Welcome to Airship 27,
My name is Ron Fortier, and I have been a professional writer for over
thirty-five years. I have worked on comic book projects such as The Hulk,
Popeye, Rambo and Peter Pan. With my two most popular comic series being
The Green Hornet and The Terminator (with Alex Ross). With Ardath Mayhar
I penned two TSR fantasy novels, and in 2001 I had my first play, a World
War II romantic comedy, produced.
This site serves as a portfolio of the work I've done to date, as a showcase
for projects in the works, and as home for my online Journal
(below), which will be updated frequently.
I am currently writing and producing pulp novels and short stories
for various publishers and have several movie scripts floating around
Hollywood looking for a home, and if that isn't enough, I also have a review column at the
Get the latest news, post your comments, questions, or just say hi at my online forum.
A devoted grandfather of six, at 67, I am thrilled to be part of
the new web-comic evolution. Part of this joy is in the realization of a life long dream,
that of becoming a pulp writer.
Thanks for visiting, and enjoy your stay.
Latest Flight Log
||FROST & FURY
||Greetings Loyal Airmen and welcome to this week's Flight Log. This time around the Air Chief thought we'd talk to you about two our favorite pulp heroes; one a classic from the 1930s & 40s and the other one of own invention and how they are both going to be showing up soon in new books and comics.
I.V. Frost was created by writer Donal Wandrai and appeared in 18 stories, all of which were published in CLUE Magazine. Frost was a combination Sherlock Holmes and Mike Hammer, a brilliant scientist, investigator not afraid to get his hands dirty or throw a punch. He was assisted by the equally brilliant Ms. Jean Moray. Having discovered Frost stories in a collection many, many...many years ago, we always entertained the hope that some day we'd be able to write new adventures of this great couple. Lo and behold, along comes our old pal Joe Gentile of Moonstone Books asking if we'd like to write brand new I.V. Frost comics and prose adventures. We jumped at the change and within a year had written one prose adventure and three comic strip tales. Joe assigned artist Jake Minor (see above) to illustrate them.
Alas sometimes even the best plans don't materialize and as the years rolled on, it was obvious Moonstone just wasn't going to be able to do all of these Frost stories as they had hoped. By this time Jake had drawn only one of the strips and illustrated the single prose story. Joe assured us these two stories would eventually see print and we still believe that will happen. But that still left us with two comic strips collecting dust in our files. Which was when we got the idea to bring aboard our dear friend and Mr.Jigsaw artist Gary Kato to help us bring these two scripts to visual life. Gary gladly signed on and we sent him the scripts. At the same time, pal Rob Davis, not only agreed to publish them in a one shot I.V. Frost comic, but went along with our idea of doing it FULL COLOR. Till now there had never been a full color Redbud Studio title. To that end we recruited super colorist Casey Beamis who did a fantastic job. When we told Jake Minor what we were doing to two unused scripts, he graciously volunteered to draw the cover for us. The book was released just in time for Pulp Fest and that's the gorgeous cover above.
So thus far we were really happy with how all of this was turning out. Then, out of the blue, Joe contacted us again. This time he wanted to know if we'd be willing to help him finish a two part comic series he was producing that would feature a group of classic pulp heroes all banding together to save New York City. For various reasons the writer who had penned the first half of the story was no longer available to make the changes needed in that script and so the Air Chief jumped in. Imagine our surprise when we realized one of the pulp heroes involved was none other than our favorite I.V. Frost. Hot dog! We did our re-write of the first script and then went ahead and wrote the entire second part. Believe us, Frost and Jean Moray continue to play a huge part in the saga which also includes, the Black Bat, the Phantom Detective, Jim Anthony Super Detective, Ki-Gor Jungle Lord and a brand new character of our own invention, Nighthawk the Flying Spy. The art for this two part comic series is by the amazing Silvestre Szilagyi and that's one of his panels abvoe, showing Frost, Jean and a guest, in their lab dissecting a giant rat. Oh, yeah. This is wall to wall pulp action. It will be a while before the books see print, but rest assured we'll let you know when they are due out.
