Press Release: Lazarus Gray Volume 8!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SOVEREIGN CITY’S PREMIERE HERO RETURNS IN FIRST OF MULTIPLE RELEASES- BARRY REESE’S ‘THE ADVENTURES OF LAZARUS GRAY VOLUME EIGHT’ AVAILABLE

“The only clue to his identity was a small medallion with the words ‘Lazarus Gray’ stamped upon it….” These words introduced many readers to one of the best heroes in Genre Fiction, created by award winning author Barry Reese. Now, Pro Se Productions proudly presents THE ADVENTURES OF LAZARUS GRAY VOLUME EIGHT in both digital and print formats.

Lazarus Gray and his team, Assistance Unlimited, face an uncertain future at the dawn of a new decade. New mysteries, new allies, and new foes rise from the ashes of old to challenge this band of heroes as never before…But their greatest crisis comes from within as one of their number stands at a crossroad and makes a choice that may turn friends into foes forever.

Created and written by award winning author Barry Reese, THE ADVENTURES OF LAZARUS GRAY VOLUME EIGHT features stunning cover art by George Sellas. Also included in this volume-SECRETS OF THE DEAD, a comic-strip origin sequence by Barry Reese and Sellas!
The winds of change are keenly felt in THE ADVENTURES OF LAZARUS GRAY VOLUME EIGHT from Reese Unlimited and Pro Se Productions!

Featuring logo design and print formatting by Sean Ali, THE ADVENTURES OF LAZARUS GRAY VOLUME EIGHT is available in print at https://tinyurl.com/y2gwdl5f for $9.99.

The continued adventures of this New Pulp icon are is also available as an eBook formatted by Antonino lo Iacono and Marzia Marina for the Kindle at https://tinyurl.com/yyct8f7x for only $2.99. The book is also available to Kindle Unlimited members for free.
THE ADVENTURES OF LAZARUS GRAY VOLUME EIGHT is the first of several new volumes of the adventures of Assistance Unlimited penned by Reese to be released in coming months from Pro Se Productions.

For more information on this title, interviews with the author, or digital copies for review, email editorinchief@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.

Ouch!

img_8359The Adventures of Lazarus Gray: The Omnibus Edition received a new review on Amazon and, uh-oh!, they didn’t like it. The 1-star review was titled “Terrible” and was posted by a user whose screen name was Honest. The review is brief but let’s take a look at it:

This is comic book scripts that didn’t sell. Has no idea what noirs is. Waste of money waste of time.

Huh. Well, I can honestly say that the five volumes contained in this omnibus edition weren’t ‘comic book scripts that didn’t sell.’ I also would never describe my work as noir. Lazarus Gray is adventure fiction in the classic pulp sense – noir is something I sometimes dabble in as a fan but never as a writer.

Can’t win them all! Hopefully Honest will find something he likes better with his next purchase.

Bad reviews are always going to come along – you have to develop a thick skin to survive in this business.

End of August Update

It’s been a strange month. Students returned to school and I’m teaching both in-person classes and an online course so things are unusual to say the least.

I’ve been writing a novel that combines the Greek gods with the public domain characters Nature Boy and Nature Girl. I’m about 11,000 words into it and it’s good, I guess. It’s mostly been something that I do when I have free time and I haven’t been too enthused by it, I have to admit. I mean, I love the characters, Gilbert Monsanto did some lovely redesigns for me, and the plot is actually pretty badass… but I’m just not in love with it at the moment.

Pro Se is beginning to tease that the eighth volume of Lazarus Gray might be out next month – it’s been three years since volume 7 so I know a lot of you are anxious to see this one. The series has occasionally featured novel-length tales and collections of shorter works… this one will have five short stories in it and features a new version of Murder Unlimited, a team-up between Eun and Doctor Hancock, and some great new villains. I think you’ll enjoy it. The plan is to release new books every 3 months or so until they’ve caught up with the backlog of books I’ve written.

I’m looking around for something new to catch my muse and excite it… if you have any suggestions for things you’d like to see me write, speak now! I might actually listen to you lol

Timeline of My Pulp Adventure Universe (Updated 8/28/2020)

gravediggerMajor Events specific to certain stories and novels are included in brackets. Some of this information contains SPOILERS for The Peregrine, Lazarus Gray, Gravedigger and other stories.

