Airship27

HAPPY EASTER

  • On 15 Apr | '2022

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Greatly Loyal Airmen, for those of you are Christians, today come to finale of Lent and Holy Week as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, carries the cross of our sins to his death…thereby become the once-for-all perfect sacrifice. Today we bow our heads in prayer, asking him to have mercy on our souls and lead us through this imperfect world, following his teachings of love and forgiveness. More at the end of this week’s Flight Log.

WICKED WEST COMIC EXPO

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The professional con photographer, Mike Barry, snapped several pictures of the Air Chief that we were so anxious to share with you. Of course the first is the Air Chief and Valerie. This was just prior to the con folks opening the doors to the public. Our two tables were set and we were ready for some serious fun. Then, later in the day, Mike came over to our table and said he had heard about my “How To Write Comics” class at the nearby Front Range Community College. He’d also heard several of my students were in fact now at the show with their own tables and could we get a picture of the Air Chief  with them.  What we didn’t realize after going around gathering them, that there were seven of them at the show, again, now with their own tables.  So going left to right clock-wise with the Air Chief, in the center, we have Zane DeGaine, Evan Haushuntmen, Olivia DeGaine, Aaron Powers, Jon Bonjour, Chad Blakely and Terry Crawley. Wow…just wow.

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Then no sooner do we get back to our table then we remember one of our finest students and dear friends, Gabriella Saenz was also at the show. DUH. We rush to her table, explained what was going on and happily convinced Mike to snap one of us together. The lovely, and uber talented young lady is also wearing the gorgeous dress her mother, Marie, made for her for Easter.  Truly getting to see all my former students enjoying the show and doing great things with their own careers was truly one of the highlights of the show.

AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTION

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A few years ago Airship 27 Production put out TOWERS OF METROPOLIS, an anthology featuring stories set in the cinematic sci-fi world of movie-maker Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. All the stories had to be prequel tales that happened before the events of the film. Above left is the awesome cover given to us by artist Mike Kaluta. And now we are putting together a second volume. Artist James Lyle has signed on to do all the art, and above right is one of his first illustrations for this one. Book two will feature stories by Dexter Fabi, Gary Lovisi, Carson Demmons and Tommy Hancock. Stay tuned, more as it develops.

JIN & TONIK

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Artist Cesar Feliciano delivers Pg 30 of our spy thriller, JIN & TONIK.  In this panel, Captain Ivarsky leads Lt. Foma Bazanov and eye-patch wearing Lt. Kiril Tonikova deeper into the top secret Siberian base. Six more pages and issue # 1 is wrapped up. We so love Cesar’s work here.

BEYOND THE STARS –

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Since last week announcement that our new sci-fi comic series BEYOND THE STARS is going to go up at Kickstarter, we’ve received such overwhelming support from all our friends. The Air Chief, along with artist Andrea Bormida and letterer Mike Belcher have been spreading the word everywhere. Now Silverline comics has actually posted the link WHERE this particular campaign can be found and people can sign on to be notified the second the book is available for backing. Below is that link.

(https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/silverlinecomics/scifi1?fbclid=IwAR0_FGPAOhG_dzSH5qmCaFEpbfC9d-99oiibbjXKue2oXGVuzu_48amcSec)

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Remember Loyal Airmen, we are going to need 1,000 backers for this issue to get printed. We cannot do this alone. We need you share this with all your friends on line today.  After one day, 21 of you have registered to be notified. The Air Chief would love nothing more than to have 500 names registered for notification come May 5th. Impossible, not with all you Loyal Airmen behind us. Below is a link to a little video Andrea posted on You Tube. Check it out. His art is so amazing.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTX2W9AdGJA)

FATHER STU

Went to see FATHER STU earlier this week. A truly wonderful movie about the love and courage true faith in God demands. Nothing preachy about this one, my friends. It punches you in the gut. Bravo Mark Wahlberg for getting this made and to Mel Gibson’s spot performance as his asshole father. An inspirational story of a man who answered God’s call and in doing so accepted his own on cross to Salvation.  A cross each of us has to bear in this world. But, like Father Stu, we hold on to Jesus’ victory as our salvation. That one day, He will welcome us all into heaven. AMEN.

Prayer.

A glorious and Happy Easter to you all.

Ron – Over & Out!

 

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED

  • On 8 Apr | '2022

Hi Loyal Airmen, last week’s debut of the Wicked West Comic Expo created by our pal Todd Jones was a huge success. We will talk more about that later in the Log, but right now we want to talk about the comic project that has had the Air Chief wound for sound these past few months.

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The for the past few months we’ve been ranting and raving about the new comic book project we were working on with Italian Artist Andrea Bormida and my pal, artist Mike Belcher on letters. Well the book is complete and on May 5th, less than a month away now, Silverline Comics will begin a Kickstarter Campaign to pay for the book. We’ve been told it is impossible for a small outfit like Silverline to get 1,000 backers for any new independent title such as BEYOND THE STARS. Here’s the rub, unless we do that, we won’t be able to pay Andrea regular industry rates and that will most likely end the project.  There will be no issue # 2. Whereas the Air Chief doesn’t believe in no-win situations. Nor do we believe it is impossible to reach that goal. But we are really going to need YOUR help, Loyal Airmen. We’ve already begun posting lots of great artwork from the series all over social media. But to get the word out efficiently, we need YOU to join us in this process. Please tell all your friends about this project and share these beautiful images. With your help, and the grace of God, the Air Chief is confident we can make this happen.

CAPTAIN JAIN MARLEE –

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For those of you Loyal Airmen who follow this Log weekly, you are familiar with the character, Captain Jain Marlee, a space smuggler we created long ago and has appeared in a half dozen short 8 to 10 comic strip adventures. Well we’re happy to let you know she’ll soon be back in a brand new adventure called Ghost World. It is now being illustrated by California based artist Ariel Aguire and above are a few of his pages from the story. We love them and can’t wait to this one in print.

