New Reviews!

rook2specialWe’ve had a few new reviews pop up on Amazon. com so let’s see what our faithful readers are saying.

First up, we have Raven Dark’s review of Tales of The Rook Volume Two:

First the reader meets a rather neat new hero in Russ Anderson’s “The Death of Keystone.” The title records that he dies, of course, but in the superhero world and the world of science and sorcery that the Rook inhabits, death sometimes is a point of view. Which one I leave the reader to figure out!

There are also a pair of Nazi Übermensch, a man and a woman both with pale skin, piercing blue eyes, and white hair. The man is a muscular brute known as Der Riese (The Giant), and the woman is a Nazi Scientist named Jakoba Kirsch.

The story has neat twists of fate and I won’t spoil the reader’s pleasure. You’re gonna want to read this one!! A full ten out of ten!

The reader moves on to the future, at least 100 years past the time of Max Davies. James Palmer’s “The Fist of Lao Fang” finds Atlanta in turmoil, a new drug called “jump” ravaging the streets, and a self-help guru named Simon Ling the new best thing in town.

Into this hodgepodge comes a girl named Kara Grace, heir to the Grace Industries fortune. Her life is about to make a great change. The ghost of Max Davies warns her about coming evil. Someone has to make a stand, and a shadowy secret society has ties to her family.

The story is exciting and well paced. I won’t spoil anything for the reader. You’ll like this one also. I think! A nine out of ten story.

Moving on to “African Darkside” by David White, the reader will encounter a new mystical object found in a botched museum robbery that turns a black muscleman into a god like entity.

This story is quite an adventure even if Mr. White kept forgetting whether there were supposed to be four or five robbers! (Chuckle!) This is certainly a worthy story for this new volume! Great stuff! Give Mr. White a seven out of ten.

Next, the reader will encounter Emma Davies as the Rook in “Come and Get Your Love” by Sean Taylor. The Rook’s lady love Kayla Kaslov has been kidnapped. Fighting a dreadful woman and her monsters, Emma goes to Kayla’s rescue. A seven out of ten story.

Emma Davies is also the star of the next story the reader encounters, “Night Out” by Adam Lance Garcia. There are three Rooks in this story, which alone gives it ten out of ten! William Davies is in San Francisco, Emma is being the Rook for the first time, and Max Davies has been captured by the very gang Emma is trying to bring to justice.

The reader will find an old enemy returned, a new drug on the street, a bevy of missing ladies, and a lot of father/daughter ranting and reminiscing! Enjoy the story, I know I did!

Last, the reader reaches “The Rook Animation Script” by Barry Reese himself. I have mentioned many times that I do not like to read plays and film scripts. I know Barry will have done a fine job and without reading it I’ll give it a seven out of ten.

The reader should be sure to read the interview with Barry Reese at the end of the book.

Adding and subtracting, the book is a eight out of ten overall, but on it will be a five out of five! My blog is a little different…

Thanks, Raven! I think the guys who contributed to this book did a bang-up job and I’m proud to have them contribute to the overall Rook tapestry!

Next we have a review of The Green Hornet Casefiles by a user named Dave. Here’s what he had to say:

I have to admit, after seeing the latest movie of the Green Hornet, I thought that my wonderful memories of the 60’s TV show were dead…except for video. NOT SO! These short stories are so close to the show it’s scary. The only real difference is the setting – here we are in Detroit ( home of the radio series) as opposed to the TV show LA (though never really specified. All the characters are brought back to life. With all due respect to Van Williams and Bruce Lee, these characters are a bit more edgier…not having to compete with Batman and Robin. Any Green Hornet fan MUST have this collection!

Glad you enjoyed the book, Dave! It was a real honor to write the Green Hornet and Kato.

Finally, C. William Russette reviewed The Rook Volume 2 – Special Edition:

I kinda know what I am getting into when I start in a Reese book. Story, character and plot are right where and what I want them to be. They are fantastic and fun and the bad guys are always someone I can admire for how unique they are. I quickly became a fan of the new intros in the Russian Leo Kaslov and his crew. I really enjoyed the Bloodwerks story though. There are a number of reasons but the fact of who the heavies are I think that seals the deal.

You really can’t go wrong with The Rook if you like your action fantastic and hard chargin’.

