Airship27

POWER OF LETTERING

  • On 7 Dec | '2018

Greetings Loyal Airmen, over the years, as a writer of comics, the Air Chief has come to appreciate more and more the value of what good lettering brings to a comic project.  Now finding ourselves teaching comics scripting, that value in our own estimation continues to grow.  You see, at its core, a comic book is about two sensibilities, tell a story with words (literature) and pictures (art).  The two are combined when a letterer reads the writer’s scripts and then taking the artist’s page, adds the captions and word balloons.

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Above is the first page of our latest Captain Jain Marlee – Space Smuggler – adventure, “Fugitive Prince.” The art is by the amazing Richard Jun. Now on the left above is Richard’s completed artwork based on our script.  Lettering the project is a new talent, Ms. Elisa St. John who we met very recently. Elisa loves comics and wants to be a professional letterer. Impressed by her work, we recruited her for this project and above on the left is the same page now with Elisa’s amazing lettering.  NOW…it is really a comic page. These are the little things we do our best to teach our new writers.  Without decent lettering, you’ve got nothing.

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And speaking of our teaching, back in Nov the Air Chief wrapped up his third such writing class.  As ever, we are now putting together a new issue of FRONT RANGE TALES, the comic completely written by our students.  Today artist pal Rob Davis turned in the first page to the story penned by student Gabriella Saenz.  At 13, Gabriella is the youngest student we ever had the fun of working with. She is such a talented young lady.  With fingers crossed the finished new issue, the largest we’ve ever put together, will be out in early Feb. 2019.  Stay tuned.

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Long…long…ago, our oldest granddaughter, Kristi, started reading the Harry Potter books. It didn’t take her long to us hooked on the series and for series it was something special we shared.  We mentioned a few podcast back that in late Oct, the Air Chief and Valerie finally made it down to Harry Potter World in Florida. While there the Air Chief spotted these authentic school robes as worn by the students and teachers at Hogworts Wizarding School. And we had to have one.  Now it hangs proudly in our office, a reminder of a wonderful series, a loving granddaughter and the magic of the imaginations.

And that’s our Flight Log for this week. Hope all you Loyal Airmen are enjoying this wonderful holiday season. See you back here next Friday.

Ron – Over & Out!

BASS REEVES RIDES AGAIN!

  • On 30 Nov | '2018

Greeting Loyal Airmen, we’re really excited to let you know our latest pulp title was released last weekend.

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BASS REEVES – Frontier Marshal Vol 3 features a full length novella by R.A. Jones and two other stories by Mel Odom and Terry Alexander. All starring the most famous western lawman of them all, Bass Reeves.  Reeves was an actual U.S. Deputy Marshal working under Judge Isaac Parker in the Oklahoma territories before it became a state. Coincidentally, all three writers in this volume are Oklahoman.  If you like authentic western action adventure, then this is the book for you. As ever available from Amazon in paperback and on Kindle. The cover and all interior illustrations were provided by our own Art Director Rob Davis. We thank you for your support.

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On the comic book front, several projects are moving along rather quickly.  One of these being the new series the Air Chief is currently developing with artist Cesar Felicano, JIN & TONIC.  Cesar just turned in the above illustrations of the two principle characters, Sammy Jin, a martial arts experts and Russian born Darya Tonikova, both skilled assassins. This is going to be an incredibly fun series and the Air Chief is just about to start writing the second chapter. We’ll keep you posted.

 

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Whereas years ago, the Air Chief created a comic project called BULLDOZER that was never launched…for various reasons. Thus the notes and old artwork sat in our files collecting dust over the past 15 or so years.  The image above to the left was one of those original pieces. We honestly don’t ever remember who the artist was that did it. Anyway, we recently dug the folder out of our files and showed it to our young artist pal, Jon Bonjour. Jon loved the entire concept and has signed on to be the artist. The sketch to the right is his first take on the main character and we love it. Happily the Air Chief kept a copy of the manuscript for issue # 1 and Jon will soon begin drawing it. Only goes to prove you should never throw away old ideas….ever.

