Updates! Yes, It’s Updates!

gravedigger_small_colorHello, my friends! I’ve been working away on the crossover novel recently and have added a few thousand words to it. I still think it’s about 20,000 words shy of being complete but I’m 2/3 of the way through the book and hopefully you guys will enjoy it when it finally hits. Pairing Gravedigger, Lazarus Gray, The Peregrine and quite a few of my other pulp adventure characters, it’s jam-packed with action and drama.

And death! Oooh…

I also approved the new cover for the upcoming Pro Se edition of The Damned Thing. This occult-tinged homage to The Maltese Falcon was originally published by Wild Cat Books and introduces the lovely but dangerous Violet Cambridge to my little universe. I think it’s one of the best things I ever wrote, with a very tight plot and some genuine surprises. If you’ve never read it, I hope you’ll check out the new edition.

Several new episodes of Ubergeeks have been recorded and released recently – this is a podcast I record with my wife and we generally chat about all sorts of geeky topics. Check it out!

I continue to post two blog entries a week on the Ultraverse Network. I’m the resident “Strangers” guy so you get reviews and commentary on that series from me. If you’re a fan of this beloved comics universe, I hope you’ll give it a try. It features not only blog posts but also a whole series of podcasts.

Keep in mind that Gravedigger Volume Two, Lazarus Gray Volume Five and the new editions of Max Davies’ adventures as The Peregrine are all on the way — so stay tuned! The pulp goodness will continue to be delivered.

Our art today is by George Sellas and is his original design for Charity Grace, aka Gravedigger!

New Things

rook_v4_phantom_vessel_smallWelcome back to Ye Olde Blog! Lots of stuff has been going on lately — I’ve gotten in the cover and interior art for The Rook Volume Four Special Edition from the amazing George Sellas (you’re looking at a preview of one of the images to the left), been going through the edits on Lazarus Gray Volume Five, adding a few words here and there to the first Dark Gentleman short, joining up with a bunch of great guys to form The Ultraverse Podcast group and recording new episodes of Ubergeeks, In the Stacks & The Shadow Fan’s Podcast!

I’m still not finding much time to do new writing but I am flexing the creative muscles in other ways, as you can see.

The George Sellas image we’re using today is from the story The Phantom Vessel and I think it’s one of the best George has done — and that’s saying something!


The Times They Are A-Changin’

mellisa_clarke_dark_eyesI informed Ron Hanna of Wild Cat Books today that I wanted him to remove The Damned Thing, Rabbit Heart and Guan-Yin and the Horrors of Skull Island from print. I’ve always been really proud of The Damned Thing & Rabbit Heart but the edits on both books have always been a bit rough and I’m going to be making sure they get a thorough scrubbing before I re-release them. I do plan to keep the cover artwork from the amazing Jason Levesque and he’s given me permission to continue the use of the art in the new editions.The main characters of those two books — Violet Cambridge and Fiona Chapman — are two of my favorite creations and I’m proud to say that the people who have managed to make their way through the books seem to agree that they’re amongst my best works.

As for Guan-Yin, I have no plans to return that one to print — it was always the least popular of my works, garnering some pretty terrible reviews over the years. To be honest, I don’t they were entirely unwarranted, either. So Guan-Yin will probably be gathering dust for the time being. I do hope, however, to put Rabbit Heart & The Damned Thing on the fast-track to publication. I’m not sure if these will be out again in print or if I’ll go with eBook only. I’m also not sure if they will appear via my Reese Unlimited imprint or if I’ll self-publish them, which is something that Mat Nastos keeps urging me to do, lol. really don’t want to get into self-publishing but once these things are edited, I want them back out there for sale ASAP and I’m not sure I want to wait for the Pro Se publication schedule to open up for that to happen.

This does mean if you don’t want to wait for the new editions and you want to get those books on the cheap, you better buy them right this second. They’ll be joining most of The Rook series as out-of-print soon, which means online vendors will be selling them for hundreds of dollars.

