Friday, December 19, 2008

Lucky's Second Time Around

Yikes! This post came a week later than I hoped... that's what I get for being so damn busy...

So, Last Thursday (December 11th) was Jack's 2nd birthday and my 700th birthday, as we share the same date of birth, for those unaware. This is a good thing, as this will mean that I am now GUARANTEED cake for my birthday for the next 10-15 years. This is what we refer to as "wicked awesome".

Jack (AKA Lucky) made out nicely with a few solid gifts, such as a toy laptop (hopefully, he'll leave the home computer alone now...) and a box full of DUPLO Legos (as seen in the picture above), which he loves to play with. The boy is a natural builder.

Oh, and for the record, Jack is nearly naked due to the fact that just had his cake, which got everywhere... besides, he actually likes running around like a jungle boy.

A few days later, we got hit with a ton of snow here in the Seattle area, actually stranding the family and I at our house. As anyone who lives in a quiet residential area knows, these are the worse roads to try and traverse after a snowfall. They are just one giant slab of ice. Still, the kids managed to enjoy some time outside, as Mac took her little brother Jack out for some Winterland Action.

Speaking of little brothers, the littlest addition to the clan has hit the 3 month mark. Dana (AKA Quattro) has earned himself a new nickname -- The Moose. That boy can eat! He has been packing on the weight and size. He is already wearing 6 month clothes... but I'll save that for another post...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Pepper Jones by Brian Churilla

Although the book itself is in still pre-production, we still have the occasional pin-up rolling in for Blue Shift. This exciting piece was done by the uber-talented Brian Churilla, whose work can recently be seen in Rex Mundi, The Engineer, and pin-ups for such books as Fear Agent!

For more of Brian's work, check out www.brianchurilla.com!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sir Mix-A-Lot, Knight of the Realm

I have my pal Jim to thank for little piece of Awesomeness (and the guys at Robot Chicken, of course), who knows my love of Sir Mix-A-Lot knows no bounds...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dallas McCoy Cover Art

I've been threatening to put out a Dallas McCoy miniseries for ages, but it looks as if we are finally getting to the point of starting production on it. Before the miniseries kicks in, though, we are going to put together a Zero Issue, containing 2-3 short stories plus some other goodies. For this issue, we contracted the services of the very talented Edward Pun to do the cover.

Here is the evolution of said cover, starting with the initial sketches.

Once Edward turned these in, I briefly went over the various designs and picked out the one I thought was best for Dallas (which turned out was Edward's first choice, as well).

Later, I received these awesome pencils for the cover.

Seeing nothing wrong with it, I gave Edward the Green Light to finish up the piece. Shortly, he sent me the colored version. After a quick inspection and a minor color change, the final edition was delivered.

And there you have it. The finished artwork for Dallas McCoy #0, which will hopefully be done in time for next year's Emerald City ComiCon.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Doctor Zombie Update!

It's been almost a week since we debuted The Adventures of Doctor Zombie #1 at the Comic Stop and Bell-Con and we are just about sold out of copies!

The response to the book at the shop was amazing. We blew through 20 copies before my shift ended, so I brought more later that evening when Mac and I showed up for her Kung Fu class. As of yesterday afternoon, there are only 2 copies of the book left at the shop.

At the convention, Mackenzie showed the world that she was made for this business. Sitting with the Rorschach Entertainment tables, Mackenzie (along with the artist for the book, Erik Thompson) rocked the show by selling every copy of the book (the majority of what was left of the print run) that we brought for the show. She worked the crowd like a born salesmen, yet was completely upfront and honest about everything she said; no conning anyone. When the show slowed down, she actually grabbed copies of the book and went out onto the show floor and sold them to the other exhibitors, creators, and attendees. It was pretty amazing to see her at work.

Currently, this print run of the book is pretty much done. There are only a couple of copies at the shop and less than 10 copies that will be available online at Rorschach Entertainment later this week.

Mac, Erik and I would like to thank everyone at the shop and the con that took a chance on the book. We would really love to hear any feedback any of you may have, so please leave a comment or email us at microbrewstudios@gmail.com.

We are currently working on issue #2, which we hope to out before Christmas, and we are planning on at least 2 more issues after that. If they do well, we will be looking to re-release them in color on a national scale by submitting them to other publishers or through Diamond ourselves.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Doctor Zombie debuts!

