Tagged: Tom Hanks

The Point Radio: BATTLESTAR Is Back All Shiny & Bloody

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: BLOOD & CHROME is finally here, but you don’t know the whole story on how this all came to be. Executive Producer David Eick shares some surprising facts (and a few sneaky spoilers) with us, plus October was another good month in the comic stores, but for which company and THE KILLING rises from the dead.

The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

The Point Radio: Lori’s Return On THE WALKING DEAD

We’ve got more with THE WALKING DEAD‘s two latest casualties, Sarah Wayne Callis and IronE Singleton. We cover it all from Lori’s Haters, IronE’s surprise at his fate and the possibility that Sarah might have a chance to return to the show. Plus DC goes digital in an even bigger way and we move two steps closer to that ELFQUEST movie.

The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

The Point Radio: THE WALKING DEAD Claims More Cast

If you aren’t caught up on this week’s episode of WALKING DEAD, then we got two words for you – SPOILER ALERT. We begin our talk with the most casualty and how this death veered away from the one seen in the comic, plus Tom Hanks (along with Halle Berry) help us figure out CLOUD ATLAS and DC piles on 52 new variant covers!

The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

Yahoo and Liquid Comics set to publish motion comics

I wonder if this will move Yahoo’s stock price. From the AP:

Yahoo said Wednesday it is expanding its original offerings, partnering with Liquid Comics to offer motion-comics. The two companies said they’ll make the first two titles — created by film directors Barry Sonnenfeld and Guy Ritchie — available online later this summer through Yahoo! Screen.

Motion comics blend elements of comic book art and animation, offering some movement and action but on a limited scale. It’s gained ground and popularity in recent years as publishers big and small experiment with the medium, which can viewed online or on devices like tablets and iPads.

“This is compelling content from great storytellers, and we are excited to be adding Liquid Comics to our robust slate of premium content partners,” said Erin McPherson, vice president and head of video for Yahoo.

By partnering with Liquid Comics and focusing on animation, she said Yahoo is enhancing its premium original content.

Together with Tom Hanks’ new animated Web series, “Electric City,” ”motion comics are the start of a unique animated offering on Yahoo,” McPherson said.

Sonnenfeld’s offering is “Dinosaurs vs. Aliens.” The director of the “Men In Black” films tells the story of aliens invading earth in prehistoric times only to face off against dinosaurs.

Ritchie, whose films include “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and the recent “Sherlock Holmes,” will have his “Gamekeeper” transformed into a motion-comic written by Andy Diggle. It focuses on groundskeeper whose life is turned upside down by mercenaries.

Sharad Devarajan, CEO of Liquid Comics, said the titles, along with plans for more, will help expand the reach of graphic novels and comics.

“Yahoo’s impressive global reach will greatly enhance Liquid’s goal of pushing the boundaries of comic books through digital platforms and technology and enabling our creative partners to share their stories with audiences worldwide,” he said.

via Yahoo, Liquid set to publish motion comics – Yahoo! News.

Just to refresh your memory: Liquid Comics is what’s left of the former Virgin Comics line, a joint venture between Richard Branson and Deepak Chopra, which originally published Gamekeeper.


It’s spring training for baseball, a time when even Cubs fans can be hopeful despite knowing that, sooner or later, this year’s team will break our hearts as every Cubs team has done for over a century. Truth is, if the Cubs ever won the World Series, their mystique would be gone. Their legend is based on being losers.

As baseball season is upon us, and tonight is the Academy Awards, I want to look back not only at the game but at my favorite baseball movies. For my taste, there is something better about baseball films than there is in films for any other sport. There’s a duality to it; baseball is played by teams but it comes down to individuals – batter versus pitcher.

So here, in no particular order, are my favorite baseball films. I’m not saying they’re the best but they are my faves and I think every one of them is watchable. These aren’t the only baseball films I like and the list may not include your faves but there’s only so much space.

Moneyball stars Bard Pitt in his Oscar nominated role; the nomination is well deserved although his pal, George Clooney, will probably beat him out for the award. The movie does not deal with the game per se but with the business behind the game, focusing on Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane as he attempted in 2002 to win the World Series despite having very little money to work with. At the same time, it has most of a baseball film’s tropes – a team that has little chance, a maverick at the center of the story, a shot of redemption and so on. It comes at everything from a different angle but very worthwhile.

