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My Favorite Shadow Novels (Updated November 10, 2013)

946458-S253-TheVampireMurdersAs most of you know, I’m a big fan of The Shadow – in fact, I host a weekly podcast entitled The Shadow Fan. Today I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorite Shadow novels, so that if you are looking to jump into the series, you’ll have some recommendations about where to start. These are by no means all the great Shadow stories — it’s just a handful that I really love. In addition, there are still Shadow novels that I haven’t read yet — so I might go back and add to this list as time passes.

To be honest, I think it’s a great idea to simply start with the first story and go forward — but that’s not always possible, I know. So here are my favorites, in order of publication:

The Living Shadow – April 1, 1931

The Eyes of The Shadow – July-September 1931

The Shadow Laughs – October 1, 1931

Gangdom’s Doom – December 1, 1931

The Death Tower – January 1, 1932

The Ghost of the Manor – June 15, 1933

The London Crimes – September 15, 1935

Crime, Insured – July 1, 1937

The Shadow Unmasks – August 1, 1937

The Green Hoods – August 15, 1938

Death From Nowhere – July 15, 1939

The Golden Master – September 15, 1939

Shiwan Khan Returns – December 1, 1939

The Invincible Shiwan Khan – March 1, 1940

The Prince of Evil – April 15, 1940

Masters of Death – May 15, 1940

Murder Genius – July 1, 1940

The Man Who Died Twice – September 15, 1940

The Devil’s Paymaster – November 15, 1940

The Thunder King – June 15, 1941

The Devil Master – September 15, 1941

Temple of Crime – November 15, 1941

The Book of Death – January 15, 1942

Death’s Bright Finger – May 15, 1942

The Vampire Murders – September 1, 1942

The Black Dragon – March 1, 1943

Updates — and a Liberty Girl review!

Liberty Girl
Liberty Girl

Hello, my friends!

For those of you who enjoy the Shadow Fan’s Podcast series, you’ll be pleased to know that Episode 56 is now available for downloading. This week we talk about the news of a tv series based on The Avenger, review “Temple of Crime” (a great novel from 1941) and discuss the upcoming end of The Shadow/Green Hornet: Dark Nights series. Hopefully you’ll enjoy listening to me ramble for 20+ minutes about pulp’s greatest crime-fighter.

Liberty Girl received a nice review from Richard Vasseur over at Jazma Online Forum. Here’s what he had to say:

4 out of 5 stars Comments: “The Return” Adopted by Barry Reese and based upon the works of Dennis Mallonee. The story does build up the suspense as you are waiting to have her appear, to return.

A Colonel Jacqueline is attacked by a demonic Nazi stormtrooper, a Daemon Kreuz. This unstoppable creature is pure evil. As Liberty Girl appears and kicks the demon’s butt, you will laugh out loud. You will feel pride and be inspired. Liberty Girl is back.

A proof reader was needed on this book or a better one. There are spelling and grammar errors.

Elena, Liberty Girl as her name is mentioned, the way this story is written it is impossible to not feel awe at her. She may be fifty years out of time but she still knows what she is doing.

The only one who has any doubt in Elena is Elena. Everyone else believes in her.

Liberty Girl does have some interesting foes to face. Zapper a man in an electrical suit haunted by a ghost, also a djinn.

This story ends but it is more of a beginning. Liberty Girl is just starting out again. She is here to stay and the rest of the world better watch out.

“The Devil’s Daughter” By Barry Reese and based upon the works of Dennis Mallonee. Jamie Swanson attends a private black mass party. Jamie is the devil’s daughter and she is now as evil as he. As the Devil’s Daughter engages the Liberty Girl it is a battle between the forces of evil and good. The Devil vs God through these two females. Liberty Girl shines here as she shows just how strong she is and how purely good.

This is a short back up story that is well written and filled with excitement. Liberty Girl is a thrilling woman who inspires all those around her.

Thanks for the kind words, Richard! Sorry you had a problem with the editing with the book — I know that no less than six people looked over the book before publication, on both the Pro Se and Heroic sides. I’m glad that you mentioned Elena’s ability to inspire others as I think that’s really her greatest power — far more important than being able to fly or deflect bullets.

I’ll be back tomorrow, possibly with some exciting news! Stay Tuned!