~ 800 Viking warrior Grimarr dies of disease but is resurrected as the Sword of Hel. He adventures for some time as Hel’s agent on Earth. [“Dogs of War” and “In the Name of Hel,” Tales of the Norse Gods].

1748 – Johann Adam Weishaupt is born.

1750 – Guan-Yin embarks on a quest to find her lost father, which takes her to Skull Island [Guan-Yin and the Horrors of Skull Island].

1776 – Johann Adam Weishaupt forms The Illuminati. He adopts the guise of the original Lazarus Gray in group meetings, reflecting his “rebirth” and the “moral ambiguity” of the group. In Sovereign City, a Hessian soldier dies in battle, his spirit resurrected as a headless warrior.

Continue reading → Timeline of My Pulp Adventure Universe (Updated 8/28/2020)

It’s the Nature of Things

hands.jpgSo I sent off the thirteenth volume of the Lazarus Gray series to Pro Se head honcho Tommy Hancock today. It’s an exciting story with mummies, crazed sanitarium workers, a dangerous chemical weapon, a guy who has a pumpkin for a head and a whole lot more. Hopefully folks will enjoy it and will get a kick out of the additions to the team, the return of an old favorite, and the debut of a public domain superhero to the universe.

That last bit – the tease about the public domain hero – might lead into a future project. I’d kind of like to write about this character in a slightly different way… a long time ago, I wrote comic-book based fanfiction. I’d post chapters of the stories (labeled as “issues”) and it would be an ongoing work. I’m thinking about doing something similar with this character – maybe even just posting the “issues” for free here on the blog. After enough had been posted, I could accumulate enough for a “trade” and release a print version for folks that wanted to keep them in that fashion. One thing that I’ve gotten kind of burned out on is the long publishing lead that we have… keep in mind that the most recent Lazarus novel was volume 7 and that was nearly four years ago. Since then I’ve written six more volumes! So by posting the serial here on the blog, I’d be able to receive immediate feedback, which would be a nice change of pace.

I’m also thinking about taking my Skip Timeline characters and doing something with them.

For a few days, though, I’m taking a break. I’ve written pretty non-stop for years, taking only a day or two between projects. I’ve earned a vacation!

Updates Aplenty

lg11_lazarus_graveyard_smallWork has been continuing on the thirteenth volume in the Lazarus Gray series – the novel sits at just over 42,000 words at present. It brings back some old friends and introduces several new characters into the mix, as well. I think folks will like it — I’ve been assured that volume 8 will see print sometime in August and that there is a plan to get volumes 9-12 out on a timely schedule.

I’ve been catching up on the Black Lightning show – I’ve really been enjoying it. It and Stargirl are the best of the DC television shows right now in my opinion.

The Icons writeups have been coming in large numbers, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. I might slow down on that front soon — it’s fun to stat up characters but it also takes up a good bit of time. We’ll see.

What did you guys think about the Skip Timeline characters I introduced recently? Any interest in seeing something done with them? I kicked around the idea of inviting writers to do short stories with them under my guidance but I’m not sure there would be any desire on anyone’s part to do that.

Our image today is by our old friend George Sellas.

A New Broken Empire Review!

broken_empireRaven’s Reviews recently took a look at the first Assistance Unlimited: The Silver Age novel, Broken Empire. Here’s what they had to say:

Assistance Unlimited, the next generation!

Lazarus Gray is now 59, still active, but not as involved in the daily affairs of Assistance Unlimited as he used to be. These are the adventures of Emily Grace, daughter of Samantha Grace, one of the original members of Lazarus Gray’s organization. Emily is getting a new partner, Benjamin Falk. Falk was on President Kennedy’s team in Dallas and blames himself for the assassination. But Gray referred to here as “the old man” sees something in Falk.

There are two interconnected stories in this volume.

