Tagged: Halloween



Airship 27 Productions and Dynamic Ram Audio are very, very happy to announce the release of the second Brother Bones audio pulp adventure as read by Mark Kalita with production by Sound Engineer Chris Barnes.
Following the successful release of the origin story, “The Bone Brothers,” this second story, of the seven that appeared in Airship 27 Productions’ book BROTHER BONES – THE UNDEAD AVENGER, is titled “Shield and Claw,” and has the grim hero of Port Noir battling a savage werewolf in a fast paced, melodramatics audio experience.
“Once again, voice actor Mark Kalita provides the chills,” Airship 27 Managing Editor Ron Fortier applauds enthusiastically.  “His reading pulls the listener along like a runaway freight train and Chris adds the proper mood music and effects to properly heighten the suspense.”
Airship 27 Production is selling each of the original stories individually for $2 each as mp3 downloads from their website.  After all seven have been produced and released individually, the entire book audio package will go on sale for $9.99, a $4 savings.
Art Director Rob Davis has provided cover images from the illustrations he drew for each story.   SHIELD AND CLAW is an audio pulp written by Ron Fortier and read by Mark Kalita is now on sale and is the perfect “treat” for this Halloween season.
We are also in the process of putting out a brand new edition of the book that will soon be available on Create Space, Amazon, Indy Planet and Kindle.


Just in time for Halloween, the first Brother Bones the Undead Avenger audio tale is now available for download from our Airship 27 website. Produced by Dynamic Ram Audio, Chris Barnes Sound Engineer and read by Mark Kalita, this creepy thriller is wall to wall pulp fun. And only $2 a download.

Press Release:


In 2008 Airship 27 Productions released BROTHER BONES; a collection of seven original stories featuring Ron Fortier’s original character known as the Undead Avenger. Taking place in the fictional port city of Cape Noir, the stories dealt with zombie dogs, gorilla gangsters, werewolf assassins and even a ghost train.  Throughout each, Brother Bones took on every evil with his twin blazing .45 automatics as the unstoppable vigilante.

Now Airship 27 has teamed with Chris Barnes of Dynamic Ram Audio to bring these over the top pulp thrillers to audio and in two different options.  Initially each individual tale, all to be read by voice actor Mark Kalita, will be offered to fans as individual downloads from the Airship 27 website for the low price of $2 each. The first such, “The Bone Brothers,” which tells the origin of the character is now up and available.

Barnes is not shy about his love for the character.  “When Ron Fortier approached me to produce Brother Bones : The Undead Avenger, let’s just say he was glad he was thousands of miles away, because I would quite literally have bitten his hand off.  These stories begged to be given a full audio treatment, and both Mark Kalita and I are having an absolute ball putting these together!  We hope fans will enjoy listening to them as much as we are enjoying making them.”

As each new story is completed it will also be sold separately for the $2 price.  When all seven of the tales have been completed and sold individually, Airship 27 & Dynamic Ram Audio will make the entire audio book available to fans for the sale price of $9.99, a $4 saving from the individual offerings.

“It was our idea,” explained Fortier, the Airship 27 Managing Editor, “to offer fans of the character these smaller audio files for a very reasonable fee.  Brother Bones has a huge following and we are also delighted to have several of these made available just in time for Halloween.”

THE BONE BROTHERS, an audio pulp written by Ron Fortier and read by Mark Kalita is now on sale at http://robmdavis.com/Airship27Hangar/index.airshipHangar.html.

In a few weeks a brand new edition of the book will also be available on Create Space, Amazon, Indy Planet and Kindle.


October is horror month at iPulpFiction.com and Jeff Rice’s original Kolchak novels from Moonstone Books are the featured releases beginning October 1, 2012.

Before the X-Files, Carl KOLCHAK was TV’s first paranormal investigator, albeit a reluctant one. Kolchak is a dogged reporter who will seek the truth, no matter the cost. His “every man” qualities, as well as his wit and charm, keep us rooting for him every time.

Learn more at www.ipulpfiction.com.

REVIEW: The Halloween Tree

When a literary giant dies, there’s a rush to rediscover the author’s works, delighting in old favorites or finally reading a work you have somehow missed. The passing of Ray Bradbury has prompted such a journey in print and in other media. Warner Archive, to their credit, has just released The Halloween Tree, the 1993 animated adaptation of his 1972 fantasy.