BOSTON BOMBERS Vol 2

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Meanwhile my pal Rob Davis continues to work on the first issue of the new Boston Bombers Volume Two with our lost Roman Legion traveling the vast savannas of Africa. Rob’s work always blows us away.

WICKED WEST COMIC EXPO

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This past weekend saw the debut of the Wicked West Comic Expo in nearby Loveland, Colorado. The con was the work of one of our dearest friends, comic writer/publisher Todd Jones. Todd did a fantastic job putting on this two day show and the Air Chief and Valerie had so much. This being the first big con since the Covid days, it was so great to reconnect with old friends and meet lots of new ones. Thanks to everyone who stop by our tables to buy something. Note, it was also the first time the Air Chief had two tables at a show. No more having to stash away half our books under one single table because we didn’t have enough room to display on the top. Above is a picture of one of Todd’s many helpful volunteers decked out as Captain Peggy Carter with the Air Chief. We’d hoped to have more photos and several were snapped by a local professional photographer but we haven’t seen them. Once we do, you’ll see them here. Promise. And lastly, thanks Todd, you hit this one out of the ballpark.

Ron – Over & Out!

BACK IN THE OFFICE

  • On 1 Apr | '2022

Greetings Loyal Airmen, so did you miss us? Okay, just kidding. Valerie and the Air Chief had such a wonderful time in Florida the past two weeks. It truly was great to just get away, see family, old acquaintances and even make a few new friends along the way. Hope you don’t mind us sharing some of photos of the fun we had.

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One of our first jaunts was going from Fort Myers to Leesburgh to visit Valerie’s brother, Ron. Yes, we know, we share the same name. Above left is (left to right) the Air Chief with brother-in-laws Ron and Gus. Note this was taken on the edge of a huge gator filled lake Ron lives by. The second Val snapped the pix, a big old gator splash into the water right behind us. Needless to say, we move out of there fast. The photo above to the right is of yours truly meeting a fan, Alan Letcavage. He works for Triple AAA in Fort Myers, and had provided Gus with some very helpful information in the past. When Gus learned he was a big comic book fan, he set about this meeting. We brought along a few of our graphic novels as a gift and autographed them on the spot. Alan’s a great guy and was a pleasure to meet him.

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Next on our agenda was hooking up with my sister Ann Cormier and her husband Norm. We went to Sunday mass with them at their church in Fort Myers, then had lunch with them and spent afternoon visiting with them at their home in North Fort Myers. Then along about dinner time we met up with Val’s sister and husband at a local steak house, as we’ve done for the past three years and took the above photo. Left to right, Air Chief, Valerie, Barbara, Ann, Gus and Norm. What a fun day. Love our family so much. A few days later we were off to Jet Blue Park to watch a Red Sox Spring Training Game.

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By this time other friends of ours from back East had arrived to join us. Photo at left above, left to right, Renee & Vic, Air Chief & Val, and Gus and Barbara. Priot to the game starting, we stopped to have our pictures taken near two of the Sox’s World Series Trophies and we got to show off our Sox tattoo we’d had done way back in 2004.

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Of course what’s trip to Florida without going to the beach at least once. Top left is Val and the Air Chief enjoying the warm weather at Lover’s Key Beach in Fort Myers while at right is a typical sunset at the tourist haven of Key West where we spent the last few days of our trip.

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While there, we finally got to hook up with super publisher and good pal, Bob Deis. We’ve known each other for several years. Bob and his pal, Wyatt Doyle publish The Men’s Adventure Library reproducing some of the finest art and stories from the classic Men’s Adventure Magazines of the past. And much to our surprise and delight, Bob gifted us with their latest title, “Pollen in Print 1955-59″ which reproduces some of the most amazing published art work of this great American Illustrator. Will be reviewing the book soon as we’ve had a chance to sit down and catch our breath.

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Finally, Bob snapped this selfie of the two of us outside the popular Blue Heaven where we had met up for a delicious breakfast. And our last Florida pix, most appropriately, Val and the Air Chief at the most southern point in the Continental USA. Two fantastic weeks and lots of great new memories we will certainly cherish throughout the coming years.

JIN & TONIK –

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Of course while we were gone, worked continued on those great new comic projects we filled you in on last Flight Log. Artist Cesar Feliciano kept busy adding two more great pages to our JIN & TONIK projects.

SATIN’S WAYS –

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And artist Crisanto Moreno continues to do page roughs for Part One of SATIN’S WAYS. These roughs are invaluable to artist as they explore different ideas of composition and page layouts before they commit to complete pencils and final inks.

BEYOND THE STARS –

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We are also thrilled to announced that issue # 1 of BEYOND THE STARS, by the Air Chief and artist Andrea Bormida is finished. Over the past week, artist Mike Belcher wrapped it up with his dynamic lettering, merging our script with Andrea’s amazing pages of artwork. Above is one of the original pages he’d first posted on the Linked-In site which got us to contact him inquiring as to what it was for. Which then led to his inviting us to come up with a story and then just like that this new series was born. Eventually it will be published Florida based Silverline Comics via a Kickstarter campaing. Stay tuned for all the details, Loyal Airmen, as we’ll post them here soon as they are available. Honestly, it’s been a long – long time since the Air Chief has been so excited about a comic project. Stay tuned.

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And finally a reminder we will be a guest at the first ever Wicked West Comic Expo held this weekend in nearby Loveland, Colorado. Truly hope to see lots of our friends and fans. The Air Chief will have two tables filled with comics and pulps. Come on by and say hi. And there you have it Loyal Airmen, another Flight Log in the books. Thanks as ever for stopping by and God Bless.

