Airship27

DEATH DERBY 2020

  • On 17 Jan | '2020

Greetings Loyal Airmen, a few years ago we wrote a manga inspired comic strip called DEATH DERBY, done as an over-the-top silly story wherein savage racers drive their super-charged cars through a dense, high populated city causing all kinds of mayhem along the way.

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An artist friend agreed to illustrate and produced a character sketch design and actually drew the first page of the script. Then, due to other obligations, had to drop the project and so the script languished in our files. The pieces above were from that first artist. Recently, another local artist came on the scene and decided to take a stab at it.

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Above is artist Brian Loner’s interpretation of our two main characters and we’re happy to say he’s very much committed to actually completing DEATH DERBY. Note, the illustration above is meant to be a promotional piece, whereas the finished strip will only be in black and white. When finished it will be featured in our continuing anthology comics series RON FORTIER’S TALES OF THE MACABRE.  Stay tuned.

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On the pulp front we’ve peeks at artwork from two titles in production. To the upper left is an illustration from Ed Catto that will appear in RAVENWOOD – Stepson of Mystery Vol 4 – The latest anthology featuring this classic Occult Detective with four brand new stories.  To upper right is an illustrations by Clayton Murwin from the novel THE EYE OF DAWN, a suspense thriller by writer Brad Sinor.  Hopefully both titles will be out within a few months, Loyal Airmen.

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And back to comics we go.  A short while after the Air Chief and partner Rob Davis began publishing the Mr. Jigsaw comic book series, we had the idea of doing collected edition. Thus ever three issues of the 24 pg books would be collected. At that time, another outfit named Wild Wolf Entertainment produced what we called THE ADVENTURES OF MR. JIGSAW and sold them at Amazon.  Eventually Rob’s own Redbud Studio comics took over and recently, during our last Airship 27 Podcast, the subject came up about these ADVENTURES titles. We agreed it was time to go over them and correct any mistakes or omissions and eventually do a firth volume containing issues 13 – 14 – 15.  In the past few days Rob has started on this. Above is the new Redbud edition of issue #1.

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And here we have the new edition of ADVENTURES # 2. This one actually had several great new Jiggy pin-ups by various artists added to the book that were never in the original edition.  It also appears that issues 3 & 4 are in good shape and will remain as is.

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All that remains now is for Jiggy artist to do a cover for ADVENTURES # 5. Once in Rob will assembled the collection and have it up at Amazon, at which time we’ll notify all you Loyal Airmen. It is the Air Chief’s plan to have lots of these at our convention tables this year. Meanwhile, you can buy these first four books at Amazon.

And there you have it for this week’s Flight Log, Loyal Airmen. As ever thanks for stopping by and we’ll see you back here next Friday.

Ron – Over & Out!

 

COLORADO WILD LIFE

  • On 10 Jan | '2020

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Greetings Loyal Airmen, while driving through nearby Loveland last Saturday afternoon, we came across a truly amazing site. Over one hundred mountain elks had come down out of the foothills and were grazing in a wide open fields just outside of town. It is really rate that these magnificent animals come down so close to any population center. Weather men have been saying many creeks and ponds have dried up recently and this may be one of the reasons the herd moved south. Still in all it was a memorable sight we wanted to share with you.

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As most of you Loyal Airmen are aware, the Air Chief writes a regular review blog titles PULP FICTION REVIEWS. We don’t often share those reviews here, but in this case we wanted to make an exception.  This is a charming little book by writer/editor Jonathan W. Sweet that is a marvelous introduction to what pulp fiction is/was, its history and place in American Literature. He published it via his (www.BrainPickleMedia.com) where you can find copies for sale. Meanwhile, here’s the link to our review. (https://pulpfictionreviews.blogspot.com/)

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Another B pulp hero from the 40s was Ravenwood – The Stepson of Mystery. To date Airship 27 Productions has published three anthologies featuring this occult detective and now we’ve volume four in production. The book is going to have 12 black and white interior illustrations by artist Ed Catto who is doing an amazing job with them. So much so we had to give all you Loyal Airmen a sneak-peek here.  Fingers crossed the book will be out in another month or so. We’ll keep you posted.

