Wrestletown is Go!

Wrestletown is go! Temp Cover

Officially announcing the launch of my debut novel, WRESTLETOWN, on Inkshares! WRESTLETOWN is an illustrated novel featuring cover and 10-15 illustrations by the incredible Andrew MacLean (Head Lopper, Image Comics).

Inkshares is a publisher that functions similar to Kickstarter (crowdfunded) except it is by copy and not dollar amount (therefore pursuing a goal of reaching readers and avoiding vanity press issues, etc). My local bookshop, Papercuts J.P., published their debut anthology with them, and I've been very impressed with the quality of books I've seen them put out. Wrestletown is a success at 250 copies (POD) pre-ordered, upgrading to an offset printing at 750 copies. Inkshares provides editing, marketing and distribution (functioning like any other publisher). The campaign runs through October 30th, with publication in 2017.

You can read the first five chapters of WRESTLETOWN on Inkshares, and each week I'll be sending out updates to backers on inspiration and story. An official cover reveal is set for late July/early August with interior illustrations to follow.

I hope you'll give the book a shot and consider supporting the campaign. WRESTLETOWN is my favorite work to date and the most fun I've had writing.

Let's kick this pig!

WT_Update

RECAP TIME! On to 2016

Bent Eight I've been neglecting the blog a bit as of late. Between the holidays and kicking off the new year with a new book, I've let things slide. BUT IT'S NEVER TOO LATE, KIDS. NEVER!

Here we go!

2015 was pretty rad.

My second novella, BURN CARDS, dropped in April from 280 Steps, followed by my debut short story collection, SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE, in November, also with 280 Steps.

SitV-wraparound BURNCARDS

On the comics front - my first full-length issue, CHARRED KRAKEN, based on my short story, "Charred Kraken with Plum Butter," hit ComiXology in December. I also did a small print run, which turned out really well (and which you can still hit me up for!) I wrote a lot more...but it's all still in development or on the DL. Fingers crossed for some progress this year.

I highlighted some of my favorite reads of the year over at Spinetingler Mag.

Speaking of 'best of' lists...

Ian Rogers picked BURN CARDS as a favorite novella of the year.

SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE landed on lists from Paul Tremblay, Gabino Iglesias and Scott Adlerberg.

SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE also recently received two wonderful reviews - one from Papercuts J.P. over at Literary Hub, and the other over on Crime Syndicate Magazine.

And I kicked off the year chatting with Pam Stack on Authors on the Air, and the crew over at Miskatonic Musings.

I can't thank you all enough for the support and kind words over the past year, especially when it comes to SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE. It still feels a bit unreal to see how well people connect with the collection, and the variety of stories that are singled out as favorites.

NEXT UP!

2/19 Noir at the Bar Boskone! Cohosting with Errick Nunnally, featuring Dana Cameron, Christopher Golden, James Moore, John Langan, Sarah Langan, Paul Tremblay, and Melinda Snodgrass.

2/20 Boskone Panels

Hidden Heroes 10:00 - 10:50, Harbor III (Westin)

Sometimes the hero of a story isn't its true protagonist. A commonly accepted example is Sam Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings, who more and more centers the action as the story concludes. What other examples occur to us? Why might an author choose to focus on someone other than the hero? Can the hero ever be the antagonist?

How Story Works 11:00 - 11:50, Marina 2 (Westin)

Pixar filmmaker Andrew Stanton claims in his TedX talk that "the fundamental promise of a story is that this tale will lead somewhere that is worth your time." Is there more to story than a well-told promise? What is story? How is it constructed? What compels us to consume story in all its forms?

2/26 Reading at KGB Bar in Manhattan 7:00 - 9:00pm

Prime Time Crime - heading down to NYC for a reading with Scott Adlerberg and Jason Starr.

Hope to see you guys out there!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for more posts on books, WIP updates, interviews, and more as I get back into gear.

Bouchercon Bound & MORE

Greetings! I've been a bit absent from the blog (a new baby will knock it to the bottom on the list of priorities...) but I'm gearing up for Bouchercon and a busy fall with the release of my debut short story collection, SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE, so here goes a quick update:

BOUCHERCON!