The Adventures of Doctor Zombie #1 is finally back from the printers!

As some of you may already know (but let's recap for those that don't), this new book was written my daughter Mackenzie. After expressing interest in writing her own story, I encouraged her to put one together using one of her favorite characters, Doctor Zombie. Well, the story was a fun little romp filled with action, romance, and what I like to call "3rd grade Science".

I took her story and scripted it, handed it off to my artist Erik Thompson, and several months later, we have an all-ages comic about a dead scientist and his loyal assistant fighting demons and poor dating choices!

The Adventures of Doctor Zombie #1 will officially debut this weekend at Bell-Con, Bellingham's newest comic convention, but we will have copies at the Lynnwood Comic Stop this Wednesday for anyone that wants one. Anyone that wants to reserve a copy (many of you already have, thanks!) just needs to let me know, via email to the shop, a call, or even a comment.

The Adventures of Doctor Zombie #1 costs only a measly $2.50 and there are two covers to choose from (Good Guy Cover and Bad Guy Cover). Oh, and if anyone would like to have their copy signed by Mackenzie, let me know. She has been practicing her signature for the last couple of days just for this.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Quattro is in the house!

On September 13th at 4:10pm, Dana Benjamin Alan Meredith was born, punching in at a full 8 pounds, 8 ounces and 21 inches in length. He beats out his older brother Lucky by a pound and a couple of inches. Of course, Lucky has almost 2 years on him, so it evens out.

As with Lucky, we gave a nickname to the baby before he was born, due mostly to the fact that we had no idea as to the sex of the baby this time around. So, the baby was dubbed Quattro, as in the number four. I'm actually having a hard time calling him anything else.

Our time in the hospital was record setting; in on Saturday morning, out by Sunday afternoon. Once the actual labor kicked in, it was over in 20 minutes (just like with Lucky) and everything went perfectly. Quattro passed all tests with flying colors, and Amy bounced back like a trooper, so we cruised on out of there in no time.

The last couple of days has been spent trying to get the household into a new working rhythm. We finally got used to there being three kids; now the new baby gums up the works (but in a good way). It's going to take a little time to find a new flow to taking care of Quattro while there is still Lucky, just barely out of babyhood. Still, all in all, it should be a lot of fun!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Dave Lister 1992-2008

Dave Lister was my cat of 16 years. Only a few people, aside from family, even knew I had a cat, but he was an important part of my life. I received him the day before I moved to Seattle for college, when he was only 6 weeks old. He's been with me through 2 colleges, 7 homes, 6 jobs, 3 kids and 1 marriage.

He died today.

Dave was always a big cat, strong and meaty, with a strange meow and a loud purr. We often referred to him as an "urban cow", due to his big size and funny spots. He loved to run around the neighborhood, and loved to sleep on the porch. He even loved sneaking into the neighbor's house to eat their cat food, that is, until they got wise and closed up their cat door.

This summer, he started losing a lot of weight. At first, I paid no mind to it, as he was an old cat and not as active as he once was. Last week, though, his left paw started swelling. He seemed okay, otherwise, as it was not hurting him. However, it did not go away after a few days, eliminating the thought that maybe he was bit by a spider and was having an allergic reaction, so Amy and I took him into the vet this afternoon.

After a few tests, they told us that his weight loss was easily fixed (just a thyroid problem), but the real issue was his labored breathing, something I had not noticed before. It seems that Dave was hiding the fact that he was really sick, that fluids were filling up his lungs and his abdomen. So sick, the vet told us even with critical care and tons of money to spend, he was not likely going to get better.

I won't go into the details of what was wrong exactly, but it was very serious and he would not have lasted much longer. As much as it pained me to do it, I had to opt for the choice of putting him down. At the rate he was going, he would have literally drowned within the week.

It was one of the hardest choices I've ever made.

Dave was always more than a pet to me; in fact, I never really thought of him that way. He was my pal. He will be missed.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Doctor Zombie is off to the printers!

Issue #1 of The Adventures of Doctor Zombie is finally all done and off to the printers! He should see copies of the book in about a month. Mackenzie and I will officially "debut" the book at Bell Con 0n September 27th. Here are the two covers for the book...