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Finally, the mail this week brought the Air Chief a couple of real treasures. One is a classic Republic serial, “Perils of Nyoka” delivered in a crisp, sharp blu-ray format. We’re hoping to eventually get many of those already in our collection as more and more companies transfer them to this superior version. The second is the entire season of a short lived TV show based on mystery writer Rex Stout’s famous sleuth Nero Wolfe. It started William Conrad as the rotund, beer loving Wolfe and the Lee Horsley as his debonair assistant P.I. Archie Goodwin. Remember this series fondly and we are thrilled to be able to view them again at our leisure.

And that’s it for this week, Loyal Airmen.  Thanks for stopping by and we’ll see you next week.

Ron – Over & Out!

HELLO 2020!

  • On 3 Jan | '2020

Greetings Loyal Airmen and Happy New Year to all of you. It is our prayer that 2020 is a fantastic year filled with joy, happiness and blessings to all of you.

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For the Air Chief, finally getting in our copies of the Mr. Jigsaw Full Color Christmas special was a real treat. Thus far reaction to the book has been overwhelmingly great.  Due in large part to the fantastic coloring work of Mort Todd. He made those pages sing, and at along last, the Air Chief and artist Gary Kato finally manage to do our Christmas story and have our loveable hero finally team up with Santa Claus. This was one of those stories we’d been wanting to do for a long-long time. Now that it’s done, we are really very proud of it.

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On the pulp side of things, it looks like Airship 27 Productions first new title of 2020 will be THE WRAITH, a prose anthology based on the comic superhero created by writer Frank Dirscherl.  With any luck we’ll have it out to you within another week.  Well, artist Chris Nye, who did the 12 great interior illustrations thought it would be fun to do up a little poster announcing that release (see above) and he surprised us with it a few days ago. We love it, and Chris’ work. Now he’s off to do his own graphic novel and we wish him all the best with it. And of course hope to have him rejoin Airship 27 on another project in the near future.

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One of our most popular releases in 2019 was the kick off our new Bulldog Drummond series, wherein British writer Ian Watson revamped this classic hero from the 1920s, and wrote an amazing novel “On Poisoned Ground.” Canadian artist Ted Hammond delivered the cover on that one, while California based Howard Simpson did the interior illustrations.  Well, we are thrilled to announce, Ian’s second Drummond book “Disaster Zones” is now in production and this time Chris Rawding will handle the cover chores, while much to our delight, Howard has returned on interiors and that black and white piece above is one of the new illos from that title. Again fingers crossed, look for it within few weeks.

And so we are off and running full tilt into the New Year. Hang on for wild and exciting ride, Loyal Airmen, lots more fun things coming your way.

Ron – Over & Out!

GOOD-BYE 2019

  • On 27 Dec | '2019

Greetings Loyal Airmen. Another Christmas has past and we pray all of you had a great holiday. Now we’re getting ready to say good-bye to 2019 and welcome in 2020.  The Air Chief had two major goals this holiday season and with God’s blessings and the help of close friends, we realized both of them. The first being the publication of our “Life in Comics” our memoirs book about our career in comics. Having that come out, we figured it would only be fitting to then release a brand new Mr. Jigsaw comic. But we wanted this one to be extra-special. How? Well first we had the idea of collecting the three previous published stories that Mort Todd had colored and printed in his own comic series. We would then write our first ever Christmas story wherein Jiggy would meet none other than Santa Clause and help him with a super special Christmas miracle. That in mind, by the end of summer we began writing what would become “The Miracle on Christmas Island.”

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Part of the plot included our beloved jolly Elf falling out of his sled as it flew over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Maine. Wherein Jiggy and his friends on their way to an island village would be on hand to save him.  Mort had volunteered to do the cover and the Air Chief had a specific scene in mind. One afternoon we recruited our granddauther Cora and grandson Alex to help us out, along with Cora’s beau, Calvin. We posed Cora and Alex in the back of a pick-truck that would double for the back end of the boat, while Alex (as Jiggy) reaches out to try and reach a floundering Calvin (as Santa, actually sitting in a lawn chair) while Cora (as Amy Boucher) looks on encouragingly.