The Natural. Okay, it’s pretentious, it’s overwrought in places, heavy on the symbolism, Robert Redford at the start of the film is too old to be playing a rookie phenom and maybe even the score is over the top. For me, it works. When Roy Cobb hits the light-shattering home run at the climax and the Randy Newman score comes to its symphonic heights, I get chills. I stumble on it on the tube, I watch it all the way through. Great cast, too.

Bull Durham. Great comedy, great romance, sexy as hell, and terrific performances. Focusing on a minor league team is a great idea – players on their way up, players on their way down, players who aren’t going to get any better than this. Human, humble, great baseball scenes, loopy as hell. Costner, whatever else you may think of him, is almost always good playing an athlete and especially a baseball player. He does another great job playing a baseball player in a supporting role in The Other Side Of Anger. This is my second fave baseball movie.

A League of Their Own. “There’s no crying in baseball!” Tom Hanks, that line, and that scene alone merits the film’s inclusion here. Incredible cast overall – Geena Davis, Hanks, David Strathairn (almost always a MVP no matter what movie he is in), Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell and Jon Lovitz in what may be the film role I most enjoy him in. Or enjoy him in at all.  The movie also covers a story I didn’t know about – a women’s professional baseball league in the 1940s while World War II was on. A little sentimental here and there, but first class. Makes you wonder why there isn’t a womens’ professional baseball league today. Maybe we haven’t come a long ways, baby.

The Comrades of Summer. I’d be surprised if most of you knew this one. It was a made for TV movie in 1992. Personal bias – it stars Joe Mantegna who I knew back in my theater days in Chicago. Great guy and a wonderful actor. In this movie, he plays Sparky Smith, a resentful and recently fired baseball manager in the States who gets hired by the Soviet Union that wants to field a team for the upcoming Olympics where baseball will be a competitive sport for the first time. He’s resentful, the players are largely untrained and well nigh hopeless and the odds are long. Classic baseball film material. Aside: there’s a Russian street hustler, Voronov, in the movie who contributed more than a little to my creation of Vilmahr Grahrk in some of my Star Wars stories for Dark Horse.

Field of Dreams. My favorite, hands down. I came at it sideways. When it was first released, I had no interest in it. Then I heard the soundtrack playing in a friend’s car. I didn’t klnow what it was and my friend identified it for me. James Horners’ score for this film is one of my top five favorite scores of all times. Beautiful and haunting. The film hit one of the rerun movies houses in Chicago (the old Three Penny Cinema of fond memory; it’s now a rock joint called Lincoln Hall) and I wanted to see how the music worked with whatever the film was about. So Kim and I went.

Knocked. Me. Out. It has the element of mysticism that The Natural strived for but not so heavy handed. It has James Earl Jones playing a J.D. Salinger type character (in the book by W.P. Kinsella – it was called Shoeless Joe – from which the film was adapted, the character is J.D. Salinger) and Burt Lancaster in a warm and wise small part. Once again, Kevin Costner is the main character, Joe Kinsella, which he handles with humor and heart.

The film is about baseball, yes, and James Earl Jones has a terrific speech towards the end about the importance of baseball and the dreams it has. It’s about redemption and long odds and, most importantly, fathers and sons. The ending is perfect. “Want to have a catch?” I think every father-son relationship is imperfect (yes, probably every father-daughter one, too) and I tear up every time when that final scene plays out. It ends in hope and beauty – just as every baseball season begins in hope and perhaps some beauty.

There’s a few more I’ll mention in passing – the TV version of Bleacher Bums (not the movie version), performed by the original Organic Theater cast including the aforementioned Joe Mantegna. This is the definition of what it means to be a Cub’s fan. “No one ever went broke betting against the Cubs after the Fourth of July.” Soul of the Game about the Negro Leagues just as Jackie Robinson was about to break the color line. Delroy Lindo, Mykelti Williamson (currently seen in this season’s Justified) and Blair Underwood as the young Jackie Robinson. Great stuff. Dennis Quaid in The Rookie. Sort of The Natural without all the mystical hoohah. And the musical Damn Yankees for Gwen Verdon, Ray Walston, and the song (You Gotta Have) Heart. That’s baseball right there.

I think what unites all these films is a sense of redemption and of hope.  You need hope to get through life, even if you know better, even if you know that, in the end, your heart will get broken. Again. That’s what you have at the start of spring training, that this might be the year. Miracles happen. The Cubs might do it. I like myself better when I hope.

As the fabled Cub Ernie Banks used to say, “Let’s play two!” Batter up!

