Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hey Kids! Comics!

I know I haven't been posting to this blog much in the last few months, but Spring is here and all the distractions that plagued me over the Winter From Hell™ are receding in the rear-view mirror, so it's time to get back to the "shameless self-promotion and pop culture commentary" this site promised.

Let's begin with  the "self-promotion," and a long-overdue look at the Atomic Pulp line of webcomics. If you're reading this, then your almost certainly aware that I write, and publish online, three weekly, serialized webcomics (did I mention that they're free?): Gravedigger, Perils On Planet X, and Femme Noir.

Gravedigger is more than halfway through its action-packed second continuity, "The Predators." Over the last couple months we've had some scheduling issues due to various circumstances on both my part and multiple-award-winning artist/co-creator Rick Burchett's, but it looks like we're back on track now, with new installments every Monday. Once "The Predators" wraps, we plan to move right into the third - and biggest - Gravedigger caper, tentatively titled, "The Abductors." Like "The Predators," this one is brand-new, and has never been available in any format before.

Every Wednesday sees an episode of Femme Noir, drawn by my pal, Joe Staton, who is currently shaking up the funny pages as the artist on the Dick Tracy newspaper strip. At the moment, we are re-presenting previously-published stories while we gear up to produce a new graphic novel.

The most popular of the Atomic Pulp webcomics (in terms of monthly traffic) is Perils On Planet X, which updates on Fridays. This swashbuckling interplanetary adventure, which is illustrated by the immensely talented Gene Gonzales, and colored by Ian Sokoliwski, has updated like clockwork for more than a year now, with no missed weeks. We're about a third of the way into Chapter Three of the first storyline, "Hawke Of Terra," and looking toward the future. We're working on plans for a collected volume (and maybe some crowdfunding to pull it off) of this first "Book," as well as discussing future stories.

We appreciate all comments and feedback from our readers. We also appreciate every link and referral, because the more readers we have, the easier it is justify keeping them going. So thanks, to everyone who's helped spread the word... and if you haven't read them yet: why not?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dinosaurs In Space

It's been a long time since I first mentioned the secret comics project that I'm working on with artist Peter Grau, but that's mostly because I didn't get much of my part of it done over the winter. It turned out to be a hellish few months, with too much else going on. Now, though, I'm back to work on the script(s), so I thought I'd post another preliminary sketch from the pulp space opera epic by my amazingly talented collaborator.

Still no schedule or target date for the finished project; it'll be done when it's done. I will be keeping interested folks posted on our progress though, here on my blog.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Days Of Future Past

I've enjoyed four out of six of the Fox X-Men flicks so far, which is actually a pretty good ratio. From this trailer, I'm thinking it's soon going to be five out of seven...


Thursday, January 02, 2014

Into The New Year

I didn't get everything accomplished that I wanted to in 2013, but I'm proud that I was able to launch both Perils On Planet X and Gravedigger online in February, and haven't missed a weekly update on either comic.

A big shout-out is due to my amazing collaborators on those projects: Rick Burchett, Gene Gonzales and Ian Sokoliwski, who helped make sure we stayed on schedule. Both comics serials will continue in 2014.

I also began re-presenting Femme Noir stories online this past Summer, in anticipation of a new graphic novel that Joe Staton and I (with inker Rick Burchett & colorist Matt Webb) will be putting together in 2014. I'd hoped to have this mostly written by now, but it's taking me a bit longer than I expected. Hopefully, I'll have script pages to Joe shortly after New Year's.

I'm also moving ahead on my graphic novel "secret project" with artist Peter Grau, which I also hope to get put together in 2014.

Sincere gratitude to all of you who have supported my comics efforts this year, especially those who spread the word and shared links. I am genuinely grateful.

As to 2014, I intend to keep plugging away on my comics, maintaining a stellar updating schedule, and working toward eventual print editions of my comics properties.

Outside of my comics efforts, the second half of 2013 saw a decline (due to blogger burn-out) in my sci-fi blogging (Space: 1970) and my writing of DVD and Blu-ray reviews (DVD Late Show). I plan to return to both with a renewed enthusiasm and energy in 2014, as long as I believe that people are getting something out of my efforts.

That all said, I want to wish all of you a very fine 2014. May we all see our goals realized, seize our victories wherever we can, and be relatively untouched by tragedy and misfortune.

Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Return of Jack Deth!


Back in the late 1980s, producer/director Charles Band shot an anthology film called Pulsepounders for his company, Empire Pictures, but it was never released. Pulsepounders was comprised of a handful of stand alone shorts that were all sequels/tie-ns to other Empire features. One of these, The Evil Clergyman - a nifty H.P. Lovecraft adaptation starring the leads from Re-Animator and From Beyond, Jeffery Combs and Barbara Crampton - finally got a DVD release a year or so ago.

