Tagged: novel

Mike Gold: Before Watchmen, Because…

It seems everybody has his or her tits in a wringer over this upcoming Before Watchmen thing. I’ve made a few comments here and there, but now that these books are about to come out, I’m going to weigh in officially.

I’ve been reading the solicitations in the Diamond Catalog and to be sure there’s a lot of great talent involved on these efforts. Really top-notch people, some of whom we haven’t seen much from lately. Most of these folks are basically if not emphatically pro-creators’ rights. Aside from the latent listings, I’ve read the thumbnail descriptions as well as DC’s press releases. There’s a lot of comic books involved here, and I approach Before Watchmen with the same question I approach any new effort: “Does this seem like it’s worth my time?”

Obviously, sometimes I make the wrong call – particularly when it comes to television. I’ll decide to pass on something and within short order all my friends, most of the reviews, and complete strangers at conventions will excoriate my witlessness. That’s fine; endorsements from people whose opinions I respect carry a lot of weight. Of course, if I try something and I don’t like it, I take a hike. I haven’t tried a second bottle of Moxie in three decades.

So as I gaze upon all these Before Watchmen comics, I ask myself “Does this seem like it’s worth my time?” And I hear myself say to myself “Well, no, it doesn’t.” Oh, I’ll probably check out a few produced by friends. But, by and large, unless I’m persuaded otherwise I’ll be giving the overall effort a pass.

Here’s the beauty of Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons: it was a true graphic novel, with a beginning, a middle, and an end. They created it, it came out the way they intended it to (or very close to that), we all read it and it went on to become one of the best selling graphic novels of all time. I suspect that latter part was for a reason, that reason being I was not alone in my assessment.

They left no room for sequels, and they really didn’t leave any room for prequels. Those prequels were already done. They were published by Charlton Comics during the Dick Giordano reign, just as Watchmen was published by DC during the Dick Giordano reign. The characters were called Peacemaker, Blue Beetle, Peter Canon Thunderbolt, The Question, Captain Atom, and Nightshade. Without these characters Watchmen either would not have happened or would have been based upon other characters DC owned but didn’t care all that much about – most likely the Fawcett or the Quality heroes.

So in my mind, Before Watchmen is unnecessary. Been there, read that. Your opinion may vary, and that’s totally okay by me. In fact, these friends of mine would like the opportunity to earn themselves some Watchmen royalties.

Then there are the moral issues.

Legally, nobody knows where it stands unless they’ve read the contract(s). I haven’t, but I was an executive at DC Comics at that time – actually, about a month later – and I can tell you that, in my professional opinion – DC didn’t commit in writing to anything but money, and maybe a few artistic oversight issues. Maybe. It just wasn’t done then; it’s barely being done now, and it was only sort of done from time to time in between. Somebody might have given his or her word about how merchandising, licensing, promotion, prequels, and sequels would or would not be done and Alan and/or Dave might have trusted those people… but those people are no longer around. Well, they’re not at DC Comics; they’re still around.

What it comes down to, for me, is respect. It makes absolutely no damn sense to alienate anybody in the creative arts, and it’s really, really stupid to go to such lengths to alienate people of the highest caliber. It’s bad business, it’s worse human relations.

I’ve read much if not all of what Alan has said, and I while I disagree with some of his sentiments there is one thing that is unimpeachable: as a creator, as a writer, as a source of wealth for the publisher, Before Watchmen shits all over him.

Some of my friends disagree, and I respect their positions. This isn’t clear-cut in the least: morality is a personal thing, and what is immoral to one person is just ducky with the next. You can react emotionally and that’s fine. Sometimes that’s all you will get.

Thus far, nobody has picked up a gun and started shooting up the place. I’m not being sarcastic. It’s happened in other media. Google “Marvin Glass” and “shooting” and find out how it came down in the toy design business.

So, yeah, I think Alan was treated badly here. But that’s really not the reason I’m planning to avoid Before Watchmen. I’m avoiding it because, when everything is added up, it just doesn’t seem to be worth my time.

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil Passes The Test



Cover Art: Lowell Isaac

New Pulp Publisher, Sequential Pulp Comics has unveiled the cover to Martians Go Home graphic novel adaptation based on the crazy, sexy, apocalyptic dark comedy by Fredric Brown. Written by Martin Powell with art by Lowell Isaac, the Martians Go Home graphic novel is coming soon from Sequential Pulp Comics and Dark Horse Comics.

You can learn more about Sequential Pulp Comics at www.SequentialPulpComics.com
You can learn more about Dark Horse Comics at www.darkhorse.com

Dan Schaffer’s “The Scribbler” Starts Filming This Week

Filming on Dan Schaffer’s graphic novel The Scribbler begins later this week in Los Angeles for a live action theatrical film release.

Schaffer’s graphic novel was originally published in 2006 by Image Comics.  A new “director’s cut” of the graphic novel is being prepared by the recently re-launched First Comics™ for release in conjunction with the film’s opening. Schaffer penned the screenplay adapted from his graphic novel.

The thriller centers on Suki, a young woman confined in a mental institution and being treated with an experimental machine dubbed “The Siamese Burn, designed to eliminate multiple personalities.  As the “treatment” progresses, Suki starts to be haunted by the realization that if “The Siamese Burn” is successful, which one of her personalities will be the survivor?

Katie Cassidy, already with comic connections as Dinah Lance in the CW pilot Arrow, stars as the title character Suki.  The cast also includes Garret Dillahunt (Winter’s Bone), Michelle Trachtenberg (Gossip Girl), Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse), Gina Gershon (Killer Joe), Michael Imperioli (The Lovely Bones, The Sopranos), Billy Campbell (The Killing, The Rocketeer), Sasha Grey (The Girlfriend Experience, Entourage) Ashlynn Yennie (The Human Centipede), Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory), and T.V. Carpio (Limitless). NightSky Production’s Ken F. Levin is producing with New Artist Alliance’s Gabriel Cowan, with Cowan’s NAA co-founder and partner, John Suits, directing. Caliber Media’s Dallas Sonnier and Jack Heller will executive produce the film alongside NAA’s Kerry Johnson.

This is Daniel Schaffer’s seventh screenplay to be optioned, and the second to be filmed so far; the first, comedy/horror film Doghouse from Schaffer’s screenplay, was released in 2009 by Carnaby International and distributed by Sony Pictures (Jake West directing).   Schaffer is also known in the comics world for his comic series Dogwitch and his graphic novel Indigo Vertigo (with Katiejane Garside).   NightSky is a production / management firm which also reps Schaffer as a writer client.

