Airship27

WE ARE 8 FOR 8!

  • On 16 Dec | '2016

Greetings Loyal Airmen, we trust you are enjoying the holiday season and hopefully have most of your important Christmas shopping done.  Yes, the stores out there are getting crazier with each passing day. Ha. And we at Airship 27 Productions have totally jumped into high gear as we put out one new book every week for the past eight weeks.  If that isn’t some kind of publishing record, the Air Chief has no idea what would be.

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Now that eight book is WINGS OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON by writer Barbara Doran.  Last year Barbara gave us a book called CLAWS OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON which took place in a small West Coast seaport and was filled with intriguing characters both human and magical. With WINGS, she goes backward in time to offer up a prequel showing us the origins of some of these people. Artist Gary Kato provided the interior illustrations and our ow Art Director Rob Davis the beautiful cover seen above.  As ever this can be found at Amazon in both paperback and on Kindle.  So, will we make it 9 for 9 ? Stay tuned to find out.

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Of course one of the things we love is to see our super talented writers doing bookstore signings and this past weekend, prolific penman, Fred Adams Jr. appeared at the Rickert & Beagle Books in Pittsburgh. Check out all his amazing Airship 27 tables on his table.  Take my word for it, Loyal Airmen, Fred’s got tons of new books coming your way in 2017.  The guy is a virtual writing machine.

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The Senior Home where Mom resides, held their annual Christmas party this past week. Whereas Mom had a little cold, we thought she might skip.  Ha. The photo above was sent to us by one of the attendants who said Mom was in total good spirits and even made a point of greeting Santa.  For 92, the Air Chief wishes he had her energy and stamina. Way to go, Mom!!

And there you have it for this week, Loyal Airmen. Thanks as ever for stopping by and we’ll see you back here in seven days.

Ron – Over & Out!

NEW SHERLOCK HOLMES NOVEL

  • On 9 Dec | '2016

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Greetings Loyal Airmen, here we are full into the Christimas holiday season and if you’ve been to any of the major retail stores in the past week you’ll know just how crazy things are getting out there. Do be careful when out and about and do your best to keep your patience in check.  More than ever this is the season when good manners mean the most.

Okay, so the Airship 27 Productions’ Juggernaut keeps plowing ahead with the released of our seventh book in as many weeks.  You heard the Air Chief correctly, we’ve put out one book a week for the past seven weeks!  It is by far the best production record we’ve ever achieved.  The new book is a full length Sherlock Holmes mystery titled “The Picture of Innocence,” by Chuck Miller. In the tale, Holmes and Watson meet up with both Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde as they attempt to solve a truly bizarre mystery.  As ever, Chuck Miller delivers a really awesome story you won’t want to miss.  As ever it’s available at Amazon in both paperback and on Kindle.  Now let’s see if we can make it eight for eight. Ha.

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Meanwhile among the batch of Christmas cards greetings coming into Hangar 27 Headquarters, we also received this wonderful picture of Norma Kay Justice holding up her copy of her late husband’s book.  By now all you Loyal Airmen must know the story of Mark Justice’s sad passing back in February of this year and how, before that horrible event, we had agreed to do a brand new edition of his amazing weird western thriller.  Well, we honored that promise for both Mark and Norma Kay.  We hope you’ll pick up a copy at Amazon. We really want this book to be a huge hit for the obvious reasons.

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On a truly sad note, actor Van Williams died a few days ago at the age of 82. Truly sad news. One of the greatest weekends I ever spent in my life was back in early 1990 when the entire crew of Now Comics Green Hornet comic series were guests at a two day show in Baltimore. But the main attraction was Van. So for two days straight, me, artists Jeff Jeffrey Butler and David Mowry got to hang with the handsome fellow who played Britt Reid, aka the Green Hornet on that classic, short lived ABC television series. Van was outgoing, super friendly and just plain fun to be around. He was a natural born storyteller and kept us all entertained with his tales of Hollywood and particularly his experiences on the Green Hornet series. I left that weekend knowing I’d made a new, special friend. R.I.P. Van, and thanks everything.