The 90-minute feature was adapted by Bradbury and directed by Mario Piluso, featuring the voices of Leonard Nimoy, Annie Barker, Darleen Carr, Lindsay Crouse, Alex Greenwald, and Bradbury himself as the narrator.

A small group of four children are out trick-or-treating one Halloween when one of them, Pip, goes missing. Checking his house, they learn he has been rushed off for an emergency appendectomy. Instead of  making their rounds without him, they determine to visit him instead at the hospital. Instead, they wander off their intended path and get lost. They then encounter Mr. Moundshroud (Nimoy) who explains he’s after Pip’s ghost and refuses to help the children since they are woefully ignorant of the true meaning behind Halloween. If they can keep up with him and his giant kite, they can accompany him and suddenly, they are taken 4000 years into the past. The bulk of the tale explores the Egyptian Book of the Dead, stop by Notre Dame Cathedral and its gargoyles followed by a trip to Mexico and their Day of the Dead, which is also where they finally catch up to Pip.

The animation design is adequate if uninspired but it does convey a nice sense of atmosphere, aided by the vocal cast, which does a nice job. Overall, this is something that should be in regular rotation alongside the annual Peanuts special so people can delight in Bradbury’s work and learn a little something, too. Rather than hope it gets rerun on the Cartoon Network, you might want to get this for your home collection.

You should seek out the 2005 edition of the book which has the “author’s preferred text” along with the screen adaptation script.

Emily S. Whitten: Women and Costuming

I came at fandom costuming (or cosplay, or whatever term you want to go by) from a pretty sideways angle. The entire purpose of the first set of convention costumes I ever wore was to advertise, for three days straight, the first North American Discworld Convention, of which I was a co-founder, and which took place back in 2009.

 (Side note: registration for NADWCon2013 is now open. Discworld fans: come to Baltimore next year and join the fun!)

All three of us co-founders were attending the 2008 UK Discworld Con, both to get an idea of how they ran their con (for the two of us who hadn’t been to a Discworld Con before) and to spread the word about our new con. The one co-founder who had been to the UK Con before happened to be a talented costumer – I mean the kind who can actually sew together outfits from scratch – and she convinced me that I should costume too, to call attention to our con and encourage UK attendees.

In the Discworld there’s a character named Moist von Lipwig (pronounced LipVIG, of course, for any ignorant heathens out there), and he wears a brilliant cloth-of-gold suit, both to look flash and get attention, and to represent, in the minds of the people of Ankh-Morpork (main city of Discworld) the avatar of the failing post office as he tries to pull it from the ruins of neglect and make it successful again. Therefore, my co-founder had decided that for maximum attention she should do a female version of this – an amazing cloth-of-gold-looking Victorian walking suit, patterned with the turtles I had designed for our convention symbol. She looked freakin’ amazing. As for me, I was, well, shall we say, a bit more lazy.

Nevertheless, at her prompting I decided to do something in gold to match her and garner us more attention as we walked around together, but to stay a little more within my costuming skill set (which was almost zero at that point). Think of something I could cobble together by just buying a bunch of stuff that somehow coordinated into a “costume.” Between the two of us we came up with the idea of me going around as a flashy “Band With Rocks In” groupie (a band featured in Soul Music, the first Discworld book I ever read); with a t-shirt of the Band that advertised their “North American Discworld Convention” world tour. This is how I ended up wearing gold go-go boots, gold fishnets, and a ridiculously short and tight gold miniskirt all over a convention for three days. Also gold leather jewelry. And a gold bag shaped like a guitar. Rock!

So, you know: the first time I ever costumed at a con I was flashy and I wore a tiny miniskirt and that was solely to get attention. For a convention, not for myself, but still. Why am I talking about this now? Because there have been, and continue to be, a lot of interesting discussions about women and costuming at comic cons and related geeky cons, and why we wear what we wear, and whether it’s for the love of the fandom, or the love of putting together awesome outfits, or to get attention for our skills, or to get attention as sex objects (the most prominent theory and/or wish fulfillment thought in circulation). And after reading this blog post and a number of related ones that discuss primarily the “sex object” angle, I feel this merits further discussion.