The Scribbler is the first of four films in a co-production between New Artist Alliance and Caliber Media.  The two companies have previously produced two movies together, which are both currently in post-production: Static, a horror-thriller starring Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes), Sarah Shahi (Fairly Legal) and Sara Paxton (Darcy’s Wild Life), and 3 Nights In The Desert, starring Amber Tamblyn (Joan Of Arcadia), Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games, American Beauty) and Vincent Piazza (Boardwalk Empire), which Cowan directed.  NAA, known for making over 2000% profit on their first film Breathing Room, premiered their latest feature Extracted at this year’s SXSW.  Growth, another NAA film directed by Cowan, went to #1 on iTunes and has its worldwide television premiere this weekend on The Syfy Channel.

Schaffer has a 7-page preview of The Scribbler on his website.


Rise of the Black Centipede
By Chuck Miller
Pro Se Productions
189 pages
Chuck Miller is emphatically one of the bright new voices in the New Pulp Fiction movement and last year burst on to the scene with this book.  It introduced the world to his truly mondo-bizarro hero, the Black Centipede.
Describing Miller’s twisted, odd and vibrant style is a challenge in itself.  Unlike traditional classic pulp writers, his work is a hodge-podge blend of history and fiction and told from way too many different perspectives.
Written in first person narrative, the Black Centipede is a young man who crosses paths with the infamous Lizzy Borden of Massachusetts and through her encounters a mysterious being calling herself “Bloody” Mary Jane Gallows; the supposed spiritual creation of Borden and Jack the Ripper.  If that wasn’t twisted enough, our hero is saved from being murdered when his own body is possessed by another alien entity representing itself in the shape of an ugly, creeping black centipede.  Once this merger occurs, he finds himself capable of many super human feats of strength.  He becomes, like Will Eisner’s Spirit, virtually impossible to kill.
From that point on his adventures have him crossing paths with real life figures such a gangster Frank Niti and newspaper tycoon, William Randoph Hearst who wants to turn the Centipede into a popular “real life” pulp hero in his own magazine.  Then there are villains like Doctor Almanac, voodoo fighter Baron Samedi who battle across Zenith City, each with his own perverse agenda and little regard for the citizenry caught in the middle.
It’s fanciful stuff indeed but this reviewer wishes Miller would make an attempt at sticking to one point of view.  Towards the end of this first outing, we are given an entire chapter told to us by a police officer who was on the scene.  Supposedly this is necessary because the Black Centipede was on the other side of town when the incident took place. Still paragraph after paragraph of hearsay is as deadly in a novel as it is in a court of law.  Writing rule of thumb, Mr.Miller, show us, don’t tell us.
Still as this is his first book, that one flaw is easily overlooked for the overabundance of originality infused in this book.  With “Creeping Dawn,” Chuck Miller clearly establishes himself as a voice to be reckoned with.  We predict a truly brilliant future for both creator and his one-of-a-kind hero.


RadioArchives.com Newsletter

May 4, 2012

During its radio heyday, Amos ‘n’ Andy was definitely a legend in its own time. While entertainment programs have an admirable capacity to instill loyalty in their audiences, though, very few have the magic to capture the public’s imagination forever. Proving itself to be a program dedicated to the best in entertainment for its audience, Amos ‘n’ Andy reinvented itself as necessary, becoming something different than it had been, yet remaining a favorite of listeners everywhere.
The Amos ‘n’ Andy shows after 1943 were radically different from the earlier program, but the revitalized show stood out in its own way. Now cast more in the mold of a traditional situation comedy, the later Amos ‘n’ Andy shows spotlighted a variety of black characters in many different walks of life. There were characters successful in business, entertainment, politics and more featured in the program and this was an area not explored much by other programs of the time.
These shows retained the heart that Amos ‘n’ Andy has always been known for among fans. The characters themselves remain at the center of the later shows as well. Even though Amos moved into the background somewhat, listeners still chuckled and laughed at the adventures of the well-realized cast, particularly Andy as he got in and out of whatever predicament The Kingfish got him into.
Restored to the best audio quality, Amos ‘n’ Andy, Volume 5 clearly shows the enduring humor and impact this series had on America, then and now. Available now on Audio CDs for $29.98.
by Tommy Hancock


Clean-cut heroes! Dastardly plots! Last minute rescues! All the earmarks of a great pulpy type tale! That and more can be found in The Adventures Of Frank Merriwell, Volume 1, a true Pulp Hero brought to life on the radio!
Frank Merriwell made his literary debut in 1896, the year that many state that magazines began printing stories on Pulp paper. Patterned in what many might consider a clichéd role now, Merriwell was one of the earliest representations of the All American athletic, justice minded hero that could thwart greedy businessmen, strange societies, and even the occasional murderous landlord with nothing but his brains, brawn, and rugged good looks. The character quickly became a role model and a hit with readers, due in part to the fact that Street and Smith published a new exciting tale almost every week.
Even with this sort of pedigree, which includes comic books and even a movie serial, it’s not a given that every good idea translates well into audio. Especially in the days of Old Time Radio, often a lot about an idea was lost or dramatically changed to make sure current listeners would enjoy it. Happily, though, that is not the case with The Adventures of Frank Merriwell. Set in the period he debuted in, these turn of the century tales are simultaneously wonderfully crafted wholesome adventures and finely executed, tightly plotted shots of action and adventure.
Even though it’s clear that Frank and his companions are cut from the whole cloth of American purity, the storytelling doesn’t let that stand in the way. Tension builds as it should in a good action tale and the dialogue is not forced or too purple to be believed. Yes, you can almost see Frank’s twinkling smile as he’s duking his way through danger, but it works seamlessly together. This show was in no way played for laughs or camp. It represented tales from an earlier time told in a way that both preserved what made them special, but also appealed enough to a modern audience that the show itself enjoyed a good healthy run.
The Adventures of Frank Merriwell, Volume 1 is definitely an all ages experience to enjoy with the entire family gathered around listening! It’s got equal parts adventure, tension, pathos, and morals to make it truly a fun classic to enjoy together! And it’s available now for $29.98 from Radio Archives!



