Greeting Loyal Airmen, as you are reading this Flight Log, the Air Chief and Valerie are getting settled into the Denver Convention Center located in the heart of the Mile High City.
That's the center in front of which stands the statue of a GIANT BLUE BEAR. Will try to snap some pictures for you Airmen over the weekend. Last year's debut of this show as amazing with attendance over 26,000 happy fans. We fully expect they will exceed that number. The show has over a hundred creator guests from all the major genre fields ala comics, sci-fi, TV and films, with William Captain Kirk Shatner as the big super guest star. It looks to be a huge hit and as the Air Chief has indicated here before, we will be located at table D-15 all weekend from Friday to Sunday. Note, the Air Chief will also be sitting on a panel at noon time on Sunday the theme of which is superheroes in prose fiction. The moderator is out good pal, David Boop, and it should be lots of fun. We truly hope to see tons of our Loyal Airmen at the show.
On writing fronts, several weeks back we mentioned we were going to write a story featuring the characters from James Fenimore Cooper's classic American novel, "The Last of the Mohicans." Above is a photo from one of the many film versions of that novel, this one starring Randolf Scott as Hawkeye, here seen with his Mohican stepfather Chigachgook and his step-brother Uncas. Well, last weekend we put THE END to 15,000 word adventure we titled "SNOW BLIND" and submitted to our editor at White Rocket Books, the folks publishing this new anthology. Hopefully they will like our entry and the actual book should be out by the end of summer, early fall. We'll keep you posted. It was a blast writing these wonderful characters.
And lastly, last year we were invited to write a new Spider pulp yarn for as yet another Spider anthology to be published by the good folks over at Moonstone Books. We complied and sent in a tale called "SPIDER TRAP." This morning we received a PDF Proof of the final book so that each writer, including the Air Chief, could go over his story one last time looking for those pesky typos. Going through the process, and yes, we did find a few, ha, we were taken with how well this particular tale evolved in the writing and how happy we truly are with it. The Air Chief guesses, THE SPIDER - Extreme Prejudice, should be out sometime in late June. We'll of course post that officially when it happens.
Note, to dress up this part entry, we found a Spider illustration on line done by the super talented artist Francesco Villa. Francesco does his own pulp comic book hero for Dark Horse Comics called the Black Beetle and we can't recommend it enough to all of you. If you love pulp action as much as we do, go pick up this comic series, you'll be happy you did.
And that wraps it up for this week, Loyal Airmen. Thanks ever for stopping by, we truly appreciate it and have a great weekend, we sure will. Ron - Over and Out!
Greetings Loyal Airmen, we got a whole bunch of fun things to share with you this Flight Log, so by all means, lets jump right into it.
Airship 27 Productions is happy to announce the release of our fourth pulp title of the year, DAN FOWLER G-Man Volume II. Following on the heels of the first volume, this terrific action packed collection features a great cover by Brian McCulloch and interior illustrations by Neil T. Foster with four brand new stories of the ace fed by Derrick Ferguson, Aaron Smith, Joshua Reynolds and Christ Bell. The book is on sale at our website, on Amazon in both hard copy and on Kindle. As ever, Loyal Airmen, thanks for your support and of course we will have copies on our tables at Pulp Fest in July.
Art by Syd Mead One of the greatest science-fiction artist of our times is Syd Mead. Mean his career working for the automotive industry in Detroit designing futuristic proto-type cars we all may one day see on the super highways of tomorrow. It was his success here that brought him to the attention of Hollywood and soon he was doing graphic design work for some of the major sci-fi movies of the past twenty-years to include one of the Air Chief's all time favorites, BLADE RUNNER.
You can imagine our surprise when we learned that the local Museum of Art was having a Syd Mead exhibition running for almost a month. Last weekend Valerie and the Air Chief took in this great show and we were simply blown away by the thirty some pieces of work on display. There was even a 90 minute documentary film on Mead's life and career. In part of that film he talks about how he enjoyed working with BLADE RUNNER director Ridley Scott and how they would spend hours discussing the world that the story was set it. Many of Mead's drawings would eventually be realized as actual sets on the movie.