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And finally, with Thanksgiving behind us, it was time to bring out the Christmas tree.  Valerie and granddaughter Cora once again did a great job. Seeing there lit up at night, puts all of us in the holiday spirit. Here’s wishing that same wonderful spirit to all you Loyal Airmen.

Ron – Over & Out!

THE HOLIDAYS ARE HERE

  • On 23 Nov | '2018

Greetings Loyal Airmen, we would imagine that by the time most of you are reading this Flight Log, it will be the day after Thanksgiving. It is our fondest wish that all of you spent a wonderful day with family and friends, carried on old traditions, ate lots of great food and generally spent the day reflecting on the great bounty we have in our blessed America. For us, Valerie started getting ready days ago, allotting specific goals along the way.  That way by the time Turkey Day arrived, she was ready. And happily, we had a few extra guests seated around our table this year enjoying the fun. Now that’s special.

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Things were jumping in the Air Chief’s office as well. Two of the comics series we’ve been writing for the past few years are progressing well.  The third and final issue of our sci-fi thriller, PARADISE FALLS arrived in the mail this past week. Story by yours truly, pencils by John Williams and letters by Warren Montgomery.  Warren also colored the cover. Now that all three issues our out, the plan is for us to assembled them all sometime next year in a collected edition which will be published on Amazon. Stay tuned. Also arriving on the exact same day was BLACK LION # 2. Story by the Air Chiefs, pencils by Kevin Johnson, inks & colors by Arrick Church, letters by Warren Montgomery, who also colored this cover as well. This is the 2 of 5.  With fingers crossed we’ll get the next three issues out in 2019 and eventually a collected edition of this as well. For now, all you Loyal Airmen can buy both PARADISE FALLS # 3 and BLACK LION # 2 at (www.IndyPlanet.com)  As always, thanks for your support.

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Things were active on the pulp front as well.  As most of you will recall, last year we wrote a novella called “Faces of Fear,” and it was published by Moonstone Books. The story teamed up pulp heroes Black Bat and the Purple Scar. Rob Davis provided all the interior illustrations. Later that year, Rob and the Air Chief published a 29 pg Secret Agent X comic book entitled “Race With the Devil.” We self-published this via Rob’s Redbud Studio imprint and at most of our convention appearances sold both books side by side.  Then when this year rolled around, Moonstone’s publisher Joe Gentile had the idea of putting both the novella and comic book together in one book and labeled it NEW PULP FICTION.  (See cover above.) Rob and the Air Chief were thrilled by the idea and next week it arrives in comic shops around the country. Though we’re relatively sure sales were low, never fear Loyal Airmen, as Rob and the Air Chief will most assuredly have copies of this title at our con appearances in 2019.

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Finally we leave with the picture above. While Val and our granddaughter were busy preparing the Thanksgiving feast, a florist truck drove up the yard and delivered the beautiful bouquet of flowers you see in the picture above. A totally unexpected surprise from our dear friend, Norma Kay Justice of Kentucky. Norma is the widow of writer Mark Justice, who passed away several years ago. Since that time, the Air Chief has reprinted Mark’s first The Dead Sheriff novel last year and then we finished the second novel that was left incomplete at Mark’s passing. That book should be out in a few more weeks, all fingers crossed. Sadly, in the intervening years, Norma Kay has become a good friend to us.  That bouquet so colored up the living room and gave the entire house a truly festive feeling. Thanks so much Norma, and to all our Loyal Airmen, it is our fondest wish that the days and weeks ahead become your best holiday season ever.  God bless you all.

Ron – Over & Out!

ROCKY MOUNTAIN CON 2018

  • On 16 Nov | '2018

Greetings Loyal Airmen, this past weekend Val and the Air Chief were down in Denver for the sixth annual Rocky Mountain Con. This remains our favorite convention of the year and this one proved to be the best ever. Although still feeling the after effects of our recent bout of bronchitis, there was no way we were going to miss the fun show at the Embassy Suites Hotel. Our good friend Tim Moret runs the show and this year made it solely about comics and their creators, with no Hollywood celebrities at all.  Proved to be a very wise decision as all the creators and vendors reported record sales both Sat and Sun.

