Wednesday, September 4, 2019

A few words on the future of this blog

I've made the decision to discontinue my regularly Monday Wednesday Friday updates here on the site. I've done this for several reasons, but the primary one is the lack of interaction they've gained in the last several months. I've watched my reader levels drop drastically here even as I've seen sales go up on my work. Clearly there's a major disconnect between this blog and my readership.

Secondly, it isn't really devolved into a lot of discussion of things I like and very little focus on stuff I write. I want to change the focus here to make this blog all about what I'm releasing and when. So the site will still see updates, and with two new stories out every month in the upcoming weeks, it will be far from dead.

If you want to keep up on things upcoming or are just a huge fan of my blogging, I am far from done there. You can read more from me at Medium. Right now it is a few articles on comics, a handful of interviews and several wrestling articles. But I will be endeavoring to update with a new article about every week there. They will likely be longer than a lot of what you've read here as late, and hopefully more in-depth.

Of course, there's also the newsletter and the Patreon. I'm posting at Patreon almost every week and updating the newsletter every other.

This is far from an end, just a change. I'll see you soon as my next release is only days away!

Friday, August 30, 2019

Great Art: the Amazing 80s by J. Scott Campbell

If you haven't figured it out from the radio silence, there's some major changes afoot for this blog in the next few weeks, but I will talk about that in the next couple weeks. But that doesn't mean I'm done with sharing some amazing things, like this epic piece by comics great J. Scott Campbell, featuring pretty much everything awesome about being a kid in the 1980s!

Remember you can check out a lot more Great Art in the Super Powered Fiction Facebook group!. And after you're done admiring some great art here, don’t forget to check out all the places you can find me online!


Friday, August 16, 2019

Cosplay Friday: Zatanna

Sometimes you just need a little magic in your life. Zatanna Zatara always fits that bill and it's especially true when she's brought to life by the amazingly talented Riddle. Fine work by a true cosplay legend!

You can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on my Twitter. 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!


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Coming Continuing Comics 7: Fiffe and Scioli 101

Every month I peruse the comic solicits to see what I want to add to my subscription list. Triple C takes a look at the superhero books that most stand out to me or I think are well worth a wider look by everyone. But I have to be honest, October's comic solicitations offer very few superhero books that really made me want to rush out and order new books. But I have two exceptions, and they just happen to be by two of my favorite independent writer/artists.


The big debut of the month is the return of Michel Fiffe's Copra now as an ongoing series from Image. Previously self-published (and distributed) by Fiffe, he is a one man wrecking crew on the book. He writes, draws, colors and letters each issue. I've read every issue in the collections from Bergen Street Press, but with the book now available through Diamond distribution, I look forward to reading the full monthly experience. I cannot recommend this book enough. Though it started as a riff on Suicide Squad, it long ago became an amazing beast in its own right, one well worth the price of admission.


Ed Piskor's X-Men: Grand Design has been the first X-comic I've had any interest in for years. Hickman's overly slick relaunch makes it look like that won't change any time soon. But while I often find myself bored by the current era of Marvel heroes, a great creator can often change everything. And with the Grand Design format moving to Fantastic Four now, I can think of few creators I want to see follow up Piskor more than Tom Scioli.

Known these days for Transformers vs. G.I. Joe and Go-Bots, I've been following Scioli since he was drawing the critically under-loved Godland. Now he's bringing his condensed, Kirby-influenced style to perhaps the finest of Kirby's Marvel co-creations. In two over-sized issues, Scioli will retell the history of the World's Greatest Comics Magazine, or at least the first 110 issues or so. Scioli has a true love for Kirby, so it should be interesting to finally see him let loose on Marvel's First Family.

That wraps another Triple C. Make sure to head to your local comic shops to update your pull list now!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Quadrant Universe Update: Lightweight

The following profile has been updated to take into account Lightweight's status as of the beginning of this Friday's Lightweight 16: Earthbound (now available for pre-order.)

LIGHTWEIGHT

Art by Brent Sprecher.
Real Name: Kevin Mathis

Occupation: Wanderer

Marital Status: Single

Known Relatives: Mary (mother), David (father), Andrew Case (distant cousin)

Group Affiliation: none

Base of Operations: Mobile

History: Kevin Mathis never saw himself as superhero material.

Born and raised in southern Minnesota, he moved after his father’s business brought him down to the massive Midwest city of Federation. He joined his class in the ninth grade and immediately became friends with two people, Andy Case and Millie Bryant. They formed a strange group in the ever-bustling world of Reagan High.

Each had their own diverse interests. Andy loved cars and weed. Millie focused on computers. Kevin loved video games and wanted nothing more than to play them. An average student, he certainly could score much higher with just a little bit of applying himself.

Then came the dreams. Every night, he received another vision of floating high above the city. And those dreams set him on a path that could make him the world’s greatest hero. Or maybe the world’s greatest villain.

He quickly donned the costumed identity of Lightweight, driven to be a hero despite his once laid-back ways. Over the course of the next several months, he fought threats such as Titan, Ronin, Carolyn Bates and Hellfire, he started to learn the secrets of his origins. With new allies like the Gray Man and Howl, he continued to fight crime as he sought answers about what the two factions wanted from him. He soon realized the ancient orders of the Eloi and the Morlocks wouldn't let him go without a fight. In a deciding battle with the villainous Black Death, both the hero and villain apparently perished under a destroyed skyscraper.

Instead, Kevin found himself transported to the strange world of Nill. A desert wasteland separated into a strict caste system, it was cut off from the rest of the galaxy due to an ancient interdict. Seen as a savior to the people of the world, he came into battle with the Grand Magister of the Trangalactic Congregation of the Brethren. The nefarious religious leader wanted the planet's savior dead, but a huge battle only left the planet more ravaged in its aftermath.

Kevin has returned to Earth but at the current time has no memories of how or why he returned to his home world.

Height: 6’ 1”

Weight: 183 lbs.

Eyes: Blue

Hair: Dark Brown

Strength level: Lightweight possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height and build that engages in moderate exercise.

