Sunday, August 09, 2009

Recent Issues for Aug 9th, 2009

Two weeks in a row...?

I know, I know, but I guess I have the bug to bang away at the keyboard despite not having much to say or much of anything going on (except the move to new digs).

This week I just have a couple of Recent Issues:

Recently I re- discovered the Hard Case Crime line of books thanks to an article in the back of Ed Brubaker's comic CRIMINAL. (More on that in another post soon)

For those of you that don't know about Hard Case Crime, they publish mass market paperbacks in the crime, adventure, and pulp categories. Some of them are original and some of them are classics, long out of print by such names as Westlake, Bloch, and others.

I had seen these books on the shelf before in my local grocery store of all places but never really bought any of them until recently. Of course, when I went back to the grocery store to look for some of the newer ones, I discovered they no longer carry them.

What makes these paperbacks so cool and what drew my eye to them in the first place is all the cover art. 99% of the books have classic looking cover art that makes them look like the paperbacks from the 50s and 60s. Great paintings by great artists. (Maybe in a future post I'll share some of my favs.)

Two of the books I've read recently are Slide and The Max, both by the team of Ken Bruen and Jason Star. What I didn't realize right away is there's a first novel, Bust, that I missed and need to go back and find.
The books follow a business man by the name of Max Fisher and a woman named Angela Petrakos as their lives intersect and intertwine over and over no matter how much they hate each other.
The language is raw, the situations are bizarre and the number of people that die around these two while they escape unscathed is incredible.
Even though I missed that first book, I was very easily able to understand what brought these two characters together and the events that lead to their individual situations as Slide began.
Both are fast reads and I can see these books as movies in the same vein as Get Shorty or Fight Club. Visually cool with some style and flair.

Wednesday Comics from DC is a really cool idea.
They took a mix of some of their more popular characters like Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern, added a few lesser known characters like Metamorpho, Deadman, Kamandi, and The Demon, gave them to some of the best known creators like Neil Gaiman, Walt Simonson, Kurt Busiek, Brian Azzello, and printed them on large 20x28 newsprint stock for the look and feel of a traditional Sunday Comics page.
I remember hounding my parents for the comics on Sunday morning and even getting up early and tearing the paper apart to get them before they woke up and I had to beg.
It's a very cool idea and I'm glad DC took the chance on a project like this.
There have been some ups and downs on the production side of things. Most of the issues my shop gets each week are creased in the center when folded at the press and the color on some of the strips isn't as crisp or clear as it is on others. Aside from that, this sixteen week series is nothing but fun.
Of the features that run in Wednesday Comics my favs so far are :
Batman, Deadman, Kamandi, and Sgt Rock. These four have been the most solid, week in and week out. Beautiful art and some cool story elements.
My underdog strip is Catwoman and the Demon. Putting these two characters together is a concept that makes amazing sense and has never been done until now as far as I know. Simonson and Stelfreeze are both great creators and even though the first few pages haven't shown much, I really hope this jumps out to the front by the time it ends.
The only strip I really don't read is Wonder Woman. Beautifully illustrated but cramped, crowded with as many as 65 panels per page (some monthly 22 page comics don't have 65 panels in the whole book) it's just dense and difficult to read. This is also one of the strips that's suffered from the coloring process.
And there you have it.... I'm off to do some more work on the new place. If by some strange reason you come across my blog here, feel free to post a thought or comment. I get lonely...

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Nope... this has nothing to do with the DC Comics event where they jumped all their books one year forward in time. This is me remembering I have one of these silly Blog things on-line that I never write in and going back to it almost a year after my last post.


I could tell you I've been busy, which isn't a lie but it's not exactly the truth either. Lazy? It sounds more reasonable, doesn't it? If you know me you might think so. Nothing to say? Well, yes and no.