That so many people seem to think women have only one motivation for wearing convention costumes that happen to be “skimpy” or “sexy” or whatever bothers me and implies some pretty negative things about the way women are viewed in comics and geek fandom. Women are more complex than that, y’all. Really we are. We have many motivations for what we do, and they don’t all boil down to “trying to get some dude’s attention.” Assuming that the purpose of a woman wearing an attractive costume is solely to garner attention as a sex object also removes those women, in the minds of those making the assumption, from the general group of fans who are at the convention to geek out with other fans and have fun, and places them in another, dehumanizing category – things there just to be looked at. And sometimes, as geek gals just wanting to have awesome geek conversations with other fans, that really spoils our fun.

While I certainly don’t take issue with women who do wear skimpy outfits for male attention, or deny that as one motivation for such convention wear, I have great concern about the attitude, particularly in the already heavily male-centric comics fandom, that the purpose and/or function of women in costume is just to look hot for all the random dudes in the crowd.

I’m not pulling this attitude out of thin air. I’ve encountered it personally, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. For example, after telling a very nice guy friend (i.e. not a sexist jerk or something) that I was working on some costumes for the next con I attend, I was reminded that “sexy is popular.” When I joked that just for that comment, I was going to go dressed as a down comforter, he responded that this would be a waste for “all those guys looking at” me. But…see, awesome as my friend is, he was missing the point. I am not primarily costuming for “all those guys looking at me” (at least, not in that sense. I always like people appreciating the effort I put into a costume, of course). Nor is that something I should be required to do for my costume to be admired at a comic/fandom con. I mean, sure, I like my costumes to look attractive – I always like to look nice. And I’m not going to faint in shock if I’m walking around in a miniskirt and guys happen to approve. It’s a miniskirt. They’re guys. There’s a Pavlovian response at work there, and I’m not naïve about it.

Obviously I don’t want people to think I’m unattractive – who would? But my point is that when I sit down to create a costume, I’m not thinking, “…and then I’ll wear the short skirt, because guys think that’s hot.” No, if I wear the short skirt, it’s because, say, the skirt is authentic to the costume. Or it calls to mind the stereotype of a band groupie at a rock concert. Or it’s floofy, and I just love wearing floofy things. And that’s as it should be.

I can’t speak for the motivations of every female costumer out there, but just for kicks and education, let’s look briefly at the motivations behind a few of the costumes I’ve worn or will be wearing to cons that someone out there might assume I’m just wearing to get a guy’s attention. In numbered list format, because Deadpool approves of numbered lists.

1)   Black Canary: I’ve worn a Black Canary costume for Halloween and Dragon*Con. If you’re somehow not familiar with Black Canary, her costume could certainly be stereotyped as something worn to get attention. I mean, for one thing, she doesn’t wear pants. Add to that a leotard, high-heeled black boots, and fishnets, and, yeah, I’d guess this counts as a “sexy” outfit. Why did I wear it? Simply put, I had two weeks to come up with something to wear for Halloween and I like Black Canary and suddenly realized I already owned 90% of what I’d need to be her. I’m lazy and cheap but I still like to costume Geek, even for Halloween. So I rounded up the stuff I already owned, bought a cheap cropped leather jacket and, voila! Instant costume.

2)   The Absinthe Fairy: This isn’t a comics costume, but I’ve worn it for Discworld and Dragon*Con, and I love it to death. It features a lacy corset, a short floofy skirt, and bright green five inch platform heels. It’s inspired in vague part by the absinthe fairy in Moulin Rouge. Why did I wear it? Because I love that color of bright green, which prompted me to buy the bright green corset (curse my magpie reaction to pretty things!), which inspired me to come up with a costume for it, which had to be of the right period to fit with Discworld (think burlesque, not proper parlors). And I like fairy wings, because who doesn’t like fairy wings? Even the five inch heels were motivated by something other than wanting attention – they match the corset perfectly, and nothing else looked even remotely right.

3)   Deadpool Cheerleader: This is one I’m putting together for an upcoming con. It will feature a very short cheerleading dress, because that is what cheerleaders wear. Not to wear something like that would negate the point of the costume. Why am I wearing it? A large number of people have suggested to me at various times that I costume as Deadpool, but I have zero desire to actually dress as the character. I’ve never wanted to be Deadpool – I just like to write him. However, after the umpteenth time someone suggested this to me, I thought about how I spend a lot of my comics-discussion-time as Deadpool’s unofficial cheerleader, and, well – sometimes I have a pretty simple sense of humor. So. Yeah.