Known superhuman abilities: Kevin Mathis possesses the ability to manipulate the personal gravimetric field of any non-living object. He can use this ability to make things lighter or heavier. He can also use it to move objects through the air by manipulating their relationship to both other objects and the planet.

When Kevin exerts his powers, his body begins to expel light. At greater levels, this light actually becomes almost blinding.

With power over an essential force in the universe, Kevin’s abilities seem to have only brushed the most infinitesimal of their potential as he first dons the costume of Lightweight.

Other abilities: Kevin also has basic hand to hand combat training as well as a vast knowledge of video games with special expertise in obscure independent games.

Equipment: Kevin earned the Sword of the Light Bringer upon his arrival on Nill. The weapon serves as a focus to his powers. Made of alloys not understood even in the most technologically advanced corners of the alien world, it is seemingly indestructible.

Read the stories in: 
  
Lightweight: Senior Year | Lightweight: Black Death | Lightweight: Beyond

Friday, August 9, 2019

Great Art: Savage Dragon and Spider-Man by Erik Larsen!

Erik Larsen is one of those guys that is just a consummate comic professional. He just loves making comics and has made a living doing so for over three decades now. Twenty-five years of that have been focused on Savage Dragon, his childhood character that he turned into a multimedia star for a few years before comfortably settling in to regular adventures of the entire Dragon family. Hundreds of issues later, he stands as a unique single writer/artist on a book with only Dave Sim and Fred Perry challenging him for commitment to his creation.

He also happens to be one of my favorite comic artists, dating back to his Marvel days. I actually saw his work first in the pages of Marvel Comics Presents though, not Spider-Man. He did a strange little Excalibur arc in that book where the team basically fought the Looney Tunes characters that I adore and am a little surprised has never been reprinted. It wasn't until a few months later I found his Spider-Man and loved that just as much. But I was an X-Men guy up until the rise of Image. Yet after I read the first couple issues of Dragon's adventures, I knew I had read something different. I could almost feel Larsen's commitment to the character and making him work. It impressed me then, and he became the character I most latched onto as a young man. (Though I'm still mad that none of my contributions won his villain creation contest in issue 10.)

To make a long story short, I'm always excited to see unique pin-ups from Larsen. So when I found this Spider-Man / Savage Dragon crossover piece, I thought it was the perfect image to feature on a Great Art installment. Enjoy and be sure to go buy a copy or two of Savage Dragon, still going strong after all these years.

As always, you can check out a lot more Great Art in the Super Powered Fiction Facebook group!. 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 7, 2019

One last chance to get Lightweight: Senior Year free!

Several weeks ago, I made an offer for fans to get an ebook copy of Lightweight: Senior Year for free. All I asked for in return was a review published at Amazon. That offer remains open for a few more weeks as I look to increase the hits for the book at the world's largest book distributor. You can send your request to nick{at}superpoweredfiction{dot}com. For more details, please refer to the original article, reprinted below:

Lightweight: Senior Year has been on Amazon for a few years, but the one challenge I've had with the book over the years was getting reviews from the fine folks that have read it. I'm immensely proud of the work I've done on the series but I want to make sure more people get a chance to see it. On Amazon, that means it desperately needs reviews, as books with higher review numbers get higher entry points on their algorithm. I'm not a huge fan of that system, but it's what we have to work with, and my hope is that you will help me accomplish that.

Cover art by Brent Sprecher. 
With that in mind, I have free ebook copies of the book to give out to anyone willing to read it in the next month and post their review on Amazon and Goodreads. I have no limit on the copies I'm giving out, but you must review it in the next month.

But I want to sweeten the deal for this. I want to make the effort to increase the reviews on all three Lightweight titles. With that in mind, I want to tell you that I'm planning to make this same offer on the next two books in the series as well, but that offer will be exclusive to those folks that accept this one and post their reviews!

If you're interested in getting your free copy of Lightweight: Senior Year for review, contact me at my email address nick {at} superpoweredfiction {dot} com. Let me know your preferred ebook format as well. And I hope to see your reviews roll in very, very soon!

Monday, August 5, 2019

August Patreon Preview: The darkness rises in Shockwave! Doctor Cosmic presents life and death!

It's been a long road already for Shockwave but as the August releases kickoff at Patreon, it's clear he's got much more ahead of him! The secret history of Paradox's two ruling families are opened, even as new threats appear to endanger his friends and families back home on Earth! Noah Logan's life only gets more complicated as his saga continues in Shockwave 4: When it all comes down. His tale launches August 6th.


Though her appearances have been few, Backoff plays a pivotal role in the history of the Quadrant Universe. In his second tale spanning the history and scope of the entire galaxy, Doctor Cosmic brings the story of her earliest days as a superhuman as well as the dark moment that changes the very course of the universe for years to come! That's all available now in Doctor Cosmic Presents 2: Last Breath. The tale drops on the 20th of August!


Both these stories will be available for pre-order on Smashwords shortly, but if you want to read them months before everyone else, subscribe to Patreon. For just five bucks a month, you get both these stories and an entire back catalog of tales. It's one of the best deals in superhero fiction today!

Friday, August 2, 2019

Gallur-y: Revenge of the Past!

Over the last few years, Mexican artist Rafael Gallur has become a go to painter for action. A regular painter of amazing lucha libre magazine covers, he channels the energy of Frazetta into modern cover art, something very lacking on this side of the border. And since his art doesn't quite fit into the usual comic-oriented Great Art feature, I thought it was time to give him his own feature here at Super Powered Fiction. Few painters can match the power he brings.

Octagon isn't a luchador well remembered by many American fans, but he was a big time hero when the martial arts craze was all the rage in the 80s and 90s. Long retired now, the character has been brought back on a few occasions with a new "junior" version, with both current WWE star Kalisto and international talent Flamita wearing the mask. He's probably most notable these days because the first incarnation of Octagon Jr gave rise to a new generation of his eternal foe, a young talent that lasted much longer named Pentagon Jr.

In his heyday, the original Octagon starred in his share of lucha libre comics and stories. "Revenge of the Past" is clearly one of the best. There's a whole lot going on here and Gallur combines it all into something awesome. 

