Airship27

WINDY CITY 2018

  • On 12 Apr | '2018

Greetings Loyal Airmen, well this year’s Windy City Pulp & Paper Show held in Chicago was a whopping success on all fronts with record attendance and some truly memorable experiences. Hang in there, as promised, we took a bunch of photos and want to share them with you plus some truly exciting news. So here we go.

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Here are some early shots taken Friday morning as dealers began setting up before the doors open to the general public at 10 A.M.

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Pulp shows like Windy City are filled with tons of great pulp, comics, magazines and paperback treasures. Let’s not forget the unique hard to find videos as well. It really is a treasure land of goodies.

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And rest assured Airship 27 was in the house.  Above is the Air Chief to the left with pal and Art Director Rob Davis. Rob is the guy who whipped up our banner displays. No matter where in the hall you might be, you could always find Airship 27.

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The show is also about getting caught up with lots of old friends.  From left to right above we have writer Bobby Nash (his first time at Windy City and we were thrilled to see him pop up) Ray Riethmeier, one of Airship 27’s talented proof readers and all around fun guy. Retired college Professor Frank Coffman next to writer Gene Moyers. And finally our very good pal, super artist Doug Klauba. These were just a few of our dear friends that were present.

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An annual tradition for our gang at Windy City is to hit up a well known hamburger joint for Friday night dinner. And here we are.  Top left pix has (left to right) Bobby, Air Chief, Wayne Reinagel, Van Plexico and Rob Davis. Ray took the picture. In the subsequent selfie to the right, that’s Ray upper left side joining the madcap merriment.

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After dinner it was back to the con to MC the annual Pulp Factory Awards, which Rob and the Air Chief have the pleasure of doing every year. One of the first winners was Bobby for Best Short Story. Below is a list of all the winners and illustrations from whence the stories and art came.

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2018 PULP FACTORY AWARDS OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

On Friday evening April 6th, the ninth annual Pulp Factory Awards were announced at the Windy City Pulp and Paper Show.

Best Pulp Novel- Pulp Heroes: Sanctuary Fall

Best Pulp Cover- Holmes & Houdini by Chad Hardin

Best Pulp Short Story- “Takedown” The Ruby Files V2, Bobby Nash

Best Pulp Interior Illustrations- The Ruby Files V2- Nik Poliwko

Best Pulp Anthology- The Ruby Files V2 -Ron Fortier.

In addition Ron Fortier was awarded the first “Grand Master Award” chosen by the awards committee for service to New Pulp above and beyond. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners of the awards. Kudos to all!

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Clowning around after the ceremonies, the Air Chief represented award for Best Anthology, with Bobby for Best Short Story and Wayne for Best Novel. Sadly Chad Hardin (best pulp cover) and Nik Poliwko (best interior illustrations) couldn’t join us. Their awards will be mailed to them withing the next few days.

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Above is a picture of the first ever Pulp Factory Award for PULP GRAND MASTER which totally surprised the Air Chief and for a few moments, standing in front of that gathering, we were speechless. Something that doesn’t happen often, as our colleagues will attest to. This is truly a singular honor, one will be never forget and do our best to be worthy of the years ahead. A heartfelt thank to the members of the Award Committee.  Apparently this award will not be an annual event, but only awarded when merited by a member of the New Pulp community. Believe me Loyal Airmen, this will soon have a place of honor in my office.

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Finally it was Sunday and time for New Pulp Sunday, wherein New Pulp writers and artists are featured on various panels to discuss their craft and the world of New Pulp. The first such was themed “Crime in Pulps,” and above are a few pictures. Going to left to right we had moderator, Ed Catto, then writers Dale Cozort, Fred Adams Jr. and Michael Black. This was truly a fun and highly entertaining talk.

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For those not in the know, panelist Michael Black, a retired police officer, has written several Executioner and Mack Bolan paperbacks, of course using the house name of Don Pendleton who created that 60s modern pulp hero. Here he and Ed show off several of his titles.

