Tagged: novel

Michael Davis: Dream It! Do It!

Davis Art 130521White Winter Black Night is the title of one of the novels I’m writing. Simon & Schuster will publish the book in 2014.

Published by Simon & Schuster… how damn cool is that? Simon & Schuster is one of the most respected and largest publishers in the world. To get a book published by Simon & Schuster is a big deal for a writer, any writer.

I’m a writer.

Well, now I’m a writer.

Growing up there was nothing and I mean nothing I loved more than reading. I read everything and when I say everything I mean everything. It started with comics and once I realized how wonderful reading was it started me on an odyssey that still exists today. At present I’m listening to two audio books in two different cars. I’m reading two hard cover books and have no idea how many books I’m reading on my iPad.

Becoming a writer was a fantasy I had every so often. How cool would it be to become a writer? Making a living making shit up?

How cool? So cool ice would be considered hot next to that coolness.

OK, I have made a living making stuff up. Comics, television shows, reading programs blah, blah, blah and blah. But writing a book is the pinnacle of any writer’s career. Especially for someone that never thought he would be a writer.

I mentioned that the novel I’m writing for Simon & Schuster is one of the novel’s I’m writing. I actually have three more in the pipeline for two other publishers. I’m not writing about this to impress you (although it will) I’m writing about it as example of what you can do with a lot of desire a little luck and above all a good idea.

Not my good idea, the good idea of a young woman named Danielle Hobbs. Danielle is a multitalented artist. She’s a world-class choreographer, dancer, actress and singer. Like I said, artist. She reached out to me to pitch me a project. I was just not interested.

Her artist resume was impressive as shit, she had choreographed for Beyonce, Shakira, Disney and a slew of other major playa’s. Her singing and acting resume was just as impressive but I could have given a fish.

If I had a dollar for every major artist from other media be they singers, actors, hip hop artists or magicians (yes magicians) who thought just because they had a name and a following they could be a success in comics or animation I’d be so rich last weeks Powerball prize would be my pocket change. When I say major artists I mean major artists. You would recognize every single person I’d list.

I would list them but more than a few are hip-hop artists and I don’t want to be shot so you will have to do without the names.

Danielle after hounding me for a while finally got me into a meeting. A meeting I was going to be done with in 10 minutes. I figured that’s how long I’d wait into her pitch before I told her (nicely) that the idea had:

  1. Been Done
  2. Sucked.
  3. Been done and sucked when it was done.

I never got to say any of the above.

Her idea was great.

The audience she wants to reach with it is underserved and this could really be something. Danielle has a really good chance of seeing her idea realized. I have to be protective of my time so I only feel a bit like a dick because I did not give Danielle a chance to meet with me earlier.

There are a lot of artists dreaming about careers in the comics and related media that read ComicMix. Remember your dream is just as valid as anyone’s.

Or as Danielle’s creation Dani girl would say, “Dream it! Do it!”


WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON: Mindy Newell (what?)



CHARLES BOECKMAN PRESENTS JOHNNY NICKLE, recently released from Pro Se Productions, is the first volume in a fantastic, already popular new imprint from the cutting edge Publisher.   The imprint centers on characters created by classic Pulp Author Charles Boeckman in original stories beginningin the 1940s being written in new stories by some of today’s best authors.  CBP PRESENTS JOHNNY NICKLE contains tales by Richard White and Brad Mengel and focuses on a jazz musician with a penchant for getting into trouble and mystery around every corner.   Even more amazing than Boeckman’s wonderfully colorful characters is the fact that Johnny Nickle, as well as others, have their origins in a real musician.  Charles Boeckman himself.
A renaissance man in many ways, Boeckman is a self-taught man of many skills. He taught himself to play his horns, about music theory, to write, and about photography and darkroom work, as well as many other talents.  Knowing a great deal about music theory, Boeckman wrote all the arrangements for his own Jazz band. He used lead sheets. The real Dixie musicians didn’t need them, but he had them for all the instruments in case he had to get a substitute who needed them. 

