Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking back on 2015

To say it has been a bumpy 2015 for myself and Super Powered Fiction is probably under-stating the issue. With two massive server failures from two different providers, I lost the original site that ran for years (including all its archives) and was forced to relaunch in January, only to have to move the contents of the site a few weeks back to a blogspot server after my second provider fell in with the same conglomerate of crappy service as the first one. With our new Blogspot home finding us more readers than ever before, the plan is to stick around here for awhile, but don't worry as will continue to point this way for years to come.

Hospital selfie.
Outside of server troubles, I have had my own issues with blocks and fumbles. My original plan for 2015 was to produce several books under the umbrella of Times Past but most of those plans fell by the wayside as I started to fight health issue after health issue. I started the year with a nearly debilitating case of the flu, followed by perhaps the worst bout of depression I ever faced and then a neck surgery that literally came out of nowhere at the beginning of July. That left me off of work for two months, but with limited time up and around I also had limited time writing until a few weeks after the surgery. Once I was up though, I was re-energized in my writing, producing a handful of new short stories and finally kicking off the third volume of Lightweight, which I would bring to Kickstarter a few weeks later.

But I still managed to get a few things out in the calendar year. Most of them were short stories, both in my own anthologies and a few compiled and published by other folks.

What's Up for the final week of 2015

It's been a crazy couple of weeks to end the year and with it has come a lot of time traveling and not so much time writing. This has given me plenty of time to read however and so that makes a year end edition of What's Up almost essential. On this final day of 2015, let's close out the year with a look at what I've been reading and watching.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Best Character Ever 16: Mace Windu

Why do I love Mace Windu? Isn’t it obvious? He’s clearly the baddest mofo in the galaxy.

The Star Wars prequels are far from perfect movies. Jar Jar’s annoying, Anakin is grating rather than sympathetic and the less said about the stupidity of Count Dooku, the better. But when it gets things right, it gets them very right. Case in point: casting Samuel L. Jackson to play the coolest Jedi Master ever.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Big Top Tales is coming!

With Legends of New Pulp Fiction out to end the year, it looks like I will have another short story make its release just after the first of the year. My first contribution to a Flinch Books anthology will appear as part of Big Top Tales, an anthology put together by Jim Beard and Jim Bruening focused on adventures around a circus in the 1950s.

Cover by Joe Beranato.
I wrote the story of the Trapeze Artist, a character I did a ton of research on in early 2014. And while I wouldn't count myself as any kind of expert on the artform, I think I created quite the little murder mystery for the flying star of the show, Lulabelle Rose Jensen, all wrapped around a stop in St. Louis.

I will talk more about my contribution after the first of the year, but the book is already looking excellent. With five other stories by the talented Frank Schildiner, John McColley, Ralph L Angelo Jr, Sam Gafford and Rocko Jerome, I feel like I'm in bright company for what should be a unique addition to my catalog of work.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Legends of New Pulp Fiction is here!

I think it seems apt that I started 2015 with my first DB Cooper story in the benefit anthology The Good Fight 2: Villains with the Pen & Cape Society and that I am ending 2015 with my second DB Cooper story in another benefit anthology, Legends of New Pulp Fiction from Airship 27.

Tommy Hancock is a lover of pulp fiction and a purveyor of great stories through his Pro Se Press. But health issues derailed much of his life in 2015 so friend and fellow publisher Ron Fortier started to assemble authors of pulpish fiction to contribute to a benefit anthology. What he got is certainly the biggest book I've ever been included in. With over 700 pages and 62 stories, this thing is a tome. And every dime of the profits for it will go to the medical expenses for Tommy.

Wrapped in a cover by the immensely talented Douglas Klauba, Legends of New Pulp Fiction contains my story "Miami Heist." The tale takes Coop out of the Keys as he is sent on a simple transport run that goes very wrong. Instead he finds himself in shoot-outs, high speed chases and battling threats he can't talk his way out of even with his psychic nudge.