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It was truly amazing from the minute the doors opened Sat morning, fans kept arriving. The Air Chief’s own supply of comics began to dwindle rapidly as sales were non-stop. Looks like we’ll be re-ordering soon to resupply our inventory. To all our old and new friends who stopped by our table to support us once again, our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you. We simply couldn’t do this without your continued patronage.

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Now we did say Tim eschewed having any TV or movie guests, but he did have one very special comic creator guest and that was the amazing Mr. Larry Hama who back in the 80s brought the G.I. Joe toy line to comics life at Marvel Comics. Larry is also a veteran and as the show did fall on Veteran’s Day Sunday, our mutual pal, and former Army Sgt. Rio Herrera got the above shot of us old vets. (Rio – the Air Chief – Larry Hama). Larry is a great guy and personally signed a copy of one of his latest IDW G.I. Joe comics for Valerie.

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Super fan Bret Smith is another member of our comics community here in Colorado, and during the week prior to the con he started posted comics covers from those of us who we be in attendance. In doing so he posted the image above of two of the Air Chief’s works; the first issue of Terminator – Burning Earth done years ago and our recently Simon Pryce Private Investigator title. What we had not taken notice of upon first seeing the image was the two signatures on the Terminator book. You see, Bret had the Air Chief sign this comic almost eight years ago when we first met after moving here to Colorado. Then last month, he was in New York City for their big annual comic con and there met super star artist Alex Ross. The same Alex Ross who began his comics career illustrating Burning Earth and so Bret had Alex also sign his number # 1 making it now a truly rare and valuable collectors items.

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Although the news of Stan Lee’s passing at 95 a few days ago wasn’t totally unexpected, it did come as a blow to the entire comics community. Stan’s influence on several generations of comic lovers is impossible to fully comprehend. We were all of 13 when he and a group of amazing artists launched Marvel Comics in the early 60s. From that point on comics would never be the same. Along with fellow creators Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Don Heck, Sal Buscema and so many others, Stan gave us a universe of heroes to teach and inspire us throughout the coming decades. We doubt seriously we would have had our own career had it not been for Stan. He was our hero from the start and will always remain so. Stan could spin a yarn like nobody else. He truly loved the media and knew how to use it properly. Early on, when the team of Ron Fortier & Gary Kato came on the scene, one of our first ever projects was a four part mini-series based on a courageous high school teacher who became a vigilante to stop the spread of drugs on his hometown streets. We called him STREET-FIGHTER.

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When the first issue came out, the late comic review Don Thompson lauded it highly in his weekly column. He compared Gary’s art to Ditko and said…”Fortier writes like Stan Lee.”  We never forgot those words, they were the highest compliment we could ever have hoped for. R.I.P. Stan Lee, and from the bottom of all our hearts, THANK YOU.

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A with Stan Lee’s passing, it is only fitting we end this week’s Flight Log with a comic page. Here is the final page of “The Silent Gun,” as written by the Air Chief and illustrated by Spanish artist Cesar Madarro. With fingers crossed it will soon find its way in some black and white anthology.  We’ll keep you posted.

That’s it for this week, Loyal Airmen. As ever thanks for stopping by.

Ron – Over & Out!

 

BACK HOME

  • On 9 Nov | '2018

Greetings Loyal Airmen, well, we’re home after a long week down at Florida for vacation.  Most that was fun while the second half of week turned ugly fast.  Val and the Air Chief had been looking forward to see the new Avatar Flight of the Banshee simulation ride for some time.

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The idea is combining a motion bike in which we are strapped in with a giant 3-D virtual reality screen. Once the ride begins, the participant totally feels as if he or she is atop a flying Banshee soaring high over the alien world of Pandora. Above is the entrance to the labs which one arrives at after a lengthy wait in line. Patience is required.

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Once inside the facility, we go through labs and even saw Sully in his avatar body. Then it was onto the ride itself which was one of the most thrilling experiences the Air Chief has ever had. Absolutely amazing.

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When entering the facility, we passed under the floating islands of Pandora.  Just incredible work.

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At the center of of all of this area was the giant Tree as seen in the movie.  All in all, the Avatar Experience is one we will never ever forget.