No panels or readings for me (yet?) but I'll be dropping off a huge stack of ARCs and milling around the convention/bars for the long weekend. Thursday night's Noir at the Bar hosted by Eryk Pruitt is a must, as well as Tom Pitt's interview of Les Edgerton and Jack Getze on Friday. Looking forward to seeing a lot of great friends. Crime writers are the best.

I'll also have some copies of CHARRED KRAKEN for sale. $5 for 28 pages of kick ass weird noir with art by Artyom Trakanov, colors by Kelly Fitzpatrick, and letters by Thomas Mauer!

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Still want a copy but not going to be at Bouchercon? Got you covered. The following weekend I'll have a table at...

MICE

October 17-18 - FREE comic con at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I'll be hanging at table D12 (Doucet Hall) with my buddy Joe DellaGatta. A lot of fantastic creators on the list this year. Come out and say hello!

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And last but not least...

SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE TOUR

The Goodreads page is GO and pre-order is up on Amazon for paperback and e-book. Want to order from your local independent? Not a problem - they should be able to order it now as well, if not in the next week.

In the pipeline:

10/22  Noir at the Bar Boston V at Trident Booksellers & Cafe

11/13  Launch Party at Papercuts J.P.

11/18  Brookline Booksmith - author event with Jason Starr

I'm hoping to do a little Black Friday signing in the Libertyville/Vernon Hills area north of Chicago, and a Noir at the Bar Columbus (Ohio) close to Christmas. Stay tuned!

Tonight! Independent Bookstore Day @ Papercuts J.P.

papercutsjp Today is Independent Bookstore Day AND Free Comic Book Day - so get out there and support some local biz!

I'll be at Papercuts J.P. tonight at 6:00pm with Paul Tremblay, reading some of our favorite short stories by other authors that inspire us, and talking crime and horror. Both of us will be hanging around afterward for the late night festivities. Check out the full day of events planned for Papercuts J.P., beginning at 11:00am with free muffins from neighboring Blue Frog Bakery and live music.

Papercuts J.P. will also have free copies of the EXPATRIATE zine Ricardo and I put together last year - updated with stunning colors by Mat Lopes. Grab 'em while they last!

BENT EIGHT

Here's a little teaser for BENT EIGHT, the comic I'm working on with Joe DellaGatta (pencils, inks, hand lettering), Mat Lopes (colors), and Chris Robinson (edits). "Bent Eight" is 1950's slang for a hot rod. I don't want to say too much more about this one yet, but it's been a ton of fun to write and collaborate with these guys.

The high level pitch? Think Shaun of the Dead meets Independence Day

Stay tuned...Page 1 B/W & Colors below!

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bent8_01_01_colors

Comics, comics, comics

I remember getting into comics with the Image EXPLOSION in the early 1990's. College fund ==> Spawn-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though even more than the comics, I remember going to the local comic shop to pick up packs of cards, like this kickass SHINY Deadpool:

marvel-annual-95-flair-powerblast-card-17-deadpool-bf097After that things are kind of a blur... I know I read a lot, but I didn't keep much of what I read... at least it's not around today. (Damn you, ebay!) Though I did keep every one of my PUNISHER comics, which I recently had bound (covered that yesterday.) While I don't re-read much fiction, I do dip back into old graphic novels. But bagged/boarded comics just sit collecting dust. Now that these bad boys are on the shelf, I'll definitely be taking a trip down memory lane.

cue wavy memory transition

Now, with the help of some stellar artists editor co-creators I'm giving it my best to break into this crazy-in-the-best-way industry. More on those projects later this week... first I gotta pimp some recent favs:

God Hates Astronauts - Ryan Browne - possibly my favorite comic on the market. Non-sequitur after Non-sequitur, hilarious action, Tigers-eating-Cheeseburgers, flying whales, NASA Bears...it's just something you need to see with your own eyes to believe. Save the previous OGN and head straight for the current Image series. Do it.

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The Fade Out - Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips - Brubaker and Phillips follow up to Fatale. That's all you need to know - well, that and take your time with this one. It's slow and I enjoyed it more when I had the first few issues in hand.

