Working for the Weekend

20121205-172701.jpgIt’s Friday! I’m very happy to be able to type those words, believe me. We’re now a week away from the 2013 Georgia Literary Festival and I’m thrilled about that, as well. I’m the co-chair of the Planning Committee and it has been a lot more work than I’d ever imagined. Still, November 9 will be here before I know it and I’ll be able to say hi to several of my New Pulp friends — Van Plexico, Sean Taylor, Bobby Nash and Andrea Judy will all be here as part of our Thriller Track! For those of you who are in the area, the Festival is FREE TO ATTEND! It will take place in downtown Milledgeville and if you’re a fan of New Pulp, you can look forward to the following panels:

Thriller Track: Rise of the New Pulp- Sean Taylor, Van Plexico, Andrea Judy & Barry Reese in Georgia College Library Information Technology Center

1:00 pm
Thriller Track: Blending Genres- The Hardboiled P.I. in Different Eras- Alex Hughes, Sean Taylor & Bobby Nash in Georgia College Museum Education Room

2:00 pm
Thriller Track: Heroes from Beyond- Van Plexico in Old Governor’s Mansion Education Room

3:00 pm
Thriller Track: The Graphic World of Comic Books- Bobby Nash & Sean Taylor in Mary Vinson Memorial Library Children’sTheater

4:00 pm
Thriller Track: Georgia (and Murder) On My Mind- Alex Hughes, Barry Reese, Bobby Nash & Andrea Judy in Old Governor’s Mansion Education Room

And, of course, there will be MANY, MANY MORE panels and authors — but those are the ones that would be of most appeal to my New Pulp friends.

I’ve been continuing to work hard on the current Lazarus Gray story and it’s going very well. I’m definitely on track to complete this one next week! After that, I need to work on the Sherlock Holmes novel and then I’ve got some Phantom Detective ideas that are kicking around. I recently acquired three of the Regency reprints that were published in the Sixties and I plan to read those ASAP – I picked up The Trail to Death, Yellow Shadows of Death and Stones of Satan. Most of my Phantom Detective knowledge comes from reference works, comic books and the Phantoms in Bronze collection that Altus Press published. I want to read some more stories before I delve into really handling the character myself. I don’t believe in writing a pre-existing character without feeling like I have a really strong grasp on his history and personality. I’m still not there yet with PD but I’m getting close.

I’m supposed to be the guest on tonight’s recording of The Book Cave with Art Sippo — and I believe Tommy Hancock will be guesting as well. We’ll be talking about the recent release of Liberty Girl. It just received its first review, courtesy of Paul J. Fausz Jr. He gave it 4 out of 5 stars and wrote:

Interesting. Did not get to see the comics when this came out originally. Fun read. Would recommend if into Doc Savage, pulps, comic books etc.

Thanks, Paul! Reviews are always appreciated — and I’m glad you enjoyed this one. I wondered how it would play to people who didn’t read the comics and I’m glad to know you weren’t lost. 🙂

Take Care, folks!

Monday Chatter

PD1BIt’s the start of a new week and things are really beginning to pick up pace. The Georgia Literary Festival is just around the corner (November 9) and I’ll be there with a whole host of other New Pulp fan favorites like Bobby Nash, Van Plexico, Andrea Judy and Sean Taylor. Should be a fun and exhausting weekend. I’m also rocketing forward with the current Lazarus Gray story… and then I need to start work on the Sherlock Holmes novella that I owe Pro Se.

I’ve also been kicking around Phantom Detective ideas. I promised a PD tale to Airship 27 ages ago and while I think the character’s original stories weren’t the best that classic pulp has to offer, his very fluidity of character makes him something that I feel I could do something with. I’ve even had a few thoughts about doing a full Phantom Detective novel. And,  of course, I’ve considered taking the easy route and just having PD team up with one of my own heroes.

We’ll see.