Now it looks like another segment - a sequel to the studio's Trancers, with Tim Thomerson and Helen Hunt - is also making its way out of limbo, and I couldn't be happier. I have a soft spot in my heart and head for that series; not so much for the plots, but for Thomerson's characterization of future cop Jack Deth. His film noir-inspired, wry, tough guy portrayal balances precariously on the fine line between parody and pastiche, but the talented (and perfectly-cast) Thomerson walks that line with assurance. It's a great character and performance, and I'm looking forward to seeing him in the role again.

The DVD is only available (I believe) through Band's current company, Full Moon Entertainment. I hope to order myself a copy soon.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Webcomics On A Card

It's tough to promote webcomics (Femme Noir, Perils On Planet X, Gravedigger) sitting behind a table at a convention, but I made up a bunch of postcards for this weekend's Coast City Comicon that I'll be handing out, with all the website info printed on them. Maybe a few folks will go online and check 'em out after the show....

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Coast City Comic Con This Weekend!

I'll be making my only 2013 convention appearance this weekend at the Coast City Comic Con, in South Portland, Maine. It looks to be a surprisingly "big" show for this neck of the woods, with a bunch of notable comics guests - Mike Norton, Ben Templesmith, Erik Burnham and many others - and film/TV celebrities, including most of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 cast, and a reunion of actors from the 1984 cult film Savage Streets!

I’ll have a table in the artists alley and will have copies of my comics, graphic novels and prose anthologies on hand for purchase. In fact, going through my "inventory," it looks like I'll have the following material for sale at the show:

A handful of Femme Noir: The Dark City Diaries trade paperbacks - and a LOT of copies of the individual issues.

A handful of Kolchak Tales: Monsters Among Us trade paperback, containing my "Night Stalker of the Living Dead" miniseries.

A small number of my other Kolchak comics.

Some random issues of Leonard Nimoy's Primortals, which I scripted in the 90s.

A bunch of issues of my Shadow House horror comic.

Multiple copies of the Werewolves: Dead Moon Rising prose anthology.

Multiple copies of the Captain Midnight Chronicles prose anthology.

And several copies of the out-of-print First Edition of the Spider Chronicles prose anthology.

I’ll also have some free Gravedigger and Perils On Planet X postcards there, too. So, come on by... and buy! I don't want to carry all that stuff home!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday Cover: Shadow House Halloween Special

Click To Enlarge
What coulda/shoulda been: Back in the late 1990s, my pal James Chambers and I briefly had our own comics company called Shadow House Press. We published five issues of our horror anthology title Shadow House ('natch!) before we ran out of money and had to call it quits.

This gorgeous wrap-around cover by Kirk Van Wormer and Kevin Nowlan was intended to grace our (ultimately unpublished) Shadow House Halloween Special and features our horror hostess character, Autumn, offering some tricky treats to Jim's creation, the Lil' Ghoul Gang....

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday Cover: NIGHTMARE

The Halloween "Horror-Mood" continues with another glorious Nightmare cover from Skywald Publications. This one is from issue #10, and the artist is the great Ken Kelly.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Part Of A Monstrous Breakfast...

As previously mentioned on this blog, General Mills has celebrated the Halloween season this year by making available all five of their classic "monster" cereals... for the first time! While Count Chocula, Franken Berry and Boo Berry were pretty consistently popular, later additions to the line - specifically, Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy - weren't around for very long, and were never available at the same time (until now).

Anyway, as the photo above testifies, I stopped by my local Target store on Friday night to buy some new shoes and a pair of warm slippers for the winter, and while there, I picked up one box of each variety (well, actually, I got two boxes of Count Chocula). While the cereals are available through numerous retailers, only Target has them in reproductions of their original "retro" packaging.

For the record, I did eat the Count Chocula this weekend (while watching 70s cartoons on DVD, 'natch). As for the others, well, they probably will not be fully consumed... but then, I really just wanted the boxes, anyway.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Wednesday Cover: NIGHTMARE

Here's another stunning cover from Skywald's Nightmare magazine (Issue #13), this time painted by Vicente Segrelles (according to the Grand Comics Database, anyway).

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

October Horror Moviethon: THE LOST BOYS

1987's The Lost Boys isn't really one of my favorites - I hadn't seen it since it originally aired on HBO and didn't care for it then - but revisiting it on Blu-ray was fun.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

October Horror Moviethon: THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS

Tonight's Movie: Roman Polanski's 1967 horror spoof, The Fearless Vampire Killers, a visually arresting yet only intermittently amusing satire of Hammer-styled gothics. I'd only seen random parts of the movie on cable before tonight, but thanks to the Warner Archive streaming channel, I was able to finally check it off my list. Fun poster by the great Frank Frazetta. (Well, the bottom part is Frazetta, anyway.)