Be sure to head over to Gallur's DeviantArt to check out more work by him and order some of his amazing work as prints. After you're done admiring his work, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff from yours truly this week!


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

CAMP CLOSED FOR THE SUMMER! (WIP Wednesday)

I've wrapped two of the three stories for the summer Camp NaNoWriMo and have surpassed my goal with the third while not quite finishing it up. My hope is to get it finished by the end of the week and go right into edit mode for the next few tales I've got on the docket for August.

From there, I've got one last chapter of Quadrant to wrap up to bring the second volume of that series to an end and the last remaining chapters of Shockwave are up after that. Once I've completed those, I will be set with most of my writing into the first couple months of 2019. My plans for the next month is to finish most of that catching up so I can rebuild the six month buffer on the Patreon tales. (No worries for patrons though. I'm still about three months ahead.)

My hope still is to make sure I'm publishing twenty-six stories a year starting in 2020. I'm not quite ready for that yet, but as I keep pushing myself to write faster I'm hoping I can make that doable.

And if you're wondering about updates on the next volume of Lightweight, I can say with certainty it is in the works. I've started the outline for volume five, which will clock in as the longest volume of the series to date, somewhere in the seven to nine issue range. It will also serve as this year's NaNoWriMo project in November, where I hope to finish at least the first two-thirds of it.

Things are moving right along in the Quadrant Universe. Next month, I'm looking to debut a few new ideas for you and hopefully get the ball rolling on an exciting new way to share my stories with my fans. Stay tuned for news on that in the next couple weeks.

Today's image is the cover for Lightweight 21: Secret of the Stars, the end of the Ragnarok saga. It's now available for pre-order at Smashwords or readable right now on Patreon.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Cosplay Friday: Batgirl

It's a bit surprising that Batgirl doesn't get nearly as many costumes as some of her peers in DC's superhero community. Admittedly her costume is more detailed than a Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy or even Supergirl, but when she's done right, she just looks iconic. Take as an example, Astelvert's amazing work on her cosplay of the Burnside Batgirl here.

You can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on my Twitter. 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!


Monday, July 22, 2019

Coming Continuing Comics 6: the 80s edition!

Every month I peruse the comic solicits to see what I want to add to my subscription list. Triple C takes a look at the superhero books that most stand out to me or I think are well worth a wider look by everyone. This time around I got my own order in a bit late, but here's the new stuff that I think looks pretty solid. And this new stuff... has some creative teams and settings that harken back to my earliest days as a comic reader!

It's not too often that two comic legends get back together for an amazing too issue. But as part of Marvel's 80th anniversary initiative to bring back classic creative teams for new tales, Marvel has reunited long time mutant mastermind Chris Claremont with the always amazing Bill Sienkiewicz (whose name I can impressively spell from memory) to bring the world New Mutants: War Children.


This one looks like it is set during their classic run which gave us stories like the Demon Bear and the origin of Warlock. The new story has a description that is fairly vague outside of a mention of Darkchylde, Magik's evil alter ego. But with a creative team this legendary, I expect a great read in a couple months.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Great Art: Rocketeer by Tom Grummett!

Since Diamond just debuted a huge array of merchandise for Cliff Secord at San Diego this year, it felt like a fitting time to share some truly great Rocketeer art. I still feel like the sky's the limit for this character's future if a publisher and a creative team really set out to write an entire series of grand adventures for him. Here's hoping someone makes that a reality. And when they do, it might be great to get Tom Grummett to draw the dang thing. Because as you see here, the man draws Dave Stevens's character with finesse and panache.

As always, you can check out a lot more Great Art in the Super Powered Fiction Facebook group!. 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, July 17, 2019

An important life lesson...

I shared this recently on Facebook and thought it best to share it more widely here. This is an important point for any consumer of art, from novels to comics to paintings to movies to whatever.


Monday, July 15, 2019

Life, writing and Camp NaNoWriMo

Sometimes things more important than steady writing schedules occur. Worse, sometimes they occur dead in the center of NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo. Thanksgiving is the prime example of this, but this July in came in the form of a wedding.

I'm the first to admit that the wedding of a family member takes precedence over any work. So I took some vacation jobs from the day job, worked ahead as best I could on the second of the three stories I'm working though for this month and disappeared off the grid for a few days.

Seriously though, I did get little work done as I went on the road to southern Iowa, saw my older brother marry a wonderful woman, and came back home with two beautiful step-nieces along for the ride.

And while I still have several days of adventures planned with them around my work week, I'm furiously working to also play catch up on my writing. My goal is three stories at around 25,000 words for the month, just above my usual 20,000 I average on a given month. I would like it to be the start of a push towards more writing month in and month out as I seek to expand the Quadrant Universe into the next few years.

So onward and upward and a reminder that even when the ups and downs of daily life derail yo for a few days, you cannot let them derail you forever. See you soon and keep reading!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Gallur-y: Mars Attacks!

Over the last few years, Mexican artist Rafael Gallur has become a go to painter for action. A regular painter of amazing lucha libre magazine covers, he channels the energy of Frazetta into modern cover art, something very lacking on this side of the border. And since his art doesn't quite fit into the usual comic-oriented Great Art feature, I thought it was time to give him his own feature here at Super Powered Fiction. Few painters can match the power he brings.

The classic Topps card line Mars Attacks has become an icon of weird alien invasion stories, and has transitioned into comics, novels, games and a hilarious Tim Burton film. But when Topps decided they wanted to produce an updated line of cards, Rafael Gallur was one of the talents they tapped for the new cards. Here's an example of his work on a better known licensed property, and it is clear he brings the same craftsmanship he does to his lucha work to the Martian invaders and the human resistance!

Be sure to head over to Gallur's DeviantArt to check out more work by him and order some of his amazing work as prints. After you're done admiring his work, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff from me this week!


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Influential 11: The Nova Posse

This article originally appeared in slightly different form back in March as part of my Patreon's biweekly blog feature Bloggo. 