Or you could always buy them straight from me, courtesy of the Merchandise link at the top of the blog.

Moving on!

A new episode of Ubergeeks (# 45) went live today — check it out! Cari & I hit up the Orson Scott Card controversy and discuss our Top 5 Movie Quotes.

I was the guest on this week’s edition of Ralph’s Rants, where I was interviewed by the irrepressible Ralph Angelo. I think our discussion went pretty well so check it out!

From what I’ve heard, Gravedigger is still on track for a late March release — which means Lazarus Gray Volume 3 should be arriving in April. I really, really think you guys are going to like these books!

Our lovely model today is one of the primary visual inspirations I had for Charity Grace, aka Gravedigger. Dark & lovely… and very, very deadly. Gravedigger will feature a stunning cover by George Sellas and six interior pieces by legendary artist Will Meugniot!

Tarantino & The Art of Pulp

tarentinoWelcome back! First order of business is to let everyone know that Ubergeeks Episode 44 is now live – you can download it right now. If you’re subscribed, you can click on the Ubergeeks link at the top of this blog to figure out how to access it. This week, we spend a lot of time talking about FOX’s show The Following and its merits — plus its many faults.

If you’re not following me on Twitter, you’re missing out. I’ve been spewing most of my truly opinionated comments over there — so if you’re burning to know what I think about Stormalong Savage or the Wold Newton stuff or anything else pulp related, that’s where you can find it. My most recent tweets feed on this blog but the older stuff is accessible via Twitter itself.  Unlike my personal Facebook page, my Twitter account is pretty much writing-centric, with no updates about what cute stuff my little boy has been up to. It’s all pulp, writing, comics, etc. on Twitter for me.

Today I’m using an image of Quentin Tarantino to accompany this blog — mainly because I really like his films. He’s a very unique creator right now and even though he sometimes gives into his personal excesses, what artist doesn’t? My favorite Tarantino movies are: Django Unchained, Kill Bill, and Inglorious Basterds. I know, I know — where’s Pulp Fiction? I like PF but I don’t think it’s Quentin’s best work — not even close. It’s still good but if I want to break out a Quentin movie to re-watch, it’s usually Kill Bill though I think that Django will join that one in my go-to list of films to watch when I want to revisit an old favorite. I also have to confess to a bit of annoyance with PF because the title of that movie has meant that I’ve spent the better part of the past ten years telling civilians that my pulp writings have nothing to do with John Travolta or Samuel L. Jackson 🙂

What I love about Quentin’s movies is that you can easily see all the things he loves as a fan of the medium but he puts twists on them that make them feel unique to him. I find his films to be the perfect embodiment of the New Pulp movement because of that — he’s so obviously a fan of exploitation grind-house films and Asian cinema but he’s not just remaking those movies, he’s adding new elements that recognize the changes in film-making and society in general.

I try to do that with my own New Pulp writing — I want you to see my influences but I also want them to come through as ‘Barry Reese’ in some way. Hopefully I succeed more often than I fail — but I’m sure I give in to my personal excesses all too often.

Moving on, I’ll be recording a new episode of The Shadow Fan Podcast tomorrow — if you ever have a request for me to review or talk about something Shadow-related on the show, let me know!


Tuesday Nonsense

robert mcginnis. girl. 001Welcome to the Tuesday edition of Ye Olde Blog! A number of things are running through my mind this morning:

Heard the new David Bowie tune – “The Stars Are Out Tonight” – and really loved it. I’m a longtime Bowie fan and I’m thrilled to have him back, making wonderful music. I’m counting down the days to the album release!

Watched another episode of The Following last night, the Kevin Bacon series about a Poe-obsessed killer and his followers. It’s like a train wreck — I want to see how it ends but the amazing stupidity & incompetence of the FBI on this show continues to boggle my mind. Every episode, at least three things happen that leave me going “WTF?!!!” This is seriously some bizarre plotting with no real regard for common sense. And yet… I wanna see how they resolve this mess. I think my inner masochist is coming to the fore.