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And our second panel of the day was themed “Sword & Sorcery in the Pulps.” Seated left to right were Howard Jones, writer/editor/publisher, writers David C. Smith (of Red Sonja paperback fame) Andy Fix and last but not least, our moderator, Gordon Dymowski.  Again, another great panel that proved to be lots of fun for those lucky enough to attend.

And within hours of the last panel, the show was closing up. Another great one finished. The old adage of hour time flies when one is having fun is never truer than at the Windy City Pulp & Paper Show.  To all our Loyal Airmen who were there and joined in the merriment, our heartfelt thanks. And special kudos to con promoters Doug Ellis and John Gunnison. As ever we are left with tons of amazing memories. Here’s hoping we’ll see YOU there next year.

Ron – Over & Out!

 

JASE MARSHALL – SUPER FAN

  • On 6 Apr | '2018

Greetings Loyal Airmen, as you are reading this Flight Log, the Air Chief will be in Chicago attending the annual Windy City Pulp & Paper Con along with pal, and Airship 27 Productions’ Art Director Rob Davis. This is a show we look forward to every year. So while away, we wanted to share with you a review that was written last week by one our fans, Mr. Jase Marshall. Jase had picked up the new Brother Bones book and obviously thought it was pretty good. Enough for him to write the following thoughts and reviews.  Enjoy.

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I’m a nerd. For as long as I can remember I’ve been a nerd. I’m pretty sure I was born out of the birth canal reading a comic book and chomping on a piece of red licorice, a Twizzler of course because Red Vines ain’t shit.

Anyway even going back before I could even read…comic books were like a major part of my life. I think mostly because I loved the heroic actions and brightly colored costumes…well that and (probably the biggest shock to most people reading this) that I’m dyslexic. After I was finally diagnosed and worked with a teacher who helped me learn how to turn the words around in my mind. All of a sudden it was like a light was turned on in a blacken room. I was finally able to actually read all those comics I had that I had only been able to follow the stories by just the pictures. Now a whole library of comics that I had collected became new to me again. After I had burned through them I found myself reading anything I could get my hands on…my parents Reader’s Digest out of their bathroom….the TV Guide… my mom’s Family Circle magazines…anything and everything. I became a ravenous reader on any printed matter I could find. Hell, I used to read spray bottles and shampoo bottles while sitting on the toilet….but then I found pulp novels! I loved anything that had to do with the Shadow, Tarzan, and Doc Savage.

All of a sudden just like use to be able to look at a picture of and comic character like Batman, Spiderman, or Superman and I could tell you who the artist was that drew that image. Now I found I could read a passage from a book and I could tell you who wrote it from the style, wording, and cadence.

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Okay, so the point of this long introduction is that one of my most beloved authors is none other then Ron Fortier. His work has been part of my life for over 30 years. His work on the NOW Comics The Green Hornet was nothing short of brilliant. The inner workings to tie the lineage of the Kato Family and Reid family from The Lone Ranger to the (at that time) current Green Hornet brought a level of realism and actual timelines that have never been seen in comics and to be honest is often abandoned or completely ignored. It’s true over at Marvel Spider-Man will forever be in his late teens to early 20’s and DC’s Batman will for ever be mid to late 30’s. In Ron’s world these character got old, dealt with age…and yes even death as we saw the first modern day Green Hornet murdered. Anyway, Ron’s work inspired me to do something in my 20’s I had never done before or considered doing….I wrote my one and only comic book fan letter. To my amazement that letter saw print in Green Hornet #24. I was 23 years old at that time….I’m now 2 years away from being 50. With that said I’m still a fanboy of Ron Fortier’s work. His work on his original creation Brother Bones struck a personal cord with me I haven’t felt since I was a kid and diving into all those pulp novels of The Shadow and Doc Savage.

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I’ve made figures based on his creation not only with his blessing but with his praise and accolades. Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of talking to him in length and I’m honored to call him a friend though we have never met face to face.