Boeckman (left) and Pete Fountain
92 year old Boeckman literally wrote the book on Jazz.  “Cool, Hot and Blue’, published in 1968, is a history of Jazz aimed at young readers.  Another book by Boeckman, “And the Beat Goes On,’ has been used as a text book in universities.  He also wrote a novel, THE LAST JAZZ BAND, based on some wacky musicians he knew and played with on bands where he was a sideman before he started his own band.. 

Performing professionally since 1938, Boeckman is remembered as the founder of the 1970s tradition of Sunday evening Jazz marches down Starr Street in Corpus Christi.  According to Charles’ wife, Patti Boeckman, “As a matter of fact, at its height, the Dixie band played in a smoky dive (the perfect venue for Dixieland) in downtown Corpus Christi, and during the evening, the band played The Saints, marched out the door with customers following in a long line, marched to the end of the sidewalk and back, and then finished the tune back in the dive. After a few months, the police noticed what we were doing and said we needed to get a parade permit. So Charles went to police headquarters every week for the permit, until they finally told him not to bother anymore.”

Charles Boeckman’s Band, featuring Patti Boeckman
Boeckman’s band, which Patty was a member of as a Bass player and a Charleston dancer, played in various locations in the area.  According to Patti, “The band played in some of the most prestigious locations in town, the Country Club, the Town Club (for rich folks), in church, etc. We did play other kinds of music. For example, we put on two gospel concerts. We also had two locally promoted concerts with our band and the Jim Cullum band from San Antonio, well known in jazz circles, in a battle of the bands contest.”

Charles Boeckman was awarded a star on the SOUTH TEXAS MUSIC WALK OF FAME in 2009.  This honor is the South Texas version of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, but for musicians, recognizing those who were born in or have lived in Texas and who have made a lasting contribution to music in South Texas.  Boeckman received over 300 nominations for his Star.

Inductees include the likes of Selena, Kris Kristofferson, Freddy Fender, and more. The star is embedded in concrete in the courtyard of a complex called Water Street Marketplace in down town Corpus Christi.

CHARLES BOECKMAN PRESENTS JOHNNY NICKLE is available from Pro Se’s own store at  http://tinyurl.com/c52g4cc and at Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/cz6s2q3for $8.00!  Available for $2.99 for the Kindle at www.Amazon.com , the Nook at www.barnesandnoble.com, and in other formats at www.smashwords.com!

For more information concerning Pro Se Productions, go to www.pulpmachine.blogspot.comand www.prose-press.com.


Pro Se Productions, an independent press on the cutting edge of genre fiction, heroic storytelling, and New Pulp, was the first company formally involved in the New Pulp Movement to enter into the world of audiobooks with its original line of magazines.  Pro Se, in conjunction with New Pulp audiobook pioneer Dynamic Ram Audio Productions announce the first audio title for ‘The Voice of Pro Se’ audiobook imprint! 

Audiobooks,” Tommy Hancock, Partner in and Editor in Chief of Pro Se Productions states, “have always been in the plans for Pro Se.  The sort of fiction we publish lends itself well to the spoken word and adaptation of all sorts.  That, and I am a major fan of Audio Fiction, from old time radio shows to modern day audio drama and especially audiobooks.   And our first trip into the medium was a great experience and to have Chris Barnes, our engineer the first time around and the man behind Dynamic Ram Audio Productions now, on board for this debut as well as what is coming, it just couldn’t be any better.”

The debut title in THE VOICE OF PRO SE Audiobook line is HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE, the novel written by Lee Houston, Jr.  One of Pro Se’s flagship characters, Hugh Monn comes wonderfully to life thanks to Audiobook Narrator Pete Milan in eight tightly written fast paced uanbridged stories. Milan is a voice actor, writer, narrator, audio drama producer and cosmopolitan jackadandy. He has previously appeared in works by Pendant Productions, the Colonial Radio Theatre On The Air, Gypsy Audio and Cape Cod Radio Mystery Theater.

“Pete Milan,” Hancock says, “channels the voice of Lee Houston’s Hugh Monn perfectly.  Hugh sounds like a 1950s type detective, but plies his trade in a futuristic setting.  In just the same way Lee blended those two things seamlessly together, Pete’s take on the stories has the nearly hard boiled edge you’d expect from a great PI tale, but there’s also that flexibility a good science fiction tale demands of a narrator.  Hands down, the team of Milan and Houston make HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE an audiobook must have.”

