Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Obscure Heroes: Shadowdragon

I've decided that Tuesday will be the official re-post day here on the blog. I'm going to kick it off with the very first installment of Obscure Heroes I ever posted. Let's look back at a classic post about a DC character I would love to see make his own rebirth.

I like the weird and the wild of superhero characters. Sometimes certain figures never quite get the due I think they deserve. Obscure Heroes is all about celebrating those characters and maybe even what could have been with them.

Shadowdragon Annual 1 copyright DC Comics.
Shadowdragon is a true exercise in obscurity. Primarily a Superman supporting cast member of the mid-nineties, he was essentially a high tech ninja. He remained something of a mystery throughout his supporting cast appearances in the four Superman titles at the time. I didn’t buy most of these as my Super-comics buying had faded by 1995. I was intrigued by Shadowdragon, don’t get me wrong, but his appearances in those books were usually relegated to 2 to 3 pages an issue. He managed to meander through seven issues of the main title and a team-up with Lady Shiva in Showcase. In between those appearances, he managed to get an annual, despite never appearing in a comic of his own.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Great art: Rom by Tom Scioli and Sal Buscema

I've been bouncing between cosmic ideas and more down to earth ones of late, so when I saw this great piece of Rom by the always amazing Tom Scioli and former Rom artist Sal Buscema, I knew I had the perfect pick for this week's great art!

As always, you can check out a lot more Great Art over on the Tumblr. And after you're done admiring some great art here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff from me this week!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

A new day is coming! (WIP Wednesday)

Took over two days work, but the result was my
best individually designed cover ever. 
In just a few days, I plan to introduce my new publication plan for 2019. I have big plans for what I want to accomplish in the months and years ahead, but I also need to make sure I have everything in place for a highly successful launch. I will say newsletter subscribers will get the first shot at things late in the month before the news expands everywhere in September.

I finished Project Independence near the end of my Camp Nanowrimo time last month. Since then, I've resisted the urge to sign up for any other projects from any other publishers. My focus is on developing all the content I have planned for 2019 and beyond. I've already banked three new chapters of Quadrant (a title that will get much more coverage here starting in a few weeks) and am currently working on the third new Lightweight chapter I've written in the last months. Those two titles are going to be a core focus for me going forward. Both will serve as the cornerstones of the Quadrant Universe in the years ahead. That doesn't mean they will be the only projects however.

Back in my mad dash to create a bunch of interesting new things in 2014, I released a short story called Atomic Werewolf. On top of some of the finest Photoshop work I've ever done, it introduced the world to a literal atomic werewolf, a powerful, giant wolfman created and fueled by radiation. Told from the viewpoint of his teen sidekick forties years removed, it's a simple tale designed to fill in a few points of history in the Quadrant Universe. But unlike several of the "Timeline" stories I released that year, it wasn't designed to support a plot line I planned for a future novel. It was built around a cool name, one I liked but didn't feel an immediate need to develop beyond a simple origin.

The events of the last few weeks have made me change that stance. The Atomic Werewolf feels like a character whose tale I need to develop. I've already started putting word to screen on a much longer tale. The plot is currently only a rough, but I suspect by the time it finishes, it will be a full length novel.

As always though, I'm keeping two projects in the fire. Lightweight 18 will wrap in a few short weeks. From there I'll move onto the third chapter of another project still in development, but more on that when the announcement hits in two short weeks. (Or just one for those in the know. Subscribe to the newsletter already!)

Until then, have a great day and keep writing!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Best Character Ever 24: Thanos

Art by Ron Lim. All characters featured in images for this column are owned by Marvel.
As Avengers: Infinity War is now available to everyone to own, it seems Marvel's Dark Titan is a rather unsurprising choice for the first new Best Character Ever in nearly two years. But my connection with the character dates back way farther than that.

More specifically it dates back to the late 1980s when I first stumbled upon a copy of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition 20: Book of the Dead (Stick to Zuras). I distinctly remember having to convince my mother the cover shot of characters' spirits rising from their graves was merely symbolic. But when I got it for the glorious cover price of $1.50, I knew I held gold in my hand.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Cosplay Friday: Gamora

Let's close out a somber week with a character from a surprisingly somber film, now on DVD, Avengers: Infinity War. Sara Moni brings the comic version of Gamora to beautiful life here.