Eagle eyed readers will also see several names familiar to Metahuman Press anthologies, such as Teel James Glenn, Terry Alexander, Jim Beard and Lisa M. Collins mixed in with talents like Richard Byers, Van Allen Plexico and Win Scott Eckert. Plus illustrations from dozens of great artists like Gary Kato, Ben Dunn, Mal Earl and Silvestre Szilagyi.

Check out the full press release from Airship 27 here. The book is currently available from Amazon in print and as a PDF direct from Airship 27. Make it a late holiday gift for yourself and help a good cause, won't you?

Friday, December 25, 2015

Cosplay Friday: Harley Quinn

It is Christmas Day and it only seemed right to ring it in with a Christmas cosplay. So here is Harley Quinn having some holiday cheer care of cosplayer Adami Langley.

As always, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out more holiday cheer from!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Ty Templeton's Christmas on Apokolips

One of my all time favorite Christmas comic tales comes from the second DC Universe Holiday Bash from way back in 1997. It is a very simple two page affair, but it is honestly just an amusing juxtaposition of Santa in the DC Universe.

Thankfully, it has been heavily re-posted online, even by artist/writer Ty Templeton himself. So as Santa readies for his long ride tonight, read the whole thing below.

Don't you miss the days when Darkseid could be used for comedic purposes and no one was bothered by it? I know I do.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Free holiday story: Claus vs. Kong

One of the things I want to start experimenting more with in the New Year is the expansion of some of my stories to Wattpad as ways to entice new readers into picking up new work from yours truly. The first step of that happens today, as I use the story reading application to present a story I wrote over ten years ago, a silly little bit about King Kong attacking the North Pole I call Claus vs. Kong. I even took some time to combine two classic public domain movie posters to bring the story to life!

I encourage everyone to head over to Wattpad and check the story out, free of charge, for a bit of holiday cheer in the final run up to Christmas! Or if you prefer, use the embedded reader below, although I find the experience on the site a bit easier.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Great Art: A Very Hulk Christmas by Ed McGuinness

This rather amusing portrayal of Hulk and Red Hulk on Christmas Day is years old, but I still love Ed McGuinness' attention to detail and great presentation. Check out more from his DeviantArt and pick up his and Joe Kelly's return to Deadpool with Spider-Man/Deadpool #1, in comic shops nationwide on January 6th.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas, Claus and heroism

A few years back I conceived a simple one page concept called Doc Claus. It was a simple concept: take Santa Claus and wrap him into a classic pulp hero role. I even gave him his own group of sidekicks, The Holiday Patrol. I invited a wide variety of new pulp authors to contribute and Metahuman Press proudly released Doc Claus in December 2012.

Terry Alexander, Travis Hiltz, Greg Daniel, Robbie Lizhini and M.H. Norris outdid themselves with five stories of Doc's adventures. Wrapped in a cover by Teel James Glenn with a logo by yours truly, it remains available to this day and in my opinion, is criminally underpurchased by fans of great modern pulp fiction. So go get a copy already!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Cosplay Friday: Kidagakash

I have long held that Atlantis: The Lost Empire is under-rated by a lot of Disney fans. While it isn't the best animated movie from the studio ever, it has tons going for it with a great cast and an awesome premise. Perhaps it didn't provide all the thrills it could have, but it did create an amazing princess that somehow isn't an official Disney Princess. Kida may be one of the best designed Disney characters ever and cosplays such as this one by Aleu Moana.

As always, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff from!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Great Art: Yukio by Mike Maihack

No big post for today, but I had to share this amazing piece by the always great Mike Maihack (Cleopatra in Space) of the movie version of Yukio. For more on the character check out this week's Best Character Ever.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Reminder: enter the PCS Winter Giveaway!

I posted about the Pen & Cape Society Winter Giveaway just last week, but as the month hits its midway point, I just wanted to remind everyone to go over to the Pen & Cape Society site and make their entries!

The top prize is a ton of great books, ebooks and an Amazon gift card! Plus a bunch of other great prizes with ebooks, t-shirts and more. Get in on it before it's too late!

