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?
Apr 132014
 
It's been a long time since I first mentioned the secret comics project that I'm working on with artist Peter Grau, but that's mostly because I didn't get much of my part of it done over the winter. It turned out to be a hellish few months, with too much else going on. Now, though, I'm back to work on the script(s), so I thought I'd post another preliminary sketch from the pulp space opera epic by my amazingly talented collaborator.

Still no schedule or target date for the finished project; it'll be done when it's done. I will be keeping interested folks posted on our progress though, here on my blog.
Jan 022014
 
I didn't get everything accomplished that I wanted to in 2013, but I'm proud that I was able to launch both Perils On Planet X and Gravedigger online in February, and haven't missed a weekly update on either comic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy New Year!!
Oct 302013
 
Click To Enlarge
What coulda/shoulda been: Back in the late 1990s, my pal James Chambers and I briefly had our own comics company called Shadow House Press. We published five issues of our horror anthology title Shadow House ('natch!) before we ran out of money and had to call it quits.

This gorgeous wrap-around cover by Kirk Van Wormer and Kevin Nowlan was intended to grace our (ultimately unpublished) Shadow House Halloween Special and features our horror hostess character, Autumn, offering some tricky treats to Jim's creation, the Lil' Ghoul Gang....
Oct 012013
 
October, at last. Random thoughts:

• Foot pain back, and it appears to be my old friend, gout. Laid up again. Yay.

• Numbers on yesterday's Gravedigger comic update were unusually low. Disappointing - and, given my state of mind today, discouraging. Need to find new (free) ways to drum up traffic. Facebook & Twitter and this blog aren't doing the job.

• Was hoping to get back to regular/semi-regular posting at DVD Late Show and Space: 1970 this month - depends on whether I can get the comics work on my plate and design gig that's supposed to show up soon out of the way.

It doesn't help that new Maine state tax laws going into effect today have shut down the only income I earned from those blogs, via the Amazon affiliate program. It wasn't much, but it was an additional incentive to keep putting in the work those sites require.

• News is just too depressing today. Will try to avoid it.

• Been watching a lot more current TV than usual lately. For the record, I thought the last four episodes of Breaking Bad were terrific, I liked the Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot and think a lot of people were way too critical of it, and thought the pilot of Sleepy Hollow was goofy fun. Plan to follow S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hollow for a few weeks, at least.

• As far as October movies, I'm really looking forward to Machete Kills! despite the presence of Mel Gibson. Interested in Gravity, as well, despite presence of Sandra Bullock.

• I could really use a bowl of Count Chocula... hope I can make it to Target soon to stock up.
Sep 242013
 
Okay, I can't resist sharing this here:
 

This is a preliminary sketch by artist Peter Grau, who comic fans may remember from his stint at Valiant Comics back in the 90s on titles like Solar, Man of the Atom and Secret Weapons, for a new graphic novel project we're just beginning to collaborate on.

I've been a fan of Peter's for years, and when I was an editor at Tekno*Comix in the mid-90s, I hired him to draw several issues of Mickey Spillane's Mike Danger. I've always thought that he was a terrific, underrated visual storyteller and illustrator in the classic "adventure comics" style, but I don't think that the material he was assigned at Valiant (or by me at Tekno) really played to his strengths. He basically retired from comics in the early '00s, and has been doing commercial illustration in recent years. To my great surprise, he's chosen to return to the medium for this project. I hope that this graphic novel will be a proper showcase for his talents.

I don't want to go into too many specifics about the book, but it is a retro-styled space adventure with square-jawed heroes, pretty space girls, rocketships, rayguns, aliens, monsters, robots, cavegirls (and cavemen), dinosaurs and lots of two-fisted action.

It's not intended as a spoof or pastiche, but the best, most sincere, Gardner Fox-styled, Old School space opera I can manage. Regular readers of this blog may be able to make some educated guesses as to the particulars of the project, but I'm going to try and not get too far ahead of myself this time. To often, out of enthusiasm, I've discussed comics projects here on the blog that ended up fizzling out before completion... but I feel really good about this one.

The plots are finished, and I'm starting the scripts this week; I don't know exactly how long this book will take to complete (though we're shooting for about this time next year), or even where it will end up, but - obviously - I'm very excited about it.
Sep 112013
 
My only 2013 convention appearance will be at the Coast City Comic Con, in South Portland, Maine, the weekend of November 9th and 10th. It looks to be a surprisingly "big" show for this neck of the woods, with a bunch of notable comics guests - Mike Norton, Larry Hama, Ed McGuinness, Ben Templesmith, Erik Burnham and many others - and film/TV celebrities, including most of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 cast, and a reunion of actors from the 1984 cult film Savage Streets!

I’ll have a table in the artists alley and will have copies of my comics, graphic novels and prose anthologies on hand for purchase. I’ll try to have some Gravedigger and Perils On Planet X stuff there, too. Hope to see you there!
Aug 302013
 
It's been almost a decade in the making, but the wait is nearly over... the new Gravedigger adventure, "The Predators," by Yours Truly and artist Rick Burchett, begins on Monday, September 2nd, at http://www.gravediggercomic.com.

For nine years people have been telling me how much they wanted to read more Gravedigger, so I'm expecting a lot of hits on the site on Monday. Don't disappoint me....
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/