Greetings Loyal Airmen, we've got lots of cool things to talk about this week concerning future Airship 27 titles and our trip to the Windy City Pulp & Paper Con next weekend This will be the seventh year in a row that we attend and we certainly hope to see many of our Loyal Airmen in attendance. In fact we've got something extra special for all of you who do, but more on that in a minute. First up, we want to tell you about a very special fund raiser going on now by one of the greatest graphic artists of our time, Mr. Michael Kaluta.
Years ago, Michael and his writing partner, Elaine Lee, created an amazing sci-fi fantasy comic series called STARSTRUCK. It was a huge success for them and there was even a stage adaptation at one time. Well out of the blue Elaine has come up with a whopping new idea for a brand new Starstruck graphic novel and she approached Michael about them doing it via a program on-line called Kickstarter. The idea is fairly simple, they announce what it is they wish to publish and how much it will cost them to do so. If Kickstarter approves their pitch, then they are given a page and allotted a limited amount of time to solicit the funds. If they cannot do so in the time set, then the project goes unfunded and is removed from the program. On the other hand if they do raise the funds, then they can proceed with publish their book. Note, one of the means in which creators drum up contributions is by offering would be contributors various incentive gifts based on the amount the person is willing to contribute. One of the incentives for this Starstruck Kickstarter is an original Michael Kaluta drawing for anyone giving $300. Note, we did say, original drawing, not a copy or a print. Michael will draw you a picture. Believe me this is an amazing offer and won't last forever. If any of you Loyal Airmen are as big a fan of this man as we are, then you need to get over to this Kickstarter page immediately and check it out. We really hope our Loyal Airmen will help Michael and Elaine get this off the ground. (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/elainelee/harry-palmer-starstruck-or-old-proldiers-never-die)
THE PURPLE SCAR The of the most unique classic pulp heroes of the golden age was the Purple Scar. Dr. Miles Murdock was a plastic surgeon who operated a medical clinic in the slums of a major metropolitan city. In the first story his brother, a police officer, is gunned down by hoodlums. They then throw acid onto the face to horribly disfigure it. When Doc Murdock views his brother's remains, he vows to hunt the men who committed the heinous crime and he does so by becoming the horrific vigilante known as the Purple Scar. You see, Murdock makes a death-mask from a mold of his dead brother's face and this is what he wears when hunting down the bad guys. Pretty gruesome stuff indeed. When we at Airship 27 Productions decided we were going to do an anthology featuring four new Purple Scar stories we also knew we were going to have to fine a really super talented artist who could capture both the heroism and the horror aspects of this unique character. We were lucky enough to find artist Richard Serrao who is getting very well known in the crime comics field. He was intrigued with the character upon hearing his history and in the end signed on to do the 12 black and white interior illustrations that will appear in the finished volume. The amazing piece above is his powerful interpretation of the Purple Scar. Honestly, we asked for something scary and Richard delivered far beyond our expectations. We'll keep you all informed when the book is completed and available.
And now Loyal Airmen, the REALLY BIG NEWS of the week, as declared in the poster above. For the longest time, the Air Chief has been wanting to offer all of you a truly unique premium that wouldn't cost an arm or a leg and allow all our Loyal Airmen the chance to become a real part of the Airship 27 Crew. The answer to that need was having cloth patches made up of our familiar dirigible logo as seen on all our titles. Art Director Rob Davis scoured the internet until he found a great on-line company that could produce high quality patches for a truly reasonable fee. We had 100 made up and we'll be have them on our tables at Windy City next week. As they were intended to be a "giveaway premium," any of our customers who buy two of our titles at their regular price will get a free Airship 27 patch. Of course we realized some folks might just want to pick up a patch and we will sell those separate for the ridiculous price of $3 each. They are 3"high and 3.75" wide.