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The following day it was off to Harry Porter world. Joining us on the train to Hogwort, was our brother-in-law Gus and wife Barbara. Above is a shot of Gus and the Air Chief.  The train runs between Hogwort Castle and Diagon Alley.

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And here’s Val and the Air Chief at the heart of Diagon Alley.

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And here’s the famous Gringoths bank run by goblin.  Air Chief wondered if he could get a loan.

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The castle itself was a sight to behold. For we Harry Porter fans, and the Air Chief has been so from day one, it was a joy to be there.

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Snow capped roofs no less.

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And a rather mysterious figure suddenly materialized before us. More about him later.

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A final park stop was SKULL ISLAND – REIGN OF KONG. As KING KONG is the Air Chief’s all time favorite flick, this was another fun stop.  All in all the parks experience was exciting. Unfortunately somewhere in all those crowds, we fell victim to some nasty bugs and ended up with bronchitis. Thankfully Orlando, no doubt due to its heavy tourist population, has lots of Urgent Care walk-in clinics and we found one quick. Within thirty minutes of walking in, the Air Chief was examined, diagnosed and given a strong prescription for antibiotics. Back home now and the meds are doing their job.  Traveling is a hoot, but in the end, Loyal Airmen, it is always great to come home.

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While gone last week, we posted a peek at our newest Airship 27 Productions and it is now out and available at Amazon.  SUN KOH – Heir to Atlantis is by Dr. Art Sippo, this is a new edition of the book Art original released almost seven years ago.  It quickly went out of print and we were thrilled to bring it back. It features a classic pre-World War II German pulp hero. The story is fast paced pulp action unlike anything else you’ve ever seen.

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On the comics front, Spanish artist Cesar Madarro completed as yet another page for our short western strip, “The Silent Gun.” Air Chief believes he has one more page to go and that’s wrap. Then time to put the darn thing in a comic book.

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

Ron – Over & Out!

ON VACATION

  • On 2 Nov | '2018

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Greetings Loyal Airmen, as the image above indicates, Val and the Air Chief are still on vacation. We will be home next week. In meanwhile, to thank all you Loyal Airmen who signed on today, below is a sneak peek of our next Airship 27 Productions pulp title. The art is by Adam Shaw. More on that title when we get home. Thanks for stopping by.

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Ron – Over & Out!!

ONE WEEK TO VACATION

  • On 26 Oct | '2018

Greetings Loyal Airmen, and as you read this Valerie and the Air Chief are one day away from heading out on vacation to sunny Florida. Going to be nice to get away for a little R & R. Not taking the cell-phone or the laptop. Just tanning lotion and a few good paperbacks.  Chuckle.  But before we do that, we want to thank the people in Scottsbluff, Nebraska who were so gracious to us at their one day comic con last Sat. This is the second year we’ve been to this show and the second year we met so many wonderful people. It was tons of fun. Will look forward to going back next year.

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On the comics front, artist Cesar Madarro turned in page # 6 of “The Silent Gun,” as seen above. Only a few more to go to wrap this one up. Then we’ll submit it to various black and white comics anthologies. We love Cesar’s original layouts and he turns this gritty western tale on it’s ear.

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On the pulp front, Airship 27 Productions has just published its first ever omnibus title.  Nancy Hansen’s “Birth of A Buccanneer” collects in one huge volume her first four Jezebel Johnston pirate queen novels. It’s a whopping 638 pgs, making it our second biggest book since the classic “Legend of New Pulp Fiction” a few years ago. Colorado based artist Kevin A. Johnson did the cover and the book contains all of Rob Davis’ 36 black and white illustrations.  If you love old fashion swashbucklers, this is the book for you.  Available from Amazon in both paperback and on Kindle.

MLB: World Series-Los Angeles Dodgers at Boston Red Sox

By the time you Loyal Airmen are reading this Flight Log, our beloved Red Sox will have taken the first two games in the World Series; beating the L.A. Dodgers in Fenway.  As of tonight, the game moves to Dodger Stadium. Cheering the Sox all the way. One of their best teams ever coming of a record breaking season. It doesn’t get any better than this baseball fans.