I created this Blog many moons ago to help push my creation, The Last Paladin, onto the web and see if it would generate a little spark in the comic book universe. It didn't. I wrote a few stories and had them published in Digital Webbing Presents (Thanks to Ed Dukeshire for whom I'll always owe a debt of gratitude if not a case of his favorite beer) but my artists all found better paying gigs and now they're working for Marvel and DC and the Last Paladin has faded into comic book obscurity.

I've tried to revive him on more than one occasion but was just never able to find the right artist, or an artist who would stick around longer than a few character sketches. That's the biz though. Maybe someday he'll return. I still have a lot of ideas and stories to tell and I even started turning his origin into a movie script.

Oh yeah.... I wrote one of those too. I turned my original comic, Slight of Hand, into an original screenplay and thanks to my good friend, Chris Freeman it's actually in Hollywood in the hands of a producer. Keeping my fingers crossed on that one. And no lip about the title..... when you read the script or see the movie, you'll understand...

In the meantime, what's been going on in my missing year?

I've written a couple of issues of Iron Sirens. #4 came out late last year and #5 just came out a few weeks ago. #6 is in the hands of an artist and #7 will be written in the next few weeks.

I started The Last paladin as a screenplay. It's about a third of the way finished. I need to get off my ass and go back to it but...

I'm also working on several small concepts that may or may not become pilots for a cable network company. I don't want to say too much about it here because I need to sit down in the next couple of weeks and have a brainstorming session with Chris to see what shakes out.

I should be working on ECLIPSE, a new horror comic I brainstormed with my good friend and artist Dan Campos. I got Dan really psyched on this crazy ass idea and then haven't given him very much in the way of a script to work on. It's my own damn fault and if I knew what was good for me I'd be working on that instead of this thing.

I'm also working on a concept called The Sisterhood of Steel for with my good friend Uko Smith. We've hardly started it and it's already gotten some attention on-line. More on that one later too.

And damn it if I didn't just buy a condo. Yup, I grew up and decided to take advantage of a bad housing market and Obama's free $8000 for first time home buyers and bought a condo about a block away from the gym I belong too. There go all my excuses. Bad enough there's a McDonalds right across the street from me now, too. It's like an angel on one shoulder and the devil on another. "Sure... go ahead... drink that chocolate shake... you did 30 minutes on the tread mill today..... it'll even out... Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha!"


So does that seem like it would fill a year? I didn't think so either. But there you have it. That's everything I think might be wroth documenting in this electronic journal.

I'd like to come back and at the very least post a few times a month. Daily isn't going to happen, that's for damn sure. Once a week sounds good for now. I may even revive my Recent Issues posts where I review comics and magazines and a few other things that I enjoy and have an opinion on.

All right. Time for me to head to the new house and get to work. I got walls to paint and cabinet doors to put on, a faucet to swap out and electrical work I shouldn't even think about attempting to do on my own.

Those of you that remember the dryer incident from two years ago will know why....

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Almost forgot...........

Here's a sneak peak at the finished pencils from the first page of Iron Sirens #4, currently in production.

Art is by the stellar Pow Rodrix. I had the pleasure of working with Pow once before, long ago, on a book that never did see the light of day. He's come leaps and bounds and I'm glad to have him a part of the crew on this issue.


A Crisis of What to Write

Found this picture on the Internet last week while searching for something else and it gave me a laugh so I thought I would post it up.

Those of you that read comics will get it and may laugh along with me. Others will look at it, make that face they usually make when an old person blocks an entire aisle in Wal-Mart while they try to decide which brand of dried prunes to buy to put in their compot. Most of you will be the latter.

This is the fourth or fifth time I've tried to turn this whole thing into an interesting blog post but I'm just not feeling it this week.

There are some things Id love to share but don't think it's prudent at this time so I'll wait until the projects I speak of are more solid in nature. I will how ever share this....

