Jul 182014
 

My Femme Noir collaborator, Joe Staton, will be appearing at the Baltimore Comic-Con, September 5 -7. At the show, they’ll be distributing a charity Yearbook with art by the guests. Those artists with creator-owned characters were asked to draw them interacting with Matt Wagner’s character Grendel. This is Joe’s contribution, with colors by Matt Webb, pitting The Blonde against the Hunter Rose incarnation of Grendel, among the rooftops of Port Nocturne.

I’d love to see this crossover become a reality… but only if Wagner writes it.
Apr 232014
 
I know I haven't been posting to this blog much in the last few months, but Spring is here and all the distractions that plagued me over the Winter From Hell™ are receding in the rear-view mirror, so it's time to get back to the "shameless self-promotion and pop culture commentary" this site promised.

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

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

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

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

We appreciate all comments and feedback from our readers. We also appreciate every link and referral, because the more readers we have, the easier it is justify keeping them going. So thanks, to everyone who's helped spread the word... and if you haven't read them yet: why not?
Aug 122013
 
This week's Atomic Pulp comics news/update:

Monday is the FINAL episode of Gravedigger: The Scavengers by Yours Truly & Rick Burchett! But... have no fear, because the next, all new, Digger McCrae caper, The Predators, begins in just a couple of weeks!

http://www.gravediggercomic.com/

Wednesday is the launch of the new Femme Noir website, beginning with a serialization of the "origin" story (stories?) "Blonde Justice," with art by Joe Staton, inks by Horacio Ottolini and colors by Melissa Kaercher. Even if you own this issue or have simply read it before, I hope you'll drop by and check out the new digs!

http://www.femme-noir.com/

And, of course, Perils On Planet X continues this Friday, with the third installment of Chapter 2, "Flight Into Terror," with art by Gene Gonzales and colors by Ian Sokoliwski.
http://www.perilsonplanetx.com/
Aug 072013
 
Okay - not too long ago, I promised that I would soon have an announcement regarding Femme Noir, the comic that I co-created with artist Joe Staton. Here it is (although it's really two announcements, I guess):

On August 14th, we're re-launching www.femme-noir.com, where Joe and I will be re-presenting classic Femme Noir comics and archiving all the pin-ups, fan art and character sketches that have been created over the last 10+ years since we debuted our fishnet-clad heroine online. We will also be using the site to keep fans informed on the progress of a new Femme Noir graphic novel, which we're shooting to get out next year.

All four issues of the 2009 "Dark City Diaries" miniseries, as well as previously-published short stories & online strips, will be serialized - for FREE - online, a page a week. If you already have these comics in your collection, the online versions will be supplemented with new bonus material (samples of Joe's pencils, my original script pages, commentary, etc.). The site will also function as a “Production Log” for the new graphic novel – and any other future Femme Noir projects/products.

It is our hope that new readers will enjoy the stories as serialized, but, of course, the print versions will also be available for purchase from publisher Ape Entertainment (as long as supplies last!) for the impatient. We also hope that folks who already have these stories will enjoy the bonuses and project updates. Along with the reruns, we'll be occasionally previewing work-in-progress art from the forthcoming graphic novel, "Cold, Dead Fingers," and have other surprises in the works, as well.

Now... about that "Cold, Dead Fingers: The Graphic Novel." This will be a completely re-written and re-drawn, extended version of the very first Femme Noir online comics continuity, which appeared way back in 2000-2001. The basic plot remains the same, but it will be considerably expanded-upon, with additional characters, subplots, and action beats.

Femme Noir co-creator Joe Staton will, as always, pencil the book, and my frequent collaborator, Gravedigger artist Rick Burchett, has volunteered to ink it. Rick got his professional start inking Joe on E-Man at First Comics in the 1980s, and they make a formidable artistic team. Colors will be provided by the talented Matt Webb, who previously colored a couple issues of "The Dark City Diaries" miniseries. We're starting production on "Cold, Dead Fingers" this month, and hope to have it completed and released sometime in 2014.