Ron’s new novel ‘Brother Bones: City Of Lost Souls’ is out now and I have links below to the Kindle and Paperback version over at Amazon. You can also find out more about Ron and all of his work over at Airship27.com. With that said the latest Brother Bones novel is nothing short of amazing and a constant page turner and grabs the reader from page one. I read it cover to cover in a day and started rereading it the next day. Ron did something that truly humbled me and geeked out my little fanboy heart. In the story of ‘The Synthetic Man’ we are treated to the return of a vintage golden age comic book villain Dr. Satan….but more then that we are introduced to a new character, a Sergeant of the Cape Noir Police Department, by the name of Jase Marshall. That’s right I’ve been made into a pulp character in the fantastical world of Brother Bones! To make it all the better it was penned by one of my childhood/young adulthood heroes, Ron Fortier….it’s an honest to god dream come true for me.

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So, Ron…from the bottom of my heart brother…thank you so much. Seeing myself appear as a character in one of your stories was nothing short of amazing and yes did I squealed like a little girl when I came across it on the page. Every dog in my neighborhood thought a 12 year old girl had fallen in a well somewhere. So, again…I’m truly honored and thank you.

Sincerely,
Jase

Jase Marshall is a custom figure builder/fabricator and reviewer out of the foothills of North Carolina. Former contributor and writer to Go Figure News. He also currently launching a new figure line called The BRiTS.

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And there you have it, Loyal Airmen. Note, should you ever want to buy one of these original Brother Bones 12 inch figures, then Google Jase and contact him.  Each one is a unique collectible.

And there you have it for this week, Loyal Airmen. Next week hope to have some pix of the Windy City Pulp Con to share with you. Till then, take care,

Ron – Over & Out!

Greetings Loyal Airmen, we are thrilled with this week’s Flight Log to announce the fourth book in our Brother Bones series, City of Lost Souls, was released last Saturday and word of it has been spreading across the internet like wildfire.

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Behind a brilliant cover by artist Michael Stribling, Brother Bones – City of Lost Souls, feature five new tales of Cape Noire’s Undead Avenger; “The Hideout,” three small time hoods are after the reward to take down Bones. “A Taste of Cherry Pie,” gorilla mobster Harry Beest and his sweet tooth. “Then and Now,” a glimpse back into the life of killer Tommy Bonello…before he died and was reborn as Brother Bones. “The Synthetic Man,” our longest Bones story ever and it features a classic pulp villain from the pages of Weird Tales; Doctor Satan. And finally shorty entitled, “Good Luck, Bad Luck,” which wraps it all up and seals the fate of one of Cape Noire’s little gangster. Bones3-4

As ever the book features great black and white interiors by Rob Davis, 10 total in this volume alone. Each a masterpiece.

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And to add frosting to the cake, several days after its premier, Radio Archives announced that veteran voice actor Scott Bennett had signed on to do the audio book. Scott has read all three previous Bones books and has a real affection for the series and its macabre characters. His narrations are full of drama and enthusiasm. We can’t wait to hear him read these new adventures.  As ever, Brother Bones – City of Lost Souls is available at Amazon right now in both paperback and on Kindle. We hope you’ll get it a try and thanks every for your continued support.

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Finally, we’d like to address a problem that has unjustly plagued us for a long while. When we first posted the very first Brother Bones book (cover above) at Amazon, we inadvertently put up the un-proofed files. They were riddled with typos. Something we were not aware of until buyers began leaving negative reviews.  We then immediately pulled those files and had them ALL CORRECTED…typos eliminated etc. Then re-posted the clean edition which is what you get when you now order the book from Amazon.  BUT…Amazon will not remove those old negative reviews and they continue to scare off would buyers. It’s unfair and they really should change their policies, but don’t hold your breath. The only way we can deal with the issue is to let you, our Loyal Airmen, know the entire story and ask you to spread throughout out pulp fandom.  The edition on sale at Amazon IS A CLEAN COPY.  And there you have it. Thanks for your help…and as ever for stopping by.

Ron – Over & Out!