Even in the future, dames still need help, criminals still need captured, and men still hire out to do both!  HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE written by Lee Houston, Jr. and narrated by Pete Milan lets you walk the glittering, yet dark and mean streets of Galveston 2 and join Hugh Monn as he investigates cases with gorgeous green skinned dames, slick swindlers and hardened crooks while keeping one step ahead of the lawbots.  This VOICE OF PRO SE audiobook engineered and produced by Dynamic Ram Audio Productions is over 7 hours of fantastic futuristic Private Eye Action! 

Listen to the HUGH MONN trailer at http://soundcloud.com/chris-barnes-37/hugh-monn-private-detective.  And the entire Audiobook is Avaiable via Audible at http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_1?asin=B00CQ6MJHS&qid=1368850196&sr=1-1 and from Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/bdx6lmm!

The Voice of Pro Se from Pro Se Productions (www.prose-press.com) and Dynamic Ram Audio Productions (www.dynamicram.co.ukproudly presents HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE-the audiobook.

New Red 2 One-sheet

Red2_DomPayoff_fin5_ Summer-theater frameRed 2 is coming this summer and it’s promising to look as much fun as the first one was. Summit is releasing this sequel, based on the WildStorm graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner in late July with the full cast returning (although Ernest Bognine is sadly no longer with us). Instead, we get the addition of Catherine Zeta-Jones, which is just fine with us. The new one-sheet was released today.

REVIEW: Meet the Fraggles

Meet the Fraggles key art 1.15.13One of the most amazing things about the talented and long-missed Jim Henson is that he was always creating something new, exploring news forms of storytelling and puppetry. While he may have started out with single characters, such as Kermit, he went on to create characters that hawked cereal and interacted with humans on Saturday Night Live. In between, he also helped pioneer engaging and  educational children’s television with Sesame Street’s inhuman inhabitants and created a universe of Muppets. When HBO was looking for original fare in the 1980s, it made perfect sense that they turn to Henson who whipped up a brand new universe of characters, the Fraggles. His Fraggle Rock lasted five seasons and 96 wonderful episodes.

Coming this week is Fraggle Rock: 30th Anniversary Collection, including every episode plus recently discovered behind the scenes interviews, a collectible Red plush keychain, and an all new exclusive Fraggle Rock graphic novel featuring a parent-friendly activity guide. That’s a lot of fun puppetry for the nostalgia-minded.

Also being released is Meet the Fraggles, a six episode sampler for those uncertain if today’s young will respond with the same delight. Wisely, Vivendi Entertainment includes the pilot episode so everyone of the cast is introduced, including the human Doc, who never sees the inhabitants, although his Muppet dog, Sprocket, does.

Much as the residents on Sesame Street were there to help teach numbers and letters, the mixed races of Fraggles were designed as an allegory to the human world. Henson was determined to demonstrate mankind’s interconnected nature and the episodes are fun, but touch on complex issues. Living in their system of underground caves and tunnels, the Fraggle subsist on radishes and Doozer sticks, made from ground up radishes. They can share their dreams if their heads touch one another as they fall asleep.

The series focuses predominantly on Gobo, the leader; Mokey, highly spiritual and artistic; athletic Red; nervous Wembley; and, Boober, the depressive. Whereas the Fraggles were carefree explorers, they frequently encountered the Doozers, who are workers. As a result, there is a great deal of misunderstand and incomprehension between them, allowing the lessons to be learned. Then there are the rules of the Universe, or so claim the Gorgs. Junior Gorg, Pa Gorg, and Ma Gorg are several times the size of a Fraggle and consider them pests.

Described by Henson as “a high-energy, raucous musical romp. It’s a lot of silliness. It’s wonderful”, it began production in March 1982 and debuted on January 10, 1983, becoming the template for many international co-productions that added their own unique elements. The six episodes included on the sampler are culled from the first 37 aired on HBO and nicely focus on the different Fraggles.