Above his a much better, up close picture of a patch against the box foam background. Rob has already had two of them sewn on to his jackets and reports they look fantastic. We're betting all our Loyal Airmen will have to have one of these gorgeous patches. Note, after coming home from the con, Rob will make them available via mail order for that same $3 price plus some added coins for mailing fees. We will post that information and Rob's mailing address right here when we are ready to get that going. Until then, bear with us.
And there you have it Loyal Airmen. One of the major events of the Windy City Pulp & Paper Con is the presentation of the annual Pulp Factory Awards for the Best Pulp Novel, Best Pulp Short Story, Best Pulp Cover and Best Interior Illustrations that were published during the previous year. We are humbled to announced that for the second year in a row, the Air Chief is in the running for Best Pulp Short Story for our tale, "The Ghoul," which appeared in the anthology, "Monster Aces," from Pro Se Productions. Wish us luck.
Till then, take care and watch those tail winds. Ron - Over & Out!
Greeting Loyal Airmen to this Good Friday. For those of you of the Christian faith, we offer our most prayerful intentions that you and your loved ones celebrate a joyous and wonderful Easter. May the Lord Jesus, who sacrificed his own life to save us all, reward each and every one of you with his boundless graces of love and charity. Amen.
Keeping in mind, the Air Chief is a post World War II baby-boomer in 1946, we grew up all the way into our teens in a world where men wore hats. For the most part they for small or wide brimmed fedoras and they were the norm. Now our father wasn't particularly a hat-guy himself, but he would always don a dapper number when going to church on Sunday. He would have been particularly spiffy on this coming Easter Sunday. Again, hats were very much the norm and the Air Chief still has memories of walking past haberdasher shops as a kid. For you young readers, that's a hat store. Trying finding one of those anywhere these days.
It would be hard to pin-point exactly when the culture changed, but if memory serves me correctly, men's hats remained in fashion throughout the 50s but when the long-haired hippie movement of the early 60s rolled onto the cultural scenes, things began to change. Obviously if a young dude was starting to wear his hair down to his shoulders, like a girl, then putting a hat on it only added to the hilarity of the image. And so, as hair grew longer, the sales of hats waned...and waned until by the mid 60s they had indeed gone out of fashion. Today, if the Air Chief takes a trip through town, he'll most likely see baseball caps as the more popular headgear for today's males. Although out here in Colorado, you'll also see a smattering of cowboy hats for sure.
Now we bring this all up today because one of the most frustrating things we, at Airship 27 Productions, deal with on a regular basis is having to coax today's young illustrators on how to draw a proper hat. Really. Really. As most of our pulp fiction takes place in the 30s and 40s, it is mandatory that our illustrators draw these period hats and it causes them all kinds of fits. They just don't get how to do it properly.
Recently a friend of our posted the above HOW TO DRAW THE HAT schematics on Facebook and we immediately shared it to our own FB page. Where it instantly drew all kinds of sympathetic comments from other writers and editors with our same problems. Of course several of our young regular artists chimed in as well echoing what we've stated here; that brought up in a world with no hats, they are at a distinct disadvantage in how to capture them properly. Some were even happy we'd posted the above pages which they were going to be keeping in their files from now on.
Finally we thought it only fair to end this week's Flight Log with an example on how it is done properly. Above is one of the recent illustrations done by Art Director Rob Davis for our latest SECRET AGENT X title. Rob is an old hand at drawing hats as is evidence in this wonderful illustration. Like everything else, he says it just takes lots and lots of practice. Ha. Still, its a fascinating subject, the changes in fashion and one has to wonder if maybe some day men's hats might not make a come back? And if so, in what shape or style. Hmm, now that could prove very, very interesting.
Finally, we once again wish all our Loyal Airmen a truly HAPPY EASTER!!! The day after the new baseball season opens with out beloved Red Sox taking on their main rivals, the New York Yankees in New York. Now that's the way to kick of Spring.
Greetings Loyal Airmen, we're going to leave you with a short Flight Log this week. You see the Air Chief has been sick for the past week and only yesterday learned he had a touch of pneumonia which is now being treated properly with the right meds...and a booster shot in the posterior. Ouch. Ah, the things one has to do to get well. So Loyal Airmen you'll please forgive me for making this entry brief.