Great read.

Thanks so much! I’m glad you enjoyed Bloodwerks as it was one of my personal favorites.

Don’t forget that the nominating process for the New Pulp Awards ends soon — full details about the process can be found by clicking this link.

It’s My Birthday!

So today I turn forty-one years old. As always, such an event makes you want to look back on where you’ve been and also cast an eye on where you hope to be going. I was pretty happy with the words I wrote last year on this date so here they are once more. They’re just as applicable now as they were then:

I’m thankful that my birth father introduced me to pulp when I was a young kid. I love that stuff.

I’m thankful that my parents allowed me the freedom to pursue my own interests and to be a little bit weird. My father (really my step-dad but he’ll always be a father to me) passed away a few years ago and I still miss him. He was a great man and he taught me that you should always be able to laugh, no matter what the situation. I honestly think if you can do that, you’ll never be sad for long. His humility and grace are standards I’ll never be able to reach. My mom taught me that you love with all your heart and you don’t give up on the people that really matter, even if they disappoint you.

I’m thankful for my wife, who has stood by me through thick and thin. It hasn’t always been easy but our love remains firm — she’s my friend, my lover and my partner. She puts up with me when I’m being annoying and she’s with me through the triumphs and the tribulations.

I’m thankful for my son, who entered my life a little over seven years ago. He’s so smart and tries so hard to be good… I wish I could protect him forever. He’s reminded me of the fun of being a kid and how precious those first few years really are. I remember being his age and thinking I’d always live with my parents and always be safe with them watching over me. I’m sad he’ll have to learn that won’t be the case but I hope that he’ll end up having a happy life and be a good man. He’s off to a good start.

I’m thankful to Gary Dreslinski and Eric Moreels, who helped me get my job at Marvel. Because of them, I’ve had so many wonderful opportunities in the years since. Thanks, guys.

I’m thankful to the editors at Marvel, Moonstone, Pro Se, Wild Cat Books, West End Games and all the rest, for trusting me again and again. I’ve been able to work on The Avenger, The Green Hornet, G-8 and lots of other wonderful characters. I’ve been able to put my small stamp on them and that means I’ll live forever.

I’m thankful to my collaborators, like George Sellas, Anthony Castrillo, Tommy Hancock, Will Meugniot, Chris Batista, Tom Smith and so many others, all of whom have helped me along the way.

I’m thankful to you, my readers. I know I’m not the best writer out there but you keep coming back and trying my new projects. Thank you.

And most of all, I’m thankful to Life itself. Whatever force is out there, be it random bits of science coming together or some all-powerful entity that I’ll never comprehend, I’ve been here. I’ve smiled, I’ve laughed, I’ve made love and I’ve made my mark. I’ve made my share of screw-ups but all in all, it’s been a good life. Hopefully, I’ll get another 41 years to improve upon the first.

Moonstone Monday

TREE_smallWelcome back to Ye Olde Blog! We’re starting a new week and I have high hopes that it will be a good one. I’m still working away on my Box Thirteen story and at present, I’m a little over 3,300 words into it. I’m going to try and do my very best to finish this one before Friday. Since it only has to be 10,000 words long, I think I can do that. Fingers crossed! Once I’ve put this one to bed, I might be able to squeeze in a day or two of work on the fifth volume of Lazarus Gray before I have to begin my Pulse Fiction story for Pro Se Press.

I’ve been reading all kinds of things lately as I try to make a serious run at clearing off my “To Read” shelf. At one time, that shelf actually spanned about three different shelves but now I’m down to about 20 books. With luck and perseverance, I might actually end up with no books sitting around to be read. Every book in in my collection will have been read.

Obviously, that means I need to go and buy some new books, right?

Since I teased my upcoming G-8 story that will be published by Moonstone last week, I had someone ask me exactly what things I’d written for the longtime comics and New Pulp publisher. The answer? Not all that much, really! But here’s what they’ve published by me:

The Green Hornet Casefiles (2011) contains my story “Summer of Death”

The Avenger: The Justice Inc. Files (2011) contains my story “The Devil’s Workmen” which won the 2012 Pulp Ark Award for Best Short Story

The Avenger: Roaring Heart of the Crucible (2013) contains my story “The Box of Flesh”

In addition, I’ve written the aforementioned G-8 story and a Johnny Dollar story, both of which are still waiting to be printed by Moonstone. So eventually we’ll be able to add those books to the list. Working with Moonstone has been a real honor, especially since it gave me the chance to work on The Avenger, who has always been one of my favorite pulp heroes.