In previous Influential columns, I regularly focused on books or characters that have a prominent role in comics history. But sometimes, there's characters with far less history that can prove just as important to the development of my characters, universe or storytelling. One such unit is a little known team of characters known as the Nova Posse.


The Nova Posse were a group of intergalactic adventures in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures' Dimension X (which is another galaxy in that continuity.) The team didn't exactly have a lot of appearances. They arrived on the scene in issue 48 and teamed with the Turtles for the next two issues of galactic adventure.

The characters were built with broad strokes and limited personalities, but the visuals and the Starjammers-esque personalities always stuck with me. I've long been a fan of the star-spanning super-team concept and the Nova Posse connected that concept with a small military unit surprisingly well.

It's an impressive feat that the creative team of the book managed to establish the characters so quickly.


Here's their simple introduction from the pages of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures 48. Chris Allan did an amazing job presenting characters with limited line work in an era where ultra-detail was the norm. He made the team look fascinating even if he kept their personalities fairly simple.

In my latest Quadrant release "Star Quadrant" we meet a new crew of space mercenaries in Vreexel, Quay, Big and Mort, the crew of the Dwarf Star. The unit owe much to the simple designs of the Nova Posse, built with broad strokes but with bits and pieces of history and characterization to make them real figures. And while one of them doesn't make it through "Star Quadrant", I hope to bring more of their adventures to the world in time.

Because unlike the Nova Posse, the Dwarf Star wasn't built for a single appearance.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Cosplay Friday: Mary Jane

Spider-Man: Far From Home is hitting theaters on this long holiday weekend, so it seemed an apt time to pull out an MJ cosplay. But in the spirit of Zendaya playing a very different take on that character (complete with new name), I thought it would be a perfect time to pull out one of my favorite looks at the character. This one is from one of the most beautiful cosplayers out there, Lua Stardust, and is maybe my favorite take on Mary Jane Watson anywhere!

You can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on my Twitter. 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!


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Star Quadrant is now available!

The final chapter of the initial arc of Quadrant is now finally available to everyone! It took years to make Quadrant 6: Star Quadrant a reality, but it drops today on Smashwords!

And if you haven't been reading the hottest team book in super powered fiction today, make sure you check out the rest of the series so far. Quadrant 1 can even be read for free!

So if you've been waiting for months or just now are catching up, get out there and pick up the final chapter in the first story for the brothers Morgan. And if you cannot wait for the follow ups, they can be pre-ordered at Smashwords or you can read them all right now by becoming a Patreon supporter at the $4 level.

Thanks for reading and make sure to leave your review at Smashwords and Goodreads!

Monday, July 1, 2019

It's Camp NaNoWriMo time again!

The fine folks at Camp NaNoWriMo hold their event twice a year, in April and again in July. With that in mind, I've decided to focus myself on pushing out more words of fiction this month. I'm not changing up any of my writing plans however. These next few weeks will be spent building towards more chapters of Quadrant, Shockwave and Doctor Cosmic Presents. I've started towards a solid buffer on my release schedule, but I'm still not up to the 6 months to a year ahead I would like to be. This month will be spent building closer towards that as I head forward into the second half of 2019 and 2020.

As usual with Camp NaNoWriMo, I'll try to keep updates coming your way as I work my way through the month, but no guarantees, as if I fall behind on my daily writing goals, this blog is usually the first thing to fall by the wayside.

Wish me luck and keep watching this space for more updates!


Friday, June 28, 2019

Great Art: Moon Knight by John K. Snyder III

I've spent a lot of time thinking about vigilantes and heroes of the mystic of late, although it is for a project I will not say too much about just yet. But with that in mind, I've been perusing some moodier art of dark vigilantes. That's when I stumbled upon this piece by John K. Snyder III.

Snyder has been around for a long time. He was drawing Grendel comics over three decades ago and has worked his way through pretty much every publisher over the years, though much of his work has been for DC. Just in the last year, he drew an issue or two of Bloodshot for Valiant and doesn't seem to show any signs of changing his eclectic release of cool art.

As far as I can tell, this piece is the only time he drew Moon Knight, for a commission. The piece perfectly encapsulates what makes the character pop so well off the panel, with his silver-white costume up against a dark background. Flanked by his enemies and the visage of Khonshu, source of his abilities, it's a super-cool piece that makes the character just look plain awesome.

As always, you can check out a lot more Great Art in the Super Powered Fiction Facebook group!. 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, June 26, 2019

That's My Jam 5: "Dangerous Days" by Perturbator

Straight up, I have no recollection of who first mentioned the name Perturbator to me. I could guess it might have been Warren Ellis' newsletter but I cannot really say for sure. But I can say that I absolutely love things cyberpunk.

And man, Perturbator is so cyberpunk.

Perturbator is just one guy, an amazingly talented French individual with the very un-French real name James Kent. He's been working in the synthwave genre of music for the better part of the decade. Synthwave seems like a genre designed for me, with a heavy focus on 80s film and video games as inspiration. But a lot of artists of the field don't click with me.

But when I stumbled upon the album Dangerous Days I was insta-hooked. It has a powerful continued beat through all its songs, like some kind of rave out of a never made Neuromancer film. It's that push to move forward coupled with the rareness of lyrics that helps make it such a great album to play while writing.

Perturbator also has some great album covers.
Dangerous Days is by Ariel Zucker-Brull. 

Once the slow rise of the opening track "Welcome Back" melds into the driving beat of "Perturbator's Theme" my mind is hyper-focused and ready to get rocking on some words. I'm listening to the album right now as I write about it and it has become so ingrained in my creative process that I just want to go back to the latest Shockwave story.

The entire album is available to listen to on Bandcamp. Perturbator even has a pay-what-you-want model set up for downloads. I'm pretty sure I actually downloaded the album for free many moons ago, but I've certainly given Mister Kent my money with every subsequent Perturbator album he's released. Or you can just listen to on this handy Spotify list...


So it's a win-win to go give this album a chance. If you like eighties movies, synth music or just a driving beat, I doubt you will be disappointed.



Monday, June 24, 2019

A chance to get the first book in the Lightweight series... free!