My “Favorites” lists that I’ve been doing the past two weekends have proven to be pretty popular. Maybe I’ll keep doing them until I run out of ideas — I’ve thought about doing my favorite New Pulp heroes & villains, my favorite classic pulp covers, my favorite pulp movies, etc. If you have a suggestion, let me know.

There was another new review posted at Amazon recently. Ralph Angelo reviewed The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Two: Die Glocke and he said the following:

I recently read Barry Reese’s Lazarus Gray: Die Glock, the second in a series of New Pulp Adventures featuring Barry’s character, the aforementioned Lazarus Gray. As with the first volume I enjoyed this one immensely. The series is set in the mid 1930’s in the fictional Sovereign City. In this volume Lazarus and his team of adventurers (professionally known as Assistance Unlimited) travel outside of Sovereign City in a search for a weapon(The Die Glock) the Nazi’s want for their own nefarious use, which can be used as a doorway to another place. A place where something very evil lurks and stirs, and has waited a very long time to return to the earth. Enter Lazarus Gray and Assistance Unlimited. Members of the team travel around the globe to search out and destroy the weapon. But will they do so before whatever lurks on the other side of that wall between places Die Glock connects to steps through into the world of Earth in the 1930’s? You’ll have to read it to find out. Suffice to say, `Die Glock’ Is a good, rousing adventure that does not bore and does not disappoint. Also there is a bonus second feature featuring comic hero “The Black Terror” which is just as enjoyable as the main feature. If you like two fisted stories with lots of action as well as sexy women, demons, disfigured madmen and magic wielding villains, then give `The Adventures of Lazarus Gray: Die Glock’ a read. There’s really nothing not to like here.

Thanks, Ralph! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the book. I like to think that each Lazarus volume has been better than the ones before so I suspect you’ll enjoy Eidolon quite a bit… and, of course, Satan’s Circus should be out in early 2014!

I’ll be a guest on The Book Cave this Friday, talking with Art Sippo about the Liberty Girl book. I’ll let everyone know when it’s been posted for your listening pleasure. I also recorded two episodes of a new podcast that Perry Constantine is debuting soon — one episode featured a discussion about the “pulp mindset” and the other one dealt with writing strong female characters. I expect at least one of them to go up in November.

On Twitter, I asked if people would be interested in seeing a guidebook to the characters in my pulp universe… sort of along the lines of DC’s Who’s Who or Marvel’s Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. I’ve accumulated so much artwork of my characters over the years that I’d be able to get some re-use of it here. The few responses I got were positive — what say you, my blog readers?

Our artwork today shows off The Phantom Detective and a sultry female. Can’t go wrong there, can we?

See you folks tomorrow!

Random Stuff

Currently reading Marvel Comics: The Untold Story by Sean Howe. It’s been a great, fun read. I’d love to see something similar with the golden age pulp era.

Recorded new episodes of Ubergeeks and The Shadow Fan this week so check them out.

Torn between working on The Phantom Detective or finishing Liberty Girl.

Really enjoying Dynamite’s Shadow and Masks series. Nice to have some good pulp comics out there. Also read the Fear Agent Omnibus and would recommend that!

Have a great day, guys!


The Work Never Ends!

die_glocke_cover_LOW_RES_mockup_croppedGot a good plot in mind for my Phantom Detective story (“The Iron God”) and also got some feedback on my Liberty Girl story — my editor really liked it. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish off LG soon and then I can focus on getting this Phantom Detective piece finished for Airship 27.

I’m pushing hard for George Sellas to repeat as Best Interior Artist in the Pulp Ark Awards and I also think he should win for Best Cover — in both cases, for The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Two: Die Glocke. George is a tremendous artist and deserves the recognition. I think he’s made my books the best looking in all of New Pulp. Please consider nominating him in those two categories.

Got my Rook and Lazarus Gray figures from Marshall Made Collectibles. They are GORGEOUS. If you’re a fan, please consider buying one for your home. You won’t regret it and will be just as blown away by the quality as I was. Trust me.