CRISIS on INFINITE EARTHS #12 from DC Comics. The final issue in the series. This was the first comic I ever bought with my own hard earned money and it blew my little mind to bits. All the superheroes of various earths and universes fought a giant evil and some of the heroes... DIED. Here I am, eleven years old and for the first time I have seen that superheroes can die. I read and re-read this book over and over till I'm pretty sure the cover fell off. and that cover. I would stare at that cover and I couldn't rest until I knew who each and every one of those heroes on the front were.

So... with that out of my system... I think I'm going to make an attempt to actually work on something worthwhile this afternoon and see where it takes me. If not, I can always pull this issue from my collection (I think I own it in four different formats now) and read.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Reading, and not writing.

For some reason I just haven't been able to focus on writing the past several weeks. I need to bust my ass and finish my movie script but the Muse just hasn't been there for me.

So, in lieu of writing, I've been reading a little more than normal (Because my girlfriend insists on watching Big Brother for some unknown reason).

Here's some of what I've been digging into...

The Question: The Five Books of Blood by Greg Rucka, various artists, and DC Comics. This is a very cool book and I'd love to recomend it to everyone who likes Crime and Dark Horror comics but sadly, it's very steeped in DC mythology so if you don't know the character or situation going in, you'll get lost easily.

For those of you that want to know how much history, you would have to read the complete run of Gotham Central followed by the Montoya chapters of 52. That's a lot of comic book reading.

For those that want to jump in anyways, it deals with the new Question being sucked into the dangerous world of the Crime Bible and the various cult's that use it as the cornerstone of their faith.

Jack Kirby's OMAC from DC Comics.

I'm in the middle of this one right now and it's a pretty cool book for something that was done over 30 years ago. Originaly the concept for a Captain America of the future, Jack Kirby busted it out, amde a few changes, and made it part of his "World That's Coming" saga.

If you remember comics as being crazy, four color, fun, full of action, then this is a book you'll enjoy. Plus you get all the amazing Kirby art (which I'm just now begining to truly appreciate in my old age)

Finaly, there's The Host by Stephanie Meyer.

I have a very good friend who likes her other work of Vampire novels that I just can't get into. This book is more of a sci-fi twist with an alien invasion and the take over of the human race. One site I saw claims it's sci-fi for people who don't like sci-fi.

That can be good or bad. We'll see... I haven't started it yet but it is next on my pile of stuff to read (unless something so truly compelling bumps it out of the top spot before I pick this up to start it). Once I'm done I'll let everyone know what I think of it...

And that's it for this week... Tommorw I try to work on the movie script... seriously.. I will.. I mean it... really...

Write write write

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Button Man

For the past several years I've become more and more interested in crime fiction. My father always read these kinds of novels and stories while I was always reading superheroes but slowly, I found myself moving towards this genre as well.

So when I got my monthly review pack from 2000AD (the same folks that brought you Judge Dredd) I was thrilled to find a copy of Button Man: The Confession of Harry Exton, among the stack.

Written by John Wagner (creator of Judge Dredd and A History of Violence), it tells the story of Harry Exton who becomes a Button Man for the"Voices", powerful men who use hit men as sport, betting on the outcome and keeping score. When Harry almost dies, he's taken to America by a US Senator and placed into service for one year, after which time, he can walk away a rich man. Problem his, Harry likes his job too much and is playing for keeps.

A cool story and yet another concept or idea that could easily be translated into a quality movie or even a series on HBO or Showtime that would draw numbers if the right writers were involved.

Art is by Arthur Ranson. The back says he's drawn issues of some of the X books for Marvel Comics but this is my first exposure to him. He seems to use a mix of traditional pencils and ink work along with photos to create a very realistic feel to the book. The characters take on some wonky poses here and there but over all it's some solid work.

With books like Ed Brubaker's Criminal and Warren Ellis' Fell on the shelves, a book like Button Man should do well if you're a fan of either. Let's hope we keep seeing more of this around.

Till next time...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Remember your childhood. And pass it on.