Anyway - I know some folks will be disappointed that this announcement is mostly about re-presenting the existing Femme Noir stories online, but it is our hope that we'll be able to provide enough new content to keep our old fans interested and involved, while using the serialized web versions to attract new readers. So that's the news: classic Femme Noir serialized online for free, lots of bonus material (new and old), and a new graphic novel gearing up.

We hope you’ll check out femme-noir.com in a couple of weeks and make it a regular part of your online reading habit.
Jul 132013
 
It's no secret that as a writer I've had a few rough years, and haven't been nearly as prolific/productive as I'd like. There are a lot of reasons for that - many (if not most) of them of my own making. As per my New Year's resolution, 2013 has been all about the Atomic Pulp brand - i.e. finishing up the creator-owned comics projects that had been languishing (Gravedigger & Perils On Planet X), reviving older properties (Femme Noir), and getting started on some new projects that have percolating in my brain for a long, long time (Skorpion, "The Issue #200 Project," Star Busters, Young Felons In Love).

With half the year already gone, I haven't made quite as much progress as I'd hoped, but with the Gravedigger and Perils On Planet X comics running weekly online, I've at least made real headway on those particular projects and have raised my profile a tiny bit. I'm currently working on a new Femme Noir graphic novel, which I'll be sending to artist Joe Staton around the end of the month (I hope!) and have started plotting a new Gravedigger caper that both Rick Burchett and I are quite psyched about.

I also am working on plans to re-present the already-existing Femme Noir comic book material, and should have some news on that front shortly.

If I can keep my shit together, I should be able to get to work on new stuff by mid-Autumn (the above-mentioned "Issue #200 Project," Star Busters and Young Felons In Love), and maybe, in 2014, I can start looking for freelance comics work again (assuming anyone would be interested in hiring me).

In many ways, I'm my own worst enemy, allowing myself to get discouraged too easily, and letting that discouragement paralyze me for ridiculously long periods of time. I'm working hard to get past that, though. I just turned 48 years old this week, and there are so many stories I still want to tell....
Jul 122013
 
My pal Steve Bryant was sharing some faux-retro, Golden Age Athena Voltaire covers on his Facebook page today. It made me want to play around in Photoshop, too, so I whipped up this variant of the second issue of the Femme Noir miniseries from a few years back, in the style of old Gold Key Comics.The art is by Joe Staton and Alfredo Lopez Jr.
Jan 212013
 
So far, my New Year's Resolution to finish up all my stalled comics projects is going pretty well - in the last few weeks I've written new Gravedigger and Perils On Planet X script pages, set those two features up as weekly webcomic sites (HERE and HERE), and started on the script for a Femme Noir graphic novel to be illustrated by my partner-in-crime, Joe Staton... and it's still January!

Once I get those done, *maybe* I can finally get back to Captain Midnight - both the comic and the novel I started last Summer - assuming I still have a publisher.


If your comics diet lacks sufficient quantities of essential pulp, please check out - and bookmark - the websites for the above-mentioned, forthcoming weekly webcomics Perils On Planet X (with Gene Gonzales) and Gravedigger (with Rick Burchett):
 

Both weekly comics debut at the beginning of February! Thank you for your support... and please tell your friends!
Mar 012012
 
And, in celebration of "Creator-Owned Comics Day," here's 5-page Femme Noir sampler by yours truly, Dick Tracy artist Joe Staton, Mark Stegbauer and Michael Watkins, an action-packed, tongue-in-cheek tribute to one of my favorite Poverty Row Bela Lugosi pictures. This short originally appeared in the 2009 Free Comic Book Day special from Ape Entertainment. (I've actually posted this story here on the blog before, back in '09, but the images were hosted elsewhere and have since disappeared...)

And, of course, the trade paperback collection of the first Femme Noir comic book miniseries, The Dark City Diaries, is still available.

Femme Noir: Dark City Diaries