Ron – Over & Out!

I’M SUPPOSE TO BE RETIRED?

  • On 25 Mar | '2022

Greetings Loyal Airmen, Val and the Air Chief are wrapping up our two week stay in Ft. Myers, Florida and next week will be back home in Fort Collins, CO. For now, as we did last week, we are going to offer up a little report on the amazing chain of events that led to what is easily the busiest time in our comics writing career. Which is nothing less than God’s blessings for sure.

JIN & TONIK –

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Almost two years ago artist Cesar Felciano came to us with this idea about a story dealing with two amazing killers, professional assassins. One a martial arts expert and the other an enhanced human being. Both of whom would eventually meet and share a mutual epiphany that would transform their lives and as Obi Wan Kenobi would say, turn them to the “good side.” For this we scripted 80 pages of story and Cesar started doing sketches. Then he moved from Massachusetts to Florida, which really back things up. Then early this year Cesar got caught up with his other obligations and started work in earnes on that first chapter. He’s almost finished with that. The plan for this is to fund it via a Kickstarter Campaign. People who have seen Cesar’s pages are ranting and raving as it is clearly some of this best work ever.

BOSTON BOMBERS Vol 2

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Many, many, years ago we wrote an alternate world pulpish 5 issue mini-series called. The Boston Bombers and sold it to Caliber Press. Sadly, after only three issues, the artist on board flaked on us and the series was cancelled. Then years later, Alpha Productions out of Maine signed to produce the last two issues. With those completed, it became possible for us to collect all five issues and my amigo Rob Davis opted to do just that and publish the graphic novel his own Redbud Studio imprint. While doing so, Rob naturally read the books and ended up becoming the story’s biggest fan. Enough so that over the years whenever we discussed doing another big comic book project, Rob would press me to sit down and write the sequel to that first series. Okay, so in 2019, with no cons due to Covid, and plenty of time in the office, we sat down and began writing Boston Bombers Vol 2 – We penned two issues worth of scripts and set them aside. Rob was at that time doing a mini-series for Roland Mann’s Silverline Comics. That has now been completed and a few weeks ago Rob began work on that first issue. We’ve seen a couple of pages and they are beautiful.

THE BLACK BAT

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So way back in 2018, Rob and the Air Chief were invited by artist Mike Belcher to be guest at his hometown comic convention in Kentucky. We went and had a blast. The biggest take away being meeting and his wife and son. Mike is a gifted artist who draws in a style reminiscent of the Golden Age of comics and writes and draws his own independent comic book series, “The Man in the Mask” which is just great. Anyway, Mike and the Air Chief kept in touch and eventually did two short comic strips together, both of which appeared in various black and white anthologies. We also began talking every single week via Skype. As our friendship grew, Mike became more and more aware of what Rob and the Air Chief were about with our pulp publishing Airship 27. He loved that stuff and those characters and did up a really beautiful piece featuring the Black Bat and Domino Lady. When we saw it, we were bowled over and told him so. To which he responded, “Let’s do a Black Bat comic together.” The Air Chief was beside himself. What an opportunity. Initially we went into this thinking we’d do a simple 22 or 24 pg one shot telling, for the first time ever, the origin of this classic pulp hero. Alas soon into writing, it became clear we’d need a whole lot more pages than that to do the story justice. Upon telling that to Mike, he simply shrugged and said, “Write as many pages as you need. We’ll do it as a graphic novel.” End result, we wrote a 103 pg script and Mike started working on it. He’s doing the pencils and inks, while his super talented son Aiden is doing letters and colors.  After doing four or five pages, last year, Mike had to put the project on hold as he and his family ended up moving to another town in Kentucky. At the same time he is a part of the Silverline Comics group and they keep him hopping all the time. As of this writing, Mike will soon be back to the Black Bat project. When done he will self-publish it via Barry Gregory’s comic printing outfit, Ka-Blam.

SATIN’S WAYS

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Along about this time, Rob informed me he was going to be drawing a 4 issue mini-series written by writer R.A. Jones that would be produced by Roland Mann. Roland was an old pal from way back who now lived in Florida and was starting up his own comics company to be called Silverline Comics. All projects done at Silverline would be financed via Kickstarter Campaigns. We were intrigued by all this and soon learned Mike Belcher was also involved with Silverline doing lettering work for them. Eventually we dug out an old 48 pg. script we’d written long before about a Chinese professional burglar named Satin Wei who immigrated to the states and opened an art gallery on the Northwest Coast. We endured many ups and downs trying to get this book published over the years and so wrote Roland a letter of inquiry. Roland replied asking to read the script. We sent along, he read it, and then said Silverline would publish it in two parts. All we had to do now was find an art team. At first Roland found a young lady who did up a few sketches, but she ended up bowing out. We then recruited another artist who was eager to do it and even drew a short six-page Satin Wei story we’d written for the Silverline Christmas Special anthology. Everybody loved it. Then that artist bowed before doing a single page off the big story.  Frustrated once again, we posted our need for a reliable, professional level artist on the social business site Link-In. Twenty-four hours later, Philippine artist Crisanto Moreno responded saying he’d like to take it on. Above is an early sketch of Satin at work, and a rough for Pg # 4 of the script itself. Crisanto is fully committed to project and we couldn’t be happier.

BEYOND THE STARS –

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So along about this time, while checking out the post on Link-In one day, we came across is full drawn and colored comic paged depicting some sci-fi sequence. (See three of them above.) All were by the work of Italian artist Andrea Bormida. We were instantly taken by his art and wrote asking what this story was all about. To which Andres replied it was loosely based on a tentative idea he had for a comic project and asked if we’d like to look at his outline. We said yes emphatically, at which point, when sending it along, he suggested, should we be inclined, that we might add to it or alter it into something concrete. I.e. a real plot from which a series could be developed.