Lightweight: Senior Year has been on Amazon for a few years, but the one challenge I've had with the book over the years was getting reviews from the fine folks that have read it. I'm immensely proud of the work I've done on the series but I want to make sure more people get a chance to see it. On Amazon, that means it desperately needs reviews, as books with higher review numbers get higher entry points on their algorithm. I'm not a huge fan of that system, but it's what we have to work with, and my hope is that you will help me accomplish that.

Cover art by Brent Sprecher. 
With that in mind, I have free ebook copies of the book to give out to anyone willing to read it in the next month and post their review on Amazon and Goodreads. I have no limit on the copies I'm giving out, but you must review it in the next month.

But I want to sweeten the deal for this. I want to make the effort to increase the reviews on all three Lightweight titles. With that in mind, I want to tell you that I'm planning to make this same offer on the next two books in the series as well, but that offer will be exclusive to those folks that accept this one and post their reviews!

If you're interested in getting your free copy of Lightweight: Senior Year for review, contact me at my email address nick {at} superpoweredfiction {dot} com. Let me know your preferred ebook format as well. And I hope to see your reviews roll in very, very soon!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Cosplay Friday: Meggan

One of the books I cut my teeth on as a comics fan was Excalibur by Chris Claremont and Alan Davis. The two men created a really solid team book that wasn't worried about being funny here and there. It's heyday was its first year and a half or so of issues, and they still hold up as some of the reasons I will challenge anyone that lumps the 80s and 90s in comics into some generic summation.

Meggan was one of the breakout characters of the series, a faerie girl in love with Captain Britain and with a bevy of powers including shape-changing, flight, super strength and empathy. She spent much of the first year of the series basically just wearing athletic wear as a "costume" until she finally received this number during the Cross-Time Caper story. Cosplayer Sara Moni brings the Davis design to life perfectly, an impressive feat considering all the character traits that come together for the character.

You can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on my Twitter. 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!


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Newest novel in the books! (WIP Wednesday)

Patrons can read the fifth chapter of the
Ragnarok arc right now! 
Though the final chapters gave me a bit of trouble, I have now completed the last words of Lightweight: Ragnarok. Composed of chapters sixteen through twenty-one of the ongoing Lightweight series (now available on Smashwords), the series re-ignited my love for the character after too much time spent away from Kevin, Millie and the city of Federation.

As of yesterday, my patrons on Patreon can read the first five chapters of Ragnarok while everyone else can pre-order them at Smashwords right now. The collected edition of the novel is planned for a summer 2020 release. It will kick off a series of releases in full novel format starting then, as all the hard work I'm currently putting in for my fans on Patreon will be released to the world.

Over the next couple months, I have plans to release new slightly revised editions of the first three Lightweight novels as well, correcting a few minor errors and adding a new afterword. That afterword will come along with a major push for my newsletter and the Patreon, which will both get bonus stories as well. It's all part of a greater plan to increase the discoverability of my work.

That being said, I don't want anyone out there already reading my work to think I will overlook them. While I plan to release several exclusives, I will make sure they are available to all my current subscribers as well as the new readers.

My focus now is on another Doctor Cosmic Presents story as well as the remainder of Quadrant and Shockwave. Then late this year, I will return to work on book five of Lightweight. If my writing schedule remains on track, I will have it complete before the collected edition of book four is ever released.

Wish me luck and keep reading!

Monday, June 17, 2019

Kickstart the Week 75: The stupendous art edition!

I am a nut for cool art in a variety of formats, ranging from comics to book covers to fine art for its own sake. This time around I'll look at three features that just go above and beyond with superb art!

I'll kick things off with a return as Karl Kesel and David Hahn have returned to make their failed Impossible Jones comic a reality now as an original graphic novel.


Described as "grin and gritty" by its creators, Impossible Jones follows the misadventures of a thief that after getting super-stretching powers is mistaken for a hero. She rolls with it and an all new hero(-ish) is born. Hahn draws with a clean animation-esque style that is perfect for this kind of grand super-adventure! Check it out at Kickstarter!

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I was not familiar with the work of Kristof Spaey before I stumbled upon his Kickstarter, but the gentleman knows what I like. He's creating hundreds of pieces of art in the style of classic adventure and mystery pulp paperbacks. You know the type: they all feature an attractive woman and a cool title.
The Kickstarter's slipcase featuring Spaey's art.
Spaey has already produced four art books in this series and he's now out to fund his fifth and final one plus a slipcase for all the books. These all look just amazing, but the Belgium-based artist sadly offers no digital editions for those of us not able to pay three times the book's cost for shipping. Sadly that means I can only recommend these to my readers in the European Union, but everyone should at least head over to the Kickstarter and check out his art!

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We wrap this edition with a collection of stories from Helios Quarterly. The Best of Helios Quarterly features stories from the first three years of what they describe as a magazine of diverse speculative fiction. And while I'm not particularly familiar with the magazine, its writers or editor Zelda Knight, I can certainly say they have a knack for great covers on the three years of issues this collection draws from. We will close out this Kickstart the Week with the George C. Cotronis cover of this book as a final encouragement to go take a look at the book on Kickstarter.


Friday, June 14, 2019

Great Art: Ninjak by Michel Fiffe

Michel Fiffe draws one of my favorite comics right now in Copra, but he doesn't do non-creator owned characters all that often. But this variant to the Valiant Ninjak book was totally worth the price of admission!

As always, you can check out a lot more Great Art in the Super Powered Fiction Facebook group!. 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, June 12, 2019

Influential 10: Batman Role-Playing Game

Sometimes I forget how important RPGs were to my foundation as a writer. While I haven't been in an active game for almost twenty years now, I still will use them now and then as a means to generate interesting and unique characters for my stories. This Influential, previously exclusive in slightly different form to my Patrons, looks back at those formative years of gaming, with one game in particular taking the lead.

From a childhood filled with toys and grand superhero adventures, I moved in to role playing games as a way to express my storytelling. My brother started me down this road with the Marvel Super Heroes role playing game. This was the TSR produced game better known these  days as FASERIP. While I found the game fun, my access was always limited to when I could borrow it from my brother. With that in mind, I set out to find my own game to own.