4)   Arkham City Harley Quinn: I’ve seen a lot of women complain that this version of Harley was designed solely to pander to the fanboys. She’s wearing leather pants, you can see her bra, she wears a belly-baring corset, etc., etc. I’m currently working on putting this costume together for a con. Why am I wearing it? Because Arkham City Harley Quinn looks like a badass punk who just doesn’t give a damn, yo. She looks pissed at the world and ready to do something about it. And if I could dress however I wanted to with no consequences (like totally getting fired), not gonna lie, sometimes I’d want to get up in the morning, put on studded wrist-cuffs and leather pants, and go out into the world angry and ready to kick some ass. Wouldn’t you?

Like I said, I don’t know what every costuming woman’s motivations might be. But take a look at the above, and I think you get my point. Behind every woman in costume, there could be any number of motivations for what she’s wearing, and they’re probably much more interesting than “looking hot.” So let’s discard the assumption that women in costume are just there to be ogled or looking for male attention and move on to the part where we’re all well-rounded personalities with many facets who like to have geek fun together, shall we? I think that’s an excellent plan.

And until next time, Servo Lectio!

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold Goes Beyond!


Monday Mix-Up: “The Rocky Hora Hannukah Show”

Monday Mix-Up: “The Rocky Hora Hannukah Show”


Enjoy the Shlomones, “The World’s greatest Jewish Rock Band”, and their attempt to turn The Rocky Horror Picture Show from a Halloween to Hannukah classic!

And have a Happy Hannukah!

MIKE GOLD: The Bizarro Family – Marilyn Monroe and JFK!

Bizarro Mindy Newell’s column debut last Monday inspired me to trash the column I had in mind for today and instead tell you the story of Bizarro Marilyn Monroe and Bizarro John F. Kennedy. Well, let’s say postpone – the first rule of deadline writing is “thou shalt not never ever throw any idea out.”

Way, way back in the days shortly after newsprint replaced papyrus and the stapler revolutionized the magazine industry, DC Comics published a monthly called Adventure Comics. At this moment in time – February 13, 1962 – Adventure’s lead feature was “Tales of the Bizarro World,” based upon the popular characters running rampant through the DCU of the era. If you’re even thinking about asking if these stories were in continuity, please immediately see your doctor about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

DC’s approach to humor at the time allowed for inside jokes as long as they didn’t interfere with the story. Batman #66, “The Joker’s Comedy of Errors,” is perhaps the grossest evidence of this. The editor of Adventure Comics was Mort Weisinger, and there’s been a lot of stories told about the guy. He was rough on writers – they would have to pitch several stories only to be rejected and fed a premise to work on instead. I’m told some pitches would then be given to another writer. Perhaps the writer was better suited for the concept; perhaps Mort was just a sadist.

Anyway, what is less known is that Mort Weisinger was pretty heavily wired into the political and celebrity scene. The DC job was a three day a week gig, and he did a lot of writing for “legitimate” publications such as the highly credible newspaper magazine insert, This Week. I don’t know how close he was to the Kennedy family, but he ran in those circles.

What people did not know during President Kennedy’s life was something that is common assumption today: JFK had quite a sweaty relationship with Marilyn Monroe. The media knew all about it, but back then they didn’t print such stuff.

Boy, how times have changed.

So we pick up Adventure Comics #294 (cover-dated March 1962) and we find the story “The Halloween Pranks of the Bizarro-Supermen.” That’s an odd story for springtime. Halloween being what it is, various Bizarros dress up as Jerry Lewis, John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. Bizarro Superman #1 (don’t ask) donned a Mickey Mantle mask. Marilyn was almost always seen next to JFK.

Was this a remarkable coincidence? The story was written by Jerry Siegel and, for the record, was drawn by John Forte. It certainly is possible that Weisinger fed Siegel the gag. According to second-class mailing permit stats, the average sale of Adventure Comics in 1962 was 460,000 copies. Even if Mort sent copies to some of his friends, I’m guessing the number of readers who did not get the joke was around… 460,000. The story went into a different direction, evolving into a saga about the friendship between Bizarro Krypto and Bizarro Lex Luthor, with Bizarro Kltpzyxm (sic) and the “real” Krypto tossed in for good measure.