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We then sent the photo to Art Director Rob Davis who using it as inspiration, did the rough black and white sketch you see above to the left. Then that was sent along to Mort and from it he did the actual cover. Once his art and coloring were finished, it went back to Rob for the logos and Amy’s word balloon and voila our Super Mr. Jigsaw Full Color Christmas Special was a reality. It is available from Amazon in both hard copy and on Kindle. We hope you’ll pick up a copy and enjoy it.

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And now a look at the Fortier Family Christmas 2019.  Shortly after 1 p.m. the photo to the right is what our living room looked like on Christmas Day, after Santa had made his visit during the night. Things were about to get hectic.

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The eight of us were happy  and as ever to once again celebrate this wonderful day together. Upper left is the “senior” generation, i.e. Nicole, Alan, Valerie and the Air Chief. To Upper right is grand-daughter Cora, her fellah Calvin, Chloe and our grandson Alex.

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Alex as ever volunteered to play Santa and quickly began handing out colorfully wrapped packages. As ever the Air Chief was surprised with another fun toy, this one of the Pop Yeti from the animated feature Abominable which we loved.

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Valerie was delighted with her counter-cutting tool for foil and plastic wraps, which she uses constantly while in the kitchen. Meanwhile Nicole was enjoying the fragrances of several scented candles. Santa sure had their number.

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Alex got lots of technical manuals which he loves to read.  Calvin holds up unique shot-glass. He also got an aged bottle of Highland Scotch. While Cora received some truly beautiful new blouses and an electric foot massager.

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These are only a few of the items that put smiles on all our faces.  But again, the great happiness was being altogether, happy and healthy. In the end, those are the greatest gifts of all and we sincerely hope and pray that all you Loyal Airmen received them as well.  MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM OUR HOME TO YOURS!!

Ron – Over & Out.

 

 

ROBIN HOOD OMNIBUS EDITION

  • On 20 Dec | '2019

Greetings Loyal Airmen, we’re kicking off this week’s entry with some awesome new concerning a series near and dear to the Air Chief.

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In 2014, Airship 27 Productions published Robin Hood – King of Sherwood by I.A. Watson; the first in his trilogy reimagining the saga of fiction’s greatest hero. The two subsequent sequels, Robin Hood – Arrow of Justice and Robin Hood – Freedom’s Outlaw soon followed to the critical delight of fans everywhere.  A few years later, a fourth volume was released containing a collection of Watson’s Robin Hood short stories titled, Robin Hood – Forbidden Legends.  Now, at along last, the entire four volumes are offered in this special Omnibus Edition containing all the previous published works. Also included is The Dead of Robin Hood, the poignant conclusion to the saga never before in print.  With each new volume, I.A. Watson put forth a truly fantastic adventure willed with all the action and romance one would expect from a Robin Hood story. Then, to top that all off, he set the darn thing against a real, historical background. The notes in these book are enough to teach a course in Old World British History and politics.

The new Omnibus edition  contains all 52 of Art Director Rob Davis’ beautiful interior illustrations and features his brand new cover spotlighting Robin and his true love, Maid Marion.  That is 660 pages of fun, suspense, adventure and thrills. Believe us Loyal Airmen, you won’t be disappointed. Available now at Amazon and it is a great Christmas gift for the readers in your family.

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On the comic book front, we are thrilled to announce our giant 56 pg full color MR JIGSAW CHRISTMAS SPECIAL is now available at Amazon. It features a cover by Mort Todd who also colored the entire book. The brand new story is “Miracle on Christmas Island” and has our Jiggy come to Santa Claus’ rescue when Santa has splash down trying to deliver toys to a distant off-shore island village during a savage winter snow storm. We think it is something special all our Jiggy fans will love. Then the remainder of the book reprints three past stories never before done in full color. We kid you not, this book is a comic book treasure.

And that’s it for this last Flight Log before Christmas.  We want to wish all our Loyal Airmen a safe, super wonderful Christmas and hope you all can spend it with those you love. You will all be in our Christmas wishes

Ron – Over & Out!