Lots o’ Stuff

lg01_lazarus_solo_with_text_smallWelcome back to Ye Olde Blog!

Sometime in the next 24-48 hours, the new Pro Se Press edition of Rabbit Heart should go live. The cover is by Jason Levesque and the graphic design on the book is by the amazing Sean Ali. When I wrote this book back in 2010, it was meant to exorcise some demons I had rattling around in my soul but along the way, it became something more. It’s not only the most person of my works but I’ve found that in the eyes of many, it’s my best. I’m not sure I’d say that myself as I’m very proud of my various pulp adventure novels and I think The Damned Thing is a Damned Fine Novel but I can understand why Rabbit Heart resonates as it does with a segment of the audience. It’s violent, it’s nasty, it’s filthy, it’s full of degradation… but I also think people recognize a certain Truth to the story and its characters. If you’ve never read it before, I hope you’ll give it a shot… and if you have read it before, this one will be completely reformatted and edited so the experience of enjoying it again should be all the better.

For folks who enjoy The Shadow Fan’s Podcast, I’m aiming to record an episode on Friday of this week. I’m currently reading a really, really good Shadow novel and I plan to review it on the next podcast.

I continue to work hard on the newest Lazarus Gray story. This one is the third short I’m planning for the fifth volume of the series. Book one contained multiple short stories but with books 2-4 I did two novellas in each one, all of which eventually formed a grand story that spans all three books. The fifth volume will contain five short stories as I sort-of return to the way the first book was laid out. I say “sort-of” because this one has elements introduced in the first story that pop up again in later ones, until they take center stage in the last tale. So it’s five separate stories, all tied together by a steadily growing subplot.

Anyway, once I’m finished with this current story, I’ll be working on a Sherlock Holmes novella for Pro Se… then I have several things waiting for me on the other side of Holmes: completing the last two Lazarus stories for Volume Five; Working on a Phantom Detective project; and writing the big crossover novel that will bring together Gravedigger, Lazarus Gray and The Rook.

I either need more time in the day or a clone of myself to get  it all done…

This Saturday will see the Georgia Literary Festival take place in Milledgeville, Georgia. I’ve been co-chairing the Planning Committee for what feels like the last ten years so I’m anxious to have it over and done with. I will enjoy seeing some of my New Pulp buddies at the event but I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to hang out with them since I’ll be running around all day, frantic and worried about this or that. Give me strength!

I hope to get the colored Chris Batista cover from Tom Smith soon — Batista did an amazing job on the crossover book’s cover & I’ll definitely share when I’ve gotten the finished piece.

Our art today is by George Sellas!

The Cover to Satan’s Circus… Revealed!

lg4_cover_final_paint_smallWelcome back to Ye Olde Blog!

Today I’m proud to share with you the cover to Lazarus Gray Volume Four, which should be coming your way in early 2014! The art is by my friend and collaborator, George Sellas! I really love it… it shows off Abigail Cross, who went missing at the end of Volume Three. Looming in the background is one of my all-time favorite villains, Doctor Satan. Let me know what you think of this image — I think it will be really eye-catching on the printed book.

All the story and art files for Volume Four have been turned over to my publisher so it’s just a matter of it being slotted into their schedule and formatted for release (including editing). I can’t wait for you to guys to read it as it ties together things that ran through Volumes Two and Three! When it’s all said and done, you’ll see that it was all one big story… And the title to volume four? The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Four: Satan’s Circus.

Work continues on the current Lazarus Gray story, which is simply kicking all kinds of ass. I’m really enjoying it. I’ve gotten into a nice groove with Lazarus where even the uneven stories are still damned fun — and this one is firing on all cylinders. I should finish it sometime next week, which means I have to switch gears and start doing prep work on the Sherlock Holmes thing I’m writing. Wish me luck on that one — I’ve used Holmes before in a supporting role (see The Rook Volume Five) but it will be quite different doing a full novella. Thankfully I’m not supposed to ape Doyle’s writing style… I’m just doing a Barry Reese story with the characters. Obviously, I typically insert supernatural elements into my stories but I promise that Holmes won’t be facing Cthulhu… though that could be damned cool. Several of my non-supernatural stories that I’ve written have simply not seen print — hello, Box Thirteen and Johnny Dollar, for instance. Hopefully you’ll get to enjoy those soon.