But we did want to leave you with another very cool Mr.Jigsaw pin-up. This one done up by Erik Roman. Erik and the Air Chief are now working on an eight comic strip called THE MONSTER VS THE MACHINE and we've been bowled over by this young man's talent. Well apparently Erik saw our call-out asking for more Jiggy pin-ups and last night whipped up the sketch below. We love it and upon seeing it in this morning's mail, it did a miraculous thing. It put a smile on our face.
JIGGY by Erik Roman
Sometimes when you are sick, a smile can make all the difference in the world. Thanks so much, Erik. And for sure, once we get it all inked up, we'll repost it here for all you Loyal Airmen to see. Thanks for stopping by, sending us some healing thoughts and we'll be getting lots of bed rest these next few days.
Greetings Loyal Airmen. Airship 27 Productions is very, very excited to announce its third book of they year, a modern day suspense crime thriller by Mike Baron called, BIKER.
This is a gritty, tough story of an ex-con, biker Josh Pratt who has turned his life around and is now working for a lawyer as a private investigator. When a woman dying of cancer ask Pratt to find the baby she gave up years ago, at first he thinks it is an average lost-and-found case until she confesses the baby's father is a sick, twisted psycho name Moon who has vowed to killer her if he ever found her again. So now Pratt needs to find the boy without arousing the killer dad. Trust me, Loyal Airmen, once the Air Chief started reading this one, he just couldn't put it down till the end. Baron has a way with characters as he proved when writing his two classic comic book series, NEXUS and BADGER. You really don't want to miss BIKER. It features nine interior illustrations by newcomer Joe Arnold and our Art Director Rob Davis designed the stunning cover above. The book is now on sale at Amazon and through them on Kindle.
From GHOST BOY art by Gary Kato
Speaking of Kindle, in the past few months many of you Loyal Airmen have written telling us how much you like being able to get our Airship 27 titles on that e-reader. Whereas others of you have mentioned being frustrated that not all of our 63 titles are on the service yet. This is true, but let us assure you we are making lots of progress on that front so that more than half of these old titles are available on Kindle, as is each new one we publish from now on like last month's GHOST BOY. See the very cool interior illustration from that volume by artist Gary Kato. Also note, this past week, Rob did get all four of our SECRET AGENT X books on to Kindle. So again, thanks for your support and patience. If there is a particular title you are still waiting on to be added to the Kindle roster and we haven't gotten to it yet, feel free to drop us a line and let us know. Ultimately, as ever, the goal is to have them all on Kindle. Hey, who knows, maybe the Air Chief might actually break down and get one of those fancy new toys and see what all the commotion is all about. Ha.
And finally, while waiting for Gary Kato to get to drawing the 11th issue of MR. JIGSAW - Man of a Thousand Parts, the Air Chief put out the word on the internet inviting other artists who were willing, to contribute pin-ups of our hero, Jiggy. One of the first to answer this call was a local friend, artist Abe Akins, who turned in that stellar pin-up above. He did a fantastic job and really captured the fun essence of our break-apart hero. We hope other artists amigos will follow suit.
And there you have it for this week, Loyal Airmen. Thanks as ever for stopping by and take care until next week. Ron - Over & Out!
Greetings Loyal Airmen, as we pen this week's Flight Log, Colorado is getting set to get dumped with more snow as March is totally roaring in, across the entire country, like a Lion. Our daughter and friends in Chicago have finally seen the white stuff...lots of it, and the past two days have seen the East Coast buried once again under that heavy snow blanket. One has to wonder if we might not end up with a white Easter after all?
Okay, time to get to our main topic of the week and by the title, you already know we're about to discuss one of the greatest four-legged film stars of all time, Rin Tin Tin!