THE EIGHT WONDER OF THE WORLD

  • On 23 Mar | '2018

Greetings Loyal Airmen, as most of you know, the Air Chief’s favorite movie of all time is the original, 1938 movie KING KONG.  We saw at the age of 5 when it played in re-released in a local theater and it seared itself into our consciousness. Even at the age of 5, we somehow knew the giant gorilla really wasn’t a monster, but the actual victim and in the we didn’t want him to die atop that mighty Empire State Building. It wouldn’t be until years later that the movie’s moral theme became obvious to us as both an adult and adventure writer. Over the years we have seen the film well over a hundred times and we still love it. We have a deluxe-Blu-ray copy now and we also enjoyed Peter Jackson’s heartfelt remake, which comes in a second best. We do not even discuss the horrible 70s version with the guy in the gorilla suit. Please.

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So in last week’s Log Entry we told you all about our visit to a Muscle Car show. What we didn’t tell you was that in their gift shop were hundreds of tins…including just one of the King Kong movie poster.  Yup!! And it now hangs on my office wall.  Wahoo.

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At the same the Air Chief found this tin treasure, we remembered that still left undone back in the office as a spectacular King Kong resin model kit given to us for Christmas by writer pal, Michael Housel. Ergo we vowed upon getting back home, we’d make time to put that model together.  And today we did just that. Thankfully the kid itself came pre-painted and with only five pieces to glue together. Took us all of ten minutes to assemble, and yes, we should have done it months ago. Above is the finished kit, it highlights the scene from the original movie wherein Kong has bested a T-Rex in combat and is beating his chest in triumph. Thanks Michael, for a truly awesome piece which also gets a place of honor in the Air Chief’s inner sanctum.  LONG LIVE KONG!!!

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One of the things the Air Chief loves to do is write short strips and then let his friends and colleagues have them for their own small independetn titles.  Such was the case several years ago when we penned, “Monster Vs Machine,” an eight page tale wherein Frankenstein’s Monster battles a steampunk robot. We were able to recruit super artist Erik Roman to draw the strip and our buddy WarrenMontgomery to letter it. It then appeared in issue # 5 of Redbud Studio’s RON FORTIER’S TALES OF THE MACABRE with a cover by Rob Davis.  A few months later, Todd Jones, another pal, asked if he could use in his own black and white anthology, and it appeared WICKED AWESOME TALES # 4 with a cover by Jeff Herndon. Now that was well over a year ago.

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Now Warren, the same Warren who lettered the strip, is publishing it in the 6th issue of his own FUN ADVENTURE COMICS with a cover by Harrison Wood…and one major difference than the previous two printings, this one is in full color (see sample page #1 above) as rendered by colorist James Penafiel.  Only goes to show you can’t keep a good strip down. The idea behind all this exchange of strips between these small publications is simple enough, multiple publishing across the country expands the exposure of the strips and thereby the wonderful works of all the creators involved. The Air Chief plans on continuing writing and sharing these comic strips long into the future. We hope you enjoy them, whichever book you find them in.

And there you have it for this week’s Flight Log, Loyal Airmen. Thanks for dropping and see you back here next Friday.

Ron – Over & Out!

 

FT.MYERS WEEK

  • On 16 Mar | '2018

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Greetings Loyal Airmen, we hope all of you who were off last weekend, the traditional Spring Break for most students in the US, had a great time and maybe some of you even got away from the Norther Winters Blasts holding the North East captive. Valerie and the Air Chief headed for wonderful Ft. Myers, Florida where one of our first stop was at Jet Blue Park, better known as Fenway South where we had the pleasure of catching a Red Sox game and seeing our favorites take the filed once again.  We even got to meet Tall Minnie. How that woman gets along on those stilts is a marvel.

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For those of who not in the know, when Jet Blue Park was built, they had it done to the exact specs of our beloved Fenway in downtown Boston. That way the new rookies coming to the park each Spring can actually play ball in a field that will mirror the one they hope to launch their careers on.  Joining us again on this Florida adventure were Val’s sister Barbara and her husband Gus, two of the nicest, most generous souls the Air Chief has ever known. Spending any time with this pair is always much, much fun and this trip was no exception. Sadly when headed back to Colorado, they were returning to endless winter plaguing New Hampshire still.