The Spider Returns on “Wings of the Black Death”
A scourge not seen since the Middle Ages descends on America’s largest city, wielded by a criminal mastermind who threatens to wipe out New York … and reveal The Spider’s true identity in the process!
“Wings of the Black Death”, Norvell W. Page’s inaugural novel as author of The Spider, is now available in a deluxe audiobook from RadioArchives.com!
Following on the success of RadioArchives.com first Spider audiobook, “Prince of the Red Looters”, this new audio adventure pits Richard Wentworth, alias The Spider, against the first of a long line of evil malefactors devised by Page that would inhabit the webbed crusader’s life for the next ten years.
The Spider Battles a Vicious Foe
In “Wings of the Black Death”, Manhattan is under siege from a new brand of terrorist – a human monster who calls himself the Black Death. Unless the city fathers pay a monumental ransom, New York will become a city of unspeakable destruction.
As Will Murray says in his introduction, “With his first white-heat story, Norvell W. Page remade Richard Wentworth into a messianic avenger unlike anything pulp readers ever read before. Driven, deadly, The Spider was a daredevil caught between the law that branded him as a criminal and the underworld he terrorized with his metallic laugh and searing lead.”
Dynamic Narration and Production
Produced by Roger Rittner, with full period music score and extensive sound effects, “Wings of the Black Death”, like its predecessor, is narrated by Nick Santa Maria, with Robin Riker as Nita Van Sloan.
“Listeners who enjoyed ‘Prince of the Red Looters’ will delight in Nick’s dynamic narration,” Roger says, “as well as an extended and enhanced role for Robin as Nita battles the malevolent Black Death on her own. Will Wentworth come to the rescue? (Do you have to ask?)”


The Soul of The Spider

By Will Murray


Let’s be honest. If Street & Smith had not launched The Shadow in 1931, Popular Publications would never have followed suit with The Spider.


The Shadow was a sleeper in the pulp field. Coming in just as the Depression exerted its chilling grip on the traditional flock of detective and Western magazines, The Shadow’s stock kept rising as other genres simply sank. By spring 1932, the Bloody Pulps were awash in a different kind of red fluid—ink. That autumn, S&S reluctantly cut the weekly Detective Story Magazine back to a semi-monthly, while The Shadow went twice-a-month.


The minute the industry saw that, competitors began scrambling to cash in on the only positive pulp trend anyone know—mysterious crime avengers.


Beyond that mercenary impulse, the origins of The Spider are clogged with cobwebs. He burst forth in the September, 1933 issue, with R.T.M. Scott’s The Spider Strikes! A marvel-sleuth of the traditional millionaire-clubman-and-sportsman turned criminologist school, Richard Wentworth, alias the Spider, was nothing new. Even his Sikh aide, Ram Singh, was unoriginal. For Wentworth and Ram Singh and the obligatory girlfriend, Nita Van Sloan, were hardly more than cold recastings of Scott’s Secret Service agent Aurelius Smith, Hindu aide Langa Doonh and girlfriend Bernice Asterly.


There’s probably a wonderful story behind a hardcover novelist agreeing to turn pulpster. Even the loose jigsaw pieces are fascinating. There were two R.T.M. Scotts, father and son. The son worked for Popular Publications, and wrote pulp. Father and son were heavily into the occult. It’s not clear which Scott penned The Spider.


I’ll float a theory: R.T.M. Scott Senior had an Aurelius Smith novel kicking around loose, orphaned by Depression-wary publishers. Scott II mentions this to Popular’s publisher, Harry Steeger, who claims a spider walking along a tennis court inspired the character’s name, and a deal is struck. Aurelius Smith becomes Richard Wentworth. Very little magic is required. The Spider is simply an alias, nor a distinct person, known for a trick cigarette lighter that leaves his spidery scarlet seal on the foreheads of dead criminals.


The second novel, The Wheel of Death, is much weaker than the first. Could be Scott found the monthly deadlines not conductive to doing good work. Perhaps the son took over. Or they collaborated. Anyway, suddenly R.T.M. Scott bows out.


Enter new writer Grant Stockbridge—a  naked attempt to evoke the Shadow byline Maxwell Grant. In reality, this house name concealed Norvell Wordsworth Page, formerly of Virginia.


A rising star in the pulp world, Page broke into the field writing Westerns as N. Wooten Poge, shifted to action detective stuff under his own name and had just started a significant series for topshelf pulp, Black Mask.


Page had a dream: to become the next Edgar Allan Poe. Page shared Poe’s Southern roots and interest in the bizarre. He dabbled in the Tarot, was fascinated by the Holy Grail legend, and developed an interest in spirit communication—and like Poe, he got his career start via newspaper journalism.


Page once recounted his days as a reporter, writing:

“I don’t know why it is, but men who aspire to write the Great American novel always become newspapermen.  I did, too, and for the last twelve years have been sliding about the country doing one dirty job after another. I didn’t know, when I was patting corpses familiarly on the shoulder in the morgues, that it was all going to come in mighty handy some day. In fact, when I began to write fiction finally, I chose the one part of these United States I knew absolutely nothing about: the West. I wrote Western stories and, what’s worse, sold ‘em!


“One day the editor who purchased them looked at me sourly and said, ‘Why don’t you write about something you know…like gangsters.’ Well, he paid for that remark—for I’ve been writing detective stories ever since. Amazing how many midnight murders can chill your blood after a lapse of many years when at the time they happened it was ‘just another stiff.’ And we newspaper men grumbled about leaving our cans of coffee in the press room and pushing out into the night. We thought that was work.  I could get wistful about newspaper work and I would swear that when I sidle into a police-headquarters press room and whisper ‘I’m an old newspaper man myself,’ my voice is positively mournful.”


Page jumped in with Wings of the Black Death, and the true Shadowization of The Spider commenced. A proponent of the Black Mask school of hardboiled writing, he also dragged in elements of  a new subgenre Popular pioneered when they converted the dragging Dime Mystery Book Magazine into a horror title. Page had written the grisly lead story of the retooled Dime Mystery, “Dance of the Skeletons,” just months before. This sale probably won him the Spider contract.


In short order, Norvell’s Page’s Spider metamorphosed into a high-strung emotionally-charged human-arachnid-turned-predator who saw himself as a crusader with a holy mission: the extermination of criminals.


And what criminals! Where The Shadow was a cold-blooded crimebuster who operated in the shadows, The Spider blazed a bloody swath through a mad procession of psychopathic killers hell-bent on mindless plunder and destruction. 


Issue by issue The Spider mutated as a personality. He took to donning black slouch hat and cloak in imitation of The Shadow. He wore a spider ring. He packed twin automatics. He laughed vengefully as he slew. Sometimes he augmented this ebony ensemble with a fright wig and vampire teeth, suggestive of a hairy fanged spider in human form. 


“His deft fingers flew swiftly about their familiar task,” Page wrote. “Under their touch, a lotion tautened his skin so that it shone across the cheekbones and became darkly sallow. Circles now appeared under his eyes, and his lips vanished, leaving his mouth a sinister, knife-thin line. That was all, except a reconstruction of the nose so that it became a hooked predatory beak, crowned by harsh, shaggy eyebrows, all topped by a lank, long wig, while the face that stared back at Wentworth bore no resemblance at all to the debonair countenance of Richard Wentworth, clubman, dilettante of the arts, and amateur criminologist. This was a face from whose glare the criminal guiltily shrank as from a death ray! This was the face of the Spider!’”


He was The Shadow for grownups.