We have “Beginnings” that has Doc (Gerard Parkes) and Sprocket set up an old room as a workshop where they discover the first in a series of holes that turn out to be access points to Fraggle Rock. In “Boober’s Dream” we learn that he has a fun side, a split personality named Sidebottom,. There’s also a nice nod to Henson’s other 1980s creation when they go to the drive-in and see a clip from The Dark Crystal. The most charming of the bunch may be “Red’s Club”, where she wants to lead a club that forms without her.

There are no extras on this inexpensive disc but well worth a look if you’ve never experienced these before.

REVIEW: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
By H.P. Lovecraft and I.N.J. Culbard
128 pages, SelfMadeHero/Abrams, $19.95

CharlesWard_CoverI never could warm up to H.P. Lovecraft’s prose. It was turgid and overly descriptive, so on the one hand, he had a tremendous imagination but put me to sleep as he conjured up the unimaginable horrors. His visual imagination gave birth to the legend of Cthulu which remains all he is remembered for by the mass populace. Still, people turn to his works for inspiration or, in this case, adaptation. INJ Culbard has adapted Lovecraft (1890-1937) before with At the Mountains of Madness and has also done some noteworthy versions of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Domestically, he probably best known for his collaboration with Dan Abnett on Vertigo’s imaginative New Deadwardians.

Now he tackles The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, Lovecraft’s 51,000 word short novel written in 1927, streamlining the story and bringing the dialogue heavy tale to life. SelfMadeHero has released this in Europe and now it comes to the United States through their relationship with Abrams. Originally a short story expanded to novel length, Lovecraft was said to have disliked the longer version but it gave Culbard plenty to work with. In short, this is a two-person tale, Ward, has become fascinated with his relative, Joseph Curwen, known for his regular visits to local graveyards. Curwen seems ageless and Ward tries to replicate the experiments that prolonged the man’s life and of course, things turn out differently. Now incarcerated, he tells his tale to Doctor Marinus Willet. As a result, Culbard is given a chance to take the reader from the past to the present and back again, as the story unfolds and the horrors are revealed.

CDW_BIZARRE_9811The words may be Lovecraft’s but the storytelling and pacing are all the artist’s and he brings a nice variety to the visual narrative. Given how dialogue-laden this is, he mixes things up nicely and takes us on the journey. The heavy black borders on each page along with the somber coloring adds an atmosphere of dread to the proceedings.

This is a story of mistaken identity and Ward’s perception of reality is altered, and Culbard drops much of the descriptive narrative to focus on the images and it’s less effective than hoped for.

Where he falls down is in depicting the monster, brief as it is. Considering this is the debut of Yog-Sothoth to the Cthulu mythos, it should be far more momentous.  It just isn’t frightening so after all this build up, you’re left thinking, “Is that it?” He told Comic Book Resources, “Often, his characters aren’t there for you to invest in them; they’re there to guide you through a nightmare because the horror is often so much bigger than the individual. But this is partly why I think Lovecraft’s work lends itself so well to a visual medium like comics, because the minute you draw a face, you’re entering into characterization. Really, to some degree, Lovecraft provides you with a blank slate. The trick is really determining what you show. Quite often, Lovecraft would only really give you a glimpse of the horror, because to see it in its entirety would be too much for the mind to comprehend.” While he’s correct, he didn’t pull this off as successfully as intended.

Still and all, the ambitious adaptation is more successful than not and for fans of Lovecraft’s output, this will be well-received.


New Pulp Publisher Pulp 2.0 Press has released The Knight Watchman: Graveyard Shift collected edition.

Press Release:

ONLY $8.99

From the Big Bang Comics Library comes this Pulp 2.0 graphic novel collecting the 1998 Image Comics 4-issue mini-series.   This is the gripping story by Chris Ecker, Gary Carlson with stark, atmospheric, film noir-ish artwork by Ben Torres.

It’s been five long years since the Knight Watchman prowled the streets of Midway City…
Now the city is under siege, and the streets are deadlier than ever before…
But so is he.