GOOD GUY COVER

BAD GUY COVER

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Liquid Science!

Behold the might of science gone mad, via the 3rd grade...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Kyle and TJ @ Hotwire

Last night, Mackenzie and I headed over to the Hotwire Cafe to catch Kyle Stevens and his equally-talented buddy TJ Sherrill play a rare acoustic set. As always, they both rocked and brought in a lot of new people for this little (but very cool) cafe. TJ played a couple of my favorite songs from his latest album (buy it now!) and Kyle rocked it with his Geek out by playing a couple of his pop-culture songs, The Mario Cart Song and Tony Stark. He also pulled out his cover of Billie Jean, which I think he does better than the original artist.

Kyle and TJ finished off the night with a duet of a new song they both wrote last year called Mexican Jail. This song rocked all sorts of socks off. I must have a copy of that in the iPod. (That's a subtle hint, right there, Kyle... get to it.)

A pleasant surprise, my buddy Todd Downing (writer, director, musician) made the trek from West Seattle to catch Kyle play, as well. Kyle and Todd are in talks about the use of Kyle's music in an upcoming movie called Duo, in which one of the characters is based off of me. I didn't talk to him a whole lot. I was a bit tired and just needed to chill, but he was also with his new girl and daughter, so I didn't want to intrude on the family time.

Also at the show was Mike Miller, representing for the Comic Stop by sporting one of our brand new store t-shirts (INSERT SHAMELESS PLUG -- They are available at all of our locations! Boys and Girls versions for only $15 each! -- END SHAMELESS PLUG). Kudos to you, Mike, and shame on everyone else from the Comic Stop Social Club for not appearing. You will be punished.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Black Leather Rose

Several years ago, I was bushwhacked by other writers (those far craftier than myself when it comes to hunting down other writers) and participated in a Round Robin writing exercise.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a Round Robin is when one writer writes one chapter of a book, then another writer writes the next chapter, and so on. The only real rule of such an exercise is that you must follow up on what the previous writer(s) did, otherwise, anything goes.

Well, this particular book was called The Black Leather Rose and was a pulp-ish sort of spy adventure. We only got 5 chapters into this book before we all were called away on other business.

I was always a bit sad that we never finished it, as I really enjoyed writing my chapter and thought it was pretty decent. So, with that in mind, I've decided to post my chapter, just to get it out there for others to read. Obviously, it may be a bit hard to follow, as it's not the beginning of the story and may lack the context one usually needs to jump in. Hopefully, though, you'll all enjoy.

#####

Chapter Three: Will the real Black Leather Rose please stand up?

BANG! BANG! BANG!

Brandon Stokes was in the middle of his female soccer team dream (one of his favorite recurring dreams; number six on his Top Ten List) when the banging on the front door of his duplex apartment slammed him awake. He sat up with a jolt, his heart pumping a mile a minute, as the memories of the 6’3” blonde goalie wearing nothing but a red sports bra and black leather cleats faded back into the mists of his subconscious mind.

“Toke! Open the damn door!”

The adrenaline pumping through his body shocked his senses awake, awake as the rest of him was now. Although he only just heard the voice at the door, it seemed real familiar, cutting through the remains of the fog in his brain.

“Damn it, Toke, open up! It’s an emergency! Get your skinny ass up out of bed!”

Yep. The voice was indeed familiar, and the use of the nickname given to him by his pal Cromwell Rollins pretty much cinched who owned it. The voice belonged to a petite and gorgeous Asian female named Kim Lee Soong, Cromwell’s latest girl-toy. The lucky bastard. Brandon couldn’t even remember the last time he had a date, let alone a girlfriend.

For a moment, Brandon contemplated staying in bed and going back to sleep. After all, it wasn’t even one in the afternoon yet, way too early to be up and about. But, knowing Kim as well as he did (even though he had only known her for a short time, she made an impression on him), not answering the door would certainly result in it being kicked down or a window being smashed in (again). With those kinds of choices, Brandon chose to err on the side that would cause him the least amount of damage, physical and financial.

He wearily got out of bed and slipped his feet into a pair of blue slippers with the fuzz worn off as he yelled out to her. “Just chill, Kim. I’m coming!”