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The park itself also has some really cool features including a statue of retired slugger and Fenway favorite, slugger David “Big Poppi” Ortiz made entirely of Leggos. Then when Val saw this poster of ace pitcher Roger Clements, she just had to have a pix with it. Baseball season opens officially on March 29th and our beloved Sox will be back in Florida to take on their division rivals, the Tampa Rays.  GO SOX!!!

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One of the things the Air Chief always makes sure to do when in Ft. Myers is to hooking up with his baby sister, Mrs. Ann-Marie Cormier and her husband Norm. New Hampshire transplants themselves, they love this city and have no intentions of ever return back north to the cold. Both of them looked great and the four of us, along with Barbara & Gus hit up a local Texas Longhorn for some good eats and loving conversation.

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For those of you wondering, “Hey, no beaches?” Let us assure you, Ft.Myers has several great beaches, sad the temps never went of 71 degrees on the few days we got to visit them, whereas the actual water temp was 86. Meaning if you dared step out of the water, the breeze coming off the water would be very, very chilly. We opted to sit back in our fold out chairs and catch a few rays. Oh, and before we forget, the Air Chief, didn’t hesitate a second to jump on a bike and go riding with Gus when the offer was made. Although honestly we cannot remember the last time we actually got up on a bike. The photo above has Gus in the lead with the Air Chief hot on his trail. Guess what they say is true, you never forget how to ride one of those things. It was so much.

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Now if you wanted some classier transportation, on the last day of vacation we all visited a place called MUSCLE CAR CITY with over 175 classic muscle cars on displays from several different eras. And while Gus was fawning over the sweet rides he’d had as a high-school teenager, the Air Chief was naturally drawn to the 30s vintage models, thinking of all those great pulp yarns these machines will inspire in the future.

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A lime green 1935 Cadillac.  Check out those fenders, running boards and headlamps. Cars had so much style in those long ago days. All in all it was a great seven days that really came and went to fast. Hopefully we’ll be back there again many, many times.

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And least you think because the Air Chief was gone all week, nothing got done at Hangar 27, nothing could be further from the truth. During our absence, Chief Engineer Rob Davis completed assembling out two latest anthologies and got them out to the market. SHERLOCK HOLMES – CONSULTING DETECTIVE, sporting a gorgeous Laura Givens cover, features stories by I.A. Watson, Lee Houston, Jr, Peter Basile & Greg Hatcher with Rob providing the interior illustrations. THE MOON MAN Vol 2 has stories by Gene Moyers, Greg Hatcher (he’s a busy guy) Terry Alexander & Tim Holter Bruckner with a cover by Mike Fyles and interior illustrations by Richard Jun. As ever we are extremely proud of them and hope you’ll check them both out.

And there you have it, Loyal Airmen. Traveling is always fun but then again it is also always nice to come home. See you all next week.
Ron – Over & Out!

 

FLORIDA BEACHES

  • On 9 Mar | '2018

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Greetings Loyal Airmen, as you are reading this, the Air Chief and Valerie are in sunny Florida enjoying the warm weather and sandy beaches. Will be there for an entire week for a much needed winter-break, rest and relaxation. Hopefully by the time we return home, Colorado’s Spring will have started.  Oh, yeah.

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We also hope to swing over to Jet Blue Park in Fort Myers and catch a Red Sox spring training against the Baltimore Orioles. Sure sign of Spring when baseball is back.

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Last Sat, being the first Sat of the month, was our monthly breakfast gathering at the local comic shop. Which offered us the perfect opportunity to snap a photo with our students in our new comics writing class and here they it is. Left to right we have Scott, the Air Chief and Olivia up front, with young Max smiling away in the background. All three of these wonderful people are really gifted writers. Our job is to show them how to apply those skills to writing comics. And we love doing that.

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We are also thrilled to announce our latest Airship 27 book release, QUATERMAIN – The New Adventures Vol 3 – The Beast Men by writer Wayne Carey.  This is a full length novel featuring H. Rider Haggard’s classic hero, African hunter/guide Allan Quatermain in a brand new adventure. The book features a cover by British artist Graham Hill and interior illustrations by artist Clayton Hinkle. The book is now available at Amazon in both paperback and on Kindle. We hope you’ll pick up a copy.