MONDAY: Mindy Newell

JOHN OSTRANDER: Playing Favorites

Last Tuesday night, two of my favorite series returned with new episodes – Justified on FX and White Collar on USA. Both in the same time slot, 10 PM EST. This is why TV recording equipment was created – so you no longer have to choose.

Mary and I recorded both but one we watched as it was on and the other we watched the next night. We’ll get to which one was watched “live” but first let’s talk about the shows themselves.

Is one show better than the other? Yes, but both are generally well-written, directed, and acted. And the premieres both were good examples of the two shows.

White Collar deals with a thief, con man, and rogue named Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) who has been sprung from prison by the FBI guy who caught him, Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) to help solve crimes. Neal’s on parole so he (usually) has to wear an ankle bracelet that allows the FBI to monitor him. The two other principle characters are Neal’s buddy, Mozzie (Willie Garson) and Peter’s wife Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen). Neal is not quite reformed and keeps edging towards activities that could get his parole revoked and himself sent back to the slammer. He’s not helped in staying on the straight and narrow by his buddy, Mozzie.

The show owes a lot to the movie Catch Me If You Can which had Leonardo DiCaprio as a counterfeiter and conman chased by Tom Hanks’s FBI agent. DiCaprio is also caught and eventually turned into an FBI consultant.

The show’s main strength is the bromance between the rogue and the cop. All the main characters turn in good performances. Mozzie is a delightful character and Tim DeKay does really fine turns as the FBI agent. A big plus also is the relationship between the FBI guy and his wife – they really love each other and it’s nice to see a middle-aged couple being romantically in love.

The premiere of the season picked up where the cliffhanger left us off last time. A nasty baddie has kidnapped Burke’s wife because of shenanigans that Neal, the rogue, has been doing on the side with his pal, Mozzie. And Peter, the FBI guy, knows they are responsible. Peter’s anger, fear, and sense of betrayal drive the episode as Neal and Mozzie have to work to make things right. By the end, it was very satisfying. The best show on television? No, but consistently pleasurable.

Justified. Ah, where do I start? An Elmore Leonard inspired series about a U.S. Marshall, Raylan Givens (Timothy Oliphant) sent back to Eastern Kentucky where he grew up for shooting one or two many bad guys in Miami, even if the shootings were “justified”, and he’s not happy to be home. He has an ex-wife, Winona (Natalie Zea) who is a little less ex these days, a former girlfriend Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter), a boss who’s not crazy about him (Nick Searcy) and a former co-worker in the mines, a sometimes friend and more often opponent, who has turned to the outlaw side, named Boyd Crowder played by the inimitable Walton Goggins, topping his work on The Shield.

This season also picks up after the end of the previous season which was remarkable. It had one of the best villains, male or female, I have seen on TV in the person of Mags Bennet. Margo Martindale won an Emmy for her work as she damn well should have. I was wondering if they could match that season but the first episode cleared that up for me right quick.

Raylan was shot at the end of last season and this one starts three weeks later and Raylan is still feeling the after effects. There’s a sinister crime boss from Detroit who has established himself in a memorable fashion and a sociopath for hire named Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) who has a sadistic little game that he likes to play with his victims involving an icepick.

I don’t want to spoil things but two of the highpoints for me were when Ava makes a point with a cast iron frying pan and Raylan turns the tables on Wynn Duffy at their climatic showdown. Deeply satisfying.

The show’s writers have said that, as they approach each episode, each scene, each line they ask themselves, ‘What would Elmore do?” It shows. Leonard himself is one of the Executive Producers of the show and likes the character well enough to have his latest novel, RAYLAN, be about him.

Raylan Givens is about as cool a character as I have ever seen on TV. He means what he says and if he says he will shoot you, you’d better believe him. Both he and Neal Caffrey are charming but Raylan is definitely more dangerous. The big difference between the two shows, I think, is that White Collar could have just as easily played on network TV. In fact, the networks should be looking to USA to see how this type of show is done – the cable network has a number of good shows, such as Suits and In Plan Site that would have done well by them.

Justified would not play on network TV. There’s sex, language, and violence and they got the warning labels to prove it. All are necessary ingredients in the show and all help make the show fly.

Both shows are eminently worth watching and, in case you haven’t guessed, we watched Justified first.

MONDAY: Mindy Newell

MICHAEL DAVIS: The Art of the Deal, part 4

Please refer to part 1 and part 3 of this series for background. Part 2 was my attempt to try and underscore what I was trying to get across by writing these series of articles. Yeah, I still have no idea why I wrote part 2 either. To recap, I had an idea to get comics in the school system taught as a high interest low level reading curriculum.

