Monthly Archives: August 2015

Kids need Terrific role models

Kids need role models, and adults sometimes need role models on how to be role models.

This, of course, brings me to superheroes. Too many of today’s costumed crimefighters tend to fall short in this regard. Even Superman has stumbled—I would not recommend kids emulate the version of Supes we see in the recent Man of Steel movie.

While I was a member of the Comics Experience workshop (which I highly recommend for all aspiring comics pros), I was working on scripts for a superhero series that would be perfectly appropriate for ages 9 and up. Along the way, the notion crept into my mind that this should be a novel, and while it should remain appropriate for younger readers, it should be for adults who have little ones in their lives. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, coach, etc., you may feel you have to be near-perfect in the eyes of these children…even though you’re not, and you may even have a whole other life that occurs out of their view (parents’ jobs, teachers’ own family lives and hobbies).

This novel will be called Terrific, and it will feature the greatest superhero of its world—Mighty-Woman. And at the start, she has also been the world’s only superhero for the past several years, though she did start as part of a team. Things just went…wrong.

I had a full draft written, and then I attended the Taliesin Nexus Calliope Workshop for Fiction and Non-Fiction Authors last weekend and received excellent feedback, which I’m now implementing in a rewrite. The first draft was entertaining, and I’m excited to make it even better.

Terrific will be my next book and first full-length novel. Next on the docket will be volumes 2 and 3 of RIP, which will continue the established format of episodic novelettes that build on each other. That series is like my Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but with very human ghosts. Then I’ll return to Earths in Space for a third volume of fun, somewhat pulpy sci-fi action/adventure as my team of explorers continues to visit alternate Earths across the universe.

Superheroes, ghosts, and space travel—I’ll be busy, and I’ll be having fun.

In the meantime, RIP vol. 1: Choices After Death has joined Kindle Unlimited, and Amazon Prime members can borrow it for free. If that goes well, Earths in Space may follow suit.

Now, time to work on Terrific

Avenging the Fantastic, Part 6: Avengers Reassemble!

Continuing the read-through of as many Avengers and Fantastic Four–related Marvel comics as possible!

Journey_in_to_mystery118-00Books Read

Fantastic Four #39-43, Annual #3; Journey Into Mystery #114-123; Tales to Astonish (starring Giant-Man & Wasp and the Hulk) #60-74; Strange Tales (starring Nick Fury & SHIELD) #136-144; Tales of Suspense (starring Iron Man and Captain America) #66-76; Avengers #15-24; years: 1964-66.

Fantastic Firsts

Thor is the first to fight the Absorbing Man (we saw a little of him in early season two of Agents of SHIELD) in Journey Into Mystery #114. He also takes on the Destroyer (that robot-like Asgardian weapon from the first movie) in JIM #118. In a flashback story in JIM #119, the Warriors Three first appear (Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg, who also all appear in the movies—Thor’s Asgardian warrior friends who aren’t Sif).

talessuspense76Captain America has his first battle with Batroc the Leaper (seen in far less cartoonish form at the beginning of Captain America: The Winter Soldier) in Tales of Suspense #75. In the same issue, he meets Agent 13, a young woman we’ll later learn is Sharon Carter, the sister of Peggy Carter who we know well from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (The familial relationship will change as World War II grows more distant.)

For the sake of democracy, Iron Man tackles evil commie the Titanium Man for the first time in TOS #69.

Jasper Sitwell, another familiar face from the cinematic universe, joins SHIELD in Strange Tales #144, though here he’s young, idealistic, and obnoxious.

Future Avenger the Swordsman first appears in Avengers #19. He’s in the bad guy camp at this point, but the seeds of future heroism are planted.

R.I.P. For Now

Captain America’s Nazi foe, Baron Zemo, the guy who killed his WWII sidekick Bucky Barnes, dies in battle in Avengers #15. Cap doesn’t lose any sleep over this.

In the next issue of Avengers, Hawkeye reports that the Black Widow has been killed by communists for trying to desert them. Nevertheless, I suspect we haven’t seen the last of Madame Natasha…

Avengers_Vol_1_16The Revolving Door of Avengers’ Mansion

Thor, Iron Man, Giant-Man, and the Wasp are out (amicably), leaving only Captain America to lead newcomers Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch.

The Status Is Not Quo

–The Hulk can’t seem to settle on a status quo. For the first time, the traditional “dumb Hulk” persona emerges, where he’s always referring to himself in the third person and is portrayed as being generally mindless…at least until Bruce Banner is accidentally shot in the head, which soon results in Banner being trapped in Hulk’s body with his own mind, unable to switch back without the bullet killing him (a more extreme version of Iron Man’s situation, basically), at least until the villainous Leader saves his life and coerces the Hulk to join forces with him.

“Then together, you and I…the only two green-skinned humans on Earth…can rule the world!” For a supposed genius, the Leader sure is fixated on skin color. Continue reading

Embrace Change…and Excerpts!

I’ve tweaked one little aspect of my website here…I’ve created a drop-down menu under the “Books” tab up top.

Now, you can visit a new page dedicated to each of my books. You’ll see the cover image, description, and sales links as you always did, but now I’ve included a permanent excerpt for each title. I’ve incorporated the reviews there rather than in a separate “Reviews” tab as before.

This change will also provide a dedicated space for folks to leave comments specifically about that book and discuss it amongst themselves.

So scroll up and check it out, please, and have fun reading.