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And finally, thirty-five years ago this week, Valerie became my wife. She was and remains my best friend in this whole crazy world we live in. These past thirty-five years have been a blessing to both of us and the Air Chief thanks God for this amazing, loving woman every single day of his life. Here is praying for another thirty-five years with you, Valerie Fortier.

There you go Loyal Airmen for this Flight Log.   See you all next week. Till then, God bless,

Ron – Over & Out!

FOR THE LOVE OF ROBOTS

  • On 2 Mar | '2018

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Greetings Loyal Airmen. Let’s start with a question this week. Who doesn’t love robots? The Air Chief honestly doesn’t know anyone who doesn’t love those mechanical beings that have fired our imagination from the earliest science fiction stories to wonders of the first silent films.

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From the weirdly garbed actor in the silent film above to Republic’s clunky threatening metal monster that appeared in several of their serials to include King of the Rocketmen and The Mysterious Doctor Satan, we’ve all been wowed by these artificial beings. It didn’t matter if they were good or bad, they were just cool. So you can imagine our delight when asked to be a guest at this years Comic Fest in Denver: April 20th to 22nd. The theme of the show this year is ROBOTS IN COMICS. Wanting to do our home work, we went on-line to find a few oldies in this vein.

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BOZO THE ROBOT was pretty much the Iron Man of his day, i.e. his inventor creator rode along inside his metal chassis controlling his movements. One can only imagine all the other such bizarre heroes populated these golden age classics.

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The Air Chief personally recalls with much fondness the 60s DOOM PATROL from DC Comics with Cliff Steele, the man whose brain was transplanted into a robot body thus becoming ROBOTMAN.  Then while doing this search, we tripped over a much earlier version of the exact same character and realized “our” ROBOTMAN was an actual reboot of this earlier version. Wow.

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In one form or another, all with insanely odd origins, robots have proliferated comics pages. Who could ever forget the Transformers, those “heroes in disguise” from another world. From a hot toy-line to Marvel popularity and then ultimately scores of blockbuster movies.

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And speaking of such, one of our earliest career gigs was writing the TERMINATOR series for Now Comics, based on yet another Hollywood sci-fi cinematic winner. It is for this series that we were invited to the con. We wasted no time in saying, “Yes.”  Thank you Rio Herrera. Then very recently we discovered that on the Saturday, April 21st, we will be moderating the GUESTS PANEL, sharing the table with three other very established comics creators, they being artists…and all having dealt with one form of robots or another.

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Bob Hall worked on one of our favorite comics, ROM – SPACEKNIGHT, another big selling toy turned into a fun Marvel Comic.

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Gordon Purcell who drew many DC Star Trek titles including Next Generation where he got to draw everyone’s favorite android officer, DATA.

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And finally we have Arizona based Tone Rodriguez who, while drawing the comic adaptation of the cartoon series FUTURAMA, has gotten to draw perhaps the sassiest, wise-cracking robot of them all, BENDER.

As you can see, with this line up and amount of experience, this is going to shape up to be one hell of a fun panel discussion. We truly hope any of you Loyal Airmen in the Denver area on those dates, will make plans to come to this great show and join us. We’re going to have tons of robotic fun.

Ron – Over & Out!

CELEBRATING GRAPHIC ART

  • On 23 Feb | '2018

Greetings Loyal Airmen, we hope all of you who live in cold zones are surviving winter’s last few months and keeping warm.  This week we want to shine a light on a really amazing internet website, DeviantArt.com – It is a place where hundreds of amazing artists post galleries of their works and trust the Air Chief, if you bother to visit the site, you’ll end up spending hours just going through the various galleries and marveling at all that wonderful graphic art.  Anyway, every day the managers of the site pick one single piece of newly posted artwork and put it on the front page of the site, sort of giving it a special spotlight, if you will. It is a singular honor for any artist to get the Daily Deviation honor.