On the heels of an assassination attempt that leaves the Mayor in a coma and the city’s hero, GALAHAD, in traction; THE KNIGHT WATCHMAN ends his retirement and returns to the streets to keep the city from falling further into chaos.

However, chaos is exactly the plan orchestrated by the Knight Watchman’s arch enemy, PINK FLAMINGO. The master criminal has taken over the city government by installing Deputy Mayor PRINCETON into office, and unleashing the dirty cops on his payroll. When a mugger turns up dead and the evidence points straight at the Knight Watchman, Midway City’s former hero becomes its most wanted criminal.

This edition from Pulp 2.0 features the gritty, urban superhero storytelling that was a hallmark of the 90′s, and reinvented one of the founding heroes of the Big Bang Universe. This edition is complete with bonus features making it a must-have for all comics fans.

6.69″ x 9.61″ (16.993 x 24.409 cm)
Black & White Bleed on White paper
122 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1481885348
ISBN-10: 1481885340
BISAC: Comics & Graphic Novels / Superheroes

Learn more at http://pulp2ohpress.com

Jack Reacher Coming to DVD in 2 Weeks

JackReacher_Combo_BRD_3D_xtraSkewWhile Tom Cruise flogs the so-so reviewed Oblivion, his last feature effort, Jack Reacher, is coming to home video on May 7. According to the PR:

One of the most compelling heroes ever to step from novel to screen makes his highly-anticipated home entertainment debut when JACK REACHER blasts his way onto Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on May 7, 2013 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.  The film will be available for Digital Download on April 23rd.  Tom Cruise tackles the title role with the brute force his character is known for and his “tightly controlled performance holds our attention all the way through to the tense finale” (Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News).  Based on best-selling author Lee Child’s wildly popular series of novels, JACK REACHER was adapted for the screen and directed by Academy Award-winner Christopher McQuarrie (Best Original Screenplay, The Usual Suspects, 1995).  Filled with heart-pounding action, thrills and a “killer chase scene” (Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News), JACK REACHER is “hard-boiled detective story entertainment” (Richard Corliss, Time) that “will have you gasping in surprise at the velocity and ferocity of the action” (Marshall Fine, Huffington Post).  The film also boasts “a top flight ensemble cast” (Claudia Puig, USA Today) including Robert Duvall (Apocalypse Now), Rosamund Pike (Die Another Day), Werner Herzog (Rescue Dawn), David Oyelowo (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Richard Jenkins (The Cabin in the Woods) and Jai Courtney (A Good Day to Die Hard).

In anticipation of the home entertainment release, journalists from around the globe gathered on the Paramount lot in Hollywood, California to step into the shoes of world-renowned author Lee Child’s legendary anti-hero, Jack Reacher.
 From the brutal, no-holds-barred street fight to the heart-pounding and high-octane car chase, experts demonstrated how they helped bring these unforgettable scenes to life in the action-packed film Jack Reacher.

Veteran fight coordinator Robert Alonzo provided expert training in the Keysi Fighting Method to prepare participants for their own choreographed fight.
Stunt coordinator and 2nd unit director Paul Jennings gave an inside look at how the killer car chase was filmed.

Blake MycoskieStunt driver Joey Box showed off the actual Chevelle from the movie.

The JACK REACHER Blu-ray/DVD combo pack with UltraViolet™ is bursting with compelling bonus features including an in-depth look at Reacher’s journey to the screen, the filmmakers’ devotion to remaining true to the essence of the character and their drive to create an action-thriller that harkens back to the landmark films of the ‘70s.  The combo pack also includes a look at the training and stunt choreography behind the gritty and intense fight sequences, an exploration of the Reacher phenomenon around the world with Lee Child, as well as commentaries by Tom Cruise, director Christopher McQuarrie and composer Joe Kraemer.  The film will also be available as a single-disc DVD.

The Blu-ray release available for purchase will be enabled with UltraViolet, a new way to collect, access and enjoy movies.  With UltraViolet, consumers can add movies to their digital collection in the cloud, and then stream or download them – reliably and securely – to a variety of devices.

Scribe Award Nominees Announced

The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers has announced the nominees for the 2013 Scribe Awards for excellence in media tie-in writing.