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 yours truly this week!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Life is but a dream - the terrifying kind

Julie and Maxx by Dustin Weaver, because sometime I
feel like my life is split between reality and the Dreamtime.
Next week, I hope to be back to updating on projects previous, current and upcoming. I have a lot in the pipeline I need to write about, but it all feels secondary right now.

I mentioned the death of a family friend last week. I'm still reeling from the shock of everything, even as our own life has been consumed with car problems and unexpected bills. It's left a mess in the family budget and a hole in my life.

If anything, a sudden death brings into perspective the hollowness of one's own life. We get so caught up in the ephemeral, we fail to realize everything we truly have on this world. It's a shock to the system that we need to take care of the relationships we have around us, because we never know when they might end.

Honestly, I've been pretty terrible about maintaining friendships over the years. I've let friend after friend slip by the wayside as I focused on my career, my writing, my family or a billion other things. I realize now that may have been the greatest mistake of my adult life, but one not easily remedied. It's the fate of us all to live with some level of regret, but sometimes it's something that can be fixed, sometimes it is not. We will see.

And of course, I'm left with the questions of every solitary artist. Am I wasting my life? Is anything I do actually good? Would anyone even care if I stopped writing tomorrow?

I honestly don't know the answers to those questions, but I've talked about Amanda Palmer's concept of the fraud police before. I've got enough problems in my life without my own self-doubt pulling away the outlet I have to spew my own thoughts and ideas into the world.

I think it's important to remind you and everyone else, Dear Reader, that I like you, am simple a human being. We are all flawed and we all must make do with what God gave us. So be good to one another. Remember those that love you. And live your fullest life.

Even when it seems hard.

I'd love to hear about your hard times and how the creative process helped get you through.

Normal operations resume tomorrow.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Great art: Hulk by Ryan Ottley

It's been a hard week. I've alluded to it a bit on social media, but we've all lost a family friend this week. My grief doesn't compare to that of his family, but it makes it no less true. It's a hard truth that when we lose someone, especially someone far too young, we are left with so many questions and so many what-could-have-beens.

His favorite comic characters was the Hulk. One of the best modern superhero artists is Ryan Ottley. Enjoy, and make sure to look at the people in your life and let them know you love them, because you never quite know when you won't be able to do so again.

Monday, August 6, 2018

The conundrum: which story do you want to read?

Right now I'm developing two new novel projects along with the three series I've been talking about rather regularly on this page. My problem right now is to decide which one to move forward on as my next novel project. So I'm asking you, dear readers, which one you think will work best as the next entry in the wide world of the Quadrant Universe. Here's a short tease for both books. Let me know which one tickles your fancy more!

1. The Horror Universe

Monsters have lurked in the corners of mankind for decades. But as the thirties draws the world together in an impending war, the creatures that lurk in the corners start to awaken to threaten mankind. As two such creatures rise and war looms over Europe, can an intrepid young secret agent hope to save the world from not just the Axis war machine but blood-sucking creatures of the night and shambling corpses?

This Bruce Timm tribute piece to Hammer may feature a few hints at where I'd go with
The Horror Universe.
2. Manticore

He grew up on the streets, but he never was like anyone else. Born with a genius level I.Q. and a deadly super-power, his only choice to succeed were the gangs. But if he was going to commit crime, he planned to make sure he did it in ways smarter than anyone could ever imagine. He rose to power throughout the city... and when he saw his chance to take it all, he struck. This is the life story of his rise and fall as the most powerful crime boss in modern America.
I promise this Manticore will be much cooler than the highly
expendable Suicide Squad villain. (Image copyright: DC Comics.)
Both promise to be fun projects, but only one will get off the ground before the end of the year. So which one should it be? Let me know in the comments below or on any social media?

Friday, August 3, 2018

Cosplay Friday: BloodRayne

Because of stories in development, vampires have been on my mind a bit lately. So when I stumbled upon this BloodRayne cosplay by Magma Ichios, I figured I had a Cosplay Friday in place. She really brings the character of Rayne to life, all without the awful storyline or poor gameplay seemingly inherent in the franchise. But man, that design is sharp, right?

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 yours truly this week!