Another person also played an important part in the eerie evolution of The Spider. Rogers Terrill, the magazine’s first editor, and originator of an approach he called “emotional urgency.” To Terrill, the plot could run off the rails, the characters could descend into irrationality—just so long as the story was told in white-heat prose that grabbed the pulp reader by the throat and never let go.


Terrill believed in keying up the action to an unbelievable degree. It was not enough, he liked to say, to impel the hero into a race against time to save a subway full of innocents about to be slaughtered by blood-simple madmen. He had to face a soul-testing choice: save the precious innocents or rescue his about-to-be-tortured one true love, who was in equal and simultaneous danger. That impossible choice spelled drama to Rogers Terrill.


He described it to his writers in typically intense terms:

“Primarily there must be real emotion in our stories; in addition to the physical conflict, they should have emotional drama. A story, for example, on which conflicting forces are at work, in which the hero has strongly conflicting desires, where he must make a choice that will reflect his true character, his most vital interests and desires require one course of action, but a debt of honor demands sacrifice of his own free will. And while he is sorely tempted to protect his own interests, his better nature triumphs.”


Over the years Spider titles went from the relatively sedate City of Flaming Shadows to high-pitched fever dreams like Hordes of the Red Butcher and King of the Fleshless Legion.Wentworth battled the depraved, the insane, the wanton. Forerunners of the supervillains of today, they included the obligatory Tarantula and the Fly, the Wreck, who delighted in turning his victims into broken cripples, the Iron Man, who controlled a rampaging platoon of slaughter-bent robots, and the Living Pharaoh, whom Page introduced in a multi-book sequence he abandoned as mysteriously as R.T.M. Scott had walked away from his crimecrushing creation.


Page’s yearlong absence is as unfathomable as the puzzle of  the two R.T. M. Scotts. Editors agreed that the longer he penned the Spider, the more spiderlike Page became. He took to wearing floppy slouch hats, black velvet pants and carrying a brace of matched .45 automatics as if he were coming to identify with Richard Wentworth a little too closely. Page also started talking about the Spider cast like they were familiar friends instead of the fictional creations they really were.


Page’s friend, Shadow author Theodore Tinsley, recalled him vividly: 

 “Yes, Norvell’s personality was not ‘subdued’ in the manner of a young blondish bank clerk. He did like to wear a Spider ring.  He did like to wear a cape. He did like a slouch hat. And he did wear a beard, a black scrubby one. At times his flamboyant cape suggested he might be a Bolshevik. With a small bomb concealed for socially corrective action. Actually he was a nice guy, with a yen toward theatric, who simmered down considerably after he took his talents (they were many) to Uncle Sam during and after WW2.”


Maybe it was burnout. Perhaps a breakdown from overwork. Possibly Page asked for a raise and was replaced by a younger, cheaper pulpster. Whatever, Emile C. Tepperman took over for most of 1937. When Page returned, he alternated with Wayne Rogers, who under the name Archibald Bittner, had once been a pulp editor—until Bittner allegedly absconded to Florida with a Munsey secretary and some loose cash.


It took a few years, but eventually Norvell Page reasserted his dominance over his spidery cast and crew. As the 1930s shaded into the ‘40s, the novels cooled somewhat. Reader tastes were shifting, and the old “bang-bang” wild action was growing dated. Page retooled as best he could and branched out to writing classic fantasy novels for Unknown that are still remembered today.


Occasionally he moonlighted by ghosting a Phantom Detective novel like Death Glow, or the odd spiderized Black Bat tale. He revived N. Wooten Poge for the salacious  Spicy Detective Stories. Whenever Popular Publications launched an important new title like Detective Tales or Strange Detective Mysteries, they tapped Page to help kick off the first issue.


More and more, religious symbolism and mysticism crept into his writing. Richard Wentworth grew more messianic. He had always possessed a strong streak of it, but now it was out in the open, like a case of stigmata. This climaxed in the 100th novel, Death and the Spider, where aided by a Tibetan monk, a bullet-riddled Spider struggled back from the near-dead to rescue the nation on Christmas Eve. On a later occasion, the Master of Men battled to the death the villain of Zara—Master of Murder on a rooftop Manhattan statue of Jesus Christ, called simply the Redeemer of Men.


Another writer would have set his climax on the Statue of Liberty and let it go at that. Not Norvell Page. He invented over-the-top melodrama.


The Spider began winding down in 1943. Ten years is a long time in the pulp game. Everything had changed. The Depression was a fading ache. The nation faced another World War. Paper shortages were pounding the pulps. When new editor Robert Turner came in, he rewrote Page’s pulpy purple prose into the naturalistic style then in fashion. Page may or may not have cared. His first wife died of tetanus after stepping on a rusty nail that October. It was an end as horrible as anything a Spider villain ever inflicted on a suffering victim. Page fled The Spider, and forever abandoned the familiar pulp jungle of Manhattan for a government position in Washington, writing for the Office of War Information. He never returned to Black Mask, where he was starting to make a major name for himself, never became the next Edgar Allan Poe—and never looked back. He is remembered today as the soul of the Spider.


Near the end of his Spider career, Norvell Page wrote one fan: “Think of me as Wentworth, if you will. The line between us is not too distinct….”


Perhaps that might be his epitaph.


Want more of The Spider? Check out the wonderful Girasol Replicas and Double Novel reprints or thrill to the Spider with Will Murray’s Pulp Classic eBooks and Audiobooks!  The Spider from Radio Archives!


by Derrick Ferguson

I’ve never so much as read Word One of any novel featuring The Black Bat but I’ve heard and read so much about the character in other pulp oriented mediums that I feel like I do know the character well. The main thing that I always heard about him was that he debuted in pulp magazines so close to Batman’s debut in comic books that there was a brief legal scuffle. Now, after listening to Radio Archives Brand of the Black Bat I can see (or rather, hear) what everybody finds so intriguing about the character.
Me, I see him as what might have happened had Marvel’s Matt Murdock character become Batman instead of Daredevil. Crusading Distinct Attorney Tony Quinn is blinded by acid thrown into his face during a crucial courtroom trial. The case falls apart and Quinn quits his job and retires from public life, bitterly resigned to spending his life in darkness. But after about a year he is amazed at how acute his remaining senses have become. He can even walk around his house almost as well as when he was sighted. His explanation to his bodyguard/valet ‘Silk’ Kirby how he can do this sounds a lot like Daredevil’s radar sense to me. And then a true miracle comes along in the form of an operation that restores his sight. Quinn determines to keep the restoration of his sight and his enhanced senses a secret, his objective to use these abilities to fight crime on its own terms. But he’s not going to rely on a batarang or a billy club, oh no. If a pair of .45 automatics are good enough for The Shadow and The Spider then they’re good enough for The Black Bat.
Brand of the Black Bat is a pretty solid origin story and I think that for comic book fans, The Black Bat is a good character to start off their education about pulp heroes as The Black Bat is, for all intents and purposes a superhero due to his enhanced senses and his wearing of a definite costume when he’s out at night doing his nemesis of evil thing. And as always, the production qualities of a Radio Archive audiobook are geared totally to ensuring that it’s a thrilling and enjoyable listening experience.