Our art today is by Anthony Castrillo and depicts one of the evil villains from The Rook Volume Five. Spooky stuff, eh?

Hope you guys have a happy and productive Monday!

A Tough Decision… Plus: Dynamite’s Pulp Comics for June 2013

masks08_cov_rossI almost committed myself to a major undertaking. It had gotten so far that I’d created a blog for it and even scheduled the first four posts… but then I came to my senses last night. While it’s good to do things for the benefit of the New Pulp community, ultimately I’m just one person… and I have my own writing & imprint to focus on. While I hope that someone else will step forward to save the day and keep this project going, I can’t let that force me into doing something that would result in a whole of work on my behalf without any real payoff other than some vague sense of ‘doing good.’ I did the New Pulp Bestsellers List for several years and it was a lot of work — I put in my time for the good of the community, I think.

And, yes, I know that’s all very vague, isn’t it?

In happier news, I came up with the germ of an idea for the Weird West story I’m writing for Mechanoid Press and have started that. Another new character to play with! Always fun. I’ll have to avoid the temptation to start another series, though. I have enough of those! 🙂

Anyway, let’s move on!

Since Dynamite is publishing The Shadow and its related comics, I’ve been reading quite a few of their books lately. Their pulp line keeps expanding and I’ll soon be trying The Black Bat & Miss Fury, in addition to Masks, The Shadow and The Shadow: Year One. I figured I’d post all their pulp related solicitations for June 2013 here since I usually end up talking about some of them on The Shadow Fan Podcast.

Brian Buccellato (w)
Ronan Cliquet (a)
Jae Lee, Joe Benitez, Ardian Syaf, Billy Tan (c)
Fans & retailers, order the cover of your choice!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+ • 6/5

The redemptive quest of The Black Bat continues! As the cloaked hero launches his campaign against his criminal former clients, he must save the police from a mysterious captor. What darkness from Tony’s past threatens his newfound war on crime?

Rob Williams (w)
Jack Herbert (a)
Joe Benitez, Paul Renaud, Billy Tan, Wagner Reis (c)
Fans & retailers, order the cover of your choice!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+ • 6/5

In 1943, Miss Fury is drunk and suicidal, dangling off the edge of Manhattan’s highest skyscraper. In 2013, she’s racing in a high-speed bike chase through Washington, DC, in pursuit of time-traveling Nazi agents. Which reality is true? Meanwhile, CIA Agent Harmon uncovers the true identity of those who unhinged her from time…

Matt Wagner (w)
Wilfredo Torres (a)
Matt Wagner, Alex Ross, Chris Samnee, Howard Chaykin (c)
Fans & retailers, order the cover of your choice!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+ • 6/26
The Shadow pursues his crusade against crime, and Margo Lane struggles to fit into Lamont Cranston’s mysterious world. Meanwhile, Big Gun Massaretti’s senseless gang war disrupts the mobs of New York, prompting a daring heist that draws the Master of Men like a moth to flame. And finally, an intrepid reporter relentlessly pursues The Shadow’s secrets, closing in!

Chris Roberson (w)
Giovanni Timpano (a)
Alex Ross, Jason Shawn Alexander, Tim Bradstreet,
Francesco Francavilla (c)
4 regular covers will be shipped in equal ratios
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+ • 6/19
The Shadow has come face-to-face with the killer known as “The Light,” and barely managed to survive. Who is this mysterious woman? Where has she come from? And how has she gained mystic skills and martial abilities that make her a match for The Shadow himself?

MASKS # 8 (OF 8)
Chris Roberson (w) Dennis Calero (a)
Alex Ross, Ardian Syaf, Sean Chen, Stephen Segovia (c)
4 regular covers will be shipped in equal ratios
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+ • 6/26
The startling conclusion to the best-selling miniseries! The mysterious master of the Justice Party stands revealed – but is it too late for the greatest crime fighters of all time to stop the party’s far-reaching plans? Join The Shadow, Green Hornet, Zorro, The Spider, Miss Fury, and other pulp legends as they bring two-fisted justice to those who would corrupt the law!