Now one of the most dramatic scenes in that classic sci-fi drama is when super clone, Roy Batty, played by actor Rutger Hauer, knowing he hasn't much time to live, actually saves the human cop sent to destroy, Deckard, played Harrison Ford, before he can fall off a top building roof. He then drags Deckard away from the edge and sits down opposite him to spend his last minutes of life in an attempt convey all the things he has experienced in so short an existence. "All the things I've seen," he begins and them says, "...attack ships of the shoulder of Orion." Hauer is so superb in this role, the audience actually tries to visualize those amazing outer space vistas he is referring to.
Imagine our surprise when going through the art gallery, we find a painting entitled, "Attack Ships off the Shoulder of Orion." Sure enough, in reading the accompanying card, Mead explains having been himself inspired by the movie after it was completed and began to imagine the things Roy Batty alluded to his dying monologue and thus he produced this amazing painting. Had immediately had Valerie snap a photo of the Air Chief along side this truly stunning work of art. Ironic isn't it? Mead's sketches helped inspire Ridley Scott and in the end his movie in turn inspired Mead. Talking about coming full circle. If you aren't familiar with Syd Mead's work, he does have his own website on-line and there you can purchase lots of super art books filled with his works and even prints to frame and decorate your own Headquarters.
And keeping with our sci-fi movies theme here, we finally got around to go see the new STAR TREK - INTO DARKNESS, the sequel to the J.J. Abrams reboot of the beloved franchise created by the late Gene Roddenberry. Over the past two weeks since its release, there has been a real firestorm of contention between those folks who loved it and those who hated it. Oh, we've seen a few middle-ground ho-hum, but not many. For whatever reasons, pro or con, sci-fans have been very passionate in their stances on this one. So, you ask, where does the Air Chief stand? We're giving it a big ole thumbs up, having thoroughly enjoyed the two hour action packed story that reassembled the young cast from the first movie. Whereas we'll never consider a classic of the genre, ala BLADE RUNNER, Val did give it a B and the Air Chief was happy to give it a B +. So there you go. Again, we truly like this cast and honestly hope there's a third entry somewhere in the future.
Coming up next will be MAN OF STEEL. Oh, yeah. But before that there is still the big Denver Comic Con coming up just next week. Be back here for our next Flight Log when we'll give you more of our own plans for that event. Till then, enjoy the warm weather....say some prayers for the folks of Oklahoma and if you can spare them a few dollars, send them to the Red Cross relief fund. In times like this, we Americans stick together, especially our Loyal Airmen. God bless
Greetings Loyal Airmen and welcome to another Flight Log. Things have really been humming around Hangar 27 the past few days and we are really happy to share this stuff with all of you.
The mailman surprised with some goodies the past couple of days, one of which was our second Pulp Factory Awards trophy above on the left. As you'll recall, the Air Chief was thrilled and humbled to have won the PF Award for Best Short Story two years in a row at the recent Windy City Pulp & Paper Convention. Above you see on the right my trophy for my 2011 winner, "Vengeance Is Mine," which appeared in Moonstone Books' "The Avenger the Justice Files Inc." To the left is the new trophy for my 2012 tale, "The Ghoul" which was featured in "Monster Aces" from Pro Se Productions. Again, a heartfelt thanks to these publisher and editors and especially to all my pulp colleagues who enjoyed them so much to award me these great trophies now gracing my office. Hmm, one pal suggested the Air Chief try for three in a row. Ha. But considering how many new short stories we have coming out this year, well, one never knows.