Get your entry in today!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Best Character Ever 15: Yukio

I grew up reading Uncanny X-Men. From about 10 onwards, I absolutely adored the monthly adventures of Storm, Wolverine, Havok, Dazzler, Longshot, Rogue, Colossus  and Psylocke. But even as I explored the Australian adventures of what could only be the coolest heroes ever, I also started to read tons of back issues acquired by my brother. Along with that, I also regularly read another seriesX-Men Classic. Through those books and numerous others, I started to learn the history of the characters and their allies
One of those characters was Yukio.
Yukio isn’t a character in comics that really became cool because of her past, or her awesome array of powers (she doesn’t have any). She is a character all about mystique—and I don’t mean the blue lady.
From her first appearance in Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s Wolverine #1, Yukio comes off as the coolest girl in the world. She’s a fun loving ninja and free spirit that takes on dangerous jobs for the thrill far more than she does for any honor or glory. She forms an intimate bond with Wolverine almost instantly (though whether it was sexual or not is debatable).
In the issues of Uncanny X-Men that followed she also formed an instant friendship with Storm (a relationship of which fans still debate the sexual nature) that helped frame the now-powerless Ororo in a whole new light (and mohawk).
Since those two early, great appearances, Yukio’s role has often been a bit lackluster. An appearance in Wolverine: The Anime makes her very cool, but also very doomed. But outside that appearance, her comic roles often leave her injured. Her current status upon her last appearance was as a paraplegic, though in the world of comics that could be forgotten easily enough.
Rila Fukushima as Yukio in The Wolverine.
And of course, Rila Fukushima brings the character to life in gorgeous detail in the highly under-rated The Wolverine. Though the character went through several changes for the movie (the least of which was her transformation into a mutant), she worked beautifully as a foil and ally for Wolverine as he works his way through Japan. Unfortunately for all involved, the timeline of the film appears to have been erased entirely, making it pretty much an after-thought in Bryan Singer's overly complicated new X-Men franchise. But Rila will always be Yukio to me. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Kickstart the Week 38: The Specialists

World War II and superheroes go together like peanut butter and jelly. It's just a fact.

Shawn Gustafson and Al Fukalek clearly know that as they produce the weekly webcomic The Specialists. But like so many great web comics, it suffers from the need to make a profit. But like so many great webcomics, it also has the power of Patreon behind it now.

The Specialists tells the tale of the United States first gathered superteam, designed to stand against the Nazis in World War II. But it also delves into the racial and gender politics of the time period, with Jewish, black and female members of the team in prominent roles in the series.

Learn more about the great series at their Patreon site, or start reading the comic from the beginning and see why it deserves your support.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Cosplay Friday: Merida

Merida is one of my favorite Disney princesses, perhaps because the folks at Pixar put so much effort into crafting a story without the easy answers of most Disney tales. Or maybe it's just because I knew someone would take the great idea of making an adult Merida cosplay, complete with bear! Kudos to Tina Rybakova and photographer Dasha Kond for this one.

As always, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff from!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Gallur Gallery Challenge 2: Master of the Seas

It has been far too long since I presented the first Gallery Challenge back in September. But time does nothing but make the heart grow fonder. So, this holiday I proudly present the second edition of the event.

The basic premise is simple: I present a piece of art by a master of fantasy or science fiction art and then I encourage my readers to share a story premise based on that art. In two weeks, I will share the responses before sharing my own concept.

So far that artist has been the amazing Rafael Gallur, a Mexican artist known for his intense visuals and amazing work on lucha libre adventure novel covers. Last time around, I featured a cover featuring El Hijo Del Santo, the Son of the Saint. This time around, I feature the wrestler Atlantis, a piece called "Master of the Seas".

Image copyright Rafael Gallur.
What's happening here with our hero, the squid and the sexy lady? That is up to you, the readers and fans to decide. Leave your one paragraph synopsis as a comment below or on one of the social media links to this page!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Win the Lightweight books plus a whole lot more in the PCS Winter Giveaway!