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 And here’s the latest on the Brother Bones movie from producers Erik Franklin and Daniel Husser. They now have figured out that the film will likely have a principal photography time of 11 or 12 days, not counting second unit photography and pickups.  They have started to post matte paintings of various locations in the movie. Daniel is working on a gorgeous matte painting of Mt. Serenity and Erik is working on the streets outside the bordello. They’ve posted a work-in-progress shot of one of the monastery hallways on their own website/FB page. (see above image) They have a large list of matte paintings that they will be executing and then showing the fans as they get closer to principal photography. They are almost done pricing the props and interviewing potential crew members to finalize a working budget.
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And lastly, here’s one more locale where the Brother Bones movie will be shot. It stands in for the Sunshine Hotel of Cape Noire…where a major action sequence transpires. Which one?  Now that would be telling.  We might suggest reading the book, especially the second story, “Shield & Claw.”
And that’s it for this week, Loyal Airmen, both the good and the sad. Thanks for stopping by as ever, and in the spirit of the season, go out and do something nice for someone. It will make both of you feel good.
Ron – Over & Out!

CAPTAIN HAZZARD # 5

  • On 2 Dec | '2016

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Dear Loyal Airmen, you cannot possibly how happy the Air Chief is these days.  After three long years, we finally completed our fifth Captain Hazzard pulp novel, “Custer’s Ghost” and it is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and on Kindle. It’s rousing action-adventure where the Champion of Justice teams up with another classic pulp hero, Jim Anthony, Super Detective.  Pal and Airship 27 Art Director Rob Davis provided the great interior illustrations and the truly talented Pat Carbajal contributed that stunning cover seen above here. And so it is out and we really hope all you Loyal Airmen will pick up a copy and give it a read. Then write and tell us it was worth the wait. As ever, thanks so much for your continued support.

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Years ago when we first started Airship 27 Productions, we thought it would be cool to open up a Cafe Press shop and offer items some of you Loyal Airmen might want to have, ala coffee cups, tee-shirts or the super cool baseball cap above.  The Air Chief had one of these it wore it until it pretty much fell apart.  We were reminded the shop is still up and active a few days ago when one of our Loyal Airmen wrote to say he had just ordered one.  Too cool. And as we are getting into the Christmas season we thought it only appropriate to post the link to that shop here.  (http://www.cafepress.com/airship27.642113448)  Trust the Air Chief, you’ll look super cool in this cap announcing to the world you are a Loyal Airmen.

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The third and final issue of Moonstone Comics GUNS OF THE BLACK BAT hits the comic shop shelves next week, 7th Dec. Features art by the amazing Sivestre Szlagyi with script by the Air Chief.  We hope you’ll check it out. Cover by Michael Stribling.

As many of you will recall, last month the Air Chief celebrated his 70th birthday while being a guest at the Rocky Mountain Con.  While there a video outfit stopped by our table to do an interview which has now been posted to You Tube.  You can find it here. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8xYkomdS98)

And that’s it for our first Dec. Flight Log, Loyal Airmen, as ever, thanks for stopping by and we’ll be back next week.

Ron – Over & Out!

ENJOYING POST TURKEY DAY

  • On 25 Nov | '2016

Greetings Loyal Airmen, as you are reading this, we’re now fully in the Holiday Season what with Thanksgiving yesterday.  We truly hope all of you had the opportunity to spend time with your family and loved ones. In that regards this is one of the Air Chief’s favorite holidays.  And we were also very happy to see that many retail chains actually closed their doors yesterday in deference to the holiday allowing their employees to spend the day at home.  Now that’s just great.  Of course, we’re going to guess lots of you also stayed up all night to fight the Black Friday crowds.  The less said about that phenomenon, the better.  Just be safe out there, please.  No sale is worth your health or sanity.

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As you’d probably guess, the Air Chief loves action figures…especially those inspired by characters we’ve created.  Recently our BLACK LION artist partner, Kevin Johnson, was given this truly amazing Black Lion custom made action figure by one Ricky Para. Ricky, you did a fantastic job. It is truly an awesome likeness.

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For the fifth week in a row, Airship 27 Productions has released as yet another new pulp title. This one is DOMINO LADY Vol 2 – and feature brand new adventures starring pulpdom’s sexiest avenger as written by Brad Mengel, Gene Moyers, Paul Findley and Robert Ricci. Features 12 amazing interior illustrations by James Lyle and another stunning cover by the one and only Ted Hammond.  If you liked volume one, you are going to love this one, Loyal Airmen. Now available at Amazon in both paperback and on Kindle.

