The Mystery of The Peregrine’s Mask

When I wrote the very first Peregrine story (“Lucifer’s Cage”), I never knew that the mask I gave our hero would prove so challenging. Here’s how I described it for the very first time:

“On his face was a small domino mask affixed with a bird-like beak over the nose.”

Easy enough, right? But the mask has been interpreted in various ways over the years, with some folks adding wings on the sides and some dispensing with the beak entirely. I’ve enjoyed seeing the various takes on the mask and believe that artistic interpretation is fun. Besides, there’s nothing to say that The Peregrine doesn’t have several variant masks stashed in his closet.

In recent years, George Sellas has become the primary artist for my pulp universe line of heroes and he’s done wonders to define the core design of The Peregrine.

Here’s a few different looks that Max Davies has sported :

Storn Cook’s Version

 

 

 

Ver Curtiss’s Version

 

 

 

brunner_head

Frank Brunner’s version

 

 

 

Anthony Castrillo’s Version

 

 

 

Ed Mironiuk’s Version

 

 

 

sellas_head

George Sellas’s Version

 

 

 

So what’s been your favorite?

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!

Another Author Q & A

EmmaWatson-HarryCrowder03Every now and then I let some of the questions I’m asked pile up so I can answer them all at once. The first set of questions were answered here.

Here’s the latest batch! And if you want to play along, just send me a question by replying here or through Facebook!

Will we ever see a Leonid Kaslov novel?

This is probably the most common question I get asked. From the moment my “Russian Doc Savage” appeared in the The Rook Volume Two (“Kaslov’s Fire”), people have wanted more. I did use him in several later stories in The Rook but I’ve never come up with a plot that was worthy of spinning the character off into his own adventures. Originally I had planned to do him as his own thing — in fact, much of “Kaslov’s Fire” was meant to be a Kaslov novel. When I hit a wall with it, I decided to fold it into a Rook story I was working on. In the end, it became one of the best Rook stories I’ve ever written and definitely one of the most popular.

Never say never… but I’m not sure I’ll ever get around to doing a Kaslov solo adventure. Sorry.

Do you plan to do any sword & sorcery stories?

I did a couple, actually. Both featured a Viking warrior named Grimmarr and they were published in Tales of the Norse Gods. It was an anthology issued by Wild Cat Books. The first one was really good — the second I wrote in two days when the editor said they were one story short for the book and couldn’t I help them out… It’s not bad for having been written in 48 hours! The character (and his sword) have since been mentioned in various Rook stories and he gets another shout-out in Lazarus Gray Volume Five that I’m writing right now.

No plans on more s&s in the near future, though.

What are you favorite Rook covers?

Hmm. Tough one! I really like Storn Cook’s cover for the Wild Cat edition of volume one, Norm Breyfogle’s vampire cover for Wild Cat’s volume four edition… and the George Sellas covers for the volume two and three special editions are amazing! Those four are probably my favorites.

How are you so prolific?

I type really fast.

Well, that’s not the only reason — though it helps! I’ve always been a quick writer. I don’t obsess over plot details (as many of you have pointed out! lol)  as I get an idea and just GO. I believe in the pulp mindset: You write. You write a lot. You finish a story. You move on to the next story. Don’t bug me about small details because I don’t have time for them, I have another story to write.

Just keep going. Always.

What comic book characters would you like to translate to prose?

I got this question after doing a Shadowman story for Kindle Worlds. I have a few from various publishers that I’d consider:

DC – Batman, Challengers of the Unknown, Doom Patrol, Kamandi

Marvel – Moon Knight, Agents of Atlas, Captain America (wartime adventure)

Valiant – Eternal Warrior, X-O Manowar, Ninjak, Doctor Mirage

I think those are the main ones.

Have you ever tried to get the license to write XXX?

I removed the character’s name because it’s never a good idea to talk about such things in public. All I’ll say is: Yes.

On a podcast interview you said that you wrote two endings to The Damned Thing. Will we ever see the other ending?