I am a proud member of the Pen & Cape Society, the world's first (and maybe only) association of super powered fiction writers. The fine and astute members of the group have done wonderful things already to promote the ever burgeoning super powered fiction market, such as two great anthologies, The Good Fight (did I mention it's free?) and The Good Fight 2: Villains (did I mention it is for a great cause?)

Now the group has upped the ante with our next big event, the first ever Pen & Cape Society Winter Giveaway.

Click here to head to one amazing giveaway!
Over fifteen books, in both ebook and print format, t-shirts, an Amazon gift card and a bunch of other great prizes are all on the line as part of the giveaway. And I am definitely part of the giveaway with both volumes of Lightweight currently available, Lightweight: Senior Year and Lightweight: Black Death both free to the lucky winner!

So head over to Pen & Cape Society's official giveaway page for all the details on entering for your chance to win a ton of great sway.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Kickstart the Week 37: The Revenger

Charles Forsman isn't exactly your normal creator. He is one of those guys that has stayed independent in his years as a writer/artist doing whatever he wants to the way he wants to do it. Because of this, he never has had a huge name in comic books, but he's started to get a lot more notoriety of late due to The Revenger, his self-published and digital comic.

The book is a fascinating book basically designed to look like the dystopian future of numerous 80s movies and TV series. The lead is a woman named The Revenger who travels across the wasteland to fight evil with her sword, gun and relenting need to right wrongs. Now several issues in, it is set to be collected by Bergen Street Press, the same small house that is making the amazing Copra collections.

He also has a Patreon set up to allow his fans to directly support his work and get his books directly from him. It works as an elegant way to support a creator while also getting to read his new work, the perfect use for Patreon as a whole.

Revenger issue one.
If you have any questions about the project, you can learn more about Forsman and his work at Or head over to the Patreon for more information on how you can support it.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Cosplay Friday: Snow White

Something about Steampunk concepts melded with Disney Princesses just appeals completely to me. I'm pretty sure that is fairly irrational, but I freely admit it. This cosplay by Amie Lynn and photographed by Alvin Johnson may be the absolute coolest Snow White ever has or ever will look.

As always, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff from!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Best Character Ever 14: Stardust the Super Wizard

Most of my focus on Best Character Ever so far has been on childhood favorites. This time I picked a character I only discovered in recent years, albeit one that existed nearly forty years before I was born.

He throws that head a bit later.
Stardust was known as The Super-Wizard, although creator Fletcher Hanks never really bothered to stop and explain why. Of course, Hanks rarely stopped to explain much of anything for his character. Instead Stardust is a crazed tale of a being from outer space come to Earth to unleash his own insane brand of justice to criminals. He often did so in ways that made the Spectre seem tame in comparison.

He really puts the squeeze on
Stardust isn’t a character build around great character development or even competent storytelling. He’s a character built around pure, unadulterated insanity from an era where comics had little or no rules.

His adventures were collected in recent years by two Fantagraphics anthologies I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planets!and You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation!, both of which come highly recommended for their entertainment value. Together they pretty much collect every Stardust story, alongside some of the other oddball creations Fletcher Hanks brought to comicdom. 

In the aftermath of their release, Stardust’s profile has certainly risen, just out of the character's sheer craziness. He may be the most well known independent Golden Age character in the modern era outside Black Terror and Daredevil.

Whatever the case, he’s a great character, one that will make an appearance in a future volume of Living Legends, late in the upcoming volume two.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Samurai Jack is coming back!

One thing I hope most people can agree upon is that Samurai Jack was one of the finest pieces of animation to come out of the Cartoon Cartoons era of Cartoon Network. Well, that greatness looks to continue in 2016 as the show will return as part of the Toonami block of Adult Swim. What this means for the content of the new season remains to be seen.

Of course the big questions for long term fans is whether Phil LaMarr will be back to voice the lead as well as who will replace the late Mako as the mighty Aku.

Expect those answers sometime next year.

(Personally I'm just giddy to see Aku back in action. He was long one of my favorite villains in animation. Hopefully we will get a worthy follow up to Mako's voice in the new show.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Writing Update: NaNo-Complete!