1 cent Spider eBook!

For a limited time you can now download an exciting original Spider adventure for just one thin penny! Part of the Will Murray Pulp Classics line, The Spider #11, Prince of the Red Looters first saw print in 1934 and features his momentous battle with The Fly and his armies of crazed criminal killers. Their motto? Why “KILL THE SPIDER!” of course.
For those who have been unsure about digging into the wonderful world of pulps this is a perfect opportunity to give one of these fantastic yarns a real test run. With a full introduction to the Spider written by famed pulp historian and author Will Murray, The Spider #11 was written by one of pulp’s most respected authors, Norvell W. Page. Writing as Grant Stockbridge, Page’s stories included some of the most bizarre and fun takes on heroes and crime fighting in the history of escapist fiction.
Even today Page’s scenarios and his edge-of-the-seat writing style are still thrilling both new and old fans everywhere. For those who have never read one of these rollercoaster adventures, you are in for a thrill. If you already know how much fun a classic pulp is, make sure you download this bargain.
All eBooks produced by Radio Archives are available in ePub, Mobi, and PDF formats for the ultimate in compatibility. When you purchase this eBook from RadioArchives.com you receive all three formats in one ZIP file. When you upgrade to a new eReader, you can transfer your Spider novels to your new device without the need to purchase anything new. Use the PDF version when reading on your PC or Mac computer. If you have a Kindle, the Mobi version is what you want. If you have an iPad/iPhone, Android, Sony eReader or Nook, then the ePub version is what you want.



The best of timeless Pulp now available as cutting edge Ebooks! Will Murray’s Pulp Classics brings the greatest heroes, awesome action, and two fisted thrills to your E-Reader! Presenting Pulp Icons such as the Spider and Operator 5 as well as wonderfully obscure characters like Doctor Death and more, Will Murray’s Pulp Classics brings you the best of yesterday’s Pulp today!
Five new golden age Pulp tales exquisitely reformatted into visually stunning E-books!


Meet the Spider — master of men! More just than the Law… more dangerous than the Underworld. Hated, wanted, feared by both! Alone and desperate, he wages deadly, one-man war against the super-criminal whose long-planned crime-coup will snuff a thousand lives! Can the Spider prevent this slaughter of innocents? Another epic exploit of America’s best-loved pulp-fiction character of the 1930s and 1940s: The Spider — Master of Men! As a special Bonus, Will Murray has written an introduction: “Meet the Spider” especially for this series of eBooks.
A woman lighted a cigarette, puffed it a few times, and began to scream, to tear her clothes from her body. Her head twisted back between her shoulders and she died a horrible convulsive death-death from tobacco smoke! The lascivious cultist, Deacon Coslin, had seen his mad prophesy fulfilled… for already other smokers, everywhere throughout the land, were dying by tens of thousands! With Richard Wentworth’s beloved Nita in the power of the enemy, facing an unspeakable death; with his faithful servants drugged and out of the battle; with the police hounding hint and the arch-criminal foreseeing every strategy, how can the Spider combat the overwhelming odds aligned against him? How can he save his compatriots from the Red Death Rain — save the land he loves from domination by an ambition-twisted brain? Another epic exploit of America’s best-loved pulp-fiction character of the 1930s and 1940s: The Spider — Master of Men! As a special Bonus, Will Murray has written an introduction: “Meet the Spider” especially for this series of eBooks.

Chaos, confusion, disintegration fall with swift, breath-taking disaster upon America! Already terrorized by a tottering, unstable world, American men and women are swept into a mad stampede when the great leaders of the nation are spirited away, one by one, to return broken men, useless, inept. Here Jimmy Christopher — Operator 5 — sets forth on his most thrilling and dangerous exploit while the great brains of America surrender to madness and despair; as a leaderless people seethe in revolt against a government which is crumbling before their eyes. How can Operator 5, single-handed, hope to prevail against that dread Master of Broken Men? As a special Bonus, Will Murray has written an introduction especially for this series of Operator #5 eBooks.

Curt Newton, spacefarer, and the Futuremen take off on the most thrilling treasure-hunt of all time in quest of the Solar System’s greatest prize!
Captain Future… the Ace of Space! Born and raised on the moon, Curt Newton survived the murder of his scientist parents to become the protector of the galaxy known as Captain Future. With his Futuremen, Grag the giant robot, Otho, the shape-shifting android and Simon Wright, the Living Brain, he patrols the solar system in the fastest space ship ever constructed, the Comet, pursuing human monsters and alien threats to Earth and her neighbor planets.


Follow the Futuremen along a multi-million miles of stellar speedway as they streak around the system in their greatest race for justice!
Captain Future… the Ace of Space! Born and raised on the moon, Curt Newton survived the murder of his scientist parents to become the protector of the galaxy known as Captain Future. With his Futuremen, Grag the giant robot, Otho, the shape-shifting android and Simon Wright, the Living Brain, he patrols the solar system in the fastest space ship ever constructed, the Comet, pursuing human monsters and alien threats to Earth and her neighbor planets.

When you purchase these beautifully reformatted eBooks from RadioArchives.com you receive all three formats in one ZIP file: PDF for PC or Mac computer; Mobi for Kindle and ePub for iPad/IPhone, Android, Sony eReader, and Nook. When you upgrade to a new eReader, you can transfer your eBook novels to your new device without the need to purchase anything new.
Find these legendary Pulp tales and more in Will Murray’s Pulp Classics, now available in the Kindle store and the Barnes and Noble Nook store! The best Pulp eBooks now available for only $2.99 each from Radio Archives!
Join the eBook Team!
Radio Archives is seeking motivated, excited people to add to our eBook staff! Will Murray’s Pulp Classics line of eBooks continues to rapidly grow and we are looking to add another person to read the stories and correct any errors.
If you have a love for classic Pulp tales as well as a good grasp of spelling and punctuation, then you may be just the person we’re looking for! Send an email inquiry to Service@RadioArchives.com for more details!




The pulp era’s greatest superman returns in classic pulp thrillers by Lester Dent and William Bogart writing as “Kenneth Robeson.” First, the Man of Bronze is summoned to the Oklahoma oil fields to confront the horrific rampage of “The Derrick Devil.” Then, Doc and his aides journey to Lake Erie where a mysterious malady is turning steel workers into “The Spotted Men.” This double-novel collector’s edition features the classic color pulp covers by Robert G. Harris and Emery Clarke, Paul Orban’s classic interior illustrations and historical commentary by Will Murray, writer of nine Doc Savage novels. Priced at only $14.95.