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Afterlife with Archie - Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla - I've been zombie'd-out for years, but I love this book. The art/production is incredible, and you can really tell the amount of passion that's gone into this series (and its sister book, Sabrina). Unfortunately releases are a bit sporadic, but it's worth it for the quality. Check out the magazine-size issues too if you can find them.

 AWA

Opus - Satoshi Kon - I'm a huge fan of Kon's work. Dark Horse is re-releasing several of his books this year (planning a binge in a month or so). More on this to come.

 KON

Wytches - Scott Snyder and Jock - CREEPY as hell. A must read for horror fans, especially those who enjoyed Snyder's book, Severed. Really looking forward to seeing where this goes.

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ZERO #11  - Ricardo Lopez Ortiz and Ales Kot - I've grabbed Zero on and off since it came out (I can't read everything ha) but #11 is a killer book illustrated by my friend and Expatriate co-creator, Ricardo Lopez Ortiz. He was given a lot of freedom and the art is just awesome.

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Already a ton has been announced for 2015. Here's some of what I'm looking forward to:

dc_poster_side_b4Dark Circle Comics - (The Shield, The Fox, The Black Hood) With the recent success of Afterlife with Archie, I'm really interested in how the company relaunches some of their oldest heroes. It doesn't hurt to have talent such as Chuck Wendig, Adam Christopher and David Williams, Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid, and Duane Swierczynski and Michael Gaydos leading the charge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silk (Marvel) - Robbie Thompson and Stacey Lee - Stacey did several fantastic covers last year. Silk will be her first interior work for Marvel, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how they turn out. Hoping this book gets a big push.

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ApocalyptiGirl OGN (Dark Horse) - Andrew MacLean - Awesome local dude with a very cool and unique style bringing his OGN to Dark Horse in May. Pre-order from your local shop!

ApocalyptiGirl

(The return of) Rocket Girl (Image) - Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder - I really enjoyed the first arc, especially all of the extras that Amy put into the trade. Check out Podcorn for more on these creators. There is a ton of passion on display in this series.

RocketGirl_06

I don't know much about the next five, but the creators involved are all some of my favorites.

EI8HT (Dark Horse) - Rafael Albuquerque and Mike Johnson

ei8ht

Chrononauts (Image) - Mark Millar and Sean Murphy

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Invisible Republic (Image) - Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko

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Southern Cross (Image) - Becky Cloonan and Andy Belanger

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Big Man Plans (Dark Horse) Eric Powell

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Those are the big ones off the top of my head. There will definitely be more!

Return to the Blogosphere!

BradyNothing like a Patriots trip to the Super Bowl to kick start the ol' blog. (Yes, it's true I'm a Bears' fan, but until they move past Cutler..woof.) At least we could laugh about this guy: rex-grossman-fuck-it-im-going-deep

Annnywho, so I've been working on several projects (some I've shared, some I haven't). It's been a lot of fun, especially the comics, but anxiety inducing as well. Fingers crossed for 2015 to be a big year.

I've also taken a lot more time to read and enjoy the process. Writing is hard enough, especially for those part-timers who squeeze in their time at the keyboard around a full time job and family. Sure, I still aim to write every day and I know it will be a slog, but it's an adventure more than anything else - one that I'm going to enjoy. And probably ramble on here, a lot.

Time to get nostalgic

Whether it's reminiscing while writing KAYFABE about watching wrestling as a kid with my brother, reading/writing comics (more on that some other time), having a two and a half year old developing his own interests, or hell, turning 30, I'm on a huge nostalgia tour...

Comics

Brandon Montclare's HUGE comic collection inspired me to pull out my Punisher comics and get them bound through his recommendation: Herring & Robinson. H&R is awesome. I shipped out close to 100 comics, and two months later I have these beauties on my shelf:

photo(8)And at close to $20/book (the 'no frills' package), they are even cheaper than if I had tracked down the trades. Highly recommend Herring & Robinson if you are looking to get some books bound.