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We were thrilled with the offer and soon had embellished Andrea’s slim outline into a full proposal. That night, we contacted Roland Mann. Considering he’d been happy to have our “Satin’s Ways,” we wondered if he might not like something totally new from us. In our inquiry we explained hooking up with Andrea and showed him those six pages. Much to our surprise and delight, Roland texted us back that very night stating, and we paraphrase here, “I’ll do more than that. As long as each issue is only 22 pages long, Silverline will publish Beyond the Stars.” Wow. The very next day we contacted Roland and he was totally on board with us taking the six part series to Silverline.  Then we brought in Mike Belcher to letter the project we were rocking and rolling. As of today, issue # 1 is 99% completed and we completed script # 2. Expect to see this one launched really soon.

CHIVALRY, INC –

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Finally, another idea we came up with long – long – long ago was CHIVALRY, INC. It is the story of a Montreal police detective named Valerie Chevalier whose colleagues nickname her Chivalry. After being shot in the head during an assignment, she survives only to discover she can now read people’s thoughts if they are within 20 feet of her. Sound like a cool ability? Not really, when you consider the thought as to just how do you shut out these “other” thoughts than your own? After first coming up with the idea, we wrote up a comics proposal and various artists signed on, some even doing a their own artistic interpretations of Val and her supporting cast as seen above. One on the left is by Matt Haley, the one on the right by Olivier Raymond.

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So as time goes by we have a folder filled with images and a partial script. Okay, so along about the time we lost our artist on Satin’s Ways, we suggested to publisher Roland Mann that he contact artist Javier Lugo, also of Florida. We’d done a 16 pg comic with Javier way back when and hoped to one day work with him again on another project. So Roland contacts Javier. Meanwhile Crisanto Moreno comes along and signs on to do Satin’s Ways. Seems like we suddenly had more artists then projects. When Roland asked what we should do, as Javier had been receptive to his reaching about doing something with Silverline Comics. We immediately told Roland to mention Chivalry, Inc. to Javier….which he did. And lo and behold, Javier liked the concept and agreed to sign on and do it with us. And so project # 6 in our packed schedule is CHIVALRY, INC. by yours truly and Javier Lugo, with Mike Belcher doing letters and Aiden Belcher doing colors…for Silverline Comics. Above are several of Javier’s loose pencils.

Six amazing comic projects with six fantastic, super talented artists. Each of them is a pure joy to be working with. Which ones will come out first? You’ll have to wait and see on that, Loyal Airmen. Thing is, in reflecting on all this marvelous good tidings, we are all too aware each and every one of them comes from God, Our Loving Savior. God, the greatest storyteller of them all. And the Holy Spirit who blessed us with this wonderful gift. More than ever, our prayer remains that every one of these comics will do Him glory and honor.  AMEN.

That’s it, Loyal Airmen, by the time you read this, we’ll have 4 days left in Florida. See you back here next Friday. Till then, take care and as always, God Bless.

Ron – Over & Out!

MY FAVORITE MOVIE

  • On 18 Mar | '2022

Greeting Loyal Airmen, as you read today’s Flight Log, the Air Chief and Valerie are enjoying the warm climes of Florida visiting family and hopefully getting to catch a Red Sox spring training game at Jet Blue Park in Fort Meyers. All fingers crossed. Whereas we really won’t have access to our personal computer and will be keeping tabs with folks via Val’s laptop, the Air Chief decided to do up two entries ahead of time and schedule them to post on the two Fridays we are gone. And in that case, the topic couldn’t be what’s new, as we’ve know way of either knowing that ahead of time or being able to share it with all you Loyal Airmen. Trust me, our first new Flight on coming home will be a HUGE.  Okay, so what are we going to look at in this first away entry.

MY FAVORITE MOVIE

KING KONG (1933)

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One of the greatest fantasy adventures of all time made by two World War One veterans, aviator Merian C. Cooper and filmtographer Ernest B. Shoedshe ack. Both men in Vienna shortly after war ended and then later reconnected in Britain where Cooper convinced Shoedsack, who who nicked named Shorty that adventure documentaries were the future of entertainment.

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They formed their own film company and for several years traveled the world having real life adventures like a pair of authentic Indiana Jones.  Above Shoedsack and Cooper, a poster from one of their silent adventure films and Cooper in some exotic jungle with a lemur monkey on his back.

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“Grass” was one of their more popular features of the migratory habits of nomadic tribes in Mongolia. Be it high deserts or uncharted South Sea Islands, the two embraced the challenges of finding the most exotic places and people in the world.

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Eventually, Cooper tired of the globe-trotting and turned to his second love, aviation. He’d been a daring fighter pilot in the war and even help create a Polish air force to fight the Russians after that conflicted ended. At one time there was a statue of him in center of Warsaw. When invited by others to become an executive in the fast booming business of commercial aviation, Cooper turned in his passport to become a big shot desk jockey in New York.

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Whereas Shoedsack had no intention of giving up making films. Still going it alone, he realized he would need someone to help plan his future expeditions and placed an ad in the New York papers looking for a young woman with secretarial skills willing to pack everything up and travel around the world with his outfit. To his delight, and most likely surprise, a beautiful brunette named Ruth Rose answered the ad and won him over. She was soon his invaluable right arm. She even saved his life once when while on a shoot, he was chased up a huge tiger. Ruth rush to their tents, grabbed a shotgun and shot the animal. Of course, it wasn’t any surprise to the others on the team that they were made for each other and soon married.