 

 

INTO THE HOLIDAY SEASON

  • On 13 Dec | '2019

Greetings Loyal Airmen. We hope all of you are dealing well with this hectic holiday season. Christmas, as much as it is a truly beautiful celebration of faith, is regrettably also a time of stress for many people as they scramble about trying to find that elusive perfect present for that special someone in their lives. It is our hope that all you Loyal Airmen will succeed in those quests but at the same time put aside some truly quiet moments to share with those you loved the most in the world. Remind them of what they truly mean to you. The “reason for the season” is love, Loyal Airmen. Never forget that.

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Last week we shared with some of pages from a new Black Bat comic we have now in production at Moonstone Books. We’ve done several earlier comics in the past and Airship 27 Productions a few anthologies. One of the things we’ve always tried to do is have this classic pulp hero shown as he was described in the actual stories.

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Whereas when his stories were first published in Black Bat Detective, the Art Directors of that time were afraid readers wouldn’t pick up a book if the hero’s entire face was hidden and so despite the fact that their covers were wrong, they told their artists to give BB a cut-away cowl that exposed most of his face. Again, we’ve always tried to avoid that, feeling the true depiction in the stories was actually a whole lot more dramatic.

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Apparently Mr. Micah Ignacio (above) agrees with us as he made this truly awesome costume and posted this photo on Facebook a few days ago. He also mentions he will be wearing it in a short amateur film. Not that’s something we’d all like to see.  Well done, Micah and thanks for sharing this photo.

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On the pulp front, we are happy to report the latest pulp title from Airship 27 Productions. SINBAD – The New Voyages Vol 6 is now out. It features a lengthy novella by Nancy Hansen and a short by Greg Hatcher. Interiors are by Jesus Rodriguez and Rob Davis with a cover by Adam Shaw. Available now at Amazon in both paperback and on Kindle. This series featuring a black Sinbad was inspired by the classic fantasy movies of the late Ray Harryhausen and is a big hit with our readers. We hope you’ll check it out.

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Finally, one of the Air Chief’s good friends here in Fort Collins is professional artist Jeff Slemons. Jeff has an affinity for dinosaurs and he loves to draw them in every style imaginable….from cartoonish to super realistic. So Jeff recently self published PREHISTORIC PEN & INK (Dinosaurs. As I see them.) and then he had a bunch done with blank white cover on which he could do personal sketches. The one above arrived this afternoon by mail. Now that’s a fantastic Christmas present indeed and the Air Chief couldn’t be happier. If you’d be interested in picking up a copy, you can find Jeff Slemons on Facebook. The actual book without the sketch cover is only $10. And take our word for it, that’s a bargain.

And that’s a wrap for this week, Loyal Airmen. As ever thanks for stopping by.

Ron – Over & Out!

NEW COMIC CREATORS

  • On 6 Dec | '2019

Greeting Loyal Airmen, well Thanksgiving is now in the rearview mirror and we imagine all of you are gearing up for Christmas.  Last Sunday, the Air Chief finally hooked up with his writing students from his third class at the Front Range Community College done back at the end of 2018 to hand them their published comic book.

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Five of the seven were on hand. At upper left we have Terry Crowley and Zane Degaine, while to the right holding up his copy is a very happy Evan Hundhausen. To his right is artist Shana Moura who is studying animation.

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At upper left, and a bit blurry (sorry about that) is Justin Green and to right Gabriella Saenz, a 14 year old creative wonder. She was only 13 when she took our class. So much amazing talent.

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And the last two creators, David Drasheff and Aryn Benavides. Should any of you Loyal Airmen like to pick up a copy of FRONT RANGE TALES # 3, they are available at Amazon.com – Now on to getting issue # 4 started.