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows! Triple Novel Special! The Knight of Darkness combats supercrime in an extra-length volume showcasing tales by each of the pulp wordsmiths who wrote as “Maxwell Grant.” First, in a violent thriller by Theodore Tinsley, The Shadow investigates the murderous machinations of “The Prince of Evil,” a sadistic fiend who delights in torture and human misery. Then, The Shadow enters a series of diabolical deathtraps disguised as a “Messenger of Death” to retrieve a secret formula in a classic mystery by Walter Gibson. Finally, Lamont Cranston tracks down a hidden serial killer in Bruce Elliott’s “Room 1313.” This extra-length collector’s special showcases the original color covers by Graves Gladney and Modest Stein and the original interior illustrations by Edd Cartier and Paul Orban, with historical articles by Will Murray and Rick Lai. Buy it today for $14.95.


One of the top crime-fighters from the golden age of pulp fiction, The Spider returns in two thrill-packed adventures written by Norvell Page under the pseudonym of Grant Stockbridge. First, in “The Spider and the Scarlet Surgeon” (1941), With unheard of skill, the Red Surgeon can change a patient into an imbecile… or a genius of crime! Not only can he alter the physical shell, but this mad doctor can even amputate parts of a victim’s personality, even their conscience. And his greatest ambition is to operate on none other than Stanley Kirkpatrick, Nita van Sloan… and the Spider! Then, in “The Spider and the Death Piper” (1942), Weird compelling music lures the inhabitants of Martinsville to suicide! By ones and twos at first, then in a stampede of maddened self-destruction. Even Richard Wentworth, with the iron will of the Spider, felt the irresistible calling of that Devil-tune! Can even the Master of Men prevail against an unearthly power that goads the listener to suicide? These two exciting pulp adventures have been beautifully reformatted for easy reading and feature both of the original full color covers as well as interior illustrations that accompany each story. Available now for $14.95!

By John Olsen

A new and deadly poison gas has been invented for the United States chemical warfare service. And the ex-partners in the company producing the gas have now become “Partners of Peril.” One by one, they are being murdered. And it’s The Shadow’s job to reveal the source of the peril to those remaining alive!
What’s behind it all? Why, a deadly new poison gas, that’s what! The nation that owns this secret will be impregnable in the next war. It will take all the cunning of The Shadow to discover the evil power behind the conspiracy of murder.
The Shadow gets to don a few disguises in this story. He appears as Lamont Cranston, of course. And he glides invisibly through the night in his outfit of black. But he also appears at the chemical plant in two other disguises.
Assisting The Shadow here is his trusty contact man Burbank, reporter Clyde Burke and long-time agent Harry Vincent. Other familiar characters in this Shadow novel are Commissioner Ralph Weston and Detective Joe Cardona.
This Shadow pulp novel wasn’t written by Walter Gibson. It was written by Theodore Tinsley, who was brought in by the publishers to help assist in the writing chores. The reading public would be none the wiser, since the pen name of Maxwell Grant was still used on all the stories, regardless of the actual author. Tinsley would go on to pen a total of twenty seven Shadow novels until his final one “The Golden Doom” in 1943.  Theodore Tinsley’s stories of The Shadow thrilled readers, who were not even aware that they were reading stories by a different author. All they knew was that they were reading a rip-roaring pulp adventure of their favorite hero. It was a bit edgier and more lurid than the usual Shadow fare, but the action carried readers along and they would rarely stop to examine the writing style.
At the end of the story, the master villain lives. Usually, in both Tinsley’s and Gibson’s stories, the bad guy is killed in the final act. This time, he lives and is in police custody. Not a really rare occurrence, but one worthy of note.  One final point of interest. This is the Shadow story that inspired the very first Batman story. You can read all about it in Anthony Tollin’s article “Foreshadowing The Batman” which appears in The Shadow #9 pulp reprint. As Anthony explains in his article, the Batman story was lifted intact from Tinsley’s Shadow story being reviewed here. Interesting reading! This is a fun and pulpy story that I recommend you read. Plenty of death traps, from vats of acid to exploding munitions stores. Plenty of fast and furious action and thrills aplenty in this special Shadow pulp treat. And available now in The Shadow volume 9 for $12.95 from Radio Archives!

Comments From Our Customers!

David Dymond writes:
The  CD’s  I recently received were very enjoyable–those with Archie and Jughead, Maisie, and Great Gildersleeve delighted me many times over!   Would be nice if you  had more comedies, soaps, dramas, etc. I hope to place another order soon!
John Tefteller writes:
There are certain Suspense shows that I just have to have and the Orson Welles “Hitch hiker” is one of those…….I have always considered that to be one of the Top Five BEST of it’s kind. The other two must haves from Suspense for me are “Donovan’s Brain” with Welles and “House In Cypress Canyon” There are a dozen or so others that really stand out. When I saw you had “The Hitch Hiker” I guess I just went nuts, because I ALWAYS wanted a top quality dub of that one. I had one years ago that was about four generations down, but I could never get closer to the original discs. I am going to promote your business to whomever I can and encourage them to buy your products.

If you’d like to share a comment with us or if you have a question or a suggestion send an email to Service@RadioArchives.com. We’d love to hear from you!


The products you’ve read about in this newsletter are just a small fraction of what you’ll find waiting for you at RadioArchives.com. Whether it’s the sparkling audio fidelity of our classic radio collections, the excitement of our new line of audiobooks, or the timeless novels of the pulp heroes, you’ll find hundreds of intriguing items at RadioArchives.com.
If you no longer wish to receive our newsletter, or if this newsletter has been sent to you in error, please reply to this e-mail with the subject line UNSUBSCRIBE and your name will immediately be removed from our mailing list.


Pro Se Productions, a leading Publisher of New Pulp, proudly announced today the release of its latest novel which features the book length debut of a character featured in two recent issues of Pro Se’s Award Winning Magazine, PRO SE PRESENTS.  Written by author PJ Lozito, Pro Se’s 12th novel, THE STING OF THE SILVER MANTICORE, takes New Pulp by storm today. 
“The Manticore is already a fan favorite,” Tommy Hancock, Partner in and Editor-in-Chief of Pro Se, stated.  “An instant hit since his debut in the magazine earlier this year.   PJ’s hero has definitely struck a chord with New Pulp fans, both those interested in stories that read and feel like they were written in Pulp’s heyday and those who like new insights and twists on the old style.  Giving the Manticore and his colorful cast of goodies and baddies a full length venue to play from was not only an easy decision, it was most definitely the best place for both writer and creation to display pure New Pulp awesomeness.”