“Hurry up!”

Throwing on a threadbare plaid robe over his trademark black t-shirt (Hanes Classic 100% cotton; only $6.49 for a two-pack) and boxer shorts with pictures of various beers, Brandon shuffled down the hallway, stopping momentarily to look at his reflection in a mirror hanging at a slight angle. His shoulder length brown hair was a little tousled but not out of control, unlike his goatee, which was in dire need of a serious trim. Also, the dark circles that were permanently parked underneath his eyes had receded to a light purple-gray; this was about as presentable as Brandon got these days.

Feeling he was more than decent enough to show in his unexpected guest, Brandon unlocked his deadbolt and grabbed the handle, but never got the chance to actually turn the knob. As soon as she heard the door being unlocked, Kim slammed the door wide open; knocking Brandon down into one of the many random pile of empty beer cans that cover the floor.

Carrying the bulk of his weight (she’s a lot stronger than she appeared to be), Kim led a semi-unconscious Cromwell through the door and into the back area of the living room designated the dining room, denoted as such by the presence of the large dining room table. “Toke, get up and help me. Crommy’s hurt!”

Brandon brushed a few beer cans off of him and went over to the table. “So, what’s the problem, Kim? Hey, Cromwell, what’s going—holy fucking shit!!”

Brandon was shocked by what he saw; his friend, cover in blood, clutching the towel-covered stump where his right hand used to be. With a single sweep of his hand (with his right, by a sort of eerie coincidence), Brandon wiped his beaten table clear of empty beer cans and bottles, pizza boxes, and other pieces of trash.

“Let’s get him up on the table, Kim.”

“Right.”

Grabbing Cromwell by his right side, Brandon and Kim lifted him onto the table and laid him down. Glancing about, Brandon saw a muddy brown pillow on his futon couch. Snagging it, He gently put it under Cromwell’s head.

“Hey,” moaned Cromwell, making noise for the first time since arriving at Brandon’s place. He sounded better than he looked, but only just by a little. “How’s it going, Toke…?”

Brandon was delicately peeling away the blood-soaked towel to see the extent of the damage. “Cromwell, what the hell happened, man? Where’s your fucking hand?!”

“I had no- I had to fuckin’ cut it off,” whispered Cromwell, “It got infected with the mold. I don’t know how.”

“Mold? What mold?”

Absently caressing Cromwell’s hair, Kim piped up, her voice starting to shake as her own adrenaline rush wore off. “The Black Leather Rose, Toke. That’s what Cromwell told me. He said we had to chop his hand off before it spread any further.”

“What?! You cut off your own hand to stop a mold from growing on it?” Brandon shook his head in disbelief as he continued to look over Cromwell’s wound. “I just don’t get it, man. Why?”

Cromwell coughed, clearing a bit of phlegm out of his throat. “Check my back pocket, Toke. You’ll find a file on it.”

Brandon reached underneath Cromwell, finding a thick set of folded papers shoved into one of the pockets of his jeans. Brandon unfolded the papers and quickly flipped through them, taking no more than fifteen or twenty seconds before putting them down.

“Did you get this from your work, Cromwell?”

“Yeah…” Cromwell was silent for moment, but it was clear to Brandon that Cromwell had more to say, and he didn’t have to wait too long to hear it. “Something happened at work, something really bad. I needed to know what happened, to cover my ass, so I snagged these papers from Dr. Fang’s office.”

“Listen, dude, I’m going to go get my bag, okay? We’ll get this fixed up and then you can tell me all about it. Cool, brother?”

“Cool…”

As Brandon left the room (and out of earshot), Kim sat down on one of the dining room table’s chairs. She leaned in close to Cromwell’s ear, still caressing his hair.

“Cromwell, what are we doing here? I know you and Toke are good buds, but you really need to go to a hospital.” Kim placed a quick peck on his cheek. “Will you please let me take you, baby?”

“Sorry, Kimmy, but a hospital is the last place we want to be. They’d call the cops and the cops would be asking us questions, questions we don’t want to answer.” Cromwell stopped for a second to catch his breath. “We can’t explain why I made you cut off my hand, not without screwing ourselves.”

“But, Crommy, why come here? Brandon’s a nice guy and all, but he’s a drunk. We need to get you some real help.”