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Finally, two years ago Joe Gentile of Moonstone Books asked the Air Chief to write a four issue mini-series featuring two classic pulp heroes; the Black Bat & Domino Lady.  We called the project DANGER COAST TO COAST referring to the fact that the Black Bat operated in New York and and Domino Lady in Los Angeles. After the scripts were written, several different artists worked on them. And by several we do mean several. It was a weird thing to say the least and thus created all kinds of unforeseen delays in getting the projects completed. In the meanwhile the Air Chief working on wrapping up a previous 3 issue mini for Moonstone called GUNS OF THE BLACK BAT. This was completed and released. Now, we are happy to report DANGER COAST TO COAST, thanks to letterer Patrick Williams is almost finished…at long last. Whereas due to the overlong time in getting it done, Gentile has opted to publish one giant pulp comic wherein it will include (reprint) all three issues of GUNS and then premier all four issues of DANGER. It boggles the mind as to just how many pages this one volume will contain. Above are two sample pages from issue # 2 of GUNS never seen before. Our best guess is this giant comic will debut early in 2020 and we couldn’t be any happier. It’s a fast paced, action adventure and the art throughout is gorgeous. Stay tuned loyal airmen, as ever, we’ll keep you posted.

And there you have this week’s Flight Log, Loyal Airmen. As ever thanks for stopping by and we’ll be back next week.

Ron – Over & Out!

A LOOK BACK

  • On 29 Nov | '2019

Greeting Loyal Airmen, yesterday was Thanksgiving and we truly hope all of you were able to celebrate the holiday with your friends and loved ones. Our prayer is also that all our brave men and women serving overseas away from their own families had a good day and were lifted up in prayer by all Americans for their service.

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On Monday afternoon cold weather from Canada came rolling down the Rockies and started dumping lots and lots…and LOTS of snow on Colorado.  By Monday evening we were kissing the 15 inches mark. See photo of ruler above. Tuesday morning the Air Chief awoke with this view out his office window. That’s our Suburu to the right under its own blanket of white. Oh yeah, Mother Nature’s Thanksgiving gift to all of here in Colorado. Nothing to do but hunker down and enjoy the view.

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The big event of the past week was the release of our latest writing project, a book containing our Memoirs of our almost fifty years in the writing comic books. Our dear friend, fellow writer Todd Jones, had been urging us to do such a project ever since we moved here to Fort Collins. Todd is a great guy and loves hearing the Air Chief spin his stories about some of the many experiences we’ve had along the way. Finally, Valerie, our better half, decided to chime in supporting Todd’s arguments that we write such a book. Eventually giving in, we sat down four months ago and began doing a chronological outline from the time we first discovered comics to today. Then our pal artist Rob Davis was gracious enough to take on the assignment of designing, illustrating and editing the project. He did a truly fantastic job. It looks great.

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Above left, Air Chief and Rob Davis, to right a sample page from the book itself, as designed and illustrated by Rob. It really is a beautiful package. Today the book is available at Amazon in both paperback and on Kindle. We truly hope you Loyal Airmen will check it out. Hey, it certainly makes for a Christmas gift to any of your friends who love comics like we do. Thanks ever.

Finally, today is the notoriously dubbed Black Friday wherein merchants go hog-wild in trying to sell us everything under the sun for what they claim are fantastic deals we simply can’t afford to miss.  Well, Loyal Airmen, the Air Chief doesn’t wonder in all this hoopla to buy-buy-buy we aren’t actually missing what the season is really all about. We’ve just celebrated the day on which we give thanks for the intangible things in our lives, our friends, family, good health etc. etc. The precious things money can never buy. And that is just a lead in to Christmas, a Christian time of reflection when we should think of what happened over two thousand years ago in the town of Bethlehem. To us was born a Savior, come to free us from sin and teach us how much our creator, God the Father, truly loves each and everyone of us. We are his children. As this holiday season opens, our prayer is that all our Loyal Airmen will receive it with the joy of open hearts with peace and good will to all.  Amen.

Ron – Over & Out!

A NEW HAT

  • On 22 Nov | '2019

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Greetings Loyal Airmen, we are sure most of you will recall that early this past summer we found a company in North Carolina that did wonderful, inexpensive embroidery. So the Air Chief had a bunch of red baseball caps made with our Airship 27 logo. Well with winter coming on, we thought it might be wise to order a knit cap, this time in blue, with our high-flying symbol. It arrived the other day and we couldn’t be more delighted. The quality is top notch and will keep our old nogging nice and warm on those snappy cold days ahead.