Art by Sean Ali
According to the book itself-
He hunts the most dangerous prey imaginable!  
His mission: To fight criminals and villains who are out to destroy our society!
“Ride with Brent Allred and his mysterious assistant, Bako, 
as they wage war against enemies who mock the law, but will feel its strength by
Throughout the underworld and in the halls of law enforcement,
 one cry inspired fear and awe by all who hear it.
“Beware the Sting of the Silver Manticore!”
The Silver Manticore, the masked marauder wanted by the law and criminals alike, is about to undertake what will be one of the greatest adventures of his incredible career.  The Silver Manticore will be drawn into a web of suspense and intrigue that will bring him face to face with his most dangerous enemy as they begin a battle that will span decades and generations!
PJ Lozito presents a tale of action and adventure, of thrills and suspense,
setting the stage for a hero for the ages!
Featuring a stunning cover by award winning artist David L. Russell and exquisite formatting and design by Sean E. Ali, THE STING OF THE SILVER MANTICORE is destined to be a New Pulp Classic, appealing to fans of Action and Larger than Life Heroes everywhere!
Available now in print for $12.00 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Coming Soon in all Ebook formats!
For more information on Pro Se Productions, check out www.prosepulp.com


New Pulp author and Trinity Comics publisher, Frank Dirscherl shared the following information about the upcoming novel, The Wraith: Cry of the Werewolf with All Pulp.

Dear friends

My latest novel (a look at the cover is attached), the fourth in The Wraith Adventures series, CRY OF THE WEREWOLF, will be released for sale on May 18 from my own Trinity Comics. You’ll be able to buy (initially) direct from my online store, as well as from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all other online and bricks and mortar stores shortly thereafter. EBook release will coincide with the print release.

Below is the book’s rear cover blurb:

Having gone through ordeal after ordeal, Paul Sanderson (aka The Wraith Dread Avenger of the Underworld ®) and his love Leena Patterson, decide to take a long overdue vacation. Choosing the mountain village of Bidbury as their destination, the two happily leave the crime and filth of Metro City far behind them, at least for a time. Once they reach the picturesque surrounds of the Little England area, their idyll is shattered by an attack by a creature nobody thought could possibly exist—a werewolf. Soon, Paul discovers a village wracked by fear and deceit, and an evil so pronounced, so monstrous, that only The Wraith could possibly defeat it.

CRY OF THE WEREWOLF is the fourth in this enthralling series of pulp novels featuring the Dread Avenger of the Underworld, and has all the thrills and emotion that one has come to expect from Dirscherl, surely the pre-eminent superhero pulp author of our time.

Thank you, and I hope everyone who chooses to buy this enjoys it. I put a LOT into this book, and I hope you all give it a chance and thoroughly enjoy it. Thank you again :)


Frank Dirscherl
Publisher – Trinity Comics

Learn more about Trinity Comics at www.trinitycomics.com
Learn more about Frank Dirscherl at www.frankdirscherl.com

Also, look for The Wraith pulp anthology coming soon from Airship 27.

John Ostrander: Raylan Vs. Raylan

It’s interesting to watch different interpretations on a given character. Later this summer we’ll see Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/The Amazing Spider-Man and can compare/contrast it with Tobey Maguire’s version in the previous three Spider-Man movies.

For me, it’s even more interesting when you compare two different versions in two different media. You can do that with Spider-Man or any of a number of different superheroes recently. The upcoming Avengers movie will offer that in spades.

The one I’m focusing on here, however, is the character of U.S. Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens, created by Elmore Leonard in a number of short stories and books, the most recent being Raylan. He’s also the central character on FX’s Justified, which just wound up its third season recently.

For many, Elmore Leonard is the best crime novelist writing today and one of America’s best novelists – period. Lots of his stuff has been adapted to movies, including 3:10 to Yuma, twice, and Get Shorty, which resuscitated John Travolta’s career) He’s not always expressed pleasure with adaptations of his work but he’s pleased with Justified which is as should be seeing that he’s listed among the writers for the series and is among the executive producers.

The character of Raylan Givens is a throwback, a frontier type lawman in the modern world.  He’s not above prompting the bad guy to draw on him, dispensing his own kind of justice in a way that works as justifiable homicide. Hence the title. He cuts it a little too close in Miami and gets sent back to Kentucky from whence he came and to which he’s not real keen to return.

The cowboy imagery is re-enforced by the cowboy hat that Raylan habitually wears. In the books and short story, he wears an open road Stetson hat, flat brimmed, similar (according to Leonard) to the hats worn by the Dallas Police at the time of the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald. In the TV series, it’s a hand-modified Stetson 4x beaver with a basket weave embossed leather hatband, with a three piece buckle set. Does it make a difference? It does to Elmore Leonard who does not care for the TV version. I’ve seen both hats and, well, Elmore Leonard is wrong. There, I said it. And it underscores what has to happen in adapting what works on the page to what works on the screen, big or little. The hat on Justified is a better visual.

Raylan Givens is laconic, iconic, and charismatic, especially as embodied by Timothy Olyphant for the TV series. Elmore Leonard has a great way with dialogue and the TV series stays true to that. It also keeps true to Leonard’s worldview and sense of character. I read somewhere that the producers of the TV series approach the writing by asking, “What Would Elmore Do?”

In watching the series and reading the prose, it’s interesting to see how plot elements in Raylan were taken and adapted to the series, some more successfully than others. There’s a plot involving illegal harvesting of human kidneys that plays better in the novel than in the series, mainly because on TV it gets squeezed in as a subplot and done in essentially one episode.

On the other hand, the TV series has made changes that were brilliant. Boyd Crowder, played by Walton Goggins, dies at the end of the story Fire In the Hole. The TV series wisely let him survive and change and grow into a truly compelling character. Mags Bennett, played by Margo Martindale who won an Emmy for her portrayal, is new to the series, to the best of my knowledge, although her sons are in Raylan along with their father.

There’s a plot involving a coal company and the woman representing it to the community that it has poisoned and that’s about the same in both the book and the series. Elmore Leonard has used elements and characters that have appeared in the series just as the series has used characters and elements that have appeared in the stories.

It’s apples and oranges, I know, but if I had to pick, which would I prefer – the series or the novel? To be honest, I prefer the TV series. The novel, Raylan, is more like a series of linked short stories; each one has its own climax and then it’s on to the next one but there’s no overall climax. Each season of Justified has worked as an entity of its own and reaches a single climax to end a given season.

Both are worth the investment of your time and together they form a sort of alternate universe take on the main character, Raylan Givens. Same guy but slightly different incarnations. It’s a concept familiar to comic book readers or viewers of Fringe. Ah, Fringe. That’s another column at some point in the future.