I uploaded Episode 55 of The Shadow Fan’s Podcast this morning. I offer up reviews of The Shadow # 18 and The Shadow/Green Hornet: Dark Nights # 4, both published by Dynamite Entertainment. There are lots of great Shadow comics out right now… but there are also a few that are not-so-good. I’ll leave you to the episode to figure out which I think these two are.

I think I’ve started to give up hope on acquiring the license I was seeking. I pitched to someone pretty major, hoping to snag one of the smaller but still significant characters in their catalog. Unfortunately, it looks like it’s gone quiet on their end. In similar news, I submitted a writing inquiry to someone else that already has a license I’m interested in but no response there, either.

Oh, well. It’s really their loss!

In future release news – Rabbit Heart, Tales of The Rook Volume Two and The Rook Volume Three Special Edition are all in various stages of production. I’m sorry we missed the Halloween release date for the new edition of Rabbit Heart, but now you can get a bloody Christmas present instead.

Take care, folks!

Humpday Happenings

lo-res_coverWelcome back to Ye Olde Blog!

Reaction to the return of the New Pulp Bestsellers List has been very gratifying. I’m glad people enjoy seeing this little peek into the New Pulp world — I do wish there was some way of creating an even more accurate list but I’ll be damned if I can think of one. On a personal note, I was very pleased to see Liberty Girl debut at # 3 on said list. It was a fun project and I wouldn’t mind having the chance to adapt works into other mediums in the future.

Anyway, I’m working away on the third Lazarus Gray story that will run in The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Five. So far, it’s been a lot of fun — just wrote a great action scene that was (if I do say so myself) really exciting! This fifth volume will consist of five short stories with subplots that run throughout… so this one tips us towards the second half of the overall story that makes up this book.

Books 2-4 were really one huge story so I wanted to break it down and do something that would hopefully be just exciting but smaller in scope. After all the globetrotting we saw in the three previous volumes, most of this action will be set in Sovereign, though there will be short jaunts to other locales.

Once I’m finished with the latest Lazarus story, I need to start work on my Sherlock Holmes novella for Pro Se. Before I begin writing, I’ll re-read some of the Arthur Conan Doyle originals. I know — it’s a rough gig, right? “I have to do some research, honey!”

Uploaded episode 54 of The Shadow Fan’s Podcast yesterday so be sure to check that out if you’re a fan of pulp’s greatest crimefighter.

Our artwork today is a production sketch of the cover that will run on Lazarus Gray’s fourth volume. This is not the finished artwork but man, isn’t it gorgeous?! I really, really like it. We get to see a darker Abby Cross than we’ve ever seen before… with a greater evil looming behind her. I really dig it and can’t wait to see George Sellas’ finished version. If this doesn’t make you excited about the upcoming book, I’ll be shocked! Satan’s Circus will really knock your socks off as it reveals all kinds of things that you may have missed in the second and third books!

Back in Sovereign

lg09_eun_jiwon_smallSo with my Pulse Fiction story in the rear-view mirror, I was able to start work on the third story in Lazarus Gray Volume Five. Feels really good to be back on the mean streets of Sovereign City. I enjoy doing work-for-hire from time to time as it forces me out of my comfort zone and introduces me to new readers but I feel much more comfortable when I’m in total control of the product, from plot to characters. Working with other people’s creations forces you to be creative within their constraints but it’s nice to be able to decide if someone should die, switch allegiances, etc.

Heard from George Sellas last night — he’s about ready to show me some sketches for the cover to Lazarus Gray Volume Four. Can’t wait to see them! George has really defined the looks of so many parts of my universe and it’s a joy to see everything new that comes from him.

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing an Assistance Unlimited anthology, where I’d contribute one story featuring the team without their leader for an adventure. Then I’d let other writers do solo stories for the other members of the group — one would do a Samantha Grace tale, another Morgan Watts and so on. Maybe even slip in an Eidolon or Abigail Cross story, too. Would you folks have any interest in that? Or do you think these characters work best in conjunction with Lazarus?

Got a lot of positive feedback about my most recent episode of The Shadow Fan’s Podcast. I appreciate all the kind words and wish I had managed to find more upbeat things to talk about on the show. Still, I have to be honest.