Whereas there is no physical proof of a relationship between the two celebrity Earthlings, Seymour Hersh’s The Dark Side of Camelot makes a pretty good case and various confidants of both individuals have acknowledged the liaisons over the years. Marilyn died (one way or another) in August of 1962, a half-year after Adventure #294 was published. JFK was murdered 15 months after that – 48 years ago last week.

Now we flash-forward to 1976. DC President Sol Harrison thought it would be cool if I met Mort Weisinger because of our mutual interest in politics. Mort and I had a fascinating conversation that ran about two-and-one-half hours. I asked him about the Bizarro Marilyn / Bizarro JFK story. At first I thought I made him angry, but his broad facial gesture turned into a huge laugh. “You know, you’re the only guy to ask me that!” And that was his only response.

A tip of the green visor to the Grand Comics Database for confirming the data, and to Bizarro Mindy Newell for pushing the snowball, umm, up the hill.

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil


Toxic Reality now available!
Halloween doesn’t have to end! Author Katherine Tomlinson’s new fiction collection, Toxic Reality is now available in all formats on smashwords as well as in Amazon.com’s kindle store.
“From cyanide and cannibalism to thought-provoking and heartrending stories to Craig List-esque killers and their curious mates and just downright creepiness, if you weren’t a fan of Katherine Tomlinson’s writing before this collection, you will be very soon.”                        
 –Christopher Grant, Editor/Publisher of A Twist Of Noir
In Toxic Reality, Katherine Tomlinson proves that she’s an imaginative, masterful storyteller. She constructs realistic, likeable characters, drops them in desperate situations and watches them squirm. Her sharp sense of humor and gift for satisfying twist endings tie together this diverse and brilliant collection of crime tales.” – Chris Rhatigan, co-editor of the anthology Pulp Ink

Toxic Reality is the third collection of short fiction from Tomlinson, whose previous works include Just Another Day in Paradise, and L.A. Nocturne. Her work has been anthologized in Alt-Dead, Zombiefied, A Quiet Shelter There, and the upcoming Absolute Write speculative fiction collection.
A collection of 20 dark tales, Toxic Reality includes the Pushcart Prize nominee, “Water Sports” as well as stories that originally appeared in A Twist of Noir, Eaten Alive, Dark Valentine, and Clarity of Night.
For more information, go to:  http://katherinetomlinson.com/
To request a review copy, contact:  Katherine@storyauthority.com

Toxic Reality on smashwords:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/91338

Read some reviews of Toxic Reality here:

Occupy Comics

In our continuing coverage of comics crossover with #OccupyWallStreet, we have this photo by Marcus Santos for the New York Daily News on how Zuccotti Park protestors spent their Halloween, as well as this appearance last night from Countdown With Keith Olbermann on Current TV:


Hat tip to Peter Sanderson and evil twin Torsten Adair.


Earth Station One Digs Up Your Favorite Dead and Undead Characters

“I like your dress.”

Earth Station One Episode 83 is now live at http://www.esopodcast.com/.
Direct link: http://erthstationone.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/earth-station-one-episode-83-our-favorite-dead-and-undead-characters/

Continuing into the haunting season we thought that it would be fun to talk about our favorite dead and undead characters. Plus, we visit the Hellmouth and chat about the first season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer with Nancy Holder, writer of Domino Lady, Buffy, and more. Nancy also climbs inside The Geek Seat and we discuss her upcoming pulpy projects. But wait that’s not all, we also will be talking to our friend Kevin Parker about Netherworld, one of the largest haunted houses in the south.

Domino Lady & Buffy Writer Nancy Holder

Join us for yet another episode of The Earth Station One Podcast that we like to call: Our Favorite Dead and Undead Characters

Table of Contents
0:00:00 Intro / Welcome
0:05:03 Rants & Raves
0:24:36 The Geek Seat w/ Nancy Holder
0:52:18 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1
1:37:48 Our Favorite Dead and Undead Characters
2:24:58 Kahn Report

2:37:38 Count Down to Halloween w/ Kevin Parker of Netherworld
2:52:05 Shout Outs
2:56:45 Show Close

Earth Station One Episode 83 – Our Favorite Dead and Undead Characters is now live at www.esopodcast.com. Direct link: http://erthstationone.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/earth-station-one-episode-83-our-favorite-dead-and-undead-characters/