Book One: The Rise of Helios

Marvin Levin and his crew of clones endeavor to reestablish the Fourth Reich. To accomplish the madman’s goal they seek supernatural objects either under lock and key in Assistance Unlimited headquarters or being actively pursued by them. But Levin has a rival… or is it more than one…

Book Two: Roll the Bones

Otto Darling, the current leader of SIGIL (Supreme International Group for Illicit Liaisons) is after the Chalice of Madness. Allying himself with Helios from Book One, he seeks knowledge that drinking from the chalice is said to bring. Or was that insanity and chaos?

I found the book exciting. The only complaint I have is that according to information at the end of this book, it is slightly out of sequence. Things that take place here are direct results of events in Lazarus Gray volume 8 which I am reliably informed will be out later this year.

That said, it does not really affect the story all that much since the focus is on the characters. The exact events of Emily’s birth and parentage being forthcoming does not stop the reader from enjoying what a kickass character she is. The character is 100% pure smashmouth pulp hero and the action never stops. There are over-the-top villains, world-shaking weapons, Nazis, the supernatural—what’s not to love? Encore! I say!

I give the book a resounding five stars plus!

The Immortal Princess Femi

lg03_femi_smallA good villain can make all the difference.

With The Peregrine, most of his enemies were dead and buried by the end of each adventure, though he had a few (The Warlike Manchu, for instance) who made return appearances. When I created Lazarus Gray, I knew that one of the things I wanted to do with the series was to create a series of recurring villains. I wanted him to have a vibrant rogue’s gallery that could return again and again.

But which of his enemies stands above the rest? If our hero is defined by his villains, which of those foes is his dark mirror?

Obviously, Lazarus Gray has Walther Lunt, his former mentor. Lunt was a major force in Volumes One and Two but his death in 1936 (“Die Glocke”) has left him as a shadow looming over the series. He did return to battle Lazarus in a winner-returns-to-life battle but his defeat there has seemingly ended his threat forever.

And then there’s Nemesis, whose very name suggests that he should be Lazarus Gray’s arch-foe. He plays a key role in volumes 7-9.

Bur are either of them really Gray’s arch-enemy? Or should that honor go to the equally-deserving immortal known as Femi?

Continue reading → The Immortal Princess Femi

Writing Update

cfstillsnowtoastBreezing along on the 13th volume of Lazarus Gray – I’m over 25,000 words into the book and the plot is a real humdinger with multiple threats, the return of an old friend, and some new romances. I’ve heard from more of you expressing frustration at the slow releases in the Lazarus Gray series and all I can say is that the eighth volume should be out in the next couple of months and that I’ve been told we’ll have a more regular schedule after that.

The blog’s recent focus on writeups for the Icons roleplaying game have seen the site getting a lot more hits than usual – I know that if you’re not a fan of the game system, you might not have much interest in them but I’d encourage you to check out the game. It’s definitely my favorite system that I’ve come across in many years.

Recently read “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” which tells the story of President Coriolanus Snow’s rise to power as a young man. It wasn’t a book without flaws but overall it was a pleasant read with some intriguing philosophical questions. I’m not normally a fan of prequels centered around the villains (I’m looking at you, Star Wars prequels) but this one was better than most. If you were a fan of the Hunger Games series, I recommend it!

 

Broken Empire Gets Another Review!

barry reese 3 bAssistance Unlimited: The Silver Age – Broken Empire was examined over at Max Reads Comics in a special edition that’s dubbed “Max Reads Other Things.” You can click on the link to read the review in full and also check out the many wonderful columns and reviews that Max has posted. I follow his blog and always enjoy it. Here’s some of the highlights of what he had to say:

As you can see by the sub-title, this is the latest in the “Assistance Unlimited” series by the author, named after an organization founded by one of Reese‘s most iconic characters, “Lazarus Gray.”

The “Silver Age” part of that same sub-title is kind of a comic book reference, as the story takes place in the 1960s, and us comic book folks know that the 60s was prime “Silver Age” time.

Normally, the Assistance Unlimited (“AU” from here on) stories are set many years before this swingin’ decade, and this book marks a kind of experiment by Mr. Reese. Specifically, he’s decided to jump two decades into his characters’ futures, potentially “spoiling” certain things along the way. Continue reading → Broken Empire Gets Another Review!