I wrapped up my 50000 words for NaNoWriMo over the weekend. I actually worked on two novels over the period with Lightweight: Beyond being the main focus. But the expansion of Out For Vengeance also came into play as I start to put building blocks of the shared Quadrant Universe together in both stories. Expect a few tidbits in Vengeance’s tale that will come to play in future Lightweight stories.

Over the next couple weeks I will finish up the last chapter of Lightweight: Beyond and get the complete work off to be edited. Then I will throw myself into finishing the Vengeance expansion. But I have a pair of short stories that also need to get done this month, one to complete an anthology and one as a tie-in to T. Glenn Bane's upcoming Wild West Horse Opera RPG.

Suffice it to say, I will continue to have a busy writing schedule in December.

Thankfully all this writing won't come without a couple releases in the near future. Airship 27 has Legends of New Pulp near completion, which will feature my second tale in the "Second Life of DB Cooper". Then my 50s era circus tale will finally see the light of day as part of Flinch Books' Big Top Tales anthology. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how the finished book comes together.

Links to those will be forthcoming once they are released. In the mean time, stay tuned for some great holiday features and super-discussion as December rolls on.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Kickstart the Week 36: Die! Kitty! Die!

What happens when you unleash two creators known for their Archie work on a project of their own? Well, it sure looks like you get a fun graphic novel with a bit more edge than your average issue of Archie Double Digest.

Dan Parent (creator of Kevin Keller) and Fernando Ruiz have joined forces to bring the world Die Kitty Die! The metatextual comic is all about a comic character at the end of their run and her facing the impending death that comes with it.

Kitty Ravencraft bears more than a passing resemblance to Sabrina, but her adventures will have a bit more edge than any Melissa Joan Hart adventures. The series will focus on her battle with her creators as she seeks to use her magic to survive their attempts on her life.

It sounds like a huge amount of fun with some great art in the ever familiar style of the creators. For more details, check out the project on Kickstarter.

This will bring the 2015 Kickstarters to an end, as December is a no fly zone for Kickstarter until after Christmas. But you will see a few other features on Monday, including some more Patreon projects well worth supporting. As always, stay tuned!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Cosplay Friday: The Doctor

The Doctor was a character I actually first came to through comics, reading a few of the old Marvel UK reprints that Marvel published throughout the 1980s. I didn't quite understand why he wasn't a full fledged superhero when I was about eight, but it started me on the path to watching far too many episodes of the classic show late on Friday and Saturday nights on PBS. (I was a boring teenager.)

Well, glamour model Masuimi Max took the desire for a female version of the BBC's character and inserted a healthy dose of steampunk to come up with her great version of the character.

And while the blog might update a bit slower during the month of NaNoWrimo, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff from!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

The long NaNoWriMo drought is almost over on the site, but in the meantime, join me, the Vision, the Scarlet Witch and the Avengers in having a Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Superhero movies meet Egyptian Mythology: Gods of Egypt

While the casting choices of the film have had a bit too much shade thrown on them, Gods of Egypt looks like an amazing piece of cinema from Egyptian born filmmaker Alex Proyas (The Crow). Already visually stunning, it very much seems to take queues from the Marvel blockbusters in its construction of a world where the gods are real.

While not out until February, I suspect it to be a big movie upon its release, as does Summit Entertainment, which hopes this will be their next major franchise. And while Proyas hasn't made any major film since the painful Knowing in 2009, his work on Dark City should be required viewing. I suspect Gods of Egypt to continue his track record of amazing world building while also giving some great roles to some amazingly talented actors and actresses.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Kickstart the Week 35: The Supers

I enjoy funny superhero comics. I grew up on Justice League International and Damage Control. I think comedy doesn't have to get in the way of great drama. I'm certainly not the only one, as the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made millions combining laughs with great action. But hilarious comics are not nearly as prevalent.

The Supers aims to change that with a great new super-title that doesn't shy away from being funny while also telling a compelling tale of a ragtag team of heroes.