I was out and about today and stopped off at one of my favorite places to browse, Half Price Books. There are several of them here in Columbus. All of them carry comic books. Most locations have them for a buck or less. A lot of times they get treated like red-headed step children, tossed around until the covers are loose and pages are bent. Still, I look because you just never know what you'll find in those bins.
Today I found Herobear and the Kid by Mike Kunkle. They only had issues #2-5 and they were a little beat up, but for a buck an issue, I quickly snapped up the first printings and took them home.
For those that are new to Herobear the story is simple... When a young boy's grandfather dies, he inherits his old pocket watch and an old stuffed bear. But all is not as it seems as the bear comes to life and transforms into a ten foot tall hero known as, Herobear.
Within the books and on the back of the covers is the phrase: Remember your childhood. And pass it on.
This winter my own Grandfather passed away. He lived a very full and wonderful life and did many amazing things. To this day I still have trouble coping with him not being here. To my own regret, I didn't spend as much time with him at the end as I should have and when I came home to find out he was gone, it hit me like a sledgehammer to the chest. Six months later, I still hurt.
It might sound a bit silly to say but these books have helped me, just a little, and make me realize he's never truly gone so long as I can remember him and the things we did and the bond we shared, when I was a child. He has given me some of the happiest memories of my life and I still love him.
For those of you who stumble upon this Blog, this posting, I urge you to check out Mike Kunkel's creation at and discover Herobear and the Kid, for your children, for your grandchildren, and for yourself.
Remember your Childhood. And pass it on.
Till next time...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Good Grief

Almost two whole months since the last post!?! Just what the hell do I do with all my time?

Actually, I've been working with Screenwriter Chris Freeman on an adaptation of one of his scripts into graphic novel form. Anyone who thinks this is easy, ripping someone else's work apart and transforming it into a medium that deals in motion to one that rests on the illusion of motion, is in for a big shock.

I seriously underestimated this project and it kicked my ass. Right now I'm waiting for notes from Chris so we can knock out any edits and get it on to our artist. (More on our artist later)

I'm also waiting on the completion of our first project with art by Mike Lilly and photos from JM Manion to get Iron Sirens #3 put to bed.

So, lots going on but nothing moving forward.

Gotta try to remember I have this site to so I can keep updating it.

Till next time....

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Pittsburgh Comic Con 2008

Hard to believe that the Pittsburgh show was a week ago. This past week has just kicked me in the ass hard with everything going on. I'm just now getting the chance to sit down and write about it a bit. No rest for the wicked...
JM Manion, Adela Garcia, Uko Smith, Sonia Adcock, and Me (No... they aren't midgets... I'm just a giant)

The show was great. Lots of people all three days. We had a great location near a dealer who was selling $1 comics and half off GN's so every time the aisle got jammed people would stop and stand in front of the booth while deciding where to go next. Lots of lookers (thanks to the girls) and a good number of sales for a small show like this.

Uko was the only one of my three artists that was there. Lots of sketch requests. Sadly I'm just the poor old writer. No one cares about the writer. I used to illustrate but in my old age my art skills have dwindled away. I'll need to do something about that.

Sonia looking hot in a corset. Leave it to the women to find the one person in the entire con selling clothes.

Adela Garcia in front of the banner. It was a rush job and next show will have a bigger and better one. Who am I kidding...? No one was looking at the banner.
Aside from sitting and signing with the girls all weekend, I got to accomplish a few other things like: Talk with good friend Rich Lane, a fellow writer I've been in contact with for years. I met some of the guys at Blue Line/Sketch magazine and got to dine with them on Sat night, and met Paul Monsky and Ed Clouts of AC Comics... both great guys.
I also spent way too much money on Hardcovers and Trade Paperbacks (the perils of being next to a dealer that's selling them at half off)
As I said above, it was a great show. I've done Pittsburgh now for six years and this was easily the best time I've had. Looking forward to doing it again next year.
Till next time...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Going Hollywood