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But the two friends wouldn’t be separate for too long. Over in Hollywood along about this time, RKO was sinking fast. Its recent crop of films had all flopped at the box office and studio David Selznick was in real trouble. Having known Cooper to be a savvy business man capable of making hard decisions, Selznick called Cooper and asked him to come out to Hollywood and help him save the company by becoming the Head of Studio Production. Upon arriving there, Selznick took Cooper into his new office on which a huge stack of scripts were covering his desk. Cooper’s orders, wade through them and trash those he believed couldn’t succeed and pick only winners. Cooper took to the job and began cutting not only scripts, but those productions that had already been green lit. Soon half of the RKO creators hated his guts. Which included their head of Special Effects, the amazing Willis O’Brien. Willis and his team and been eager to make a new dinosaur film after their early success with the silent classic “Lost World.” Though Cooper scrapped their idea, he wanted to give them another equally fantastic project.

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During his years working in New York City, Cooper one day had looked out his window at the new engineering marvel that was the Empire State Building. He began daydreaming about a giant gorilla escaped from the wilds climbing atop that edifice as if to challenge the superiority of mankind and technology. It was an idea he brought with him to RKO.

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But Cooper knew he couldn’t do it by himself and reached out to his pal Shorty, asking him to drop what he was doing and come to RKO and there become a director of high adventure films. Of course Shoedsack agreed but this time he brought along Mrs. Shoedsack. Ruth was exciting about his new role and supportive, though her initial reaction to Cooper were a bit cooler. And she quickly ordered the little guy to stop calling her husband Shorty.

One of the first features Cooper put Shoedsack on was a movie version of British writer A.E.W. Mason’s adventure classic, “Four Feathers.” It would be one of the last big silent movies produced. It starred William Powell, Richard Arlen, Clive Brooks and Fay Wray. A few years later RKO acquired the rights to Richard Connell’s short story, “Most Dangerous Game,” and Cooper optioned it as another project for Shoedsack to direct. Among its cast was yet again Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong. It was about this time that Cooper was hoping to sell the RKO Board of Directors on making King Kong and he’d gone to Willis O’Brien and his team to get them to make up a model of the big gorilla.

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Obie, as he was nicknamed, was a film innovator and with his team of Mario Larrinzaga and Byron Crabbe developed stop-motion-animation, and back screen projection. Two crucial elements that would make KONG possible. Still, Cooper was afraid the board wouldn’t go for it unless he had test footage to show them. So, he and Shoedsack came up with a plan to produce those test shots. During the day the sound stage would be busy filming “Most Dangerous Game.” Then after hours, Wray and Armstrong stayed behind with the film team and shot scenes for KONG.  Which was the working title of the project them.  Actor Bruce Cabot was brought in to play Driscoll, the heroic first mate aboard the ship.

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When the Board of Directors saw the test sequence of Kong fighting the T-Rex, they were astounded and in the end gave Cooper the green light to produce his giant gorilla project.

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The studio suggested Cooper bring in best selling British writer Edgar Wallace to help with the script. Cooper and Wallace met one and loosely discussed the concept as a modern day Beauty & the Beast story. Before they could draft a script, Wallace took sick and with a few days passed away in a Los Angeles hospital. So here was Cooper pushing Obie and his team to start creating scenes and he still didn’t have a working script. Whereas young Jack Creelman had helped adapt “Most Dangerous Game” and was known for his flair with action movies, he got the job and produced the first completed script. It looked like things were coming together. But something was missing and Cooper just couldn’t put his finger on it. So he turned to Ruth Rose (Mrs. Shoedsack) and told her to try a re-write. Which is where she realized what was missing among all the fantasy and adventure was romance. Recalling her days with Ernest and their love affair, she smartly inserted the love story between Ann Darrow and Driscoll. She was canny enough to realize she and her co-creators were the actual archetypes of the story. Cooper was the model for Carl Denham hands down, Ernie was the rough and tumble in real Jack Driscoll and she for intents and purposes was Ann Darrow. Cooper loved the script and took it to Selznick. Upon reading KONG, the film mogol smiled, grabbed a pen and wrote one more word on the script’s cover page. KING…and thus KING KONG went into full production.

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Once the principle photography had been completed, Cooper was frustrated to learn the studio had not given him any money for a music score to accompany the film. Rather they wanted him to do the standard process of using bits and pieces from unlicensed classic music pieces. Cooper wouldn’t have any of that and personally went to see RKA’s music director, Max Steiner. An Austrian music prodigy who was composing his own operas at the age of 15, Steiner had come to Hollywood in 1929 and promptly went to work for RKO. Cooper paid him $300 to write music for KING KONG thus allowing Steiner to write one of his most memorable scores. In his lifetime he would compose 300 scores, be Oscar nominated 24 times and win 3. Many critic consider him the Father of American Movie Music. One should that special note when watching the movie, that Steiner specifically separated the fantasy element form the realistic as there is no music in the movie until the ship Venture arrives at Skull Island. From that point on Steiner’s music sweeps us all away.

KING KONG debut simultaneously at the Radio Music Hall in New York and the Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Los Angeles in 1933. It was an immediate hit and the first movie to ever earn a million dollars. It would go to become one of the greatest films of all time.  We were all of 8 years old when our father took us to see a re-release in 1954, the days before VHS and DVD. It was the first movie we ever saw and its impact on us was powerful. So captivated was our young imagination by this tale of a giant gorilla ripped from his home where he simply wanted to be left alone and then hunted and butchered by civilization. We recall coming out of the theater realizing who the real monster was…and it wasn’t Kong.

All because of an 8 inch toy cover in rabbit fur. Now that’s movie magic. We’ve seen the movie hundred of times and it never fails to touch us. Cooper, Shoedsack, Rose, O’Brien and Steiner. They were wizards and we will forever be grateful to them all.

That’s it, Loyal Airmen.  What’s your favorite flick.