Step by step my process was:

Come up with the idea.

Do the research.

Figure out the barriers to entry.

Developed two specific programs: one for Texas, one for California.

Wrote the business plan.

All above steps taken, so now I need a partner.

First rule of fight club: never talk about fight club.

First rule of business: never use your own money.

That’s my first rule anyhow, rather or not you talk about it is on you but the less said about who is writing you a check the better.

There was a period in my career when I wanted to own everything so I paid for everything. I had some success but realized later than I should have, paying for everything can be a dangerous road to travel on unless you have really deep pockets and can afford to lose a grip.

A “grip” is a lot of money. Sorry, sometimes I revert back to where I grew up. You can take the man out of the hood but you can’t take the hood out of the man.

That’s not entirely bad and I’ll get back to that later.

I’ve done quite a few deals where I put up the development money and took all back end… meaning I waited for the venture to start making money to recoup and profit from it.

Sometimes paying for everything was a great idea, sometimes not so much. I don’t regret paying for development the projects I did so one but except for a passion project of mine I doubt if I will ever do it again.

If you have the cash and want to control and own everything in your deal financing everything may work for you. But before you empty your life savings to finance, direct and produce and own your project give this a thought, would anyone but you pay to do what you are about to do?

Each time I sign a deal where someone else is investing in my idea that further validates that I just may be on to something.

I mentioned above a passion project that I want control all aspects of the production. I’m holding out to completely control 100% of everything so I may bite the bullet and write the check myself but for now I’m still looking for the right partner to underwrite the venture.

The right partner is what I needed for The Action Files, my comic book reading program for schools.

And I’m back!

When looking for a partner, be very careful to consider everything, not just the money. I don’t care how much money they bring to the table – it can be a nightmare.

I’ll say it again, it can be a nightmare.

I can’t go into particulars as to why a deal or two bankrolled by a partner turned out to be a nightmare (gag order, restraining order, hit men and a angry midget among other less pleasant things) but trust me it can be so think long and hard before you take that check.

I was lucky enough to have three different companies interested in The Action Files. I met with all three and decided the best place for The Action Files and myself was powerhouse publisher Simon & Schuster. At the time they were one of the biggest publishers of mainstream and educational materials in the world.

At the time they were one of the biggest publishers of mainstream and educational materials in the world.

After a series of meetings we came to an agreement and The Action Files was no longer an idea I came up with a year before it was now about to be a reality.

There is one more step that no one seems to tell young people.

One of the things it’s very important to remember which no one talks about is the vetting process. Any serious player who is about to invest millions of dollars in your idea is going to do their due diligence and vet you. That, in layman’s terms, means to check you out.

The process may be as simple as asking for references or as in-depth as a full background check. So don’t even think about telling a company you did something that you did not do when discussing your resume or bio.

I’m not just a seller of ideas (content) but I’ve run a few entertainment divisions at major companies and was a buyer. As head of my own company I’m often pitched projects for me to take to a film or television studio, comic company or mainstream publisher that I’m already in business with. I’m approached to find financing or finance projects myself or partner with someone to create a project. I’ve been very successful in brokering quite a few deals that I did not create.

I’m currently developing a slate of projects with Wayne Brady as an example of how a partnership would work. Wayne and I are working on a book and an animated project.

Unless I know someone well personality or someone comes to me from a real good referral I almost never get involved with other peoples’ projects. I’ll give advice all day long but I’ve been burned too many times to get involved with others I don’t know from Adam. It happens from time to time but it’s as rare as a black guy from Compton voting Republican.

The vetting process can killed your dream deal faster than a sex scandal can kill your hope to be President Of The United States… Herman!

Tell people the truth about what you have or have not done. If your idea is a great idea and you have no experience at all tell the buyer. More than likely the company will respect that and proceed with that in mind.

I’ve sold TV shows and I had no idea how to produce one when I sold my first show. I have a better idea now but I’d be an idiot to think that I could produce and an even bigger idiot to say that I wanted to.

The vetting process would have outted me faster than Ricky Martin on TMZ.

It’s not just making sure your background is legit – it’s also avoiding the one bullshit line that I’ve heard a million times and it’s just bullshit.

“Disney wanted to do this but I didn’t like the deal.”

I’ve heard that line at least a thousand times in 20 years.