I started with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness. Anyone that's played a Palladium system knows exactly how old school they are, even in comparison to the mid-80s design of Jeff Grubb with the Marvel game. I loved a lot about it (and it helped cement my already supreme fandom for TMNT) but it didn't allow me to create the full range of superheroes brimming in my young skull.

That came with the Batman Role-Playing Game. The standalone book came out in 1989 just in time for the film, but it is 100% pure old school Batman (and other 80s era DC vigilantes like Ragman and The Question.) Though the cover can best be described as boring, when I found it a year or two after release, I immediately wanted it. Considering we were in a Ben Franklin (remember those?) for maybe 5 bucks, it proved an easy get.

It's a shock it sold so poorly with
such an amazing cover, right?
The Batman RPG can best be described as the DC Heroes Basic Game. Built around a 9 stat system now called MEGS, every action in the game runs off a single action table. Built on an exponential system where each rank doubles the last, it has become a favorite of math-oriented gamers for decades. But I loved just how well the mechanics worked for building anything from a world-class detective to a man of steel. (I also found bemusement in that it was the only licensed game I read that outright said someone playing it should be Batman.)

This was the first book that I discovered a point buy system for character building, something my previous two game experiences left by the wayside for random character generation. Never had I felt so empowered to generate a hero from the ground up. Though the math was a bit complicated (though nothing in comparison to some other point-buy games like Champions I would eventually learn) I worked my way through it and started to really build characters.

And it was with MEGS that I started building my own super-universe. Initially I built it upon a plethora of comic books, pretty traditional DC and TMNT characters, but often adapting many a Marvel hero from a What If story. (I distinctly remember building the entire X-Men corner of the universe from What if Wolverine was Lord of Vampires?) Soon, I started to let that slip away as I developed into my own narratives however.

Things started with the Crusader, a name I sometimes used when we also turned our toys into superheroes. He would develop over the years to become a character I'm still developing for his own book, but back then he was pretty much just a badass knight with a magic sword. Simple and none too original for an early 90s comic fan.

The true foundation that really started the founding of my own original comic universe was built around trying to come up with a new power set for a young hero. I went through both the Marvel game and the DC game searching for something not used by many heroes in either universe. The answer was gravity manipulation.

Twenty plus years later, Lightweight is still the cornerstone of the Quadrant Universe. While he's a dramatically different character than his earliest RPG incarnations, so much of his character was developed in those fledgling days of character creation and excitement for a universe of heroes.
Yet that universe has grown from quite different routes than either comic book universe from which my gaming days started. But the true formation of the Quadrant Universe is a story for the next installment!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Coming Continuing Comics 5: the one with a serial killer and a nun

Every month I peruse the comic solicits to see what I want to add to my subscription list. Triple C takes a look at the superhero books that most stand out to me or I think are well worth a wider look by everyone.


Of course, the first entry this month is pretty much guaranteed to get a ridiculously wide look. Absolute Carnage is the latest Marvel event. (Remember a year ago when they promised we wouldn't have endless events at the company? They lied.) But unlike so many other events currently running at the publisher, Absolute Carnage is a spinoff of one of the company's two best books, Venom. (If you're wondering, the finest title from them right now though is Immortal Hulk.) Venom took the symbiote concept to a cosmic backdrop and this new series continues in that vein as a powered up Carnage now seeks to kill everyone ever touched by an oozy sentient costume. With the same team that launched the current Venom, Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman, this one will likely be both mind-bending and gorgeous.


I will stand by Warrior Nun Araela as a solid, well written superhero narrative of the mid-nineties that subverted the bad girl trend to tell some great stories. Ben Dunn started it and current YA author Barry Lyga developed the character over the years into a great character with an expansive universe. But the Warrior Nun concept was eventually sold to Avatar where it wallowed for years until the announcement the property was picked up as a new series on Netflix. Now Grimm Fairy Tales veteran (and longtime novel tie in writer) Pat Shand is launching a new era of the series with Warrior Nun Dora. Aided by Uber: Invasion artist Daniel Gete (which might not be a good sign for that series finishing anytime soon ever), it looks like a darker take on the concept set deep in the 90s.


The final pick of this month is a dollar reprint, but one with a strange hybrid. Michel Fiffe has self-published Copra for several years now. A couple months back, he reprinted the trades for the series through Image. Now on the heels of the announcement that Image is the book's new home, it also gets the Image Firsts treatment. Copra #1 reprinted for only a dollar has me intrigued, especially to see how the format works with Fiffe's creative process, one that he's used a lot of matte non-glossy paper to publish. It's an intriguing proposal as the new series looms, and it will only take a dollar to find out the answer!

Over all, it's a sparse August. The month rarely has a ton of launches, as September and October are the dates when you can start debuting all your big San Diego announcements. But these three books at least are worth a read. Stop by your local comic shop or favorite online retailer and make sure you give them a pre-order!

Friday, June 7, 2019

Gallur-y: Super-Nenas!

Over the last few years, Mexican artist Rafael Gallur has become a go to painter for action. A regular painter of amazing lucha libre magazine covers, he channels the energy of Frazetta into modern cover art, something very lacking on this side of the border. And since his art doesn't quite fit into the usual comic-oriented Great Art feature, I thought it was time to give him his own feature here at Super Powered Fiction. Few painters can match the power he brings.

Unlike a lot of his work, Super Nena (or Supernena, as I've seen it written both ways) isn't an actual star of lucha libre. Created for the fiction magazine Sensacional Del Luchas, she allowed some female led stories with a whole lot of T and A. But because of her original nature, it sure looks like she was set up to be a bit more super than some of the other luchadors in the book. She definitely has a Catwoman vibe with her whip as a weapon. This cover seems to pit her against evil duplicates of herself, ones willing to use automatic weapons and murder wantonly. There's a great story there I suspect!

Be sure to head over to Gallur's DeviantArt to check out more work by him and order some of his amazing work as prints. After you're done admiring his work, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff from me this week!



Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Have you joined The Good Fight yet?