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The other really big news of the past week was our recruiting popular, New Pulp writer Barry Reese to join the Captain Action team. In the past two years, we, in conjunction with Captain Action Enterprises LLC have published two Captain Action full length novels, “Riddle of the Glowing Men” and “Hearts of the Rising Sun,” both by Jim Beard.  It was Jim’s plan all along to do three books but in the past year is own career has skyrocketed and what time he had available began to shrink. Which is when he had the idea of reaching out to Reese, his friend and colleague.  Barry is know for his fast paced action series, Lazarus Gray, the Peregrine and Gravedigger all published by Pro Se Productions. The plan is for Jim to do the outline and detail chapter breakdowns and Barry to then write the actual prose. This will be the first team-up of this talented writing duo ever and we at Airship 27 are thrilled to be publishing.  Fingers crossed, the yet untitled book three in the Captain Action series will be out early in 2017.

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!

 

GUNS OF THE BLACK BAT # 3

  • On 18 Nov | '2016

Greetings Loyal Airmen, what with the big 70th birthday bash behind us, it was time for the Air Chief to roll up his sleeves and get back to work in Hangar 27.  Lots of great pulp and comic projects still to get out before the end of the year.

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Happily the mail flight dropped off a big box the other day containing our copies of THE GUNS OF THE BLACK BAT # 3 from Moonstone Comics.  This is the third and final issue of this mini featuring the Black Bat and lots of guest pulp heroes. Script by the Air Chief with amazing art by Sylvestre Szilagyi of Argentina. Fingers crossed you Loyal Airmen should see this in your comic shops in another few weeks.

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Another fun happening, Airship 27 Productions has just released its third Kindle-Only project, “The Adventures of Lance Star – Sky Ranger,” by Bobby Nash. Over the past ten years, Bobby has had a story in each of the four Lance Star anthologies we’ve published (all still available at Amazon in both paperback and on Kindle).  Now Bobby is putting the finishing touches  on the first ever full length Lance Star novel we hope to have out early in 2017.  To help promote that title, we thought it would be fun to collect all of Bobby’s four stories in one digital collection and thus this Kindle Only title.  Note, our two previous Kindle Only books were Sherlock Holmes Mysteries, Vol 1 collecting I.A. Watson’s tales and Vol 2 bringing together many of Aaron Smith’s stories.  If you’re a Kindle reader, we hope you’ll give this high flying collection a try.

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A few years ago the Air Chief met writer Shawn Gustafson at a local convention. Shawn is a talented comic writer who does a webstrip called THE SPECIALISTS with his artist partner, Al Kukalek.  After that initial meeting, Shawn was decent enough to give us copies of the early issues and we were hooked immediately. The Specialists takes place during World War II and deals with American super powered heroes battling super powered Nazi agents. It is tons of fun. So when Shawn and Al, after five years worth of weekly strips, opted to collect them all into one huge ominbus, they came to the Air Chief asking if we’d write an introduction. We were only too honored to do so. This wonderful hardback is now out and on sale at their website (www.TheSpecialistsComic.com) and we truly can’t recommend it enough. This is what good comics look like today. Please, take a look and give these talented guys your support. They truly deserve it.

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Finally, the big news of the past week was that veteran action director, Gavin O’Connor and his production partner have acquired the rights, through Paramount Studios, to the Green Hornet and plan on making a much darker and more realistic film.  O’Connor’s latest effort was the well received “The Accountant,” with Ben Afflect.  A huge fan of the Green Hornet all his life, O’Connor was upset, like most of us, with the recent Seth Rogen comedy version and when Universal allowed their rights to expire, jump at the chance to procure them.  Although not officially announced, some of the Air Chief’s sources say O’Connor has plans for three films as a series.  His version of the character will be a modern one centering around the hero’s journey of self discovery.  What with our noticeable connection to this character, the Air Chief has no idea if O’Connor ever read our Now Comics run on the Green Hornet.  But we are certainly happy with the idea of a “serious” movie on the character.  All fingers are crossed.

Thanks for stopping by as ever,

Ron – Over & Out!

 

BIRTHDAY AT THE CON

  • On 11 Nov | '2016

Greetings Loyal Airmen and get ready for some really cool pictures, as the Air Chief does his best to recount the events of the last weekend whereupon we turned 70 at the fourth annual Rocky Mountain Con in Denver and had the best time ever what with a surprise birthday party and our getting to actually autograph a car.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, as we do not want to forget any little detail of the past amazing three days.

