Thursday, May 7, 2015

Flexing Those Writing Muscles

I have got to say I love the cover for Issue #5 of UGEEK magazine  which contains the fifth chapter of my ongoing noir-fantasy serial Walking Through Walls. 

While the cover itself is the poster for Filmquest, a local fantasy related film festival, I find it serendipitous in regards to what's happening in my tale - specific to this installment Silence Falls on Tolburn's Walls (the title of which is a nod to Robert E. Howard's - Silence Falls on Mecca's Walls)

So, just saying for the sake of my friends here who are avid pulp fans - you of course recognize that elder being who dreams...

I am so pleased with where its going - oft times I don't even know where its taking me until I write it.

Keeping the readers attention with a serial is equivalent to a hardcore workout and I'm feeling it - but I'm also feeling those writing muscles growing too.

Overall this is one of those lessons where you have to push yourself to grow and improve and I am a firm believer in eternal progression.

From the intro:

The story so far:
Kenaz, an information broker, can step outside his own body to gather secrets. He has been blackmailed by multiple sinister parties. If he doesn’t give them what they want—a powerful artifact known as The Reliliqy—many lives besides his own will pay the price. He has less than a day to get it all together… He has overcome being poisoned and the demonic worm of Vavath, now he just needs to steal The Reliliqy from the city’s most powerful Sorcerer…

Chapter 5. Silence Falls on Tolburn’s Walls


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

LIVE with the Freestyle Gargoyles

The video is live and remastered and here I am performing "Read Em' and Weep" my improv spoken word contribution to the Freestyle Gargoyles/ Space Balrog album.

I have to say I think my fellow Balrogs that did perform (4 out of 6 of us- Craig was playing bass, saw etc  and Dave Butler was unavailable) did a great job with their short story's - I was a bit off the cuff and therefore wasn't as cool, but tried to make up for it rocking.

I did give a shoutout to my friends books and realized after the fact I neglected to mention any of my own in my own crazed ramblings about books. Just goes to show what happens when you wing it - I have to think if we really worked hard at a studio album it would be amazing and I think I will talk to Craig about that someday - I have a multiple tapes from my garage band days that I would love to have good recordings of someday.

And you only see snatches of it here, but Craig's Media Rif studio is amazing.
Thanks again to everyone involved - these guys were fantastic and we all had a great time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Freestyle Gargoyles 2

I recently did an improv spoken word album with friends from the Space Balrogs and fellow member Craig Nybo's band the Freestyle Gargoyles.

This was Craig's idea and we all appreciate his drive to make it happen, I know we all enjoyed performing etc.

Granted I think my song "Read Em and Weep" is the least worthy spoken word portion (though the most rocking). The album itself will be dropping soon - Craig is putting the finishing touches on it. Sorry if this post is a little bit of a tease... it will be here soon and until then here is a behind the scenes video that Crowd Surfing did of us as we prepped.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

So Graphic!!!

I'm catching up on reviewing here and how about those graphic novels!

The Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath, by H.P. Lovecraft and I.N.J. Culbard

This was the last big Lovecraft story I had to read. I've had a tattered copy zebra copy somewhere and I had read sections of it before (I was cheating to get more on Nyarlathotep) and I am pleasantly
surprised at how much I truly enjoyed it - I gotta admit the cover for the Zebra edition I had was off putting and I wasn't sure how much I would like the long form of Lovecraft's work in regards to dreams rather than say The Dunwich Horror which is a favorite of mine. I would say Culbard's art is not the best but it does have a minimalist power to it that I do enjoy. He conveys a lot with dark and light that like Mignola is powerful. On the story side of things, I found that there was an upbeat positivity to it that I did not expect especially compared to other Lovecraft tales. This was a great book all the way around, I shall have to read the novel and I look forward to another adaption by Culbard The King in Yellow coming out next month.

Red Sonja: The Black Tower, by Frank Tieri and Cezar Razek

Right off the bat I gotta say Razek's art is great, he has that savage fluid motion and great character representation, he really brings the action to life. Tieri's writing which I have been a fan of for years is tight here - maybe too tight for a four issue limited series but with each closing issue I am glued and Need to know what happens next. Its all unexpected from the Sonja stories I've read before and I gotta see where this goes...
and when it does get to the finale, I am...disappointed.
It seemed a little too convenient and unexplained, perhaps I missed something but if I did it sure wasn't an easy miss. Still I haven't lost any faith in Tieri's writing because everything else has been so good.

Conan: The Phantoms of the Black Coast, by Victor Gischler and Attila Futaki

I read this quick, it has a fast pace and good action. I would not say its a great REH tale - Conan is not quite the Conan we know but he is close as pastiches go.
Conan is king of Aquilonia now and though it has been more than a decade he suddenly needs to be sure that he can put Belit's spirit to rest. OK, sure why not?
We have a mysterious sorceress and two acolytes that for the most part I thought were shoe horned in as I couldn't see what difference they truly made to the story - everything would have been just the same with or without them.
In a lot of ways it reminded me of your basic Savage Sword of Conan tale - that's not good or bad, but you know its just not great. The art is good and I liked the design work but this wasn't anything to call Crom about.