Speaking of Brandon Montclare - you all should check out PODCORN, a weekly comics podcast with Brandon and Amy Reeder (Rocket Girl creators), and editor extraordinaire, Chris Robinson. The show is a lot of fun and often presents insightful discussion on the comics industry.

While we're on the topic of podcasts...add John Siuntres' WORD BALLOON to your list. The interviews are long, but well worth your time - so much so that I've thrown in as a patreon supporter for the show.

Round out a top three with iFanboy. It's a great, witty review show that has me reaching for more comics each week.

Back to Fantasy

The-Return-of-NagashI haven't seriously read Sci-fi/Fantasy in years (probably since the last GoT book) but Games Workshop got me with their The End Times series. I played a lot of table top miniatures games - Warhammer, 40k, etc. - in Junior High and High School, but when I got to college a lack of time pushed me into other gaming that didn't require such a commitment. I still kept tabs on the fiction (Games Workshop, especially nowadays, pumps out an insane amount of books) but one of my complaints was the company never moved the needle when it came to pushing the story. Major characters never changed/grew. When an event they ran (Storm of Chaos) didn't turn out as they hoped, they basically paved over it, pretending it didn't happen.

Well, The End Times is awesome, and again, hugely nostalgic as it deals with kills off characters I read about as a kid. Unfortunately it's been a little hit and miss since Josh Reynolds' crushed it out of the park with the first entry, The Return of Nagash, but it's still a lot of fun. I have high hopes for the finish.

Wrestling...I should be back to editing... so I'll just leave you with this video, which I think perfectly captures the magic of the late 1980s/very early 1990s:

More on this tomorrow:

Duke_DellaGatta

Back to work!

Zero #11

Zero CoverMy partner in crime on EXPATRIATE, Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, has a killer new book out this week! ZERO, written by Ales Kot, is a great series, and while there are overall arcs to the story, each issue is pretty self-contained - so don't fret if you're not caught up on the previous TPBs. Ricardo's work on the cover and interior is stellar and covers a wide range of action and emotion.

Hit up your local comic shop or comiXology and give it a shot!

...And stay tuned for more EXPATRIATE.

ZERO #11

Iceland, one year later. Zero's past comes knocking.

Playing catch up

tumblr_n5jot6nivj1txnetfo1_1280 I've been caught up in a bit a of a whirlwind lately with several ongoing WIP (and a self-imposed deadline of NECON less than two weeks away!) So here is a bit of a catch all post before the nose goes back to the grindstone...

Noir at the Bar Boston was a huge success! Thanks again to everyone for coming out. You can check out Dale T. Phillip's write up and photos, HERE.

My short story, "Snapshots," is up on LitReactor as part of their crime contest with Thuglit. You can check it out HERE, vote and even leave a comment if you are feeling wild.

I've continued my weekly uploading/republishing of older short stories on Wattpad. This week's story is MOON BOOTS.

Ricardo Lopez Ortiz and I are plugging away at EXPATRIATE. Keep up with all of the weekly updates, HERE.

...and speaking of Ricardo, Bracken MacLeod and I will have a very cool limited edition print for sale at NECON. Stay tuned for more on that...or if you want to be spoiled, click HERE!

I'm dreadfully behind on my WIP blog update that I owe after being tapped by Meghan Arcuri...it's coming. Until then, take a peek at her first novel.

My great friend Errick Nunnally's debut novel, BLOOD FOR THE SUN, dropped this week. AND it was his birthday! You know what to do.

Annnnd, last but not least, today is the last day of the HUGE ChiZine sale. Catch their entire back catalog of e-books for .99/book. You know you want some John Mantooth, Paul Tremblay, Karen Heuler, Ian Rogers, Rio Youers, Christopher Golden...I could go on all day. These guys put out some of my favorite books and .99 is beyond highway robbery. Get some and tell your friends.

Until next time...

Books & Booze Ep 89 - Chris Irvin

booksboozeThrilled to have been interviewed for the latest episode of Books & Booze. I got hooked on the podcast a few months ago and it has since become one of my favorites that I look forward to each week. We talk FEDERALES, Mexico, editing for Shotgun Honey (with a salute to Erik Arneson), EXPATRIATE - my WIP comic with Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, comics and more. The hour flew by and I forgot half the stuff I wanted to say, but it was a blast.