It’s bullshit, and unless your name is Tom Hanks or someone of that stature using that line in a meeting will surely kill any deal you had dead if it was not dead already.

Yesterday at a restaurant some guy recognized me from a CNN interview I did years ago. He pitched me this project while I was waiting for a meeting. Frankly, the idea was pretty darn good and I was considering meeting with him to discuss it when he said…

“Disney wanted to do this but I didn’t like the deal, so I’m bringing it to you.”



“Whom did you meet with at Disney?”

Nothing from him but a blank look, because it was all bullshit. After what had to be a minute he said he had to check his notes and blah, blah, yada, yada, yada.


So, if you have the next great idea and you manage to get a meeting to pitch someone, tell the truth my friend, nothing but bad things can happen if you don’t.

My project from idea to signed contract took a solid year and a lot of work. The Action File reading program started in 1996 and has since moved to Pearson Learning where it’s still going strong.

As you go forward remember my second rule of business: don’t let anyone discourage you or try and kill your dream. Dreams do come true and maybe there’s a tip or two within this series that can help a little bit towards yours, young Jedi. Good luck… and if Disney wants to do your project let them.

Wednesday: Mike Gold

MINDY NEWELL: Back In The Saddle Again

There’s a scene in Sleepless In Seattle where Tom Hanks, whose libido has been dead in the water since his wife died, comes home from work to discover his young son hanging out with a friend in his room – and that’s a literal hanging out, as the two of them are cozy cuddling on one of those mod hanging chairs built for one. Oh, did I forget to mention that the son’s friend is grrrl? One of those 9-going-on-24 types who seem to have waaaay too much information ‘bout the birds and the bees and who looks on grown-ups as burnt-out Muggies without a clue about the magic in the world and who you just have to tolerate because, well, that’s just the way life is.

“H-A-G,” the girl says to Tom. And, proving her point, he says, “Huh?”

“Hi and good-bye,” she sighs with a sad shake of her head.

“Oh. Yeah. Right” says Tom, and closes the door. Now Tom is such a brilliant actor, and you can just see the thoughts going through his head about just being kicked out of his son’s room, number one being, my 9 year old son is gettin’ some! And number two being fuck that! And the soundtrack gears up and Gene Autry sings “I’m Back in the Saddle Again” while we watch Tom going through his Rolodex and dialing the number of that cute interior decorator he works with.

So how does that relate to comics? As you’ll learn as you read my columns, my mind works in mysterious ways and I have given up trying to understand how that works.

See, it was a Saturday. A few days earlier Mike Gold had asked me to write for ComicMix. I was so flattered that I said yes immediately, and then after we hung up I’m like, “What the hell am I doing? Why did I say yes? I haven’t written anything in years. I’ve haven’t been involved with comics for years. I don’t even have an account at my local comics store anymore. I’m calling him back and telling him, thanks, but no thanks.” Only I didn’t. I watched Sleepless on HBO instead.

So the next day is Sunday and I’m driving out to Watchung to see my parents, and I’m listening to the Buffy “Once More With Feeling” soundtrack for like the millionth time and singing along and all of a sudden in the middle of I’ll Never Tell my mind flashes on that scene with Tom and his son and the wise-ass girl and Gene Autry singing in the background and I say to myself, Back in the Saddle Again. What a great title for my column.

So here I am.

I was going to write today about how I got into comics. See, I’m a nurse. An R.N. With extensive education and fancy certificates. I don’t talk about my “other career” at work. (For a reason. I’ll tell you about that later on, maybe.) But somehow someone always finds out. Through their kid, or their cousin, or their accountant, who are readers or collectors and “your name came up in conversation yesterday and my boyfriend asked me if you’re the Mindy Newell who wrote Wonder Woman. And I googled you and, wow, you worked for DC?” And then, you know, gossip, and in the middle of a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the surgeon says to me, “Somebody told me you wrote the Legion of Super-Heroes. I loved the Legion. Read it all the time when I was growing up.” Once I had a patient who couldn’t get over that the writer of the Amethyst mini-series was his nurse.

And on the other side, the people who do read and work in comics, they always find it fascinating that I work in the operating room. A lot of them – maybe it has do with being comics fans? – always ask me about the blood, they all think there’s a lot of blood in the operating room, they’re like “how do you handle all that blood and guts and stuff?” and their eyes are glowing with excitement, and I swear, some of them, their mouths are watering, and I know they think I work in The Tomb of Dracula, but I love to fuck with them, and so I tell them that there really isn’t a lot of blood in the operating room, and that it can really be quite boring, but no one ever believes me, and they look so disappointed, so for those of you who really need that blood gratification, I will say that, yeah, sometimes there is tons of the red stuff, and that’s when it’s Avengers Asssemble!!