I think I may have the galleys to the new Rabbit Heart edition soon and I’m excited about having that one back in print. Because it’s set in the area where I live, it’s always very popular when I do book signings around here. Plus, once I start telling people how filthy it is, it has the effect of making them all very excited to read it! It is one of the works that I’m proudest of so having a new edition will be great — and, yes, Jason Levesque’s wonderful cover will still adorn the book.

I have several exciting things that I wish I could announce… one related to The Claws of The Rook and another to a work-for-hire project.

Alas, the time is not yet right to share them!

Take Care!

Wednesday Updates

20121228-083913.jpgWelcome back, my friends!

Several things to share with you today — first off, I uploaded the 53rd episode of The Shadow Fan’s Podcast this morning. I’m afraid I go a bit negative in the direction of The Shadow Now # 1. It genuinely pains me to do it because I really want every Shadow comic and product to be the very best. As a fan, it’s in my best interest to see these things succeed. Having said that, this… was disappointing.

In better news, I finally (!) finished my Pulse Fiction story last night. Yep, I sent in the exciting tale of Doctor Darkness and The Insanitors to my editor and now I’m wiping my hands of it. The characters are fun and I hope they have a long life ahead of them but I really struggled with the story for some reason. Still, I think it works and hopefully folks who read it will be interested in the characters and they’ll continue on in other people’s hands.

So what’s next for me? Well, I’d like to belt out the third short story for Lazarus Gray Volume Five. I may lay some seeds in that one that will bear fruit in the crossover novel that’s coming down the road. That one will pair Lazarus Gray, The Rook & Gravedigger for the first time… and feature a heavy dose of my old character Catalyst, as well. “But wait,” says the one person who has dutifully studied my universe’s timeline, “Catalyst isn’t introduced until 1942! Gravedigger and Lazarus Gray are both back in 1937 right now… Are you skipping a few years?” No. If you read Catalyst’s introduction, you’ll know that there were Catalysts who preceded Nathaniel Caine… I’m pretty much spelling it out for you, right?

I’m expecting to get the color cover back from Tom Smith in a few days – Tom is a legendary colorist and I’m expecting to be amazed at what he does over Chris Batista’s artwork. I only hope my story will match the dazzling cover!

After I finish off that third Lazarus Gray story, I’ll be moving on to the next work-for-hire thing I have to do: the Sherlock Holmes novella I owe Pro Se Productions. As I’ve said before, this will be written in my style but featuring Holmes & Watson. I am not doing a pastiche.

The Liberty Girl book is coming very soon, as is the new Rabbit Heart release. I hope you’re excited about both!

Tuesday Teases

revengeWelcome back to Ye Olde Blog!

I definitely want to thank I.A. Watson for yesterday’s guest blog — I thought it was a pretty cool essay on the history of pulp covers, taking into account the way society has changed over the years. Good stuff. I’ve been very happy with both of the guest blogs we’ve run and I hope to do more in the future. I don’t want to overdo it, of course… spacing them out will make them a bit more special, I believe.

Got some AMAZING news about the Liberty Girl book yesterday. You can’t believe how much I want to share it with all of you… but I can’t. Tommy Hancock warned me of dire consequences if I revealed it too soon. Suffice to say, it’s really awesome and some of you will have your jaws hit the floor when you hear it. I know mine did! While I haven’t gotten exceedingly rich doing this, I have had a lot of my childhood dreams come true… from getting to work with people like Will Meugniot to having my characters appear on posters and toys… it’s been an amazing, thrilling ride. I honestly don’t think I deserve it — but I’ll certainly take it! This news is that kind of thing… it just boggles my little fanboy mind.

Anyway, I”m still working on this Pulse Fiction story. I’m about 3,000 words away from the end and it can’t come quickly enough. Fun characters, fun plot, but I’ve struggled with every word. You guys know how fast I usually write but these 10,000 words have moved like molasses. Anyone want to finish off this story for me? LOL

I’m expecting to get the edits back on the new edition of Rabbit Heart any day  now. Hopefully I can go through those and knock it out, allowing Pro Se to move into production. Liberty Girl and Tales of The Rook Volume Two are both in the works, as well, so you might get a bunch of Reese Unlimited stuff in time for the holiday shopping season!