Hop on over and check it out! (+ subscribe on iTunes or Podbean so you can keep up with all the great interviews.)

EXPATRIATE

EXPATRIATEIt's up! Check out our new home for EXPATRIATE on tumblr. Ricardo and I will be posting weekly updates so stay tuned for more artwork, script info and discussion of the world we've begun to create. Ricardo's work on the pages so far is fantastic (seriously...it's like he's inside my head) and I can't wait to see where he takes the comic.

Until next time...onward and upward.

Going to New York Comic Con?

Going to New York Comic Con? Here are a few tables you should hit! SHP-BFTS-banner-851x315

My man Errick Nunnally will be hanging around the Spencer Hill Press booth (#1058) on Saturday. His kick ass debut, BLOOD FOR THE SUN, comes out next March. Meet the man behind what is sure to be a long running series and grab a bookmark while you're at it.

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Ricardo Lopez Ortiz - the man, the myth, the legend - and a hell of an artist. I had the fortune of meeting Ricardo at Boston Comic Con this year and enjoyed his artwork so much that I've hired him to bring my comic, EXPATRIATE, to life. While the project is a WIP, Ricardo will have the script for the first issue and a few sketches on hand. Stop by (#AA2) for a look, a chat and save some monies for an illustration - his work is killer (I've got a Judge Dredd commission on my shelf to prove it!)

Dixon_PI

John Dixon is having the most exciting week of his life. (It's true, he said so.) But seriously, John is doing some incredible work and I couldn't be happier for him. On Friday he'll be signing at the Simon & Schuster booth (#1828) and giving out ARCs of his debut novel, PHOENIX ISLAND, the basis for the upcoming CBS television series INTELLIGENCE, starring Josh Holloway, Marg Helgenberger, and Meghan Ory.

Just make sure you say no if he offers you hot peppers.

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I've met Andrew MacLean at Boston Comic Con for a few years now. He formed Brand New Nostalgia (where I found some of my favorite artists) and is Kickstarting the second issue of his terrific comic, HEAD LOPPER. Stop by (#DD5) and check out the first issue as well as some of his other projects.

BACK ISSUE! #52 DC's Bronze Age Horror

I stumbled into BACK ISSUE! at a local gaming store this past Winter and instantly wondered why more stores weren't carrying the magazine - the quality is stunning.  Issue #52 was buried in a haphazardly arranged display, but the old-school horror cover screamed 'pick me up!' And I'm glad I did.

BACK ISSUE! #52 is a must buy for horror fans.

Today's comic and bookstore shelves are filled with excellent horror: Hellboy (Mike Mignola), 30 Days of Night (Steve Niles), The Goon (Eric Powell), The Walking Dead (Robert Kirkman), American Vampire (Scott Snyder)...the list goes on - and is only expanding thanks to the reach of smaller publishers (i.e. Dark Horse) and e-comics.

CREEPY and EERIE have seen a resurgence of late thanks to hardcover collections released from Dark Horse, but much of the horror comics from the 1930's - 1970's has been lost to time (Thank you, Comics Code Authority!).  BACK ISSUE! #52 steps up to the plate and gives a crash course on Bronze Age horror.

It starts off with my favorite article, Hosts of Horror, a lengthy discussion covering each host in detail from birth to demise, how radio influenced comics and how comics in-turn influenced such shows as Tales from the Crypt on HBO.

BACK ISSUE! #52 also features interviews with artists Bernie Wrightson, Sergio Aragones, Gerry Talaoc and DC Mystery writer Lore Shoberg, along with the comic history of Black Orchid and Madame Xanadu.

The horror genre in comics has traversed a rough and painful road.  After reading BACK ISSUE! #52 I can state that I fully appreciate the passion and determination of past creators to push boundaries and ensure that horror has not only survived but continues to thrive today.

A print copy of BACK ISSUE #52 is under $10 (with a free electronic copy).  An electronic copy is only $2.95.  I highly recommend picking it up; at that price it's hard to say no.