Tagged: Helmet Head

Michael Davis: The Baron Of Comics

One of the best writers the comic book industry has ever seen is Mike Baron. He created two of the greatest comic book properties ever, Nexus and the Badger. Mike has written for all of the major comic book companies and handled some of the biggest characters in comics. Mike has won two, count ‘em, two Eisners and has been nominated for a slew of awards including a Harvey.

On a personal note, Mike is also one of the few people I’ve given a painting to. That may not be a big deal for you but I don’t give away art so it’s a big deal for me.

Mike is a comic book treasure.

Mike is a fantastic writer.

Mike not only writes comics, he writes kick ass novels.

Mike is also a major pain in the ass.

Yeah, Mike is one persistent pain in the ass motherfucker.

In his role as major pain in the ass, Mike wants me to read two of his latest novels, Helmet Head and Whack Job and has been on me like the KKK on Obama to do so. I have not been able to read them as of yet, just as I have not been able to produce a long promised drawing for a fan, more on that completely unrelated to this article later.

Mike bugs the shit out of me and I take it because Mike is not only a great talent he is a dear friend who I love like a brother. Yes, Mike understands that I’m swamped like a bitch with my workload and understands as much as I’d love to read one of my favorite writers latest work I need the time to do it justice but Mike could give a fuck.

It’s a great problem to have. One of the best writers the industry has ever produced wanting my opinion on his work is so damn cool I pinch myself sometimes at the sheer coolness of it. Yes, I could garb a few hours during the week and fly trough the books but I simply cannot read a Mike Baron story like that.

A Mike Baron story you have to sit and enjoy and if it’s a Mike Baron horror story you have to take the extra step of making sure you are not alone in the house while reading. That’s because it’s a certainty that at some point the story will be so scary and/or brutal you will long for the comfort of human contact.

Clearly it’s not just my lack of time preventing me from reading the two novels it’s all the prep that goes into reading a Baron novel. I just don’t want to read it, I want the time to read, enjoy and prepare for it.

Those are not excuses, they are facts. That persistent pain in the ass motherfucker is that good.


Mike, I know you are reading this so know this, I plan on reading at least one of your books during the Thanksgiving holiday this week. So stop sending me emails with the subject line; What the fuck are you doing that’s more important than reading my books?

Nothing, Mike. Nothing is more important than reading your books, please no more dead cats nailed to my door.

On a completely unrelated yet somehow I see a parallel so I’m working it in here note, I owe a fan a drawing and I have every intention of doing that drawing but if said fan keeps posting shit on Facebook trying to shame me into doing it then he is in for a rude awakening.

Mike’s not the only guy who can nail a cat. Hell, now that I think of it I’ve nailed quite a lot of pussy in my life…

Blam!!! Rimshot!! I’m here all week! Try the chicken! Read Mike Baron!



Review: Mike Baron’s Helmet Head

Helmut Head • Mike Baron • Amazon Kindle book, available in all e-book formats • 206 pages • $4.99 download

The premise of Helmet Head is simple: Young Jewish motorcycle cop Peter Fagan inadvertently stumbles into the path of someone or something that stalks bikers and leaves them headless. Although there are plenty of outlaw bikers in the story, the killer targets anyone on a motorcycle. Right after he dispatches a member of the local southern Illinois biker gang, he pursues Fagan with frightening singleness of purpose. He pursues Fagan all the way to the biker hangout, a rundown, out of the way bar, where Helmet Head doesn’t kill anyone. Instead, he orders a drink. When the bartender refuses to serve him, he leaves. This sets the tone for a rather long stretch.

The action kicks into high gear again in the last third of the story, and if you can get past the mad scientist angle and the obligatory damsel in distress, it’s a fairly entertaining ride. The climactic conflagration is a smorgasbord of horror movie clichés – which might have worked, despite the rather offhanded way one of the main characters dies, if it weren’t for the rather anti-climactic (and inevitable) scene in which the villain meets his end.