I should be recording a new episode of Ubergeeks tonight and there will be another The Shadow Fan coming on Thursday. I’m a podcasting fool. On The Shadow Fan, I’ll be talking about “The Shadow’s Rival,” a truly bizarre story from 1936.

I’m knocking on the door of 60,000 words on Lazarus Gray Volume Four. Featuring a whole host of characters who’ve popped up over the course of books 2-4, it really does put a nice little bow on the long-running storyline. Speaking of which, you should be able to read Volume Three very, very soon. I think you’ll enjoy it — but definitely keep in mind that the true end of that story won’t come until Volume Four!

Got some more cool artwork from George Sellas last night for The Rook Special Edition Volume Three — hopefully you’ll get Volume Two soon! We need to get these bad boys back into print!

Speaking of art, our accompanying piece today comes from the amazing Robert McGinnis, whose incredible covers caused me to buy lots of books that I never would have otherwise. Enjoy!

The Rotating Cast of Assistance Unlimited? Say What Now?

gorgeous-mellisa-clarkeWelcome to another day at ye olde blog. The big news for the morning is that a new episode of Ubergeeks has been uploaded so if you enjoy hearing Cari & I talk about every geeky topic under the sun, you’re in luck. This is our 43rd episode so we’re slowly making our way towards the big 5-0. Maybe we’ll do something special for that one.

Made good headway on Lazarus Gray Volume Four yesterday. I’m now approaching 54,000 words on the book and I think I’ve got a real firm grasp on where the story is going to go from here, though the very, very end could go in a couple of different ways. I’m not sure if I want a relatively happy ending or a downer ending, lol. A similar thing happened with Volume Two, when I came *this* close to killing Morgan Watts & crippling Eun Jiwon. My plan was to remove two members from the active team and replace them with Jakob and Abby. In the end, I decided that I didn’t want to shake up Assistance Unlimited quite so much, so the team simply expanded. If I had stuck to my guns, it would have led to the group being more like a ‘suicide squad’ of sorts where the reader never knew who was going to make it out of each adventure alive and I’d be shuffling in new people on a regular basis. I really like the family aspect of the series, though, and decided that I wanted to grow old with Samantha, Eun & Morgan… so I made the creative decision to avoid killing them. You can let me know if you think it was a good one — especially after you see what happens to the newly expanded crew in Volume Three!

I’ll be recording a new episode of The Shadow Fan tomorrow and while I’m still deciding what all I’m going to cover, I do know I’ll be reviewing The Gray Ghost, a classic novel involving an apparently-supernatural foe. If you have any novels or comics that you’d like to hear me discuss, drop me a line and I’ll add them to the queue.

Some folks have asked how I choose the images that go with each blog entry. Well, sometimes it’s obvious (I would think) — when I’m talking about a specific book or character, I’ll use an image that is appropriate. Sometimes I just choose something that’s thematically linked — my Monday post felt kind of contentious to me, so I used an image of pop star Robbie Williams in a fighting pose. And some days, I just use a picture that I like — such as today. Our model here looks a bit thoughtful and maybe somewhere in between melancholy and inviting… which is pretty much my mood at the moment.

All of that is a long way of saying that I use pictures that A. I like and B. feel emotionally appropriate to me at the time. Plus, if it’s a pretty girl, there’s nothing wrong with that! 😉

Sunday Talk

bubbleJust got a few things to share today — and then I’ll be off to begin preparing for the Super Bowl. Though I’m primarily a Falcons fan, I’ll definitely be watching and hoping for a great game. I’m pulling for the Ravens!