And one of those new stories is appearing in a great sci-fi pulp anthology called WARBIRDS OF MARS - Stories of the Fight, which the Air Chief has mentioned several times in these Flight Logs. Well today my copy arrived and we couldn't be happier. This is a fantastic book with a dozen stories in over 400 pages of pure pulp action and adventure brilliantly edited by Scott Vaughn and Kane Gilmour. The book IS on sale right now at Amazon.com in both softcover as the Air Chief his holding above and on Kindle for you e-reader lovers. Please pick up a copy, you will love this book.
Art by Rob Hicks Our story in this great collection is called, "The Monsters of Adobe Wells." Scott & Kane assigned artist Rob Hicks to do an illustration for it and here it is. It features the hero of my tale, Sgt. Charlie Three-Feathers and we think its a great illustration. Rob knocked it out of the ball-park. This story was a blast to write and we certainly all our Loyal Airmen will pick up a copy and get the opportunity to read it.
Cover art by Will Meugniot And finally, we end this entry with some truly exciting comic book news. Two years ago, art director Rob Davis and the Air Chief put together a black and white comic anthology featuring new and old pulp heroes. It was so well received that it went on to win the Pulp Ark Award for Best Pulp Comic of 2011. We were thrilled and slowly began assembling a second volume. After a full year of collecting a variety of amazing strips, we are thrilled to announce the release of (Airship 27 presents ALL STAR PULP COMICS #2) This whopping big edition features tales of Robin Hood, Ki-Gor the Jungle Lord, the Black Bat, Domino Lady, Lance Star Sky Ranger and there's even a brand new Brother Bones strip by the Air Chief and artist Joe Arnold. The book sells for $8 and can only be bought on-line at (www.IndyPlanet.com) Of course expect to see many of the writers and artists involved with the book hawking copies at their various convention appearances throughout the country in the new few months.
Also note, profits earned on-line during the first six months of sale will all be donated to the Boston Red Cross to aid the victims of the terrorist bombing back on Patriots Day. All of us involved with this book wanted to do something and writer Van Plexico came up with this wonderful idea which everyone signed on to immediately. So please, by a copy, get your all your friends to by copies and help us send a big old check to the Boston Red Cross six months from now. Lets show them what comic and pulp fans can do when they pull together for a worthy cause.
And there you have it for this week, Loyal Airmen. We do keep busy, don't we? Ha. Take care and be good. Ron - Over & Out!
Greetings Loyal Airmen, the Air Chief is back in his office at Hangar 27 after having spent an amazing weekend in Norman, Oklahoma at the 45th Annual Oklahoma Fiction Writers Conference. Yup, you read that correctly; this super talented organization of writers has been around for 45 years!! That in itself is a grand achievement indeed. As you know, the Air Chief and his pal, artist Rob Davis, were invited this year to present workshops on how to create graphic novels. We did two of these and they were extremely well received. Everyone one we met, from President Patty Stith, who was kind enough to invited us, to all the attendees were the most gracious people ever and we'd like to think we made tons of new friends in the wonderful Sooner state. Here's hoping they invited us back again soon. (Pun intended...chuckle.)
Rob Davis - Christopher Chance - The Air Chief And speaking of "new" friends, we are really happy to meet an "old" one for the very first time. Christopher Chance (yes, the comic book hero WAS named after him, as he is a good friend of comic writer Len Wein) is someone the Air Chief had met on the social network Facebook several years ago. Chris is one creative dude and as it happens we have the same conservative political leanings, so we became buddies. When he learned Rob and me would be in Norman, Oklahoma, he jumped into his car and drove 137 miles up from his home in Texas just to spend Saturday with us. What a great guy!! He even took us out to lunch on top of that. Thanks so much Chris, it was one of the highlights of this trip to finally meet you in person. Here's hoping we do it again often.
Denver Comic Con 2012 And speaking of conventions and conferences, no sooner were we back in Colorado and getting settled into the office to tackle the stack of editing chores before us then the good folks in Denver sent along our table number placement for this year's big Denver Comic Con. Last year, the Air Chief and Val were guest at the premier of this truly super comic con and we had a blast (see photo above). We're most anxious to get back this year and for all you Loyal Airmen who plan on joining us there, you will find the Air Chief at Table D-15 in Artist Valley. We'll be bringing more fun comics and for the first time a few of our Captain Hazzard pulp novels. Hope to see you there, Loyal Airmen.
