felt things were being stretched thin plot-wise. Definitely get the cheaper eBook edition.

I’m currently reading The Shadow Legion by Tom Deja. I’m about 25% of the way through (can you tell I’m reading the Kindle version?) and I’m enjoying it a lot so far. In terms of taking superhero elements and blending them with the supernatural, it feels like it could be very much at home in my own pulp adventure universe. Maybe I need to talk to Tom about a crossover… I definitely recommend it, though I haven’t even reached the halfway mark yet. It’s good fun.

Episode 49 of The Shadow Fan’s Podcast went live this morning which means that the Michael Uslan interview I recorded for Episode 50 will be posted later this week. Can’t wait for folks to listen to it — it was amazingly to speak to Mr. Uslan and I had a wonderful talk with him. The conversation stays focused on The Shadow for the most part but we do venture into discussions about movie production and so forth — even if you’re not a fan of The Shadow, you should give it a listen, I think.

Still working on my Shadowman story for Kindle Worlds — I was in meetings most of last week so I didn’t get to add much to the tale. I’m over 10,000 words into it at present and I hope to finish this short sometime this week. Then, assuming I can figure out how to upload to Amazon, it should be for sale shortly thereafter. Wish me luck!

Once I’m done with that, I have a few pressing deadlines to meet and then I can return to work on Lazarus Gray Volume Five. I’ve written two of the projected five stories that will comprise that book.

Next release from Reese Unlimited will be the new edition of Rabbit Heart — hopefully in time for Halloween!

Our picture today is the ravishing Emma Stone, looking all pulp-appropriate in Gangster Squad.


Tuesday Things

Shadowman-1-Valiant-2012-BHello, folks!

As some of you know (if you follow me on Twitter), I’m currently working on a story for Kindle Worlds — the officially licensed program that allows you to write stories set in some pre-existing universes (or “worlds”). As a longtime fan of Valiant Comics, I decided to dabble in the Kindle Worlds stuff with one of those characters. I chose Shadowman because not only do I really like the character but he’s the closest to what I write on a regular basis. I’m over 7,000 words into this short story and I hope to have it up and for sale in about a week or so – I’d love to have it up even sooner but I have a busy life in the “real world” this week. Still, it will be fun to see if there’s anybody reading/buying these things… the terms of the Kindle Worlds program are that they’re ONLY available as eBooks so you’ll need to fire up the Kindle to give it a looking over.

I will say that I hesitated to do one of these things mainly because I thought I should hold on to my ideas for one of my own stories… but then I figured that maybe this would expose my work to new readers and it’s always good to take a chance on that. If it fails to get me any new followers, the worst thing that happened was that I spent a few weeks writing about a character that I like anyway.

To celebrate my new story, I’m using a cool piece of Shadowman artwork on the site today. Enjoy!

Tom Smith, longtime Marvel Comics’ colorist, is currently working on the Chris Batista cover that I posted yesterday. The crossover novel still needs a title — if you have one you’d like to suggest based upon the art you’ve seen, feel free to pass it along. I’ll give you a “thanks” in the book itself if I choose to use it.

I’ve been talking to a prominent New Pulp author about doing a guest blog on the site… he’s raised some interesting issues in recent months on his Facebook page and I think they’re worth exploring here. I’m sure that many people may not agree with all his points but I think it’s a discussion we all need to have as pulp fans — how’s that for teasing you, eh? I love doing that.

See you guys tomorrow!




I finished up the Brother Bones/Lazarus Gray team-up story yesterday and sent it off to Ron Fortier for his comments and approval. Ron seemed to really like it and even came up with a great addition to the ending battle that really makes it come together. It was a lot of fun writing Bones and I think fans of both characters will really enjoy it. Unfortunately, it’s going to be awhile before any of you can read it because it won’t be published until Volume Five of the Lazarus Gray series is out… and, as all of you know, we’ve just seen volume three released! The fourth book should be out in the first quarter of 2014 which means the fifth book won’t be out (at the earliest) until late next year. I’ve written two of the five stories that will comprise the fifth book.

So… now I need to start on the two projects I owe Pro Se Press: a Pulse Fiction story and a Sherlock Holmes novella.

But I think I will squeeze in a short (under 10,000 word) Shadowman story for Valiant’s Kindle Worlds project first. It won’t take me long and I think it will be a fun little exercise. We’ll see how it sells, if it at all. If nothing else, though, it will be neat to tiptoe through one of my favorite fictional universes.

Thanks go to John Simcoe for sending me the link to the following video, which is for the Katy Perry song, “Roar.” No matter what you think of the song itself, the video is a fun homage to the old “Jungle Girl” stories and I think that folks who enjoy my brand of adventure fiction will get a kick out of this. Enjoy!

Thursday Ramblings

20130609-173120.jpgWelcome back to Ye Olde Blog!

I’m almost finished with the big Brother Bones/Lazarus Gray crossover story and will probably be sending it on to Bones creator Ron Fortier for his approval later today. After that, I *really* need to start work on this Pulse Fiction story for Pro Se Press… and then I have this Sherlock Holmes novella I’m supposed to write, also for Pro Se.

But I’m also tempted to finally break down and do a Kindle Worlds story featuring one of the Valiant heroes. I’m leaning towards Shadowman, simply because I think my style is most compatible with that character. My favorite Valiant hero has always been X-O Manowar but Shadowman feels like he could have been one of my own creations so I might go that route. I do wonder if I should take the time to do it, though — maybe I should focus my creative energies on my own projects or ones that I’ve been commissioned to do. Still, it would be fun to do an “official” Valiant story at least once. We’ll see.

On the artistic front, Chris Batista informed me last night that he’s begun laying out the cover to the big Lazarus Gray/The Rook/Gravedigger book. Grant Miehm has also had his sketch approved for Tales of The Rook Volume Two and is hard at work on that one. And let’s not forget George Sellas, who is one interior piece away from finishing up The Rook Volume Three Special Edition! No matter what, the books always look great, thanks to guys like these.

I’ve had the briefest stirrings of a desire to write some more Rook stuff… but I think that will satisfied by the crossover novel, to be honest. If you are a big Rook fan, though, you can expect Tales of The Rook Volume Two in the near future… the third Special Edition… and, of course, Tommy Hancock will be writing Volume Seven, which actually kicks off an entire trilogy that he’ll be handling.

Uploaded the 47th episode of The Shadow Fan’s Podcast yesterday. I had a nice chat with Ralph Grasso, who runs The Shadow Knows Facebook Page. If you’re a fan of The Shadow, you need to be a part of that group! Members include Michael Uslan, Anthony Tollin, Michael Kaluta and a whole lot more — you won’t find a more active Shadow page anywhere and certainly not one with the pedigree of this one! Highly recommended.

Take care, folks!