Created by Chris Morris and drawn by Ricky Gunawan, The Supers looks like a winning idea with great art to go with its humor. The rewards look to feature a lot of original art too, which should make fans of the sample works in the video above happy.

The Supers is now funding on IndieGoGo. Give it a look and some support.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Cosplay Friday: Rocketeer

The Rocketeer and Betty were always a great pair, but Betty clearly made a pretty awesome Rocketeer herself as seen in this cosplay by Ivy Doomkitty.

And while the blog might update a bit slower during the month of NaNoWrimo, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff here on!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Walking Shadows and Super Powered Fiction - now on Patreon!

Walking Shadows is a passion project of mine. The six young heroes I've created in the series have tons of importance to me and I still have a lot of story to tell about them. But unfortunately, I only have so much time and because of that I need to ask fans to show their support for the site.

It doesn't take much to keep the site alive in its current form, but it is still not free. Because of that, Patreon is the sensible solution to allow fans to directly support Walking Shadows. Every supporter gets bonus content through the Patreon every month. Higher levels unlock digital copies of Lightweight, access to the entire Metahuman Press digital library and even print editions of Metahuman Press titles. Patreon is the go-to source to get every ounce of new Quadrant Universe and Metahuman Press content.

The cool thing about Patreon is that the more backing I get, the more access I have to adding cool features to the site, from a dedicated domain name to new serials to even the return of the SuperPowerCast podcast.

The full details on backing levels and unlockable goals can be found on the Patreon page.

To be clear, Walking Shadows will continue for free for months to come, available from the beginning for anyone and everyone to read online. But fans of the serial and of Super Powered Fiction can now directly support what this site is all about: great super powered fiction.

Thanks in advance to everyone that takes the plunge.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Kickstart the Week 34: Curveball

I decided to devote the month of November to focus on crowd-funded projects not at the big boy, so this month you will find some Patreon and IndieGoGo projects I think look great.

And the easiest place to start with all of that is a Patreon I already back. C.B. Wright has been producing Curveball for quite some time now. Now twenty-five approximately monthly chapters in, he has created over 200,000 words based around one character and the universe around him.

Did I mention he gives it all away free online?

Much like my own Walking Shadows, C.B. Wright produces Curveball as a web serial with collected editions available, including monthly omnibuses through the Patreon. It's dang good too, although I will let you decide if you want to pit both our works against one another.

While C.B. continues to look for regular work by day, Curveball is in danger of slowing down. More support on Patreon would surely help him keep the project going for weeks and months to come. Check out the work and see if you agree that Curveball is worth your support.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Cosplay Friday: The Riddler

Dezi Desire makes an amazing Riddler in this Rule 63 cosplay. I have always been a huge fan of the Frank Gorshin take on the character and this seems look a perfect amalgamation of that look with Jim Carrey's Batman Forever version.

Remember, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff here on!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Progress report for the end of October 2015

It's been awhile since I have updated folks reading this on what I am working on while I am also posting all these lovely blog entries. Considering the Kickstarter just funded a few short weeks ago, it should be no surprise I am working hard on Lightweight: Beyond.

While I am still working on the second chapter of that book, it is now a much longer chapter than in my previous plans. Since the second and third books for the next year failed to fund as part of the campaign, I actually changed my plans for where to leave off with Lightweight's third adventure to give a more satisfying conclusion to the readers. Without saying too much, this means I will actually be writing longer chapters for the second and third ones I originally planned to conclude Lightweight: Beyond. I will also add two more chapters after that in order to give a satisfying conclusion to Millie's time travel adventure and Kevin's battle to survive on Nill.

My current plan is to finish the bottom three quarters of Lightweight: Beyond as my NaNoWriMo project, coupled with the new ending I have planned for the Vengeance saga as mentioned a couple days ago. The two books will actually have a chapter that links the two corners of the Quadrant Universe as Vengeance's tale will find him leaving his home turf of New Salem for Lightweight's city of Federation. This should form some interesting connective tissue for folks interested in both books.