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We drove down to Denver late Friday afternoon with our pal, Todd Jones, to both set up and then register at the hotel where the convention center is located. As it was the Air Chief’s birthday the following day, Valerie had decided we should make a special weekend of it and so tagged along.  After setting up our booth in the main hall and saying hi to con promoter Tim Moret and his assistant Bob Mask, Val and the Air Chief proceeded to the hotel main lobby to register and get settled into our room.  So upon reaching there we find another our pal, Rio Herrera assisting a little gray haired lady get signed in. When he saw us, he immediately introduced us to actress Margot Kidder!!  Yup, THE LOIS LANE from the classic Richard Donner movie with the late Christopher Reeves.  As they were going to get her squared away, we all rode up to our individual floors in the elevator together.  Once in our room, the Air Chief and Valerie were simply overwhelmed. We’d actually met Lois Lane!!

The following morning, Nov 5th, the Air Chief’s big day, we got down to the con and discovered that our con neighbor at this show we be none other than comics legend, Mike Grell.  Mike is known primarily for three truly amazing series. The first being Sable from First Comic, where he first made his mark in the business and then he went to DC and not only created Warlord for them, but also revamped the Green Arrow in his minis-series, The Longbow Hunters.” The Air Chief has been a fan of his for years.

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One of the biggest surprises for Mike was when a cos-player showed up on Sunday afternoon in the guise of The Warlord. The guy was fantastic and looked exactly like Mike’s creation. Valerie rushed over and quickly snapped a shot of them together. You can see the Air Chief in the background enjoying the moment to the max.

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Believe me, Loyal Airmen, getting to meet your heroes is often a very anxious time. But Mike was so gracious and friendly. When we told him our favorite of all his works was Sable, he dropped everything he was doing and shook our hands enthusiastically. From that point on we chatted throughout the weekend and Valerie took the above pix of us back to back. Honestly one of our happiest moments at a con ever. Always great when your heroes turn out to be such great people. Mike Grell is totally one of those.

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Another super star guest at the con, and one of the Air Chief’s buddies, was artist Chad Hardin who is currently drawing DC Comics popular Harlequin series. Over the years Chad has done several covers for Airship 27 Productions, the first of which was for our very first Jim Anthony Super Detective.  He’s currently putting the finishes touches on the Holmes & Houdini cover for the novel by Ian Watson. Should be out in just another week or so.

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And of course we need to give out a Shout Out to all of the Air Chief’s amazing friends and colleagues who helped make the weekend so special. First up, at the left, the talented writer we call our Official Protege, Todd Jones. Todd was instrumental in assisting Valerie in putting the surprise party given to me at the end of the day. On the right is the Air Chief holding a bottle of Star Trek 50th Anniv. ale brewed and bottled back in 1997, a truly amazing gift from our good friend, Brett Smith. We run into Brett at every local show we do and it is always a pleasure to see him.

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There would be no Rocky Mountain Con if not for Mr. Tim Moret and his lovely wife, Nicole. Tim is the salt of the earth, one of the nicest people the Air Chief has ever known. Tim came up with the idea of the show to get money to help the survivors of the Aurora Theater shootings and each year part of the con’s proceeds go to them.  And one of Tim’s many assistants is the always energized Rio Herrera, a former Army veteran, Rio brings so much fun and enthusiasm to whatever he does, the Air Chief is in awe of him most of the time.

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Sincerely, it sure felt like every time the Air Chief turned around he was bumping into another good friend.  Of course that exactly what Black Lion artist Kevin Johnson is. We actually met at this show four years ago and that meeting resulted in the creation of this comic series. Kevin tells us he is almost done the pencils for issue # 2.  Now that put a huge smile on the Air Chief’s face for sure.

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Then as Saturday started to come to an end, Valerie said we had to go up to the auction stage at the other end of the hall, as they needed the Air Chief’s signature on a Green Hornet book. Well that soon proved to be a bogus ploy to get us on stage where Tim and the rest of the gang started singing Happy Birthday to the Air Chief in front of the entire con.  Then they whipped out these two giant sheet cakes with the Green Hornet comic logo on each.  At which point Valerie and our daughter-in-law, Nicky, began cutting up lots and lots of cake pieces, which we started handing out to all the attendees. It was just totally wild.