Mark Waid (w)
Daniel Indro (a)
Paolo Rivera (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+ • 6/26
Now that the Green Hornet is out of control, only one man stands a chance of bringing him down–his partner, Kato! What’s the voice that Britt Reid is hearing–and is he alone in hearing it?

Jai Nitz (w)
Jethro Morales (a)
Phil Hester (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+ • 6/19
What’s worse than a supervillain? Green Hornet asks that very question when he teams up with the nefarious Nikki Stripez to crack a ring of human traffickers in Century City. What will this deal with a devil cost Britt Reid? Heroes and villains unite!

David Liss (w)
Ivan Rodriguez (a)
Francesco Francavilla (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+ • 6/5
It’s the beginning of an epic showdown that will change The Spider forever! The Fly is the Spider’s most dangerous enemy – a wealthy madman with no goal but power – and no hesitation to kill. Richard Wentworth has sacrificed happiness in order to protect the city he loves, but is he prepared for the betrayals to come?

Mark Rahner (w)
Lui Antonio (a)
Jay Anacleto (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Mature • 6/12
To keep the peace, Dejah Thoris must keep a dreadful secret – the inhuman acts she witnessed and endured at the hands of outlaw Tharks. To reveal such horror would break the alliances that John Carter forged, pitting all of Mars in a race war. But the price of her secrecy grants the brutal Cult of Hok free reign to launch a terror campaign of their own!

Arvid Nelson (w)
Leandro Oliveira (a)
Joe Jusko, Lucio Parrillo (c)
2 regular covers will be shipped in equal ratios
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Mature • 6/26
The Red Planet is a world of secrets, but Martians lack the innate curiosity of Earthlings. Why? Because on Mars, the past can come back to haunt you – literally! When John Carter discovers the inner workings of a mysterious tower over his capital, he unleashes an ancient evil that could lay waste to his empire!

Arvid Nelson (w)
Daniel Sampere, Stefano Martino, Leandro Oliviera (a)
Joe Jusko (c)
FC • 168 pages • $19.99 • Mature • 6/26 (C:0-1-2)
John Carter has freed Mars from Issus, the false goddess whose tyranny once ruled the entire planet… but at a great personal cost. Dejah Thoris, his beloved princess, was kidnapped by a renegade priest bent on revenge! Activating a doomsday device to destroy the fragile Martian atmosphere, the evil Shang flees into the unknown regions of the north. Carter, aided by his son Carthoris and trusted alien pet Woola, must unite the many races of Mars — despite the ages of distrust and open warfare — to avert Judgment Day!

Robert Place Napton (w)
Carlos Rafael (a)
Wagner Reis, Fabiano Neves (c)
2 regular covers will be shipped in equal ratios
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Mature • 6/5
The Machine Men march on Helium, and the Red nations position themselves for war! Meanwhile, Dejah discovers that someone from her past has been conscripted into service by the Machine Men… and intends to settle a score with the Princess of Helium!

FC • 12” x 12” • $14.99 • Advance-solicit. In stores August 2013 (C:0-1-2)
The beautiful heroine of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ science fiction masterpiece Warlord of Mars graces every page of this 2014 calendar! Dejah Thoris, bride of John Carter and warrior princess of Barsoom, commands attention with her powerful presence and alluring looks. Journey to the faraway Red Planet twelve months of the year with this exotic Martian goddess!

Classic Heroes That I’ve Put My Fingerprints On

I’ve been lucky enough to not only see my own creations in print but to have had the opportunity work on a few ‘classic’ heroes along the way. It’s kind of incredible to think that I’ve written the following:

  • The Green Hornet
  • The Avenger
  • G-8
  • The Black Bat
  • Doctor Satan
  • Johnny Dollar
  • Frankenstein’s Monster
  • Dracula
  • Thunder Jim Wade
  • Richard Knight
  • The Black Terror
  • The Flame
  • Miss Masque
  • The Yellow Claw
  • The Domino Lady
  • Ki-Gor
  • The Moon Man

When I get down about writing, I sometimes think about having written those characters above (especially The Avenger!) and it puts a smile on my face.