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One day this past week that honor went to artist Chris Kohler for the above illustration. It is from the new Purple Scar novel we will soon be publishing, as written by Gene Moyers.  As in all our Airship 27 Productions novel, each contains 9 illustrations. The above was illustration # 4 and Chris posted it to his gallery at DeviantArt. Imagine his surprise when he saw it highlighted as their piece of the day.  And deservedly so. Chris is a truly talented artist and his attention to detailing out of this world. Last year he won the coveted Public Factory Award for Best Interior Illustrations and he continues to produce outstanding graphic art. So the Air Chief and everyone at Airship 27 tips our pulp fedoras to an amazing artist, Congratulations Chris.

We started our second HOW TO WRITE COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS this past Wed. night at the Front Range Community College.  We have three enthusiastic students; Olivia, Max & Scott and it looks to be a fun ten weeks for sure. The Air Chief loves sharing his love of comics with others.

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One of the finest things we did last year with Airship 27 Productions was reprint the late Mark Justice’s weird western novel, the Dead Sheriff.  Above is a picture of that edition being held up by Mark’s widow, Norma Kay. At the time of his passing, Mark left an unfinished manuscript intended to be Dead Sheriff # 2. It’s subtitle is, Cannibal Carnage. This past week, the Air Chief began reading/editing through that manuscript with the intent, upon picking up where Mark left off and, with his guidance from on high, finishing this second book. So far we are thirty pages into the manuscript and it is as wild and crazy as was book one.  So do send along your good wishes that the Air Chief does this project the right way, honoring a dear friend we lost way too soon.

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Lastly, we’ve a new Sherlock Holmes anthology on the way, volume 11 to be exact. Here’s a sneak peek at one of Rob Davis’ amazing illustrations. Hopefully book will be out in another week or two. Stay tuned.

Ron – Over & Out!

 

STUDENTS’ FIRST COMIC

  • On 16 Feb | '2018

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Greetings Loyal Airmen, as most of you know, last Fall, the Air Chief began teaching a night class on How To Write Comics & Graphic Novels at the Front Range Community College here in Fort Collins, CO. In that class we five talented young writers, all of who were a delight to work with. They were hard working and enthusiastic and made our first teaching experience so rewarding. But the end of that eight week course, we asked each of them to turn in a 5 pg script, then without them being aware at the time, we went and recruited five professional artists to draw their stories….and ultimately put together, with the help of local friends Todd Jones & James Gaubatz, a comic called FRONT RANGE TALES.  Last Sunday afternoon the Air Chief assembled four of those students together at Gryphon’s Games & Comics and gave them their copies of their first ever published comic work. Above is the cover done by Rob Davis and the four along with the Air Chief, they are Bransen Gage, Melisa Nguyen, the Air Chief, Jon Bonjour and Adam Bruns. The missing member was Aaron Powers, who met we us separately the following Monday after noon. So here are the contents of that very first comic.

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Bransen’s story was a sci-fi comedy called FED UP and illustrated by our good pal Gary Kato.

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Melisa’s tale was a fantasy short about magic woods and strange wolves called SPIRITED AWAY. The artist on the strip was Kevin Wiggins.

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Ironically the youngest of my students, Jon Bonjour, a high school junior, was the most experienced in comics. He and his sister Jaime have been making comics together for a long time. She writes then and Jon draws them.  But this was the first time Jon saw one of his own strips drawn by another artist, in this case Richard Jun. And he was thrilled by the results. His story, which kicks off the book is called MILD MANNERED. It’s a little twist on the whole superhero genre.

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Whereas Adam Bruns, the oldest in our class, is a college grad with a degree in Film Writing. He truly appreciated learning the subtle differences between screenplays and comic scripts and is one hell of a storyteller. His grit and gritty story is called JAIL BREAK and illustrated by Earl Geier of Chicago.

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Finally, unable to meet with us on Sunday afternoon, the Air Chief went back on Monday to hook up with the fifth member of our class, Aaron Powers who has a real love of sci-fi and that was really evidence in his twisty TIMEWALKER as illustrated by the amazing Ted Slampyak of “Jazz Age Chronicles,” fame.