Phantom Musings

ProSeChristmas is just around the corner and for all of you who celebrate it, I hope you have a wonderful time with your family. For me, this week has been a good one — I sent off my edits to Moonstone for my G-8 story (we’ll see if they want more changes); received the last interior art pieces from Will Meugniot for Gravedigger and got the color cover for Gravedigger from George Sellas.

I’m currently reading some Phantom Detective stories before starting writing my own for Airship 27. This is one seriously vanilla character but I’ll try to find some hook that will let me write him. I always try to stay true to the original version but sometimes… sometimes I have to find some element that really appeals to me. For example, I’m not a fan of aerial pulps but with Richard Knight, I discovered that I really liked the friendship and interplay between Knights and his buddy Doyle. So I focused on that and played it up while writing “Richard Knight and the Stones of Heaven.” With G-8, I tried to focus on the hero’s optimism and confidence, which seemed somewhat refreshing in the usually gritty world of pulps.

That’s what I’ll do with the Phantom Detective, too. I won’t change him but I will focus my attentions on the aspects that appeal most to me and work for the story I want to tell.

See you guys tomorrow!

Looking Ahead to 2013

Gravedigger & Mitchell from 2013's Gravedigger novel. Art by Will Meugniot
Gravedigger & Mitchell from 2013’s Gravedigger novel. Art by Will Meugniot

So yesterday we talked a lot about what stories had been published in 2012 — now let’s talk at length about what’s coming up in 2013! I have no idea about dates on any of this, sadly — I’m at the whims of my publishers!


I should have three stories coming from Moonstone in 2013 – a Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar tale; my second Avenger story and a G-8 story.

Pro Se

A bunch of stuff! The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume 3 – Eidolon; Gravedigger; Tales of The Rook Volume 2, The Rook Special Editions 2-4.

Airship 27

I’ll be doing a Phantom Detective story for Airship 27.

So you should have quite a bit from me stocking the shelves next year.

Our art today is by the amazing Will Meugniot and will be featured in Gravedigger!

I’m Writing The Phantom! No, Not *that* Phantom… The *other* Phantom!

PD1BI’m trying to put the finishing touches on my Liberty Girl project, which adapts The Return storyline published by Heroic. As soon as I’m done with that, I’m starting research for my Phantom Detective story that will appear from Airship 27. I have a fun idea that I think will greatly please Airship’s captain, Ron Fortier. Hardcore pulp fans are probably familiar with the Phantom Detective but he’s not as well known with “civilians” (non-pulp fans) like Doc Savage or The Shadow. He made his debut in February 1933, one month before Doc Savage.  He was the second major pulp hero to get his own magazine (following, of course, The Shadow) and it ran for an incredible 170 issues, which means only The Shadow and Doc had longer runs. Lots of people wrote the series, which featured Richard Curtis Van Sloane, an orphan who inherited great wealth. Before World War I, Sloane lived the life of an idle playboy but after becoming a war hero, Sloane found himself bored by the life he returned to. After using his intellect to help the police solve a crime, Sloane becomes convinced that he’s found his true calling. Transforming himself into a master of science, investigation and disguise, Sloane becomes The Phantom (he’s referred to such in the stories — he doesn’t call himself “The Phantom Detective”).

The Phantom’s true identity is known only by his friend Frank Havens, who publishes the Clarion newspaper. His love interest was Frank’s daughter, Muriel.

The quality of the stories vary dramatically but something about the character allowed him to outlast most of his competitors. I hope to capture the basic appeal of the domino-masked hero while putting my own personal spin on things.

I believe Airship 27 is hoping for an early spring 2013 release but that will depend on when the stories all come in — I hope to finish mine off during the month of January.

Talking Points

Gravedigger shortly after her rebirth.
Gravedigger shortly after her rebirth.