As most of you Loyal Airmen know, the Air Chief is a huge fan of the movie serials. A while back, while searching through the DVD bargain bins of a local retailer, we found a collection all four serials featuring the amazing German Shepherd dog-star, Rin Tin Tin produced by Mill Creek Productions. We picked it up, having seen one of these serials long ago on TV as a child. We also recalled the 1950s TV series, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin. So we were naturally anxious to view these adventure cliffhangers. In the process, our natural writers' curiosity got the best of us and we started surfing the web to learn more about this well known furry friend.
During the days of World War One, an American soldier named Lee Duncan,while serving in battle torn France discovered a female German Shepherd who had just delivered a litter of puppies. These dogs had been used by the German Army for various missions in combats; primarily to deliver messages from one unit to another. Duncan, an animal lover, decided to help the Mother and give her and her puppies a home by finding other soldiers to adopt them. But he kept two for himself, a girl, he called Nanette, and a male he christened Rin Tin Tin. Upon his return to the states, after the war, poor Nanette became ill on the sea voyage back to New York and died of pneumonia there. Duncan return to California by train with swiftly maturing Rinty, as he nicknamed him.
Duncan soon became involved with silent movies and during one particular film, a domesticated wolf which had a crucial part in the story began to give its handlers a difficult time and the director could not shoot the scenes he needed properly. Someone suggested using Duncan's German Shepherd, as they had observed how well mannered and trained Rinty was. So Rin Tin Tin got his first action role playing a wolf. It was the beginning of a wonderful career for both Rinty and his owner. Rin Tin Tin would go on to star in many silent epics and continued to work into the era of the "talkies" filming his one and only serial, "The Lightning Warrior," which is one of the four serials in the Mill Creek collection.
Rin Tin Tin died on Aug. 10th, 1932 and was buried in a bronze coffin. Of course long before his passing, he did sire many pups, one of which looked exactly like him and Duncan named Rin Tin Tin Jr. It was Rinty Jr. who would go on to greater success yet, starring in three cliffhanger serials and working along such notable serial action stars as Buster Crabbe and Kane Richmond.
By the 1950s television was here and Rinty Jr. moved effortlessly into this new media with his own half hour series, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, wherein he lived with a young boy, Rusty, on a U.S. Cavalry fort in the American west. Prior to the debut of this show, there had been a Rin Tin Tin comic book produced by Dell. With the advent of the show, they merely changed the title to include the Rinty's new friend, Rusty. The Air Chief has many, many fond memories of this series.
Rin Tin Tin Jr. and his descendants would continue to be featured in both movies and TV shows well into the 1980s, from RIN TIN TIN K-9 to the Adventures of Rin Tin Tin Jr. wherein he was member of an EMT crew of paramedics in Los Angeles. To this day he is still remembered fondly by two generations who grew up enjoying his adventures. Writer Susan Orlean authored a comprehensive book on his incredible life and the man who, through loved, fostered that wonderful adventure. The Air Chief is putting it on his Amazon wish-list right now.
And there you go, Loyal Airmen. On other fronts, as Spring nears, many schools are getting ready for their March Spring break. Recently the Air Chief was invited to participate, with several other comic creators, on a fun program called "Getting Your Geek On," to be sponsored by the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. During the last week of the month, when school kids here are on vacation, the museum will be presenting a three hour block of activities featuring different fun themes from the exploration of space to robots and video game. On Friday, the block is entitled "Creating A Comic Book Superhero," which is the program the Air Chief will be involved with along with fellow writer Todd Jones and artist Lee Oaks. It looks to be lots of fun. Then the very following week, the museum will be repeating the entire program for the children of nearby Loveland, who will have that particular week off. So we get to do the program twice. The Air Chief is truly looking forward to these events. It is always fun to work with young kids, their imagination is limitless.
And there you have our Flight Log for this week, Loyal Airmen. With fingers crossed, we'll be announcing the release of our latest Airship 27 pulp title. This one is truly special. More next week. Till then, stay warm and thanks as ever for stopping by.