Ron – Over & Out!

OFF TO NEBRASKA

  • On 19 Oct | '2018

Greetings Loyal Airmen, the day after this post, the Air Chief will be heading for a one day comic show in Scottdale, Nebraska. It is held in a shopping mall and this is the second year it is being held. We, the Air Chief and protege Todd Jones went last year and had a really good time. Met some wonderful people and sold lots of comics. Here’s hoping this second year is as much fun.

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Speaking of comics, our friend Cesar Madarro recently turned in Pg 6 of our western strip, “The Silent Gun.” Cesar’s style is very detailed pencils with no inking. It is unique and fun to look at it. Only a few more pages and this one will be a wrap.

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Don’t look now but the third and final issue of PARADISE FALLS is completed. Although it is not yet available. This 32 two pg. chapter aptly titled “Conclusion” wraps up the story of the Vengeful Mary Window and her war against the corrupt political regime of the futuristic city. Story by the Air Chief, art by John Williams and lettering and cover coloring by Warren Montgomery. Will let all you Loyal Airmen know exactly when it is on-sale. And the plan is still to collect all three issues next year into one graphic novel. Stay tuned.

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Last night was Week # 7 of my How To Write Comics class at the local community college and our topic was the importance of lettering in comics. Happily my good friend, and one of the finest letterers in the business, James Gaubatz once again volunteered to be our guest and spent a good hour teaching my sever students all about this crucial artform. Here he is above next to the Air Chief before we got the class rolling. Note, James mostly letters for the American versions of Japanese Mangas, outfits like Viz Comics and he’s lettered some of their most famous titles such as “One Punch Man.”

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And with James on hand, it was a golden opportunity to take a complete class photo. So here we are. Left to right in front row is Aryn, Justin & Zane. Left to right in back row, Terry, Gabriella and Dave. Then standing Ye Old Air Chief himself and student # 7, Evan.  They’ve been a great class and we have really enjoyed working with each and every one of them.

As you can see, things are hopping at Hangar 27. Thanks for stopping by and we’ll see you back here next  week.

Ron – Over & Out!

ADDING PROF CHALLENGER

  • On 12 Oct | '2018

Greetings Loyal Airmen, earlier this week, we released the news that Airship 27 is soon to launch a brand new anthology feature Arthur Conan Doyle’s scientist hero, Prof. George Edward Challenger. Below a few illustrations from various stories. And below them our actual Press Release.

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AIRSHIP 27 TO ADD PROF. CHALLENGER

It is no secret that Airship 27 Production’s best selling books for the past six years have been their volumes in the “Sherlock Holmes – Consulting Detective” series. Now twelve volumes rich, they continue to sell and are constantly on Amazon’s top mystery anthology list year after year. To their thousands of loyal readers, reason for this continued success is no secret. All Airship 27 Production’s “Consulting Detective” books are done strictly in the tradition of Holmes & Watson’s creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Now this leading New Pulp publisher is hoping this formula will work a second time as they prepare to launch a brand new anthology based once again on a Conan Doyle character; Prof. George Edward Challenger.

“After Holmes, Challenger is clearly Doyle’s most popular creation,” says Airship 27 Production’s Managing Editor Ron Fortier. “Which is why when our pal, and fellow writer, Gordon Dymowski approached us about doing a series featuring George Challenger, we were eager to hear what he had in mind.”  Dymowski, a popular Chicago writer and blogger, is also known as an enthusiastic Doctor Who fan and can be found at most Who related events in the Windy City.

“Gordon not only suggested the concept,” continued Fortier, “but actually went the extra step by writing up a Prof. Challenger bible.”  A bible is the name given to character data documents with which editors use to introduce perspective writers to a series. “Our hope is to elicit interest from established New Pulp writers in our community. Anyone interested in submitting should contact me and I’ll happily send them a copy of the bible.” Fortier ends with stating this is not a project for new amateur writers and Airship 27 will only look at those inquiries send in from known, published writers.

Will lightning strike twice?  Time will tell, while Fortier and Dymowski certainly have their fingers crossed.

AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS – PULP FICTION FOR A NEW GENERATION!