Probably not. When writing the novel, I was torn between two endings — one that was “happier” and one that was “oh my god, you just ripped my heart out, you soulless bastard!”. I talked over both of them with my wife and she helped me pick one. I think it was the right one and nobody’s ever come up to me and said they loved everything but the ending, so it seems to have worked out.

For the record, what you got was the “happier” ending.

Keep those questions coming!

From the Vault: The Mystery of The Rook’s Mask

When I wrote the very first Rook story (“Lucifer’s Cage”), I never knew that the mask I gave our hero would prove so challenging. Here’s how I described it for the very first time:

“On his face was a small domino mask affixed with a bird-like beak over the nose.”

Easy enough, right? But the mask has been interpreted in various ways over the years, with some folks adding wings on the sides and some dispensing with the beak entirely. I’ve enjoyed seeing the various takes on the mask and believe that artistic interpretation is fun. Besides, there’s nothing to say that The Rook doesn’t have several variant masks stashed in his closet. In recent years, George Sellas has become the primary artist for my pulp universe line of heroes and he’s done wonders to define the core design of The Rook.

Here’s a few different looks that Max Davies has sported :

Storn Cook’s Version

 

 

 

Ver Curtiss’s Version

 

 

 

brunner_head

Frank Brunner’s version

 

 

 

 

Anthony Castrillo’s Version

 

 

 

 

Ed Mironiuk’s Version

 

 

 

sellas_head

George Sellas’s Version

 

 

 

 

So what’s been your favorite?

The Rook’s Mask

When I wrote the very first Rook story (“Lucifer’s Cage”), I never knew that the mask I gave our hero would prove so challenging. Here’s how I described it for the very first time:

“On his face was a small domino mask affixed with a bird-like beak over the nose.”

Easy enough, right? But the mask has been interpreted in various ways over the years, with some folks adding wings on the sides, some dispensing with the beak entirely, etc. I’ve enjoyed seeing the various takes on the mask and believe that artistic interpretation is fun. Besides, there’s nothing to say that The Rook doesn’t have several variant masks stashed in his closet. In recent years’ George Sellas has become the primary artist for my pulp universe line of heroes and he’s done wonders to define the look of The Rook’s masks.

Here’s a few different looks that Max Davies has sported :

Storn Cook’s Version

 

 

 

Ver Curtiss’s Version

 

 

brunner_head

 

Frank Brunner’s version

 

 

 

Anthony Castrillo’s Version

 

 

 

Ed Mironiuk’s Version

 

 

sellas_head

 

George Sellas’s Version

 

 

So what’s been your favorite?

Tuesday Tidings

Lots of stuff to talk about today!

First off, I was very gratified to see the second Lazarus Gray book shoot up to # 2 on the Best Sellers list this week — thanks to everyone who has supported the series!

I heard back from the lawyer who represents the “big” license I’ve been trying to snag. We’ve been chatting back and forth for a few months now… and they still haven’t said “no” but they did say that they weren’t prepared to decide one way or the other on my proposal at present. I think that’s probably a polite brush off but since they still haven’t come out and said so, I’m hoping for better news to come. If it does completely fall through, I’ll let you guys know what it was and what my pitch for the property consisted of.

Picked up “The City Destroyer” by Norvell Page to give The Spider another shot. I’m enjoying it and there are definitely aspects to Page’s style that I like but I’m still not prepared to say that I was wrong in my earlier summation of The Spider. I’m going to give it a try and at least one more Spider, though.

Looking forward to this Saturday’s web event — check out my blog yesterday for all the details. Be sure to hit the RSVP link and make plans to attend. I’ll be on at least two panels — one focusing solely on my Reese Unlimited imprint and the other talking about Sovereign City with my buddies Tommy Hancock and Derrick Ferguson.

Been focusing on the fourth volume of Lazarus Gray the past week or so — I’m still hoping to finish this one off fairly soon.

Our art today is by Storn Cook!