I'm going to get real here. I talked about my story in The Good Fight 5: The Golden Age already, but apparently that's not brought quite enough readers to our amazing anthology. Our classic era super-heroics aren't attracting the level of readership for our previous four volumes of the Pen & Cape Society's premiere superhero anthology. Each volume features new stories from a variety of authors and superheroic worlds, and I'm proud to make this my fourth appearance in one of these books.

I could conjecture a hundred reasons as to why the book hasn't found success, but I know one thing that's definitely hurting it: lack of reviews! After just over a month out, it still only has one review on Amazon and none on Smashwords. The digital edition is $3.99, a steal for a book featuring twelve new stories by yours truly and a host of talented authors including the late great James Hudnall.

In order to encourage more reviews and in return, I have five digital copies available for reading and review. If you receive a copy, you must be willing to read it and give it a starred Amazon review within one month of receipt. I will give these away to the first five people that respond to this post here, on social media or by emailing me at nick {at} superpoweredfiction {dot} com.

If you have even a fraction of the love for super powered fiction that I have, I know this is a deal too good to pass up! And even if you don't get a free copy, please buy the book and review it when you're done. Every single review helps immensely. I know you see that a lot, but it is incredibly true.

The Good Fight 5: The Golden Age is now available on AmazonSmashwords and pretty much everywhere you buy books.

Monday, June 3, 2019

June Patreon Preview: Paradox revealed to Shockwave! Lightweight battles a group of old foes!

June on Patreon brings two new chapters of two of my ongoing serial novels! Here's the scoop on both issues!


Shockwave III: The City Above takes Noah Logan off of Earth for the first time to the strange world of Paradox and the Floating City. Tia meets a strange woman at the hospital while Sarah and Eighty-Six encounter The Hound. Answers are revealed, but they may just complicate things even more for our hero!

This story drops June 4th for all $5 and up Patrons!


Lightweight 20: Eye of the Beholder brings Kevin and Zia back to Federation, but it is anything but a homecoming for Kevin! With a sense of deja vu, he comes under attack at the airport and its battle designed with all his strengths and weaknesses in mind! Someone that knows him all too well wants him dead! Is it Ragnarok? Or is something more going on?

This story drops June 18 for all $2 and over Patrons.

Shockwave and Lightweight are two great heroes and I want to encourage everyone to go check them out. Everyone that supports on Patreon gets not only these two chapters when they launch but the entire back catalog of both series as well as Quadrant and Doctor Cosmic Presents. It's the cheapest, easiest way to support great new super powered fiction by yours truly. Check it all out at Patreon.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Cosplay Friday: Starfire

I will make no secrets that I sometimes play favorites here on Cosplay Friday. But it's been nearly two years since I last featured my favorite Titan on a cosplay post. That worked out wonderfully for TatumTotCosplay as I get to feature her absolutely amazing Starfire cosplay today! She knocked it out of the park with her modern take on the character here!

You can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on my Twitter. 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!




Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The strange journeys of the writer (WIP Wednesday)

I've made no secret that I like to bounce from project to project as I write. I'm furiously working to get the final touches on the current volume of Lightweight wrapped before I move on to the concluding chapters of both Quadrant and Shockwave. But along with the super-secret stories that will take the place of Lightweight on the Patreon schedule in the second half of the year, I'm also hard at work on a new book in a new corner of the Quadrant Universe.

Image by Aziz Acharki via Unsplash. 

It's time I take a deep dive into the mystic side of the universe. 

It will involve ancient artifacts, secret societies and a lineage of heroes, so if you're enjoying the things I'm currently writing, I suspect this new project will intrigue as well. I'm actually working through some of the different bits and pieces of comic and historical lore that have inspired it right now. I've got works from Michael Scott, Sharon Scott (no relation), J.M. DeMatteis, Neil Gaiman and Warren Ellis on the table as I try to gather my thoughts on how best to bring my new hero to life.

Since this one is still in the development stages, it's probably about a year out at least from publication. But I'm sure I'll talk about it a lot more when its underway.

As that develops and even as I put the finishing touches on the current Lightweight story arc, I've already started to outline the next chapter of Kevin's life. I've been working to develop a full schedule for my releases on Patreon over the next year or so. The releases on other platforms will continue to follow around six months after each issue's release with collected editions out six months after the final chapter of each arc. That means Lightweight: Ragnarok won't be released as a collected edition until sometime next summer, for those keeping track, but after that, I should have a new print collection out about once every four to six months going forward.

With Lightweight being the Quadrant Universe's flagship book, I'm hoping to have a setup in place that after the next hiatus, it should have a minimum of seven to nine new issues out every year. I have a lot more adventures of Kevin to share with all of you in the months and years ahead!

Remember if Patreon isn't your jam, pre-orders for first four chapters of the current Patreon run of Lightweight stories are now up at Smashwords. Starting with "Earthbound," the current series takes him all over the globe on a path to a deadly confrontation with the villain known as Ragnarok! It's a can't-miss new chapter in the life of our hero!

To stay up to date on the release schedule and all things Quadrant Universe, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Great Art: Storm by Ken Steacy

Canadian great Ken Steacy isn't a name mentioned nearly enough in the annuls of great comic artists, but he did some truly great work from the mid-80s to the mid-90s. Here's an excellent Storm pin-up from a classic issue of Marvel Fanfare as a shining example.

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, May 22, 2019

New Heroics 1: a look at new super powered fiction!

I've been quietly whiling away with my own works for years now, but with my focus on the Quadrant Universe, I've lost a lot of the places where I crossover with the other creators out there with superheroes in their fiction. To remedy that, I introduce New Heroics, a recurring column where I look at books coming in the wide world of stories out there. These are not meant as an endorsement of any writer's work, but a way to share new stuff from compatriots in the writing trenches.


Knightwatch: Invictus X is the first book in veteran scribe Mark Ellis's new superhero fiction series. With characters culled from the public domain, he uses the DC generational concept to form his own takes on several characters with familiar names. This one is actually on my Kindle right now and I can vouch that the adventures of Scarab, Magno, Lynx, Samson and Kismet get better with each page.