And there you have it Loyal Airmen, five truly awesome creators and their first steps into the wonderful world of comic creating. It was both a joy and privilege for the Air Chief to be their teacher. Trust us, you will be seeing lots more from these talented folks. You can count on it.

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Speaking of students, the Air Chief spent Wed morning at the comic shop meeting students from the Polaris Expeditionary Learning School. You may recall the Air Chief had visited their classes a few weeks back. Well today they all were at the comic shop to show off the various comic projects they were working on and we, along with local artist and store employee, Nat, sat with each of them in twenty minute sessions to discuss those projects and offer up some hopefully helpful pieces of advice.

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It was so much fun, these young people are so talented. For our humble efforts, Assistant Principal Starr Hill, who orchestrated the event, presented Nat and the Air Chief these wonderful little note book. Here’s hoping our little talks will spur these young creators to keep writing and drawing.

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Finally the Air Chief has no real baby pictures of himself. Something Mom and Dad probably never considered being parents for the first time with my arrival and the beginning of their family. But one picture that has survived is the shot above of me at the walking stage, holding on to Mom and Dad. No idea where the pix was taken though a strong hunch it could have been in Sanford, Maine, at my grandparents home. We love this picture, Mom and Dad look so happy together. They truly were wonderful parents and for a little while, we did have them all to ourselves.

Ron – Over & Out!

LITTLE HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS

  • On 9 Feb | '2018

Greetings Loyal Airmen.  We’re sure all of you have heard the Beatles’ advice on how we all get by “with a little help from our friends.” Well that sage advice was never more apparent to the Air Chief than yesterdays first-Sat breakfast meeting of the Fort Collins Comics Coffee Clutch Crew. A monthly gathering of comic creators from all over Colorado we begun almost eight years ago when moving here from New England. As most writers and artists will tell you, creating is a lonely venture done in one’s office locked away from the rest of the world. Thus socializing of any kind with colleagues is always something to desire. Upon moving to Fort Collins, we were introduced to what we learned was a huge community of local comic people. Eventually, the Air Chief wondered if it might not be possible to arrange a monthly informal get together with those we’d had the pleasure of meeting. Thus eight years ago we began what we jokingly called The Fort Collins Comics Coffee Clutch Crew. At that very first meeting there were seven of us.

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Yesterday twenty-four of us showed up at the local comic shop for this month’s meeting.  TWENTY-FOUR!!! Over the years we’ve watched the group grow bigger and bigger, with some members coming and going until our reminder’s list has over 30 names on it. These are writers, artists, young and old, amateurs and professionals, men and women. People from all walks of life and careers all bonding over one simple thing, their mutual love of comics. Now that’s pretty damn amazing. If you can spot the Air Chief in the pix above (taken at yesterday’s gathering by Rio Herrera) you’ll see me almost dead center wearing one of our Red Sox caps. We love hooking up with these great people and can only wonder at how much more the gang will continue to grow. We do indeed get by with a little help from our friends.

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This week Warner’s Animation released its latest Batman animated movie based on a classic graphic novel; BATMAN – Gotham by Gaslight as written by Brian Augustn & illustrated by Mike Mignola. Since Bruce Timm convinced Warners to launch the animated Batman TV series, this studio has gone on to produced some truly amazing and wonderful projects, both as series and of course their DVD releases. The fun of this particular feature is that is based on one of the Elseworld line DC comics did years ago that re-imagined their classic characters in totally different settings and histories. With Gotham by Gaslight, we have a Victorian age Bruce Wayne trying to stop an American Jack the Ripper. We were always sad that for some reason, we never picked up the actual comics when they were released. Thus you can imagine our delight when we learned it would be adapted as a film. Now having watched it, we consider one of the finest Warner’s has done to date. Great story, great animation and wonderful characterizations from start to end. As always, whenever we enjoy one of these great Warner’s animated adventures, we’re left asking ourselves, why can’t they make their live action DC movies this good? Now that’s a mystery to ponder.

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And finally we thought we’d leave you with a visual clue as to what new title will soon becoming your way from Airship 27 Productions. Thanks ever for stopping by and we’ll see you all here next week.

Ron – Over & Out!