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Then as we were having a blast handing out cake, Todd comes over and gives the Air Chief a very special and unique piece of artwork. It seems during the course of the previous week, Todd had visited many of my artists pals here in Colorado and got them to draw one of the many characters we’ve had the joy of working on during our careers. Each artist contributed one character, while Jeff Herndon did that on of the Air Chief.  On the top level going to left to right we have – Mr. Jigsaw, Man of a Thousand Parts, the Black Lion, and Bass Reeves.  The middle row features the Terminator, the Air Chief, the Black Bat and Brother Bones…while anchoring the bottom level are the Green Hornet, Captain Jain Marlee and Kato.  This is by far one of the most unique gifts we’ve ever been given and plan on getting it mounted and put up in our office. It is truly something we will always cherish.

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Of course all our Loyal Airmen know nothing in this world is more important to the Air Chief than family and as stated above, none of this wonderful celebration could have happened without our son Alan’s help, along with his wife Nicky, grand daughter Cora and grandson Alex. The shot above was taken right after the big birthday bash and just before we headed out to have dinner together.  Then it was back to hotel for a the night.  By then we were pretty sure most of the major excitement had come and gone.  We could not have been more wrong with no clue what Sunday, the last day of the con would have in store for us.

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Most of Sunday morning was more of the same typical convention fun and activity. By mid afternoon, Val and the Air Chief thought the show was begin to come to a close and we started talking about packing up.  It was then this fellow wearing a very neat Green Hornet tee-shirt came charging up to our table asking if I was the Ron Fortier who had written the Green Hornet comic series.  The Air Chief replied in the affirmative and this gentlemen, one Frank Bruso, asked if we’d go with him to the far end of the hall where he had his custom built Black Beauty; the special tricked out automobile used by the Green Hornet and his sidekick Kato.  Val and the Air Chief couldn’t believe this gorgeous vehicle had been at the show all weekend and we’d not known of its presence.  Poor Frank felt the same way in reverse, wishing he’d known we were there lots earlier.

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The car itself is a gem, what with its green headlights etc.  But the biggest shock of all happened as we were standing there taking pictures with it when Frank asked we’d be willing to autograph the dashboard!  Valerie about had a melt down, being the car she is. But Frank would not be dissuaded and in the end he produced a silver magic marker and the Air Chief signed his dashboard…and then his home made Green Hornet gas gun. Wow. Note, a few days after the show, we shared the above pictures with our old amigo, Green Hornet artist, Jeff Butler.  He was blown away by them.

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Finally, a few minutes after leaving Frank and his family, they came back to our table wanting to know if the Air Chief would take a picture with his two lovely daughters, the oldest as the Green Hornet and the little as Kato. Here it is. Now, Loyal Airmen, can you see why the Air Chief considers this best damn birthday we ever had.  This 70 years life journey has been an incredible adventure and we thank God for it every single day.

We hope you enjoyed this extra long Flight Log.  Maybe we’ll do another after the next 70 years. Ha. Till then, take care and as ever, thanks for stopping by.

Ron – Over & Out!

 

LIFE IMITATES ART

  • On 4 Nov | '2016

Greetings Loyal Airmen, we’re of course hoping all of you survived those goblins and spooks and other tiny trick-or-treaters as Halloween came and went this year.  Now it’s time for us all to hunker down for winter and of course the holiday season with Thanksgiving and Christmas now just around the corner.  Right now, we’ve a few fun things to share with you on this posting; the first being how life at times can imitate art.

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Over the weekend, our beautiful granddaughter, Cora, and her lucky guy, were invited to a Halloween party.  Prior to going out that evening, Cora made a point of showing Val and the Air Chief her costume for the evening. Of course she looked lovely in that vibrant red outfit and mask. But when the Air Chief first saw her in this outfit, our memory kicked into high gear and we ushered Cora and Val into our office where we proceeded to pick up our huge copy of LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION. In there was a story by our good pal, Kevin Noel Olson, called “The Masked Flapper” with an illustration by Morgan Fitzsimons.  Check the pictures above, Cora to the left and Morgan’s drawing to the right.  Wow.  When Cora saw the drawing, she was both surprised and delighted. Although not completely identical, it was close enough for her to assume that on this night, she was the Masked Flapper.  Now how cool is that?