Oh, and for you Shadow fans out there — The Shadow Fan’s Podcast Episode 52 was just released and is ready for downloading. This week I gush about the announcement of a Shadow vs. Grendel series before reviewing an old radio episode and a 1943 novel pitting The Shadow against The Black Dragon. Good times.

 

Random Bits of Nonsense

RU Proof r1Welcome back to Ye Olde Blog!

Had a busy weekend at my day job as we did our big fundraiser for the year — ended up netting the second-highest total in the event’s 33-year history so that was nice.  I took the next couple of days off but now I’m back in the swing of things!

The Shadow’s Fan Podcast Episode 51 was uploaded this morning. This week I review a 1939 novel (“The Death Ship”) and The Shadow 2013 Annual from Dynamite Entertainment. It’s hard to follow up on the Michael Uslan interview we aired in our 50th episode but hopefully you Shadow fans will enjoy it nonetheless!

I’m really hoping to finish this Pulse Fiction story for Pro Se this week. It’s had its fun moments but I’m ready to move on and do something else. My hope is that folks who read it will enjoy it enough to want to see more stories with these characters, whether or not they come from me. It’s work-for-hire so there’s no guarantee I’d be involved in their later adventures, which is fine. I just want to do a good enough job to inspire more!

Been jamming out to Haim’s debut album “Days Are Gone.” Great stuff and heartily recommended.

Got a new contract from Pro Se, which would extend the licensing deal I have with them for The Rook and associated characters for another two years. I haven’t signed it yet but I probably will some time today. I had one person say I should shop around and see if I could get a bidding war going for my stuff but that’s not my style. Plus, I’m still waiting to get all my stuff back in print after leaving Wild Cat Books. Doesn’t make sense to leave before all of that is done — besides, it’s not like there’s anybody out there who would treat me better! Pro Se has given me more promotion than most New Pulp publishers do by a long shot and I have the freedom to pursue my own desires for the most part, which counts for a lot. So it looks like Reese Unlimited will live on for a few more years. Everybody say “woot!”

Woot!

This Saturday I’ll be at the Crossroads Writer’s Conference. My workshop that I’m leading will be at 11:30 and if you haven’t registered yet, you can still do so! Here’s how they describe my panel:

Making The Most Out of Murder and Mayhem – Barry Reese

The heyday of the bloody pulps might have been the Thirties and Forties but the movement has gained new legs in recent years with the rise of New Pulp. What is it and why might it be the salvation for small press writers? Award-winning New Pulp author Barry Reese will take you through the ins and outs of the New Pulp world, including where and how you can become a part of it.

Yeah. I’ll be talking about murder and mayhem. Who could have guessed?

I’ll be back tomorrow with more pulpy goodness.

Friday Fun

lg04_walther_lunt_smallHello Everyone!

Earlier today I uploaded the 50th episode of The Shadow Fan’s Podcast. I interview legendary writer/producer Michael Uslan on this one and it was a great time. I really enjoyed talking to him and I think that even if you’re not a fan of The Shadow, you’ll find something to enjoy — he talks about producing the Batman movies, writing the current Shadow/Green Hornet series for Dynamite and even gets into the nitty-gritty about what his favorite Shadow novels and characters are. I hope you’ll give it a listen!

The past few days have seen this site getting a lot more hits than usual. Not sure what’s driving the increased traffic but I appreciate the folks who come back every day to read my ramblings. Thanks so much for supporting this site.

Also, thanks to everyone who has checked out my Kindle Worlds story featuring Valiant’s Shadowman character. It’s currently # 3 in Kindle World’s Action/Adventure category, as of 9 am EST! It’s called Shadowman: The Red Sash and I hope that folks who are fans of Shadowman or just my own writing will enjoy it.

Currently working on my Pulse Fiction story for Pro Se and I’m having a ball with it so far. These characters were given to me in pretty broad form so I’m getting to do a lot in the way of defining them and they’re definitely the kind of characters I would have created on my own, which makes the process easier and far more fun.

My guest blogger is still working on his post but I hope to be able to run it sometime soon. I think people will really find it interesting. I know I keep teasing it but it will be worth it, I assure you.

Our art today is of the evil Walther Lunt, one of Lazarus Gray’s arch-foes. It’s by the amazingly talented George Sellas.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!