Ron (Over & Out!)

 

 

HONORING A PAL

  • On 11 Mar | '2022

Greetings Loyal Airmen, looks like 2022 continues to heat up work wise with so many new projects getting started. We don’t think there ever was a time in our comics career that we were this busy. But more on that later. First things, first. Valerie and the Air Chief are heading to Florida in a few days for a much needed vacation. Good old fashion sunshine, warm beaches and plenty of R & R. Whereas the Air Chief has not forgotten those Flight Logs required for the two Fridays we are gone. To that end we’ve written one for Friday 18th and another for Friday 25th. Both will post here at the site automatically. Ergo we’d suggest you mark your calendar for both dates and log on to (www.airship27.com) when they roll around. We think you’ll enjoy what we’ve done for those two entries. Alright, back to this week’s goodies.

SATIN’S WAYS

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Artist Crisanto Moreno has been hard at working doing roughs for “Satin’s Ways” book # 1. Recall, when completed, this will be a two part series from Silverline Comics. Mike Belcher will provide the letters and his son, Aiden, the colors. We are really excited about this coming to fruition.

BEYOND THE STARS –

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And we have Pg 16 completed. Whereas artist Andrea Bormida got me into writing this project when he put up 5 pgs on the internet, those pages in my script became the “last”pages in script one. As it is a 22 pg script, that means Andrea has only Pg 17 to complete and he’s finished with his part. Now it all goes to artist Mike Belcher for lettering. Stay tuned. This comic is coming together fast.

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Now for the big news of this week. At long last, we at Airship 27 have published “Mark Halegua’s The Blue Light.” The action packed adventure conceived by our dear friend, super pulp fan and historian, Mark Halegua, before his sudden passing last year. Mark’s dream was to be a published pulp writer and shortly after his death, his colleagues Nancy Hansen and Lee Houston, Jr., two of the best writers in our New Pulp community came to us with the plan to actually write the book Mark had been working on for so long. Thus taking the ideas notes he’d left, they were able to write “The Blue Light” and now we are so happy to bring it to all of you. Art Director Rob Davis supplied the cover and Colorado based artist Sam Salas the interior illustrations. Now available at Amazon in paperback and soon on Kindle. We’d like to think Mark is up there right now smiling down on us with a big thumbs up. God bless you Mark and thanks for your wonderful humor and friendship. We were blessed to know you.

JIN & TONIK

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With Pg # 27 by artist Cesar Feliciano, the story once again enters a flashback. This time concerning the birth of Darya Tonika.  Page above at left is opening scene; a top secret Russian lab in the frozen wasteland of Siberia. To left, one of Cesar’s early sketches of Darya. Hang on Loyal Airmen, things are about to get really weird and wild. For sure.

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On the reading front, our pal Terrence McCauley has a brand new western series kicking off from Pinnacle Press on the 29th of this March. We received an advance copy and you can find our review of “Blood On The Trail” at our Pulp Fiction Reviews blog – find the link at the top of this page. And keep any eye for this one when it debuts. It’s full of great western action.

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And finally we wrapped this week up with letting all of you know Episode # 83 of the Airship 27 Podcast is now live at You Tube. With big news concerning this year’s Pulp Factory Awards. We hope you’ll check it out. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxkUQEyKa3U)

And there you have it, Loyal Airmen. Again, hope you check us in the next week for those two new entries that are will post automatically on the 18th & 25th. Till then stay well and safe, God bless.

Ron – Over & Out!

BASS REEVES AT LAST?

  • On 4 Mar | '2022

Greetings Loyal Airmen, as many of you will recall, last week we announced that Crisanto Moreno was the new artist on our 48 pg SATIN’S WAYS project for Silverline Comics.

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Well Crisanto isn’t letting a dust grow under his artistic feet.  Above are the pencils roughs for the first three pages of the script. We are thrilled and delighted. And rest assured, as he completes them to inks will share those with as well.  It’s obvious from enthusiasm he’s just as excited about this as we are.

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Bass Reeves was the greatest U.S. Deputy Marshal who ever wore a badge in the Wild West. For over ten years, the Air Chief, and Airship 27 Productions have been telling people the story about this amazing real life American hero. The tragedy being, Hollywood could care less. Many well known personalities ala Morgan Freeman over the years have tried to bring Bass to the Silver Screen with no luck or support.

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Thus it was left to small pulp and comic publishers to get the job done. Then certain writers in the know began featuring Bass in cameos on various TV series. Of course one of the things hurting any production was the bogus claim that Bass had been the inspiration for the Lone Ranger. A myth finally debunked by Lone Ranger expert, Martin Gram.

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Now, after all these years, Taylor Sheridan, writer/director/producer of the hit Paramount Plus series Yellowstone and its spin-off 1883, has announced he hopes to produce a Bass Reeves TV series for the streaming service and we couldn’t be happier.

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The actor Sheridan has picked is David Oyelowo, last seen as Dr. Martin Luther King in the film “Selma.”  Of course, as we stated above, this isn’t the first time a producer has attempted to bring Bass Reeves’ story to life. Here’s wishing Sheridan and his team all the luck in the world making it happen.

BEYOND THE STARS

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Artist Andrea Bormida continues depicting the meeting in the All Mother’s garden from our comic project “Beyond the Stars.” Above is the completed Pg # 13, then the pencils and inks for Pg # 14, and finally the colored Pg # 14. We are constantly blown away by Andrea’s skills. This work is truly beautiful and we can’t for you Loyal Airmen to see the finished comic. Oh, yeah.

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And finally Andrea offers up Pg # 15 from pencils to coloring. Coming to the conclusion of the meeting in the Garden where the All Mother is assigning Yonel Travane the task of finding a way to save mankind.