I promise I’ll tell you next time how I got into comics.

Oh, and one more thing.

I love being back in the saddle again.

Hope you’ll join me.

TUESDAY: Michael Davis!


The Lance Star: Sky Ranger interviews – Author Bill Spangler

Bill Spangler

With the announcement of Lance Star: Sky Ranger joining the iPulp Fiction Library, we wanted to introduce readers to some of the Honorary Sky Rangers involved with making these stories happen. Next up is Lance star: Sky Ranger Author Bill Spangler.

LSSR: Tell us a little about yourself and where readers can find out more about you and your work?

BS: I’ve been selling fiction for a number of years now. Primarily my work has appeared in comic books, but I’ve been selling prose short stories—such as “Talons Of the Red Condors”—too. My most recent credits are a graphic novel based on Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, the classic sf TV series from the 1950s, and “Mutual Assured Destruction,” a prose story featuring the Green Hornet. The latter is in the first volume of The Green Hornet Chronicles, published by Moonstone Books.

The Green Hornet Chronicles

You can order either of those through your local comics shop, or through Amazon.

My comic book work also includes The Argonauts, a pulp-adventure series in the tradition of Doc Savage and Buckaroo Banzai, and several series based on the animated TV show Robotech. Frankly, the best place to find them is probably in the three-for-a-dollar box at your local comics shop.

LSSR: How did you become involved with the Lance Star: Sky Ranger series?

BS: I wish I had an interesting story to tell you here, but the truth is I just don’t. Ron Fortier graciously asked me to participate, and I said, “Sure!” Ron and I have been corresponding since the late 1980s or the early ‘90s—you know, back when you actually sent paper letters to people—but, now that I think about it, I don’t think we’ve actually been in the same room together more than two or three times.

Talons Of The Red Condors

LSSR: Who is Lance Star? What makes pulp characters like Lance and the Sky Rangers appeal to you as a writer and a reader?

BS: Lance is an inventor, a pilot and an adventurer. From time to time, he and his team help out the government. You could say he’s part Doc Savage, part Indiana Jones and part Blackhawk. When I wrote “Talons,” I started to visualize Lance as a young Jimmy Stewart…or, his modern analog, Tom Hanks. He’s smart and competent, but a bit of a dreamer.

Personally, I’ve always found that to be an appealing mix. Some of my favorite characters fall into that tradition, like Tom Swift Jr., for instance, and the Tracy family from the Thunderbirds TV show. And I think some of the exotic airplanes in these stories are the ancestors of the gadgetry and vehicles in anime.

LSSR: Digital content has changed the publishing landscape. As a creator, what excites you about digital content? As a reader?

BS: I’m hoping that the minimal overhead of doing digital books will encourage publishers to take chances on stories and authors that you don’t see often in the big book store chains. With a little luck, publishers will be more willing to give authors the time to develop an audience or not demand that every title make Steven-King level profits. I guess that applies to me both as a creator and a reader because, in general, the stuff I want to write is the stuff I want to read.

Lance Star: Sky Ranger

LSSR: Your Lance Star: Sky Ranger story, “Talons Of The Red Condors” is currently available in print, as an eBook, and soon to be released individually at iPulp Fiction. What can you tell us about this story?

BS: Basically, I started out with the idea of wanting to do a big springboard, a big McGuffin, and I wanted to set it in a foreign country. So, “Talons” is set in Panama, and the bad guys perform an audacious…well, let’s call it a hijacking. There’s a lost city and a woman who changes sides during the course of the story, along with some other pulp riffs. I had a lot of fun researching it, and a lot of fun writing it.

LSSR: Thanks, Bill.


Release schedule for Lance Star: Sky Ranger tales on iPulp:
06/17: Lance Star: Sky Ranger – Vol.1 #1: Attack of the Bird Man by Frank Dirsherl (now available)
07/07: Lance Star: Sky Ranger – Vol.1 #2: Where the Sea Meets the Sky by Bobby Nash
07/27: Lance Star: Sky Ranger – Vol.1 #3: Talons of the Red Condors by Bill Spangler

For more information on iPulp Fiction’s offerings, please visit http://www.ipulpfiction.com/
For more information on Airship 27 Productions’ offerings, please visit http://www.gopulp.info/