We’re steamrolling towards the end of 2012 and at this point, I should be finished with the Liberty Girl project in just a couple of weeks. As I tweeted last night, it’s hard for me to judge how good this work is — and I don’t mean in just the “I’m too close to it” way that we writers sometimes get. As I tweeted last night, there have been times with this that it’s felt less like writing and more like transcription. It’s not really my voice and not really my story choices for the most part. I’m trying to stay true to the words written by others. I’m adding details and even whole scenes here and there but it never feels like something I would have written, given my own druthers. Now I may write an original Liberty Girl story down the road… it’ll be interesting to see how that would compare to this. I’m certainly no stranger to writing other people’s characters but this is the first time I’m basically following someone else’s story so slavishly. Hope you guys don’t mind the peek behind the creative curtain here!

Our art today is another finished piece from the amazing Will Meugniot — this time around, we see Charity just after she’s crawled from her own grave! Spooky, eh?

Only one “vote” came in after yesterday’s post and that person suggested that I work on The Phantom Detective next. I think I’ll “kinda” do that — I need to read at least one PD story to get back into that mindset so what I’ll do is read one while working on something else (either Lazarus Gray v4 or Tales of The Rook v2). Then when I’m done with the research, I’ll jump over to PD.

The cool “licensing” deal for Lazarus & The Rook will be announced soon. You might be able to own your own Laz & Rook products! Stay tuned.

They Call Him… Thanatos!

Thanatos, one of the bad guys from Gravedigger, as depicted by Will Meugniot.
Thanatos, one of the bad guys from Gravedigger, as depicted by Will Meugniot.

Just posted The Shadow Fan Episode 10 — I review an episode of the old radio series and then go in-depth in my thoughts about Masks # 1 from Dynamite. I won’t hold you in suspense — I loved it!

Today’s art is from Gravedigger and is by the talented Will Meugniot. The bad guy in the image is known as Thanatos and he’s not a very nice fellow. He has a surprising tie to a character that will appear in The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume 4, too, but if miss it, you won’t be harmed. But if you notice it…. then you’ll throw your hands up and say, “That Barry Reese guy! He’s amazing in the way he ties these little details together!”

Or something like that.

Finally got my plaque from this year’s Pulp Ark Awards — my short story, “The Devil’s Workmen,” won for Best Short Story. I have it displayed on the mantle now. Winning was cool enough but winning for an Avenger story that I wrote? Even better!

I’m about 13,000 words into the Liberty Girl story. It’s going to appear as one of Pro Se’s digest books so 30,000 is the maximum length. I should hit that with no problem. After that… I’m torn about what I’ll work on next. If you have a favorite, let me know! I need to: write a Phantom Detective story for Airship 27; write the second Lazarus Gray story for Volume 4; and I need to write a Rook story for Tales of The Rook Volume 2. Decisions, decisions!



Bullet Points

Abigail vs. Femi, from Lazarus Gray Volume Three
Abigail vs. Femi, from Lazarus Gray Volume Three

So I just finished reading Deck Z: The Titanic by Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon. Very fun little book about zombies onboard the Titanic. Considering the somewhat silly premise, it was remarkably good and a very fast read. Recommended.

Work continues on the Liberty Girl project. I definitely think I can finish this during December.

Lazarus Gray fans can rejoice — Volume Three should be out in the first quarter of 2013. I’m about 50% through with Volume Four (the writing, anyway — haven’t even begun talking to George Sellas about the eventual cover & interiors). To whet y our appetites, our image today comes from Volume Three.

Still kicking around ideas for my Rook story that will run in Tales of The Rook Volume Two. I had a lot of fun with “The Killing Games” that ran in the first book, setting that story early in Max’s marriage and taking him out of Atlanta. I might do something equally ‘different’ for this one… Then again, I might just go as ‘classic’ as I can since I haven’t written a solo Rook story since Killing Games. I really have no idea, lol.

2013 is looking like another busy year for me – we’ll see The Adventures of Lazarus Gray v. 3, Tales of The Rook v. 2, Gravedigger v. 1, Liberty Girl, my Holmes novel, a Phantom Detective story and who knows what else… and, as I said, Lazarus v. 4 is going to be completed before too long and that *might* see print in 2013. And that’s not even mentioning all the re-releases of The Rook Special Editions!

Good times.