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Voting is now open for this year’s Pulp Factory Awards. Below is the link where you can log on and vote (only once) for your favorites published in 2021 in the five categories; Best Pulp Novel, Best Pulp Short Story, Best Anthology/Collection, Best Pulp Cover and Best Pulp Interior illustrations. Voting closes March 28, 2022.

Winners will be announced at this year’s Windy City Pulp & Paper Con in Chicago in May.  (https://forms.gle/9tNiqTFQb7yzAp2s9)

JIN & TONIK

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With Pg 26, we wrap up the aftermath of attack on the Moscow summit. At it’s conclusion, the Colonel begins to narrate Darya’s opening which we will start to see in the next scene in “Jin & Tonik” book one. It all takes place in the frozen wastelands of Siberia, artist Cesar Felciano offers up this rugged all wheel monster. Which we love…but still…brrrr.

BOSTON BOMBERS Vol 2

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Finally, a few weeks ago we showed off Rob Davis’ first page for our new series “Boston Bombers Vol 2″ which gave us a look at an African scene…about to be disrupted by….well, a legion of Roman soldiers as it amazingly detailed in the new Pg # 2 above.  Which floored us upon seeing it. It’s as if Rob drew every single soldier in those ranks.  WOW!!!  He must be wiped out.

And that’s a wrap for this week, Loyal Airmen. As ever, thanks for stopping by. For all of you keeping Lent, we wish you 40 days of peace, prayer and reflection.

Ron – Over & Out!

SATIN’S WAYS…ONE MORE TIME

  • On 25 Feb | '2022

Greetings Loyal Airmen, for those of you who have been following this blog for several years are well aware of the comic character we created long, long ago; Satin Wei. The jewel thief from Hong Kong who relocated to the American northwest and tries to go straight. Below of some images of her done by various artists over the years.

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Sadly none of these artists would be able to stay on the concept for long. Two actually completed six page stories. But it seemed we just couldn’t find someone to take on our 48 pg script. Until now.

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Meet Crisanto Moreno of the Philippines. He saw our post last week looking for a new artist and he was intrigued enough by the pin-up sketch we posted (top at left in color) to contact us and inquire about taking on the job. Crisanto is a professional with a great resume of work and it didn’t take us long to realize he would be great for the project. And so we set it all up with Silverline Comics, who is waiting to publish this comic. Now we hope we’re on the right road at last. Look to see more samples of finished art as it comes in.

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Meanwhile artist Cesar Feliciano has turned in Pg # 25 of our JIN & TONIK and we love it. The page culminated the action sequence featuring Darya Tonika, while now the story jumps into the past as we begin to show her origin. Trust me, it’s something totally different.

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It has been over a month since our latest book debut on Amazon and to date it has only one lonely, little review. Albeit and really nice one, it does cause us to wonder if the effort was worth while at all?

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Now for some exciting stellar news. Todd Jones (above with the Air Chief) is one of our dearest friends and colleagues. In fact, we jokingly refer to him as our Official Protege. Todd was one of the first people to welcome Valerie and the Air Chief when we first moved out here to Fort Collins and since that time our friendship has continued to grow. Now, Todd is about to realize one of his biggest dreams, he’s promoting his own comic convention, The Wicked West Comic Expo. It happens April 2 & 3.  (https://www.wickedwestcomicexpo.com/) is the on-line link to their website. Check it out, there are going to be tons of great shows and events.

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And finally, Loyal Airmen, we are happy to announce the release of our latest Airship 27 Production  DOMINO LADY Vol 4.  This issue features four new stories by Gene Moyers, Kelly Nolan, Samantha Lienhard and Paul Findley. It features 12 gorgeous black and white interior illustrations by the amazing James Lyle (see above left) and as yet another stunning Ted Hammond color cover. What can we say? Like you Loyal Airmen, we love Domino Lady, one of the few classic pulp characters from the past, now back in action. As ever it is available at Amazon in both paperback and on Kindle. Thanks always for your support, Loyal Airmen.

That’s it for this week, Loyal Airmen. Again, thanks for dropping by and we’ll see you here next week. Lent starts this coming Wednesday. God bless you all during this special season of reflection and worship.

Ron – Over & Out!

 

 

 

LAST WEEK’S GOOF

  • On 18 Feb | '2022

Greetings Loyal Airmen, we want to start this week’s entry by apologizing to you for having made several goofs with last week’s posting. First we inadvertently set the wrong date on the timer and when some of you logged on early you only saw last week’s posting. We hurried to fix that when realized what had happened. Then, in the process of sharing the link, as we’ve done every week, we goofed again, this time posting our own private link to the site which can only be accessed by our password. Ouch. Again, a rough Friday morning indeed.

So let’s put out a few thoughts that this doesn’t happen again. One, here is the simple link to this page. (www.airship27.com) That’s it. Write it down somewhere should the Air Chief goof again. Which is most likely. Two, if you ever think you’ve missed a posting, you can access the older post. Look to the bottom of this page, where you will see them listed in the order they were released. That said, last week we kicked off our Flight Log with news about our new Dracula story. If you missed that one, go check it out. And again, sorry for the goofs.

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Artist Cesar Feliciano continues to turn in truly dynamic pages for this project. Enough so that we thought to repeat Pgs 22 & 23 along with the new Pg 24 show all of you the flow of action.

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When the terrorist threatens everyone at the conference, Darya quickly grabs a chair at hurls it at him while at the same time ordering her sergeant to shoot out the window behind the buy. Thus the chair hits hits him…the window shatters and the bombs explode…their force directed out of the room. Cesar captures the sequence brilliantly in these three pages. We love them.