Hellboy: The Midnight Circus, by Mike Mignola and Duncan Fegredo and Dave Stewart

I am so far behind in my Hellboy reading - I still need to review/reread Hellboy in Hell - just not here right now. I wasn't expecting great things here with Midnight Circus in part because the young little Hellboy stuff is good but has never been my favorite by comparison, I've never been as interested in the little guy getting into mischief compared with other world shattering events, so my expectations were low.
Maybe that was a good thing, because this pleasantly surprised me. The art is fantastic ( a good second for Hellboy is it can't always be Mignola himself, and the mystery of the circus captivated me, Mignola keeps that esoteric charm alive, he has demons reciting Lord Byron at one point! I love the references in the Hellboy universe that give it that expansive charm, we are talking everything from Ray Bradbury, Pinocchio to Lobster Johnson and all those dark things keeping tabs on Red himself. Great book for Hellboy fans!

The Blade Itself, by Joe Abercrombie and Chuck Dixon and Andie Tong

I already love the original book and Chuck Dixon has been a favorite comic writer of mine for some time, Andie Tong is new to me but his art is good stuff. I've been wanting to get my hands on this collection for some time and I think it only became available domestically a little while ago, I've heard nothing about the series continuing but I sure hope it does.
We begin with basic introductions of our three main characters and like all of Abercrombies work - it ain't boring. We like people we shouldn't like and are excited to go on the journey with them. If anything I was truly disappointed that it ended so soon as I wanted to see more - I was waiting for Jezal's fight with Bremer Dan Gorst and I was hoping to see a little more of Fenris the Feared - not to mention everything with Logen Ninefingers that could fit into the book. Good stuff! Just too short!

Monday, March 23, 2015

You Don't Know Shiz About Book of Mormon Warfare review

I just wrote a book review for Morgan Deane's historical treatise, Bleached Bones and Wicked Serpents and it is posted over at Modern Mormon Men here.

I'm very aware of the way social media has changed - most of my regular readers that visit here are not Mormon - rather we're all bound by the brotherhood of sword & sorcery but I also know that we all have a love of history too and that is where Morgan's book is special. His look at historical warfare and comparison is a powerful and one that strangely enough lots of Mormon's aren't too keen to examine. That's why I think its a great book because anything that pushes the boundaries within my own religious subculture is good. We need to get shaken up a bit and out of our collective comfort zone.

So its a short piece if any of you have a mind to take a gander. I'd appreciate it.

p.s. The "SHIZ" in my title is not a purposeful Mormon swear on my part - (though it can be with lots of Mormon's) its the name of an evil revolutionary leader within the Book of Mormon from one of my favorite parts where almost everyone dies - so its an inside Mormon joke.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Walking Through Walls part the Fourth!

The fourth (and best so far) chapter of my "Walking Through Walls" is up in the latest issue of UGEEK Magazine. Locals can find it around at the comic and game shops and here is the link for internet land.
I'm especially happy with how this fantasy action serial has been going, being as surprised myself with what happens.

This is also a move toward a larger issue = double the size and among things inside is an interview with my good friend D.J. Butler. Check it out!

Monday, February 16, 2015

LTUE or Life the Universe and Everything

It falls on valentines weekend, so the annual LTUE conference which is amazing by the way, was not something I was able to spend as much time as I would have liked attending. I missed all of Thursday, and only spent about four hours at on Friday and around five hours at Saturday. I wasn't on any panels and just hung out with writer friends and fans but it was still a great time and gathering of magnificent proportions. As opposed to the comic cons - this is a writers (and artits( gathering without all the cosplay and crazy fandom. This was a place to talk shop, network and just enjoy fellow creatives company.

I made some new friends and had quality time with old ones. I plan on making it a point that I can spend a whole lot more time next year with everyone - I am in good graces with the head honcho's so next year I'll be on panels etc.

Here's some of the cooler things I got to see: A great prop - a Trolloc sword for the Wheel Of Time trailer, made by Hraefn Wulfson.
 Egyptian Queen, signed by Frank Frazetta!

 A great piece by Devon Dorrity, wish I could take it home.
 The always genteel Dave Butler.
 Signed Frazetta Berserker, on loan from the Frazetta museum, made my day I had no idea they would be here this weekend.
 A great piece by Hraefn Wulfson.
 Another fantastic sculpture by Devon Dorrity.
 Awesome new friend Hraefn Wulfson who made the above Trolloc sword for the recent fan trailer for The Wheel of Time. he is an amazing artists with this Atlantis portal piece and the above Egyptian meets Aliens pieces, and the other works beside the Trolloc sword. I love his specialty made frames too!

Found this gem at a used book dealer at the con.

And lastly, I took my wife to a Regency Ball for valentines which scored a lot of points with her, so its was a pretty great weekend.