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One of the things a writer needs is patience. Something not taught in writing classes, which is a mistake. You see Loyal Airmen, the publishing business is not always a smooth sailing machine and every now and thing things happen to slow the down the assembly line. A writer can write a story, submit to an editor and then end up waiting months, even years before that book is actually published. Which is why the Air Chief keeps a short list of those stories he’s written that have yet to see the light of day. One such was a tale we did for a Moonstone project featuring an old radio private eye named Johnny Dollar. The editor is our dear pal, Tommy Hancock, and he came to us many, many years ago asking if we’d like to contribute. The Air Chief rarely writes in First Person style, but it was necessary for this particular project and that proved to be a challenge we enjoyed a great deal.

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Imagine our surprise when a few days ago Tommy contacted all of us who had contributed stories with the news the book was actually on Moonstone’s publishing schedule and will soon be released. Above was an early cover by artist Doug Klauba. We aren’t sure if it will still be the cover, but wanted to show if off regardless as we love Doug’s work. Anyway, all these years later and at long last, “Your’s Truly, Johnny Dollar” is coming your way. Aside from the Air Chief, the book also features awesome stories by Barre Reese, Gary Phillips, Joe Gentile, Tommy of course, and others. All popular, super talented New Pulp scribes. Color us happy, and grateful to have hung in there. We’ll keep you posted when it is officially released and how you’ll be able to pick up a copy.

And that’s it for another week, Loyal Airme, as ever, thanks for stopping by.

Ron-Over & Out!

 

 

 

 

RED SOX CLINCH DIVISION

  • On 5 Oct | '2018

Greetings Loyal Airmen, well last weekend our beloved Red Sox clinched the American League East Division Championship for the third straight year in a row ending the best season of any Red Sox team in the club’s history with 108 wins. An all time high. Now we wait until Friday afternoon (the same day you are reading this) to see who they will be playing against for the first round of the play-offs. It will either be the Oakland Athletics or our old nemesis, the New York Yankees. Either way, we are full into October baseball and that’s a whole new season.

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On the comics front, pal Warren Montgomery via his Will Lill Comics released the 10th issue of FUN ADVENTURE COMICS and this one features a Mask of the Gargoyle we wrote ages ago for creator Dario Carrasco. It is a 16 pager called “The Rocket’s Red Glare” and was illustrated by a Cuban artist named Montos. Issue # 10 here offers up the first 8 pgs of that strip. The second half will appear in issue # 11.  You can find this title on Kindle.

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Here the Air Chief holds up his copies of FUN ADVENTURE COMICS! # 10.

At the same, Redbud Studio is releasing the entire 18 pg Mask of the Gargoyle feature along with two other strips.  Here is the official Press Release : ALL STAR PULP COMICS Volume 4 REDBUD STUDIO & AIRSHIP 27 presents this newest issue featuring three amazing heroes: Mask of the Gargoyle (created by Dario Carrasco) as he battles remnants of the Third Reich in “Rockets Red Glare”; golden age comics great The Veiled Lady as she takes on crooked government officials in “The Veiled Avenger” and; Major Liberty, where the U.S. Army debuts its very own super-heroine “Operation: American Maid.” Amazing pulp comic adventures featuring writer Ron Fortier with artists Montos, Kevin Broden and Kevin Wiggins. Edited by Rob Davis. This is 40 pages of non-stop action pulp style!  Cover by Rob Davis pits our three heroes against an army of ninjas.

Available from Amazon. (https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946183482)

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Finally this week we wanted to share what is perhaps the funniest pix of the Air Chief ever taken. As you’ll recall a few months back, Rob Davis joined us here in Fort Collins for the annual Fort Collins Comic Con. At one point he and the Air Chief did an hour long panel on connection between pulps and comics in America.

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On hand was photographer Mike Barry who took the above picture.  When we saw it, we couldn’t help but laugh and shared it with Rob. To which he offered up the obvious caption for what the Air Chief is whispering to him behind my mouth.  “Hey, Rob, where’s the table?”

And there you have it for this week, Loyal Airmen.  As ever thanks for stopping by.

Ron – Over & Out!