Mike Baron is a good writer, and that shows early on in Helmet Head – and based on my extremely limited sample of self-published works of fiction, Helmet Head is the best-written one so far. The first few chapters are tightly paced, with just enough colorful metaphor to give the narrative depth. But good writing and good storytelling are not the same thing.

Helmet Head apparently started as an idea for a “slasher film,” and that unfortunately also shows. Unlike a non-stop action film, a good novel, even a slasher/horror/thriller novel, requires some characters with depth. Even if you don’t like the characters, you need to have some sense that they are real. For good or ill, you need to care what happens to them; otherwise you won’t keep reading to find out. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, but interspersing the main story with unrelated stories from the characters’ pasts only works if it gives the characters more depth or motivation or something that gives the reader a sense of empathy. In the case of Helmet Head, it just gives the characters … well … pasts. Fagan’s early life and Jewish heritage are apparently supposed to be significant in some way. As it turns out, not so much.

Helmet Head reads like a screenplay padded out to make a novel. The pieces just don’t fit together very well. The pacing is uneven. Aside from the occasional overly long asides into the various characters’ back stories, some scenes just don’t seem to make any sense at all. What does Fagan do after the biker gang takes off in pursuit of the monster that has just chopped off the head of their friend and tossed it through the bar window like a basketball? He goes in the back room of the bar and … takes a shower. Freshly showered, he “… stood in the doorway and scanned the room as he’d been trained to do.” This is because the entire bar is a potential crime scene … one in which he’s just taken a shower. And only after that does it occur to him that maybe he should find a vehicle and get the hell out of there and do something, anything.

To be fair, maybe I expected too much. I’m a big fan of Baron’s work on the comic book Nexus, which seamlessly weaves action, drama, humor, and moral conflict into compelling storylines. The most enjoyable aspect of my brief tenure in the comics industry was working with Mike on that book. Unfortunately, those qualities are sadly lacking in Helmet Head.


Mike Baron’s Helmet Head of Horror

Our pal and (very) occasional ComicMix contributor. high-energy comics writer Mike Baron (Nexus, Badger, Punisher, Deadman), has written us a novel and has taken it into the ether.

Helmet Head has been published as an Amazon e-book, available via the Kindle app on all computers, smartphones and tablets. It costs $4.99, which is pretty good for a full-length novel. Helmet Head is a horror piece that started out as a movie concept developed for movie director Ian Fischer about a monstrous motorcyclist who rides around the Little Egypt area in central America lobbing off the heads of other bikers and, one supposes, the occasional saluki, all expressed with the subtlety and sensitivity we have come to expect from the talented Mr. Baron.

For example, Mike refers to Helmet Head as containing “scenes of graphic violence that would gag a dog off a gut wagon.” It’s got plenty of bikers, high-holy-horror and senses-shattering action that certainly will thrill his many fans. Clearly, this is a date-night kinda novel.

Baron’s tome is the first of a trilogy – Whack Job comes out later this month and Banshees winds up this arc after the first of the year. And can a comic book adaptation be far behind?

Did I mention there’s Nazis in the story? There’s Nazis in the story. How can you go wrong?

You can gawk at Helmet Head’s interior or actually purchase the book by merely clicking on this link.


Cover art: Joseph Arnold

Author Mike Baron, creator of Nexus and Badger, has released his first prose novel, Helmet Head for Kindle.

About Mike Baron’s Helmet Head:
He was just a rumor to the one percenters–a monstrous motorcyclist dressed all in black who rode the back roads of Little Egypt cutting off the heads of other bikers with a samurai sword. But on one terrible stormy night, Deputy Pete Fagan discovers that Helmet Head is all too real and filled with a fury that won’t be satisfied until his demonic sword drinks deeply.

A print edition will follow from New Pulp Publisher, Airship 27 Productions. As soon as the details become available, All Pulp will share that news here.

Cover art is by Joseph Arnold who will be providing nine black and white interior illustrations for the Helmet Head print edition.