I’m currently reading a couple of Shadow novels — the first two books that brought Margo Lane into the pulp series. She’d been on the radio since ’37, of course, but it wasn’t until 1942 that Walter Gibson was directed to write her into the novels. I’ve always had mixed feelings about Margo. Like a lot of Shadow fans, I kind of resent the way she’s elbowed her way into being The Shadow’s primary aide. As a result, we hardly ever see Harry Vincent, Burbank, Shrevvy, etc. and that’s a real shame. On the other hand, The Shadow stories can be a real sausage-fest at times so having the lovely Miss Lane around isn’t a bad thing. She’s quite capable and entertaining, as well, so it’s not like she doesn’t have skills.

On the writing side of things, still working on Lazarus Gray Volume Four. I’m probably going to call this one “Leviathan Rising,” since that’s the title of the 38,000 word story that kicks off the volume.

Our first submission for Tales of The Rook Volume Two has come in! Congrats to Russ Anderson for winning this distinguished prize 😉

In case I haven’t mentioned it before, the Georgia Literary Festival will be in my hometown of Milledgeville, Georgia this year — so on the weekend of November 9, 2013, there will be a lot of familiar faces to New Pulp fans in the area: Bobby Nash, James Palmer, Van Plexico, Andrea Judy and Sean Taylor are all going to be there with me so make plans to be there!

Wednesday Ramblings

mellisa_clark_unmaskedThings continue to hop along for the Reese Unlimited imprint, as we gear up for for several months’ worth of new releases soon. I had a nice email conversation with George Sellas yesterday, catching up with what the future schedule looks like. George has been so essential in defining the looks of Gravedigger, Lazarus Gray and The Rook… combined with the design work of Sean Ali and the entire imprint has been very solid in appearance.

I’m closing in on 47,000 words on Lazarus Gray Volume Four and it’s going swimmingly. Once I’m done with that, I need to start really looking at the Sherlock Holmes digest I’m supposed to write for Pro Se. I also need to decide if I want to start on Gravedigger 2 soon or maybe even do something totally unrelated to my little pulp universe. Suggestions or requests are welcome.

Haven’t heard any feedback about the Liberty Girl book from the Heroic Publishing side of things. I know that Pro Se likes it so if Heroic does, too, then we’re good to go. If they don’t… might be more rewrites at some point. I’m hoping for the former.

On the podcasting front, episode 42 of Ubergeeks went live the other day and episode 16 of The Shadow Fan was uploaded today. So get your downloads going! I got a little opinionated on this week’s Shadow Fan – probably more than I should have done. But I am passionate about The Shadow and couldn’t help myself.

Continuing my slow immersion into Judge Dredd — I’m about to read the entire Necropolis storyline, which I’m really excited about. I’ll let you guys know how it turns out!

Stay tuned for an announcement in the next day or two concerning the New Pulp Best Seller List.

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!


Thursday Updates!

I’ve been a podcasting fool the past few days, as a new episode of Ubergeeks (# 37) was released last  night and The Shadow Fan (# 8) was released this morning. Both shows are doing well, with only  a little bit of listener crossover. For the most part, fans of one aren’t really fans of the other, which is more than fine — they’re designed for difference audiences, after all!

I’d like to thank everyone for supporting this website, by the way — with a couple of days left in the month, we’ve already set an all-time high for hits! When I first started this blog, I was thrilled if I got twenty hits in one day. Now, if I only got twenty hits in one day, I’d wonder if the site had gone down — I get that many hits in an hour now! As with the podcasts, I get interest from a wide variety of visitors — the Marvel Heroic RPG writeups I’ve done in the past get many visits every day (especially Fu Manchu, for some reason), several people come here looking for New Pulp best seller listings and, of course, there’s that strange breed that comes here because they want to read what I have to say!

Today I’m starting work on a licensed project that involves me taking a previously published graphic novel and converting it into a prose novel. That’s a first for me but there should be plenty of room for me to inject new ideas and character bits. Wish me well. It’ll either turn out to be an awesome experience or I’m going to go mad. Or both!