As I prep for NaNoWriMo, I am also hard at work at building a larger buffer for my online serial Walking Shadows. Regular readers know we moved into a bit more eerie territory in Hallo-week as Marilyn and Cyrus found themselves visited by strange shades. Today, the Casting Call feature debuted, featuring my thoughts on who would make a great Ian Page should a Walking Shadows movie ever be made.

Future chapters will develop Ian and Phoebe's friendship, reveal Kaihime's history and mission and introduce a new pair of super-villains to trouble our cast. I have more exciting news about Walking Shadows in the days ahead, so stay tuned for details on that in the near future.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Best Character Ever 13: Shotgun

Sometimes a character is awesome because of all the great stories he has been in. Sometimes a character is great because of all the potential he has. Sadly, Shotgun falls in to the latter.
J.R. Walker first appeared in the pages of Daredevil when the man was on his walkabout in the waning days of Ann Nocenti’s run. Created by artist John Romita Jr., Shotgun is presented as little more than a thug by Nocenti’s writing, albeit one with a sharp tongue. With a cool look and sporting the perfect early 90s load of giant guns (though these appearances were in 89, contemporary with Cable’s early appearances), it seemed like he would go somewhere.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

An end for "Out For Vengeance" and a new beginning

I have made the decision to pull the current version of Out For Vengeance, my modern update of the classic vigilante hero trope, from booksellers come November 1st.

The Black Terror is one of the inspirations for the
Vengeance character.
While I am proud of the work I've done with the novel, I feel that it isn't quite as complete as it should be. I originally planned to make a sequel volume that would conclude the main plot threads started in this first book, but as I have started that development, I've realized that the full story should fit into that one book and any sequel should pick up from that point.

Monday, October 26, 2015

What's up for the week of October 26, 2015

I have been on the grind getting things finished up so I can devote all my time to NaNoWriMo when it kicks in on November 1st. That has left a lot of my entertainment time by the wayside, but I did make sure to get one movie watched in the last week as a better day to do so couldn't be found. So here is what I have been up to in the last 7 days all in handy link form.

See something you like? Have recommendations? Leave them in the comments section!

Kickstart the Week 33: Paper Dreams 2

I am a big supporter of Ben Dunn's work. I regularly followed him on and off Ninja High School and Warrior Nun Areala as a kid and have remained a fan through the years, whether it was his short-lived Marvel Mangaverse run or more recent releases like the Antarctic Press incarnation of Airboy.

Over the years, he's created tons of great art in his familiar manga-influenced style. He collected a lot of this just a couple years ago in an artbook called Paper Dreams which he funded on Kickstarter. Now he is back on Kickstarter to fund its sequel, aptly titled Paper Dreams 2.

At an affordable fifteen bucks for a print edition, this is a great way for fans or just lovers of great art to get a look at Ben's art. I am not a huge anime or manga fan, but Dunn seems like one of the finest artists to combine that style with more western comic sensibilities. He truly is a skilled artist and a guy worth seeing more from on a regular basis.

Head over to Kickstarter and give Paper Dreams 2 your support.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Cosplay Friday: Freefall

Lena Isabel may be the perfect person to bring the Gen 13 member Freefall to life. I personally think it is a shame that the character has not been featured more in the post-New 52 era of DC.

Remember, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff here on!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The mining of our childhoods...

With Jem hitting theaters tomorrow I think it was important to re-post this.

Tens of thousands of words have floated through the nether of the internet over the last few years about the mining of the childhood of all of us kids from the 70s and 80s. Most of it find the idea bad, that remakes and decades past-sequels often just stomp on our images of our childhood.

Case in point, the newest talking point:

The upcoming Jem & the Holograms film clearly isn’t the original series. No Misfits, for one. Nor is synergy anything other than a buzz word they apparently say at the beginning of the show. And it looks like no actual holograms were hurt in the making of the film.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Sample "The Beach House", my contribution to Horror Heroes 2

I am current experimenting with a new social media platform called iAuthor. It has a set up to feature chapter samples, so through the power of embedding, here is a sample from my new story, "The Beach House", as our narrator Lynda first meets the mystery boy our story revolves around.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Horror Heroes are here!