“I prefer the term burnout, thanks.”

Startled by the sudden appearance of Brandon in the room, Kim shot up straight in her seat. “Oh! Toke, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean anything by it. It’s just, well, Cromwell insisted we come to you for help and I just don’t see how you can…”

“It’s okay. I am a drunk, among other things, but I do have a few good qualities.” Brandon placed a black leather satchel on the table, right next to Cromwell. He started pulling out several pieces of medical equipment. “One of those being I’m pretty handy with sutures.”

Cromwell managed a grin. “Toke used to be a doctor, but then he made some hotshot doctor look bad and got his ass booted.”

“I was in my first year of residency, “Brandon said as he finished laying out his equipment, “when I chose to ignore the orders of the attending physician. I saved a kid from dying by his negligence, but he was a popular doctor and someone had to take the blame for putting him in danger in the first place.”

“I didn’t know,” said Kim, quietly. “So, you can help Cromwell?”

“Oh yeah, no worries. The cut was clean. You missed the bones in the wrists, so I should be able to sew this up with no problem.”

Cromwell asked, “Can we get this over with then?”

“Sure, man.”

Brandon moved the makeshift bandages off the wound, dropping them on the floor into an open pizza box (which once housed a large pepperoni and sausage pizza, according to the various leftover tidbits). He then grabbed a small syringe and a glass vial.

“This here’s a local anesthetic, dude. This is to help you with the pain.”

Cromwell spat out a small chuckle while raising his bloodied stump into view. “Ha ha… I think you’re a little late for that, Toke. The pain’s already died down to a dull throb.”

Brandon filled the needle with the contents of the vial, and then he stuck the needle just above the open wound, numbing the area around the injury.

“That’s not exactly the pain I was thinking about, dude. I gotta disinfect the wound.”

“Oh. Oh, crap…”

“Yep.”

Grabbing a bottle of alcohol (one of the few in his house not meant for drinking), Brandon unscrewed the lid and dumped the contents on the open wound.

Cromwell screamed, loudly, and then passed out.

As Kim watched in a mixture of horror and curiosity (the same way people do when there’s a horrific accident on the freeway; they can’t help but look at what happened, regardless of how disgusting it is), Brandon finished cleaning the wound and sewed it closed. Satisfied with the work, Brandon bandaged the stump with clean gauze.

“There, that should do the trick. We’ll need to keep checking it, make sure it doesn’t get infected, but he should be fine,” said Brandon, as he started putting his medical equipment back into his bag while Cromwell moaned slightly, starting to wake up.

“Thanks, Toke. Sorry I doubted you.”

“Don’t be. I doubt myself all the time.” Brandon snapped his bag shut. “But I’ll tell you what, I could sure use a drink after all that. You?”

“Hell yeah.”

Cromwell opened his eyes, the color returning to face. “Make one for me, too… vodka. It’s number one on my list right now…”

“Sure thing, dude.”

Brandon turned to leave, but Cromwell grabbed him with his one good hand. “Wait a sec… we need to talk about the Black Leather Rose, Toke. If it got out…”

“Dude, just relax. We will, I promise. Let me just get our drinks, and then we’ll plan our next move.”

“Okay, sure.”

While Cromwell rested, Brandon led Kim into the kitchen. As dirty as the living room (and the rest of the apartment, for that matter) was, the kitchen was surprisingly clean. Sure, there were empty bottles of whiskey, beer, vodka, and more on the various countertops, but the sink was unexpectedly empty of dishes and the counters had no appliances whatsoever. Of course, it’s not all that surprising once you realize that Brandon was not exactly the kind of man that cooks.

“I keep all the good stuff in here,” said Brandon, as he opened a pair of cabinet doors. Inside, there were two shelves full of various hard liquors, ranging from whiskey to rum to vodka to gin to tequila. He had enough alcohol to open his own bar.

Pulling down a bottle of Grey Goose vodka, Brandon pointed to another cabinet. “Glasses are in there, Kim.”

Kim reached into the other cabinet and snagged three of the half dozen or so glasses. Unlike the other cabinet, this one was mostly empty and did not have any shelves. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed a small toggle switch, semi-hidden in the front upper corner of the cabinet. “Hey, what’s that for?”