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Another reason the Air Chief loves this time of year, this past Tuesday our Mom, Gabrielle Fortier turned 92!!  Almost 70 years ago, at the age of 22, Gaby, as her friends and family called her was about to give birth to her first child and celebrating her 22nd birthday, she had hoped the baby might arrive on her birthday…but he was a stubborn little cuss and would wait till the 5th. Yup, that’s when the Air Chief arrived on the scene.  So Happy Birthday Mom, we love you more than words can say and in just another 24 hours, we’ll be blowing out our own candles as we turn 70.  Wow, just how the hell did that happen. Chuckle.

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On to the publishing stuff.  For the second week in a row, Airship 27 Productions has a brand new title to announce; The Phantom Detective Vol 1.  Here are five brand new stories based on the classic pulp hero from the past.  Curtis Van Loan, the wealthy, man about town, is in reality the masked avenger who fights crime. A long, running, popular series, we are thrilled to be bringing him back into action via stories by Gene Moyers, Gary Lovisi (who actually wrote two in this premier) volume, Robert Ricci and Whit Howland.  Interior illustrations were by Andrew Ritchie with a stunning cover (that pays homage to the classic pulp “big head” covers of the past) by the amazing Pat Carbajal.  Available now in paperback from Amazon and soon to be out on Kindle.

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Finally, the Air Chief will be one of the many guests at the 4th Annual Rocky Mountain Con, tomorrow and Sunday.  Nov 5th – 6th. So if you are in the Denver area, google the location and come on over.  Going to be a great time and we’d love to see you there. And that pretty much wraps up this week’s Flight Log. As ever, thanks so much for stopping by.

Ron – Over & Out!

 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

  • On 28 Oct | '2016

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As a kid growing up in a small southern New Hampshire town, Halloween was easily the Air Chief’s second favorite holiday after Christmas.  Come on, who wouldn’t like a holiday that allowed us kids to go to a complete strangers house, knock on the door and ask for FREE candy? Ha. For many, many years, the Air Chief and his siblings so looked forward to what we then called Beggar’s Night, now more PC correct with Trick or Treat night. There was no way our folks could afford store-bought costumes, in fact there were none of those as we recall. So inventive mothers did their best. What the Air Chief remembers most importantly is instead of paper bags, Mom gave us old pillow cases and that’s what we collected our loot in. Honestly, the Air Chief can remember coming home after only a few hours roaming the streets with his pillow case weight a ton…or so it seemed that way to an 8 yr old. Then dumping that candy all over the kitchen table, our eyes as wide as silver dollars.  Of course Mom allowed us to have one or two pieces and then that was it, off to bed.  No sick stomachs in our house late at night. Ha. God this holiday brings back such amazing and wonderful memories.

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And what is Halloween without some horror movies …or better yet, horror inspired pulp titles. We at Airship 27 Productions are truly thrilled to be offering up, for your fright fest, the second volume of brand new stories featuring the most bizarre, horrifying pulp avenger of them all, the Purple Scar. This new volume has stories by Gene Moyers, David Noe, Erik Franklin and Paul Findley, with art (both on interior illustrations and the amazing cover above) by Marco Santiago. Believe, when the Air Chief says there was never another pulp hero like the Purple Scar, he is giving you the straight out truth.  This horrific gem is now available at Amazon in both paperback and soon on Kindle.  As ever, thanks so much for you continued support, Loyal Airmen. We couldn’t do this without you.

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Finally another treat for Halloween to all you Loyal Airmen.  Radio Archives has just released our third Brother Bones audio book – Brother Bones Tapestry of Blood as read by the amazing J. Scott Bennett.  You can download it from (www.audible.com) and listen to it on All Hallow’s Eve.  How’s that for being particularly pulp creepy.  Ha.  As ever, thanks for dropping by and have fun Trick or Treating.

Ron – Over & Out!

TIME, FRIEND & FOE

  • On 21 Oct | '2016

Greetings Loyal Airmen, this past week the Air Chief has been thinking a great deal of time.  How when we are young, we seem to believe we have an endless supply; that somehow we are immune to the aging process and it certainly can have no effect on us. We are immortal. Then we wake up one morning and realize in just a few short weeks we will be 70.  Frightening, in some ways…yes.  But then again life is always about the journey…from beginning to end.