Friend of the site and all around swell guy Jeff Deischer is a writing machine. His latest novel is New World Order: Hero U.N.I.O.N. which focuses on a United Nations program to develop superhuman agents. With fifty years of history behind it, this looks like an interesting take on the classic THUNDER Agents concept, one which always needs more love.

I've known David Kachel for years, as the man helped me make the classic Metahuman Press site in the mid-aughts. He's since honed his craft and has released a collected edition of his Legacy: The Tale of the American Eagle. I can vouch for the quality of this one, so be sure to get out there and check it out.


Derek Borne is a name I've not yet read but he's been quickly releasing new works in his Ultimate Agent series over the last couple years. He's released a couple of shorts over the last few months featuring the Agent on the hunt for cryptids. His most recent is The Mothman Files, where if you haven't guessed, the Agent goes up against the legendary mothman.

Borne has been at it a couple years, but Yuri Jean-Baptiste just debuted his first book in January. He's got the right style down for modern publishing though, as five months later he's already got a prequel and a second book out in his Metamorphs series. The latest is the prequel, Legion's Gambit. The pull quote is a bit light on details but looks like it might set up the story of superhero students in the first volume of the series. It is free however, so anyone interested in checking out Yuri's work have no excuse not to do so.

The third book in the Chronicles of Fid series and David Reiss continues his story of the supervillain Doctor Fid in Starfall. Villains going to the light has been used as a story trope for years, but it remains a highly untapped concept for a long term superhero story. It should be interesting to see how Reiss plays it out in his series.


Michael C. Bailey is a name I've seen on the superhero fiction pages for years on Facebook. His Action Figures series has become a strong seller over the years. The eight book in the series shares a title with a fantastic Doom Patrol collection: Crawling From the Wreckage. The story picks up with our lead Carrie Hauser returning from eight months in space to find her life... a wreck. She's got to rebuild her purpose from the ground up. But two opposing teams of super-villains will make it a lot less easy in what sounds like an action packed continuance of this series!

That wraps up the first installment of New Heroics! If you're a superhero fiction writer that wants your book featured here drop me a line at nick{at}superpoweredfiction{dot}com with your new work and it just might appear in our next column!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Souls, slayers and tap dances? (Kickstart the Week 74)

It's been a bit too long since I perused the halls of Kickstarter to find some of the best super powered projects to share with you here on the blog. But this time around, I've got three books that continue series while also allowing new readers to hop on with ease.


Big Dog Ink was an indie that pumped out some superb comics over a couple year period. Finances eventually derailed it though and it seemed like its titles might be gone. But creator and writer Tom Hutchison has been bringing the material back slowly through Kickstarter over the last couple years. He's already funded a return of Critter, and now he's bringing out a new storyline that looks to move his Penny For Your Soul series forward.

I never read as much Penny as I did Critter, but it's a very solid supernatural thriller set against the backdrop of Las Vegas. This volume looks to move the series on in some major ways, but it also has levels designed for easy entry for those that haven't read the previous three volumes of this run or the first five issues of this one!


Harriet Tubman: Demon Slayer was a fun, unique project by an enthusiastic creator that now looks to bring his first arc to a conclusion. With some great artists onboard, David Crownson has made a compelling series here that looks great. It doesn't shy away from the hard facts of the Underground Railroad while also bringing in a decidedly different element with the demons Harriet faces. If history and monsters are in your wheelhouse, give this one a chance.


Ted Sikora created one of the most fascinating modern comics in my humble opinion with Apama the Undiscovered Animal. I've been a proud supporter of that title since it was an early Comixology indie title, through two successful Kickstarters and now as a bimonthly series. But his Hero Tomorrow line has a second title, Tap Dance Killer. It stars the same universe's top villain, a clown princess of crime, if you will. Sikora works with artist Nikolaus Harrison on this series. He's a stellar though relatively unknown artist. The collection of the first five issues of the series is now on tap and the Kickstarter is out to fund the publication of the book.

Go give those Kickstarters a look and I hope you'll give them some love as well! And if you have a project that you think should be featured in Kickstart the Week, be sure to shoot me an email or leave a comment below!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Cosplay Friday: Emma Frost

I wasn't much a fan of AVX at Marvel, but the one great thing to come out of it was the Phoenix Force imbued Emma Frost and her costume. It was simply an amazing character design.

The immensely talented costume designer RuffleButt made her own suit here and it's nothing short of amazing work. Go over to her DeviantArt and make sure to check out all her amazing work there.

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!


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Influential: Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends

Patreon subscribers have now read the first two-thirds of Lightweight's return to Earth. Let's go back and look at a Saturday morning cartoon that influenced my style of superheroics. 

I freely admit that Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends is not the best piece of Saturday morning television ever produced. Even by early 80s standards it was a so-so venture, but when you’re three and four and just falling in love with superheroes, it doesn’t really matter.



But even now, I can sit back and enjoy old episodes of the series when I find them on television or online. Because Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends made me understand that a superhero universe offers more than the simple adventures I saw on the earlier Spider-Man series or the contemporary Incredible Hulk. While Spider-Man, Firestar and Iceman could have simple adventures based around their everyday lives, they could also have bigger adventures alongside amazing guest stars, many which were completely new to me. Captain America, Sunfire, Shanna, the X-Men and a dozen other Marvel characters were shown to me for the first time in the series. I learned that Spider-Man didn’t have to be contained to local tales, but could be as big or as small scale a hero as a given adventure entailed.

A particular favorite episode with an awesome group of heroes.
It was an important lesson that I never really embraced until I started to write Lightweight and Quadrant. With both, I set out to create down to earth heroes whose adventures could span the world and the universe. Quadrant started to expand its boundaries almost immediately, but for Lightweight, it really starts in a big way with the upcoming installment, Lightweight: Beyond. The new tale takes him into the wider Quadrant Universe and will reveal much of the inner workings of the galaxy that surrounds our tiny blue word.

Lightweight: Beyond offers one other big advantage over Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends: it will never convince a single young fan that Iceman and Firestar are way more important heroes than they actually are.