Kinda... sorta... here's the deal...
Back in October of last year I took a screen writing class here in Westerville (just outside of Columbus, Ohio for those not in the know) . The teacher, Chris Freeman, had worked as a production assistant for Michael Mann on such films as Collateral and Miami Vice before moving back here. In that time he had been writing scripts. At one point, his job was to read the hundreds of scripts that would flood a production office in the hopes one of them might be worthy of being made into a movie.
To make a long story short, we hit it off, both being fans of comics. I had shown him some of my work and towards the end of the class he began talking to me about a project of his own he had been trying to get off the ground.
Entitled CIRCLE OF STONES, the project is a horror movie about savage Mayan children protecting an ancient treasure in the heart of the jungle. Optioned and green lit, the movie is ready to be made. However, both Chirs and his partner on this script would like a little more funding and a better shoot schedule.
This is where I came in...
Having some knowledge of the comics industry after kicking around with Ed Dukeshire of Digital Webbing for the past ten years (damn... has it been that long???), I helped Chris adapt several scenes from his movie script to be illustrated as a comic. I've also helped him put together a team which includes artist Mike Lilly (Batman, Nightwing, Quasar) to illustrate.
Chris' goal, and mine, is to obtain additional funding from another studio or outside investor so Circle of Stones looks its absolute best up on the silver screen.
So that's what I've been doing the past month, all the while neglecting my little Blog Space here. ( I know... so many of you were worried, weren't you...)
When not working on this project, I've been tinkering with my own movie script, an adaptation of my comic 'Slight' of Hand, and slowly getting ready for the Pittsburgh Comic Con April 25th-27th where I'll be signing copies of Iron Sirens with the lovely and amazing Adela Garcia and Sonia Adcock. (I'll let them fight it out to see which one is lovely and which one is amazing.)
Till next time...

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Weekend Update 3-9-2008

What a weekend. The Blizzard of '08 they say. Pffffft. A little snow and people freak out. Talk about funny. We only got about 15" total. As I write this the city is still under a Level 2 Snow Emergency. The roads are bad but not awful. I know cause I had to go to Kroger's for toilet paper.


Project wise I'm in an odd place. Here's a run down of where I'm at:

Work as started on Issue #3 of Iron Sirens. Expect that out in June at this time.

CRASH Kennedy: Weapon of Choice should be out from TwoFold comics soon. More on that as soon as I get word.

I've been talking to artist Jerry Beck off and on for several years and it looks like he might get to the project we wanted to do. Talks are underway. More info very soon.

I've set aside my first movie script for a bit and started a second. We'll see how that goes.

Waiting for an update on the Circle of Stones movie project I may be involved with. I've kept this one under my hat for a while because I really don't want to jinx it for anything.

And finally, I've gotten the itch to revive The Last Paladin. Several attempts were made to keep it going but to no avail. I've put him aside for a while but he keeps bubbling back to the surface. I have an idea in place and if I can find the right artist I want to re-launch him and see if he can still hold an audience.

That's about it for now. Till next time...

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Crooked Little Vein

Mix a conspiracy surrounding the United States Presidents with a down on his luck shit-magnet of a private eye who always stumbles into the absurd and you have Warren Ellis' first true novel, Crooked Little Vein.

I've been a fan of Mr. Ellis for years, reading his comic books like Global Frequency, Fell, Storm Watch, The Authority, and a host of others. In fact, Warren Ellis has the distinction of having more comics collected into mass market trade paperbacks than any other writer in modern history.

More often than not, the concepts and characters he brings forth spring from real life science fact, twisted to make amazing leaps into storytelling. But back to the novel at hand...

Crooked Little Vein reads like National Treasure on Crack. A private eye, down on his luck, is given an ungodly sum of money to track down a book that contains the secret amendments to the constitution written on the skin of a dead alien. It only gets more bizarre from there as he travels across country dealing with twisted and freakish people living in America's underbelly.