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The Air Chief attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Dover, N.H. between the years 1960 and 64, being a fun part of the first ever graduating class. When we look back on those days, they were some of the best days of our life.  We were taught by nuns and for they were exceptional, talented, gifted teachers.  Recently the school website posted the picture above to sadly announce the passing of Sister Esther Mary, the lady on the far left. This past week she returned to heaven and her loving Creator.  Now to be honest, we aren’t positive as to the woman on to the right of this photo, taken a few years ago, but we do know the smiling woman in the light blue jacket. We knew her as Sister Mary Raymunda and she taught us English for three years, freshmen (had her for homeroom..a real blessing), sophomore and senior. No other individual is more responsible for my lifelong passion for writing and story telling than Sister Raymunda. Last we’d heard she was in her mid-90s and still going strong. God bless you, Sister, and forever my heartfelt thanks.

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Continuing our discussion of time and what it means, the Air Chief want to relate the story of the Captain Hazzard graphic novel which has now been TEN YEARS in the making.  That’s right, we said ten years.  A full decade ago, along about the same time we were starting up Airship 27 Productions and diving into the world of pulps, the Air Chief thought it would be a good idea to do a graphic novel version of Cap’s first (and only classic) adventure, “Python Men of the Lost City.”  And so we adapted it to comic script form and began looking for an art team. Over a period of one year, we had two different artists sign on and then unprofessionally quit the project. Frustrated we kept looking and as fortune would have it, we ended meeting a terrific artist from Massachusetts, one Craig Shepard, who by the way, is the biggest Superman fan in the world.  Anyways, Craig and the Air Chief hit if off immediately and when explained this 80 page script, he agreed to take it on. As time went by, Craig started turning in pages, while dealing with all the other things going on his life, as happens to all of this.  After about five years, Craig had completed two thirds of the pages and we’d recruited a friend of his, inker Eric Lebow, to join the team as inker.  Somewhere in all this, Craig actually turned in a cover, which you see above in glorious color. It’s a wonderful piece that we love dearly and we’ve shared it many times with our pulp friends, all we kept waiting anxiously to see the book completed and published.

Of course somewhere along the line, things got sidetracked and Craig stopped turning in pages.  Years went by, we learned he and his family had moved to Florida; major life changes for sure.  Then he popped up on Facebook, we reconnected and we inquired as to the status of the book.  Craig, by now, had assumed incorrectly that we had given up on the book and didn’t believe it would ever see the light of day. We quickly assured him that was not the case and bit by bit, he started penciling new pages.  Which all leads up to about a month ago when he finished drawing the 80th and final page of this book.  Meanwhile, Eric, who is still inking away on the pages throws us a curve ball.  He wants to know if there is any chance we, i.e. Craig, can redo the cover piece, as he would like to ink it and thus say he did the entire book, to include the cover.  Hmm. What the hell? We’d already waited ten years. Chuckle. So we brought this up to Craig and lo and behold, he was all for it, saying it would allow him to correct a few things he wasn’t happy with in the first piece…and now add the character of Mary Parker, the female lead in the story, to the group shot.  Okay, the Air Chief simply shook his head and thought, why not? And there, next to the old colored over, is Craig’s new version, which Eric will eventually ink and we’ll get colored up.

Sometimes the Air Chief shakes his head at young comic creators who are frustrated that their comic project is taking a few months longer than they wanted it to. And we think about projects like this 10 year old graphic novel and have to laugh. Time can be your enemy, if that is how you view it. On the other hand, rather than fight the tide, you can simply allow yourself to float and ride with it to where it takes you. In regards to all this, sometime early next year, all you Loyal Airmen will have to chance to buy this graphic novel by the Air Chief, Craig Shepard, Eric Lebow and Rob Davis on letters. It’s been a hell of a long ride, but in the end, we think you’ll consider it worth while.

Ron – Over & Out!

HOLLYWOOD COMES KNOCKING

  • On 14 Oct | '2016

Greetings Loyal Airmen, thus far it has been a very exciting week here at Hangar 28 HQ and we’ll get right into that. But first we need to shout out our latest title.