The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers is pleased to announce the Scribe Award nominees for 2013.

Acknowledging excellence in this very specific skill, IAMTW’s Scribe Awards deal exclusively with licensed works that tie in with other media such as television, movies, gaming, or comic books. They include original works set in established universes, and adaptations of stories that have appeared in other formats and cross all genres. Tie-in works run the gamut from westerns to mysteries to procedurals, from science fiction to fantasy to horror, from action and adventure to superheroes. Gunsmoke, Murder She Wrote, CSI, Star Trek, Star Wars, Shadowrun, Resident Evil, James Bond, Iron Man, these represent just a few.

The Scribe Awards are presented at ComicCon San Diego.

IAMTW congratulates the following nominees:

Darksiders The Abomination Vault – Ari Marmell
Pathfinder City of the Fallen – Sky Tim Pratt
Mike Hammer Lady, Go Die! – Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins
Star Trek The Persistence of Memory – David Mack
Star Trek Rings of Time – Greg Cox
Tannhäuser Rising Sun, Falling Shadows – Robert Jeschonek
Dungeons and Dragons Online Skein of Shadows – Marsheila Rockwell

Poptropica Astroknights Island – Tracey West

Clockwork Angels – Kevin Anderson
Batman: The Dark Knight Legend – Stacia Deutsch
Batman: The Dark Knight Rises – Greg Cox

Dark Shadows Dress Me in Dark Dreams – Marty Ross
Dark Shadows The Eternal Actress – Nev Fountain
Doctor Who Companion Chronicles Project Nirvana – Cavan Scott and Mark Wright

The winners in each category will be announced during a ceremony at the 2013 Comic-Con International, held July 18-21 in San Diego, California.

Wow, it’s Been 30 Years Since Fraggle Rock Debuted


UNIVERSAL CITY, CA – Celebrate 30 years of dancing your cares away with the Fraggle Rock gang when Jim Henson’s imaginative series commemorates three decades of music, magic and mayhem with the Fraggle Rock: 30th Anniversary Collection, singing its way to DVD May 14 from The Jim Henson Company and Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment.  Headlined by the iconic characters, Gobo, Red, Boober, Wembly, Mokey and the adventurous Travelling Matt, the groundbreaking series from the legendary Jim Henson originally aired from 1983 to 1987, and continues to capture the imaginations of adults and children of all ages today through recurring airings on The Hub. Teaching valuable lessons on tolerance, spirituality, personal identity, environment and social conflict, the 30th anniversary collection will give parents who grew up watching the innovative television classic the chance to share the wonderful world of Fraggle Rock with their children.

Fraggle Rock 30th An#B55E30The colorful and exciting world of Fraggle Rock is an underground universe behind the baseboard of Inventor Doc’s workshop, populated by upbeat Fraggles, the industrious Doozers and the giant Gorgs.  Through the different communities, the pioneering children’s series encourages tolerance, diversity, empathy and peace by modeling how these characters learn toto live in peace by working together to achieve common goals.

The Fraggle Rock: 30th Anniversary Collection DVD, including all four seasons of the celebrated series, along with behind the scenes interviews recently discovered in the archives of The Jim Henson Company, a collectible Red plush keychain, and an all new exclusive Fraggle Rock graphic novel featuring a parent-friendly activity guide, will be available for the suggested retail price of $129.99.   Additionally, the new collection Fraggle Rock: Meet The Fraggles, featuring the pilot, as well as five acclaimed episodes highlighting each of the beloved main characters, available for the suggested retail price of $14.93 will be available to introduce Jim Henson’s world-renowned series to a new generation of fans.

Synopsis: Dance your cares away as you return to the magic of Fraggle Rock in this 30th Anniversary Collectors Set!  Inventor Doc and his dog Sprocket spend their days in a workshop..and a hole in the baseboard of that workshop leads to the underground universe populated by the upbeat Fraggles, the industrious Doozers and the giant Gorgs.  Get ready for music, magic and mayhem from the iconic Jim Henson in this beloved series that continues to capture the imaginations of adults and children alike.