The whole thing is a fast and fun read. My only complaint about it seems to be that this could just as easily be a six issue mini-series in comic book form as it could a novel. That's not a bad thing, I was just expecting something a little more. I supposed the graphic nature of some of the things our hero runs into during his adventure are better left unseen, and for that, I'm eternally grateful to Mr. Ellis.

Crooked Little Vein. Go read it if you like really weird stuff disguised as a private eye novel.

Till next time...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Iron Sirens at the Arnold Classic

For those who don't already know, The Arnold Classic is a huge event here in Columbus Ohio, run by the Gov. of California himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Columbus Ohio has always been a huge city for bodybuilding and Arnold holds his International competition here for the past 20 years.

This year we'll JM Productions will be releasing Iron Sirens #2 at The Arnold Classic, the same show Iron Sirens made it's debut at three years ago.

The Special Edition will feature a 9 page comic starring Adela Garcia and Sonia Adcock, a photo layout of the girls and an original Adela Garcia cover by local artist, amazing talent, and good friend, Uko Smith.

The issue will be available through out the Pro Fitness and Figure season at shows and events across the country. You can also go to Digital Webbing and pick up a copy as well.

Look for issue #3 with IFBB Star Jenny Lynn to hit sometime before June of this year.

Till next time...

Holy Crap!

Two months since I've last posted? What the hell is wrong with me? It's not like I've been locked away. Being lazy is the only excuse here. That and my computer crapped out a few weeks back but I'm on a new system so...

There's a good chunk of stuff going on in my creative life. Even the possibility of some more Last Paladin sooner than later. Till then, I'll be keeping you all up to date on some more of what I'm doing and what I'm reading to pass the time.

Look for a handful of posts over the next week and then, with little discipline, regular posts for the foreseeable future.

Till then...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I've gone to the movies, damn it!

Or at least I've been writing a movie script.

It's a poor but accurate excuse for why this baby hasn't been updated in a while.

For the past 12 weeks I've been taking a class here in Columbus Ohio for screenwriting. The teacher, Scott Freeman, had worked with Writer/Director/Producer Michael Mann for several years and is currently co-producing a film he wrote.

I knew this class was going to be a lot of work but with my regular have to pay the bills job, bad weather, car issues, mile illnesses, and everything else life likes to throw at you, it's been a hell of a ride.

I've got about 15 to 20 pages to go and the last class is Tuesday. My goal is to finish this script and update this blog at least once more before the end of the year.

Anyone want to place odds?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

RevolTech Dangaioh

My new toy!

I can blame Dan Campos for this one. He's the one that showed me these super-articulated toys from Japan. The RevolTech Joint System allows for any number of life-like poses on these action figures. They have less points of articulation than any american action figure and damn it... they look sweet.

This guy is Dangaioh. I've never seen the Anime or the manga. I just bought him cause he looked damn cool. he comes with four sets of hands and his "Haja no Ken" which translates into Sword of Crushing Evil!

The figures retail here in America for around $20 each. A lot of people might balk at that price but consider this:

The Marvel Legends figures sell for $10 to $12 each. Sure they have 23 points of articulation but some of them just look down right ugly and still dont pose as well as this guy. DC Direct figures look great but hardly pose at all and they sell for upwards of $15 in comic shops.

The average RevolTech figure is smaller. This guy is about 6" high. They come with a two part stand so you can pose most of them as if they were flying or leaping through the air. They come with multiple hands, sometimes extra heads, and at least one weapon... sometimes as many as six or seven depending on the character.

A bulk of the figures produced so far are from the Neon Genesis and PatLabor series of Anime/Manga. They also have a wicked G1 Optimus Prime and Megatron and they've started to introduce a few "human" figures into their line. The one I've seen so far is more articulated than any action figure I've ever seen and looks 100% better at the joints.

I'd have to say over all, my only dislike is that I'm worried I'll snap the figure in two putting him into a pose since I'm not used to the joint system. After several days he's still in one piece though.