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Last week we released our fourth book in the Barry Baskerville childrens’ book series.  BARRY BASKERVILLE’S BLUE BICYCLE is written by series creator Richard Kellogg with art by our pal, Gary Kato, who mentioned meeting a few weeks ago on our great trip to Hawaii.  Anyways, in this installment, Barry, the boy wanting to grow up and be Sherlock Holmes, sets out to scour his neighborhood on his brand new bicycle.  As ever the story is fresh, fun and great for children of all ages.  Available now at Amazon in both paperback and on Kindle.

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For several years now, the Air Chief has been predicting that the next level for the New Pulp Movement to attain is recognition from Hollywood.  We’ve always believe the stories being told in New Pulp books today are some of the most original and exciting on the market. Thus it seems only logical to us that sooner or later the film community would find that out.  As most of you Loyal Airmen already know, the Air Chief’s own Brother Bones stories are now being adapted into a feature length movie by Franklin – Husser Entertainment LLC.  Well just a few days ago, the Air Chief received an inquiry from a representative of a highly respected Hollywood production firm interested in the rights to one of the titles we published at the start of the year.  We immediately put these people in touch with the creator(s) of that particular book and are now keeping our fingers crossed something actually does come of this. The odds are always tremendously against most of these queries ever developing into full blown productions. Still, it is amazing to realize our books are actually getting into the hands of these people and that in itself says a lot. As for this particular title, we will be keeping everything confidential as we don’t want to go and jinx anything.  If something concrete does come from all this, you have our word, you Loyal Airmen will be the first to know.  In the meanwhile, let’s keep those fingers crossed.

FAREWELL

On other fronts, the topic of heroes, both real and fictional, grabs our attention now. Earlier this week, all of Red Sox Nation, which the Air Chief is a proud member, bid a fond farewell to # 34, David Ortiz.  Better known as Big Papi, Ortiz was arguably the greatest designated hitter to play the game of baseball and in his eleven years with the Red Sox help carry them to three world series. He was a a tremendous player as well as a decent, humble, soul who reflected all that is good about the game.  We will miss him sorely, though the Air Chief predicts, Ortiz will make the Hall of Fame in his first ballot which comes in five years.  Mark our words.  And Big Papi, thanks for so many awesome memories from Fenway.

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As for fictional heroes, well the Air Chief grew up in the 1950s a huge fan of Superman on television as played by George Reeves.  He was truly the embodiment of “Truth, Justice and the American Way.”  Later, when Richard Donner brought the character to the big screen, it was Christopher Reeves who donned the red cape and once again gave us the comic book hero bringing him to life as he should always be portrayed; as the Big Blue Boy Scout.  Several others have taken the role since then and done well with it, ala Dean Cain on TV and Brandon Routh in a badly panned rebooth of the old film series.  Both were still true to the character the Air Chief loved.  Then along came Zach Snyder and his “Man of Steel” and the recent “Superman VS Batman.”  And just like that, the hero we’d grown up admiring and wanting to emulate was gone, replaced by a pouty, egotistical, darker version which bears absolutely no resemblance to the comic character created by Jerry Seigel and Joe Schuster all those ages ago.  To the point that many of us began to believe, with Snyder’s control at Warner Brothers, we would never again see “our” Superman…the real one.

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Whereas a few nights ago, WB aired the first episode of the highly popular SUPERGIRS series, which last year appeared on CBS and then jumped over to the WB channel.  And in this very first show, a new Superman takes center stage in the form of actor Taylor Hoechins….and simply blew us away.  There he was, the same bumbling, fun, smiling happy Clark Kent we all recognized immediately. Then when he becomes the Man of Steel, he’s determined, strong and a true hero of the people. In one of his earliest scenes, he greets people reaching out to shake their hands and win them over with his charming smile.  The Air Chief thought he was witnessing the impossible and we give heartfelt thanks to the producers and writers of this series, who obviously understand who Superman is the cultural history of America and how to do him properly.  All fingers crossed, they stay the course.  Welcome back, Superman, we’ve missed you so much.

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And finally, on the Brother Bones movie front, we’ve something cool to share with all your Loyal Airman.  Screenwriter and co-producer, Erik Franklin turned in his first storyboard rough depicting one of the crucial scenes in the movie. Most such storyboards are done only in black and white, but Erik felt the colors would help dramatize what he was hoping to show.  People who have read the origin story should have no problems recognizing the scene.  We’ll continue to share such pieces as they are done.

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

Ron – Over & Out!