Because we were out of town last weekend, the Air Chief made it a point to get to the local cinema this past week to see the new comic book movie blockbuster, IRON MAN 3 and we loved it, start to finish. Of course there are major deviations taken from the actual comic and several of our colleagues who love this character were very upset with these changes. As someone who hated the GREEN HORNET movie of a few years ago, the Air Chief can certainly empathize with their disappointment. Still, despite these variations, we absolutely thought the movie was a thrill ride from beginning to end and the cast superb. Robet Downey Jr, from the first movie in this trilogy has truly been Tony Stark for us and this particular entry seems to come full circle tying up many loose ends and of course setting the stage for the eventual coming of AVENGERS 2 in a few more years. So major thumbs up to a great action movie.
Special Effects Genius Ray Harryhausen & model of MIGHTY JOE YOUNG Of course one of the primary reasons Val and the Air Chief enjoyed IRON MAN 3 was the amazing special effects throughout the entire flick. Which is a poetic segue in our saying farewell to one of the true pioneers of Hollywood movie magic, Ray Harryhausen who passed away this week at the age of 94. As a teenage boy of 13, Ray saw the original black and white KING KONG and was instantly mesmerized by the stop-motion technique used by the brilliant effects man, Willis O'Brien to make the giant gorilla come to life on screen. Ray proceeded to learn everything he could about the process, bought himself a movie camera and set up his own studio in his family's garage where he began making his own stop-motion shorts.
After graduating from high school, he traveled to Hollywood and somehow managed to get a meeting with his hero, O'Brien and showed the old movie maker his work. O'Brien hired him to work in his shop which led to Harryhausen becoming the chief FX tech on the movie, MIGHT JOE YOUNG, though he was never given screen credit for the movie. With that success behind him, Ray went to on join forces with other producers to create amazing movies that would push Special Effects forward, allowing it to blend seamlessly with live action and thus be able to put actors in the same scenes with sword-wielding skeletons or have giant lizards came slithering through the streets of Rome.
In his brilliant career, fantasy movie fans soon began to recognize his touch and his films became classics of the genre from JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, to his SINBAD trilogy and up to his last spectacular, the original CLASH OF THE TITANS. It is no surprise he won several Oscars for his work and ultimately one for Lifetime Achievement. He influenced two generations of movie makers and such luminaries as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson have all paid homage to him with their own movies of the fantastic, testifying that without Ray Harryhausen, they mostly likely would not have been able to produce the movies they did. And so he's gone, but his magical movies live on and will continue to entertain us for many more generations to come. Rest in peace, Ray, and thank you from one of your millions of fans.
Greetings Loyal Airmen, the Air Chief is busy once again packing up as the Airship 27 gets ready to take to the skies once more. But thank heavens we don't leave until tomorrow. Fort Collins was hit with a snow storm today, the FIRST DAYS OF MAY!!! Crazy.
Tomorrow the Air Chief hooks up with Art Director Rob Davis and we attend the Oklahoma Fiction Writers' Conference were we will be presenting two workshops (one on Friday afternoon and the other on Saturday morning) on Graphic Novels 101. It should prove to be a blast. Will have more to say about that next week. But as we are rushed on this Wed. night, didn't want to leave the Flight Log totally void.
Above is what will be the cover to RON FORTIER'S TALES OF THE MACABRE # 4 now being assembled by Twilight Start Studios and drawn by the amazing Olivier Raymond of Quebec, Canada. Later we will do a Redbud Studio edition. We'll let you know when that one is on-sale. And yes, that is suppose to be the Air Chief on the cover, with his latest creation, the sexy-silver Ms. Robot!! Check out the license plate in on the limo. Ha.
Till next week, be good and please, no more snow!! Ron - Over & Out!