Okay, so we've told you how much fun we've been having writing a little known classic pulp hero. Well, we also love creating brand new pulp heroes of our own, ala Brother Bones the Undead Avenger. But the first real new pulp hero we ever created in prose was the beautiful Kate Furyaka, better known as Ms Fury. Ages ago, we were invited to contribute a short story to an anthology to feature female action heroes. The editor didn't care what the genres were, be they mystery, horror, western or whatever, as long as the hero was female. Almost instantly we dreamed up Kate. Her father was Japanese and her mother Scandinavia, which resulted in a tall, statuesque brunette with almond eyes. Ms.Fury would be a female Doc Savage traveling the world having all kinds of adventures. In this, her premier story, we also invented her companion and sidekick, former Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman, Donat Cartier...who also just happened to be a werewolf.
That one and only story was called FURY IN VERMONT and was published without any accompanying illustrations what-so-ever, much to our dismay. Of course we'd always hoped to do more of her adventures but as often happens in life, other things got in the way. Things like retiring from the day-job and then starting up Airship 27 Productions etc.etc.etc. And poor Ms Fury just languished, all but forgotten. Then, just about two years ago, fellow new pulp publisher, Tommy Hancock began publishing a regular anthology series called Pro Se Presents to which we submitted a few Brother Bones stories. When Tommy was happy to get those, we brought up FURY IN VERMONT and asked if he'd like to reprint it. He was only too happy to do so...and this time found a really gifted artist to do up one illustration to go along with the story. (See above.) And so a new audience was introduced to Kate Furyaka after almost ten years. Once again we wondered if we'd ever be able to do any new stories with her and Donat. But it just wasn't to be.
About three months ago, another pulp friend, Rich Harvey, informed us that he was going to get back into publishing his own mag, PULP ADVENTURES, which he had ended with issue #14 a long while back. Rich was looking for material and put out the word. Now as much as any such call for stories is tempting to a pulp writer like the Air Chief, there really are just so many hours in the day and our commitments for the rest of 2014 pretty much made it impossible for us to take on anything else. So we let Rich's invite go floating by us truly hoping others would sign on instead. A few more weeks go by and then we get a personal message from Rich saying he still needs material but this time tells us he is willing to reprint something we've already done and had published before.
Really? And just like that Ms.Fury was calling us again to put her back on the stage. We pulled out the manuscript to FURY IN VERMONT and cleaned it up yet again and sent it off to Rich explaining fully its print history. Much to our delight, Rich really liked the story and agreed to use it. Next thing we learn is that PULP ADVENTURES # 15 is also contain stories by E.Hoffman Price, Robert Leslie Bellem and our recently departed colleague C.J. Henderson all under a gorgeous cover by the legendary pulp painter, Norm Saunders. Yup, that's it above. Honestly, we are still pinching ourselves to see if this is all real. PULP ADVENTURES # 15 will debut at Rich's own annual con, PULP ADVENTURE CON being held Nov. 1st this year...and then it will be available on his Bold Venture website.
But that's not the end of our story, Loyal Airmen. You see what we didn't know when offering Rich this tale was that he was going to recruit artist Ed Countts to do some truly awesome interior illustrations for the stories, including ours. Above is the beginning rough sketch of Kate by the talented Mr. Counts, the second artist to depict here. We weren't about to reveal the completed piece yet. That wouldn't be fair to those folks who pick up a copy at the show. But the sketch alone has us really, really happy.
And that's how Ms.Fury's one and only adventure will, by Nov, have been published three times. As ever, its our hope that this third printing will as yet find her more readers. Maybe enough to start banging on the Air Chief's door to bite the bullet and write more of her daring adventures. Let's keep those fingers crossed.
And there you have it Loyal Airmen, I.V. Frost and Kate Furyaka, two pulp heroes the Air Chief absolutely enjoys and hopes to keep writing for many, many years to come. Thanks as ever for stopping by. We'll see you back here next week.
Ron - Over & Out!