MONDAY: Mindy Newell



Michael Davis: The Greatest Story Never Told, Conclusion

Please read the past three week’s installments before reading this. Thanks!

What has gone before, quick and dirty recap… I’d sold (in my opinion) the second greatest idea in the history of comics to one of the greatest publishers (DC Comics) in the business. It was to be written by one of the greatest writers  (Dwayne McDuffie) with art by a guy (me) who was going to make sure this time he got it right. The editor assigned to it wanted me off the project I created. Dwayne told the editor he would not do the project without me.

I told the editor to kiss my ass (at a bar during the San Diego Comic Con some years after all this went down and after Jenette Kahn had left DC). See previous installments as to why I didn’t tell him to kiss my ass while Jenette was there.

What did the editor say?

Nothing. When’s the last time you’re heard a pussy talk? Me? Last Friday but that was …well … you know…

I took the project to Dark Horse.

Mike Richardson loved it…

Mike Richardson runs what is without a doubt the coolest entertainment company in the world in my opinion. Dark Horse does movies, comics, television, animation, toys, collectables and just about any other cool pop culture stuff you can think of.

Mike is not just the founder, owner and CEO, he is also the driving creative force behind Dark Horse. Having a project at Dark Horse is not just cool, its prestigious as well.

Sin City, Hellboy, The Mask, 300 are among the Dark Horse comic projects that have gone on to be come huge movies and merchandising juggernauts. If any project has a chance of becoming something beyond comics, having Dark Horse as your publisher helps tremendously.

Mike gave me my marching orders, which were to come back with a detailed outline of the story, and I did. I came back over and over for five years.

Yep. Five years.

Or 35 years in the DC editor’s life. Why 35 years? Because he was and still is a little bitch.

But (sorry again, Peter) I digress…

Allow me to make another aside to the young creators out there. I have two mottos that I live by…

There is nothing too good to do for my friends, nothing too bad to do to my enemies.


A deal takes the time that a deal takes.

Just to be clear, Mike Richardson and I did not meet every week or so for five years. We met numerous times to go over the story but there were times when we would meet in April and the next time it would be in May.

May of the next year.

When you are dealing with the head of an A-list entertainment company you have to realize that they have a lot of other stuff to do.  Often Mike would be out of town, way out of town like in Prague filming Hellboy or in Japan working on a toy deal or in San Diego at Comic Con where he stabbed me through my heart…long story.

Before your mind goes to dark places, he stole a toy out from under me at a vendor during Comic Con. That’s how he stabbed me in the heart…and he never called.

So young creator: remember a deal takes the time that it takes. If you think countless phone calls and emails are going to make a difference, you are right.

Countless phone calls and emails will make a difference. The difference it will most likely make is you will phone call and email yourself out of a deal. Nobody likes a pest.

I know that first hand. Ask Halle Berry.

We went back and forth on the story until Mike called me one afternoon and said; “Let’s get rid of the superhero element.”

That’s what Mike had been struggling with during my many revisions to the story.

The story was a superhero story that dealt with a certain time in American history. Mike realized all at once that the history was more important than the superheroes.

This under any other circumstances would have been a deal killer for me. That was not the idea that Keith Giffen said was one of the greatest ideas he had ever seen. This was no longer my dream project.


It was a great project and more importantly it was a story that needed to be told.

Mike was right.

Soon after we had that talk I turned in my new story overview and Mike said “Go do the book.”

That was three years ago.

I’ve been working on that graphic novel for three years. The comic book work I’ve done in the past has been me trying to do comics the way others do comics. I’m not that type of artist and I’m not making that mistake again.  Graphic novels are done in as many styles as there are artists and I’m not taking any chances that I’m not true to how I work and how I work is a bit involved and tedious.

My pen and ink style is a wee bit time consuming.

I’m including examples of the Dark Horse project with this article. Mike Richardson has not even seen this work yet. I’m not showing any story pages, as I’d like to keep the story under wraps for a bit more time.

As I hope you can see from the art, the work is a bit time intensive.  All of the originals are 20 x 30 inches, double or single page spreads.

But just as a deal takes the time that it takes a good artist takes the time that he or she needs to do the work to the best of their abilities.

That being said-my project at Dark Horse has an opened ended deadline, meaning I have the luxury of turning the project in when I want.

I have that luxury.

If any young creator is on a deadline but thinks they can turn in a project whenever they want just so they can get it right that creator at risk of becoming an asshole of the highest order and at a higher risk to be unemployed.

The Dark Horse project should be done this year, and I’m as happy as Mitt Romney’s dog was when he came down off that car roof. It’s a major graphic novel from a major publisher and Mike Richardson is one of the greats to work with not just in comics but the entertainment business.

But, you ask, what about the original earth shattering idea?

Well, I’m glad you asked. Last year at Comic Con I met with the head of another major comic book company who expressed great interest. We met again last November and he was still very interested I was told he would get back to me in two weeks to see rather or not it was a fit within his publishing plan.

Two weeks turned into four months. We met again briefly two months ago and he said he would get back to me shorty.

So far it’s been six months and I’ve heard neither yay nor nay.

That’s really not a big deal. Really it’s not. I’ve been waiting to do this project for over ten years, so six months is nothing. I’m also dealing with the head of the company so he’s got a lot on his plate. I don’t take any of this stuff personally.

Similarly, I’m a busy guy. I’ve writing three books (novels, not comics) and I have another graphic novel project as well as a TV show in development. Moreover I have a couple of other little things I’m doing, so like I said, I’m a busy guy so I was fine with waiting.

I was fine with waiting.

Last week another major player entered the game. They want to do Project X and they want to do it now.

So what do I do? Do I…

A. Pull the project from the publisher who has had it for six months and take it to the new publisher?

B. Do I give the publisher who has it as much time as they want to make a decision?

C. Do I tell the publisher who has the project to shit or get off the pot?

D. Do I not say a word to the publisher who has the project and let them know when the new publisher announces it at the San Diego Comic Con?

Pay attention here, young creators…

A is an asshole move.

B is simply a stupid move with another power player in the game.

If I were the old Michael Davis, it would be D. I’m not that guy anymore.

So that leaves C.

That’s the ticket, boys and girls. I’ve patiently waited six months, Hell, if you think about it I’ve patiently waited more than ten years.

On Monday April 23rd (tomorrow to me, yesterday to you) I’m sending a very nice email to the company that has my project and I’m saying very nicely to them please make a decision.

I know what they are going to do. I’m real good and according to many, I’m scary when it comes to predicting what others will do.

My birthday is a week from the date of this writing. That’s next Sunday, April 29th.

I’m sure I’ll be celebrating Project X and a new deal.

That’s a great gift. In fact it will be a first.

WEDNESDAY: Mike Gold Thinks Up Something Just In The Nick Of Time