AMERICAN UNDERDOG

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From stocking shelves in a supermarket to becoming a football legend. The book is “All Things Possible” by Kurt Warner. The amazing story of an NFL MVP quarterback’s journey from obscurity to the pinnacle of success This is the courageous saga of Kurt Warner, a man who refused to relinquish his dream or his belief in God’s guiding hand and went on to become the winning quarterback and MVP of Super Bowl XXXIV in 1999. More than just a thrilling sports story, this is also the intimate tale of how Kurt’s devotion to his family sustained him as he pursued his lifelong dream. On December 14, 2000, Sports Illustrated honored Kurt as one of their six sportsmen of the year.

Adapted to film, “American Underdog” stars Zachary Levi as Kurt and Anna Paquin as his wife Brenda. They are masterful in the roles as is the entire cast. Directed by brothers Andrew and Jon Erwin. This is more than just another sports movie. It is a movie two people whose faith in God and each other, allowed them to do the impossible.

BEYOND THE STARS

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Pg # 12 fully illustrated and now colored by Andrea Bormida.  We so love how well this story is coming along.  Andrea’s art is truly cinematic.

BACK IN PRINT

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Eleven years ago Airship 27 Production launched a new series devoted to the creation of “new” pulp heroes. Many of our talented writers jumped at the chance to invent their own heroes and soon we had two completed volumes out there. Shortly afterward, we left our old publisher and started off on our own. In the process, these two first books went out of print and remained at Amazon only on Kindle. But the series continued and with each new volume, our fans began clamoring for us to get the first two books back in hardcopy, i.e. paperbacks. Well, as today, we’ve done it and both volumes are now available at Amazon in both paperback and on Kindle. Among the great writers on these early collections are Barry Reese, David Boop, Aaron Smith, B.C Bell, Adam Garcia, Greg Bastianelli, Andrew Salmon.    All still active in New Pulp today, whereas two of them, Mark Halegua and Derrick Ferguson have passed away. So it is with a touch of sadness and in their memories, we are thrilled to have their stories once again in print. Thanks as always for your support, Loyal Airmen.

MERCHANDISING

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Over the years we’ve done a few things to promote Airship 27 ala coffee mugs, pens, patches and several hats. Above, the latest owner of one of these is our writing pal, Mark Davis. Mark wrote a comic strip for our lasts issue of All Star Pulp Comics. Was a joy working for him and he wears his Airship 27 cap with a certain panache, don’t you think. Meanwhile if you go to the top of this website, you’ll seen the word AIRFARE on it which will bring you to several links, including Cafe Press when you Loyal Airmen can pick up some cool Airship 27 swag like this khaki colored cap.

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Finally, at the start of this year we were hoping to at long last get our comic story SATIN’S WAYS drawn and published. Alas Richard Jun, the artist who did such a great job on the 6 pg. story featuring her in the Silverline Christmas Special had to bow out. So it was time to find a new artist. (The pix about is by artist Gonzalo Martinez) We went to Link-In and posted our need. Within a day we received a response from one really super artist and now it is official. But we’re going to hold off until next week’s Flight Log to make that big announcement. Stay tuned Loyal Airmen, as as ever, thanks for stopping by.

Ron – Over & Out!

DRACULA & MYSTERY MEN

  • On 11 Feb | '2022

Greetings Loyal Airmen, as all of you, Covid disrupted so many facets of all industry around the world. That includes the publishing world. Two years ago the Air Chief was asked to write a “different” kind of Dracula story for a new anthology to be produced by Australia’s IFWG Publishing out of Australia. The editor was Christopher Sequeira. It’s a “what if” concept wherein all the writers were challenged with creating a “different” Dracula, not the one envisioned by Bram Stoker. Anyway, Covid showed up this project, like many, many others was delayed. Now, IFWB has at long last announced the release date of the book will be May 2th.

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Above the cover just revealed by Oscar winning make-up artist, Dave Elsey. Interested in learning more, go to their website at this link. Just cut and paste it to your search engine. ((https://lnkd.in/gfBB-WMU)

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One of Airship 27 Production’s most popular book series is our MYSTERY  MEN (& Women) and Volume # 8 is currently in production. This is the showcase series where we debut brand new pulp heroes rather than the classic figures most pulp fans are familiar. The past seven volume have brought forth some pretty cool heroes and this new volume is going to be just as strong. Art Director Rob Davis will be providing all the art for this one, to include his cover featuring Dr. Fixit. Before his passing away last year, writer Greg Hatcher had completed three Dr. Fixit tales. Number One appeared in Vol 6, Number Two in Vol 7 and now comes Number 3. Note, Greg had begun a fourth Dr. Fixit story and we’ve special plans to see that one finished and published. Also appearing in this new volume will be Kevin Findley’s western vigilante Quirt beautiful rendered above by Rob. Mark Allen Vann offers up Killdevil, Joel Jenkins the another Eel and Adder adventure and finally the new Dr. Fixit yarn which, in honor of Greg, gets the cover spot as is previewed above. We think this is going to be a really great issue. Stay tuned Loyal Airmen and we’ll keep you posted.

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Last year we published the first in a new series by writer Nancy Hansen, “The Silver Pentacle” # 2 and the artist on that project, doing both interior illustrations and the super cover seen above was our good friend Guy Davis. Nancy has since turned in her manuscript to the second book in the series and the drawing above at right is Guy’s first illustration for it. We’re are thrilled that Guy is back on board and will also do the cover when the time comes. Stay tuned.

BEYOND THE STARS

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In this week’s progress report we have the pencils for Pg # 12 (at left above) then the completed inks (at center). Followed by the pencils for Pg # 13. As ever artist Andrew Bormida delivers brilliant artwork that has us excited to the max.

And that’s it for this week, Loyal Airmen, as ever, thanks for stopping by and we’ll see you back here next week.

Ron – Over & Out!