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The big news this week is after a full year of production, we’ve finally assembled the third issue of FRONT RANGE TALES, as written by the seven students in my Fall of 2018 course in How To Write Comics & Graphic Novels. We tip our hats to the seven generous pro artists who gave of their time and talents to illustrate these scripts. They are Zane DeGain, Mike Belcher, Luis Rivera, Sam Salas, Gary Kato, Dario Carrasco and our pal Rob Davis who also is the publisher via his Redbud Studio. This issue was printed at Amazon and is available there should any of you Loyal Airmen be interested in picking up a copy. Meanwhile the Air Chief has one session left with his current class and we’re pretty sure they are going to want to do a comic too. We’ll keep you posted.

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On Thursday afternoon, we posted an old Mr. Jigsaw sketch done by our pal Rob Davis.  Not ten minutes later, Jiggy super fan, Nicholas Roberts shared the above pin-up with us. He commissioned it from artist Wyatt Aguirre and we absolutely love it. Thanks so much Nicholas.

And that wraps up this week’s Flight Log Loyal Airmen. We want to leave by wishing all of you a great Happy Thanksgiving.  Be sure to be back here next Friday as we’ll have some really exciting news about a new book release that is near and dear to the Air Chief. Till then, take care.

Ron – Over & Out!

ANOTHER GREAT RMC

  • On 15 Nov | '2019

Well Loyal Airmen, another Rocky Mountain Con is now in the rearview mirror. This past weekend, the Air Chief and Val, along with tons of fellow Colorado comic creators headed down to Denver and Tim Moret’s amazing little con.

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We love this show so much, we always refer to it as our Home Con.

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Our neighbors to the left of us including the always fun Shelby Sowerby, Arnie Davila-Toro and writer Mike Baron.

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Artist and Army Veteran Kevin Smith took a few minutes to stop drawing amazing artwork and help the Air Chief pitch our comics action adventure series BLACK LION.  Issues 1 & 2 are now available with # 3 in production.

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Muc to our delight, comics letterer Mike Rickabee stopped the show to say hi. Mike had lettered a short horror story we’d written years ago. It was great to finally meet him. Note at up left, taking a picture of us together is another pro letterer, our pal James Gaubatz.

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Though you can barely see him in the picture above, Fort Collins artist and pal, Zane DeGaine was there with his Pulp Fission comics. His lovely wife Olivia was with him Sat but couldn’t join us on Sunday. Above is a page of doodles Zane did of their dog Morty between talking with fans.

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Other friends attending the show were, from left to right, writer/publisher Todd Jones of Wicked Awesome Tales, artist Felipe Echevaria and artist Tom Webster.

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Of course what’s a con without some silly cos-playing. Valerie snapped the shot of this ALF early Sat. morning. He gave us all a good laugh. One of the show’s highlights was our dinner Sat where friend joined helped wish the Air Chief a belated Happy 73rd Birthday. From left to right going around the table, we have Matt, James, Olivia & Zen, the Air Chief (at head of the table) Valerie, veteran artist Bob Hall hamming it up, Todd and the host and promoter of Rocky Mountain Con, Mr. Tim Moret, our dear, dear friend.  Thanks ever Tim for another super fantastic con.

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We are always fascinated after the end of any convention appearance to see what particular titles of ours did well the show. For this Rocky Mountain Con the two top sellers on our table were as far apart thematically as possible. For the kids and their parents, we had the MR. JIGSAW SPECIAL – How To Make A Comic.  Since publishing this fun comic a few years back, we are constantly selling out of them. Young creators love the idea of using the actual script in the book to try and draw their own versions of the story and compare them later with artist Gary Kato’s renditions. As for the more adventuresome adults at the con, our ever popular erotic horror romance, DAUGHTER OF DRACULA was again a big seller. Years ago comics writer and reviewer Tony Isabella bemoaned the fact that there is no longer a Hammer Film Studio because upon reading this graphic novel, Tony swore it would have made a perfect Hammer movie. Who are we to argue. Maybe some day another film company will see what he, and hundreds of fans have as well.

And that’s this week’s Flight Log, Loyal Airmen. As ever thanks for stopping by and see you next week.

Ron – Over & Out!