As announced yesterday at the new Metahuman Press, Horror Heroes 2 debuted on Monday. The new book features three new tales of monsters turned heroes. Travis Hiltz and Darrin Albert anchor the book, but I am happy to have added my own contribution in the form of “The Beach House”.

My new story takes sea creature and fish man legends, wraps them together with the Deep Ones, and creates a bit of romance around all of that. It is a wild little story different from just about everything I have ever written and I think it definitely takes a different twist on tales of monsters and heroes in modern fiction.

My Deep One hero as visualized by John Davies.

The new story joins two other great tales by a pair of talented young authors. Travis opens the book with a tale of the Frankenstein monster and a strange batch of new allies as modern day crime fighters. Darrin delivers a novella introducing the world to Littlefoot, a sasquatch hero looking to bridge the gap between her people and humanity.

Horror Heroes 2 is now available at Amazon.

Monday, October 19, 2015

What's Up for the week of October 12, 2015

I have spent most of the last couple weeks working on Horror Heroes 2, which you will read a whole lot more about on this blog tomorrow. But I have made some time to get some reading and viewing in, mostly between bleary eyed editing, final proofing and layout approval. So here's what I have been up to in handy link form.

Kickstart the Week 32: Masks

One thing that has become interesting in the expanding world of pen and paper role playing games is the focus on certain sub-sections of genres. Games oriented around super powered beings haven't done this as much as other genres, but Masks: A New Generation looks to change that. Masks makes players into a group of teenage heroes in a city overflowing with superhumans both good and bad.

The concept limits the scope of the game compared to other systems like ICONS or Mutants & Masterminds, but it also allows a great way to get characters to start out at the same basic experience level. Everyone is new to the supers game, so everyone being balanced makes more sense.

But with a game world designed around one of the best modern RPG engines and a creator with a proven track record, Masks is definitely intriguing. Give it a look on Kickstarter.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Cosplay Friday: Nightwing

Linda Le is routinely one of my favorite cosplayers and she outdoes herself with her version of Nightwing.

Remember, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff here on!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Meet Mad Maddie

I love mad scientists. Frankenstein and his creation have always intrigued me, but while the monster has found his way into the Quadrant Universe, I prefer to keep his creator long dead. That leaves plenty of room for his heirs though, as I just couldn't create a great universe of super powered fiction without a mad scientist or three.

Enter “Mad Maddie”. I wanted to create a mad scientist and let her tell her own story, even as we can quickly understand she isn't quite right in the head. Too often mad scientists are seen at a distance and I wanted to enter that madness just a bit as I brought her adventures to life in a Short Shot.

Now the Short Shots series was all about ultra-short stories, usually not quite short enough to be called flash fiction but still under 2500 words. Because of the brevity of the stories, while they are 99 cents on Amazon, readers can instead pay whatever they wish on Smashwords.

The story gives insight into both Maddie's past and her future, and introduces her long time rival, Ebony Edwards, agent of EAGLE. (Fans paying attention might recognize that organization from Pulpsploitation and several other stories as the gaps in the Quadrant Universe start to narrow.) If you ever found yourself rooting even a little for the crazy one, give “Mad Maddie” a chance.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Best Character Ever 12: Scarlet Witch

The modern writing of her has been so-so, but
Frank Cho certainly knows how to draw Wanda!
I don’t remember where exactly I first ran into the Scarlet Witch. Much like Wolverine, she was probably first introduced to me by the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition. Her illustration was by the legendary John Byrne and the pose showed a little more life than many of the character shots in the book. Her name and powers fascinated me. And like many young comic fans, I probably thought she was pretty hot in that skintight red costume.

When I finally started to read more Marvel books, West Coast Avengers immediately drew my attention. Wanda Maximoff and her husband Vision were on the team—much later I would find out they were just recent additions—and I instantly took to the split units under the pen of Steve Englehart and the pencils (for better or worse) of Al Milgrom. But it wouldn’t be long until John Byrne moved in to take over the book.