Tag: The Peregrine

The First Review of Gravedigger V3 is here!

img_9884Our old friend Darkendale Raven is the first person to review The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume 3. He gave it 5 stars at his website. Here’s his review:

The Adventures of the Gravedigger: Volume Three  by Barry Reese

Possible spoilers!

Charity Grace rose from her own grave, called by the entity that calls itself “The Voice.” She was tasked by the Voice to spend three years as an agent of justice. This wasn’t turning evildoers over to the police. No, most of the bad guys and gals who crossed Charity Grace ended with their heads whacked off by a sword.

Charity Grace was reborn as the Gravedigger, a pitiless sword of justice, shoveling dirt on the graves of the evil and the cruel. She set up headquarters in the home of former Gravedigger Josef Goldstein. She also gathered a group of agents to aide her cause. Among them is black British man Mitchell and lovely Asian-American girl Li Yuchun. Mitchell became Charity’s closest confidant and also her lover.

Over the years Gravedigger encountered a host of lawless persons, often wielding some sort of arcane power. In her first volume, she fought a man known as Thanatos, The Sons or Daughters, a gender-swapping cult and the Headless Horseman and more. Her battle could never be over until her three-year crusade was over.

Along the way, she encountered both the Peregrine and Lazarus Gray. Both shared an adventure with her, but neither really approved of her bloodthirsty crusade. But the Gravedigger could not be contained nor even slowed down. Her battles were fought to the death.

She was still dealing out rough justice, in the Second Volume; a silver skull talisman hidden at Hendry Hall is activated by Sandra Locke. This released the spirit of the deadly woman warrior known as Pandora, who possessed Locke. Pandora is allied with the evil Hiroshi Tamaki, who claims to be Emperor. This was a fight that could have easily ended in Charity’s second and final death. With the victory, she changed her headquarters, moving to Hendry Hall.

Now, in this third volume, she has one last battle before her trial. If she can survive this bloody battle with the strange people of Blood Island, including a man who says he is dead and calls himself the Ghost. He reports to the evil man known as King, along with his Queen and other Chessmen. Her heart will be weighed to determine whether she has redeemed herself or whether she is doomed to the underworld. The deal was that if she passes, she can go on to the afterlife or she can choose to remain on the earth.

In a way, I was sorry to see perhaps character’s final adventure. But the action was pure pulp, and the adventures have been terrific! Who knows, perhaps the world has not seen the last of either Gravedigger or Charity Grace. I also love the new cover! Beautiful!

Barry Reese is excellent at his brand of pulp, creating many characters, some that echo old pulp heroes. But for my money, Charity Grace, as Gravedigger, is the greatest of them all!

I give the book five stars plus! Looking forward to the next Lazarus Gray and other forthcoming gems of pulp from a master of the genre!

Quoth the Raven…

Thanks, Raven! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Charity will appear in a special adventure that teams Lazarus Gray and Nightveil in 2019 and then she’ll have an appearance in Assistance Unlimited: The Silver Age, which is set in the Sixties. So you haven’t seen the last of her but there are no plans for any Gravedigger novels in the near future, I’m afraid.

Digging in the Dirt: The Secret Origin of Gravedigger

Charity Grace – aka Gravedigger –  has appeared in three novels and she played a big role in the  “crossover” novel that paired her with Lazarus Gray and The Peregrine. She’s become one of my most popular creations, thanks in no small part to the stunning costume design that George Sellas came up with. But where did she come from? What inspirations led her to spring forth from my crowded little mind?

What follows is an essay that ran in the first volume of The Adventures of Gravedigger. If you’ve read it before, hopefully you’ll enjoy seeing it again — if it’s your first time, expect a few insights into my creative process. I’ve tweaked it from the original in a few places, removing a link to the blog and altering the name of Max Davies’ costumed identity.

Our art today is from my buddy George Sellas and is an homage to one of my all-time favorite comic book covers: All-Star Squadron # 1. The original was drawn by Rich Buckler but I think George captured the feel perfectly, replacing the original DC heroes with my own. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

And now on to the main event:

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Timeline of My Pulp Adventure Universe (updated 5/23/18)

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 an headless warrior.

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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?

New Reese Unlimited Anthology Open for Submissions!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

THREE POPULAR NEW PULP HEROES IN ONE BOOK BY OTHER WRITERS-OPEN CALL FOR REESE UNLIMITED’S THREE TO FIGHT’ ANTHOLOGY!

Award winning Author Barry Reese has been a mainstay in New Pulp and Genre Fiction for years. Of his many creations, three stand out as notable characters in New Pulp-The Peregrine, Gravedigger, and Lazarus Gray. These three characters are the tent pole around which Reese Unlimited, Pro Se’s first Author imprint, was built and now, for the first time ever Reese and Pro Se announce an open call like no other. Submissions are now open for THREE TO FIGHT, an anthology that will, for the first time, feature stories written by other writers starring Reese’s three most popular and best known creations.

“THREE TO FIGHT,” says Tommy Hancock, “is an idea that has been discussed here and there, having other writers tackle some of Barry’s characters, as has been done in the past. The specific concept, though, for this anthology came from an image by Mark Propst, that Barry shared with me. As soon as I saw it, not only did I know I was looking at the cover for a future book, but the cool idea that has become THREE TO FIGHT basically exploded to life. And now, it’s time to bring the writers ready to get their hands on Barry’s wonderfully imaginative universe in and get this thing rolling.”

Two types of stories will be accepted for this anthology. The first type of story accepted for THREE TO FIGHT must feature TWO of the three characters-The Peregrine, Lazarus Gray, and/or Gravedigger. No story will only feature one and no story will feature all three. Another type of story that can appear in this volume can be stories featuring any TWO teams/supporting casts of the characters mentioned above, even if the characters themselves do not appear. Whole teams do not have to appear in these stories, but, as per the other type of story accepted, only TWO supporting casts/teams may team up, not all three.

Stories for THREE TO FIGHT series must be 8-10,000 words in length. Those interested in submitting a proposal should contact submissions@prose-press.com to request the Reese Unlimited Timeline. A proposal of 100-500 words must be submitted to submissions@prose-press.com. Authors not previously published by Pro Se Productions must submit a writing sample of at least two pages with their proposals.

If accepted, final deadline for completed stories is 90 days following acceptance of proposals. At point of acceptance, copies of all Reese Unlimited works related to the characters will be available to approved writers. Supplemental information may also be provided. Payment will be in the form of royalties, the percentage determined by number of accepted submissions.

THREE TO FIGHT is a part of the Pro Se Open, the company’s anthology project, and is scheduled to be published in the 2019-2021 calendar years, depending on submissions and other factors.

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!