For the first time this morning, Brandon grinned. “Ah, that. Well, remember when I said I had a few good qualities? That’s one of them.”

Kim shook her head slightly, not understanding. “I don’t get it.”

“Here. Let me show you.”

Brandon flipped the switch and a secret panel at the back of the cabinet opened up, revealing a small cache of weapons. There were a few throwing knives and a dozen pistols of various types posted on the wall, as well as several boxes of shells. Most prominent was a pair of chrome-plated Smith & Wesson (Model #5906) 9mm semi-automatic pistols which hung dead center of the cache.

Kim was stunned for a second. “Holy shit… do I even want to know why you have those?”

“Probably not, but I have a feeling that we’re going to need them.”

“I hope not,” said Cromwell, as he appeared in the doorway to the kitchen. He had a clammy look about him, with a few beads of sweat trickling down his forehead, but he was looking pretty good for a guy who just had his hand cut off. “I’m going to have a hard enough time explaining this missing hand to everyone, especially at work, without having to explain us running around with guns.”

All of a sudden, as if a light had been turned on, a puzzled look appeared across Brandon’s face. “Say… where is your hand, Cromwell?”



DEA Agent Joe Sanford and his erstwhile partner, Patricia ‘Pepper’ Hurley, stood on the front porch of Cromwell’s dingy apartment building. Although the remains of the concrete goose named Bruce (may he rest in peace, or is that pieces?) were certainly cause for curiosity, the fact that Cromwell’s door was slightly ajar with a suspicious red-colored smudge above the handle was positively more fascinating.

“Well, I’d say this looks… interesting, to say the least. What about you, Pepper?”

Inspecting the pile of crushed concrete covered unceremoniously with a yellow jumpsuit, Pepper looked up at Sanford with a quizzical, yet playful, look set upon her face. “I’ll say. Isn’t this the suit that Uma Thurman wore in the Kill Bill movie? It looks like it’s made for a duck or something.”

“I’m not as concerned about that as I am with the open door and that smudge. I’d bet a hundred bucks that red smear is blood.

“Oh, and Bruce Lee wore it first.”

Pepper smiled. “You’re such an old man, Joe. Get with the times. Uma’s in, Bruce is out.”

Sanford returned the smile. “Shall we get back to work?”

“Okay, fine. Let’s get the formalities over with so we can go in.” One hand on her holstered Colt Defender (model O7000D) .45 ACP automatic, Pepper moved to the open door and gently knocked on it, taking care not to cause it to swing back inside. “Mr. Rollins, Agents Hurley and Sanford here. We’re with the DEA. Can we come in?”

Seconds passed and they received no answer.

“Well, that’s enough time for me, Joe. Let’s go in.”

Grinning like a smitten schoolboy, Sanford motions for Pepper to take the lead. “Lead the way.”

Pushing the door open with her foot, Pepper removed her gun from its holster and entered the apartment, weaving through the clutter and mess perfected by years of bachelorhood. Sanford followed right behind her, moving a bit more casual than Pepper, and certainly not as technical.

Although a by-the-book agent, he was never one for adhering to exact procedures, such as how to enter someone’s residence. Besides, Sanford found it hard to concentrate on those procedures while watching Pepper go through her usual tough-as-nails swagger. It was a thing of beauty.

He did, however, unclasp the leather guard strap on his own holster, which housed his Smith & Wesson (Model #673) .38 snub-nosed revolver, ready to pull it out at a moment’s notice.

Pepper called out to no one in general and one person in particular, hoping to get some sort of response; perhaps even something to shoot. “Mr. Rollins? Are you home? The door was open.”

Pepper moved down the hallway towards the two bedrooms, with Sanford in tow. She entered the first bedroom (Cromwell’s spare room, where he kept his old comic collection, among other things) on the left. Sanford took one last look at Pepper, and then continued on to the main bedroom straight ahead.

Once inside, Sanford took one look at the state of the bed and knew Mr. Rollins had recently gotten laid. “Good for you,” Sanford whispered.

“What was that, Joe?” Pepper said from the other room.

Still looking about the room, Sanford noticed a single drawer open in Cromwell’s dresser. Knowing that a person usually has all of the drawers closed or all of them in disarray (depending on their personality types), Sanford opened the drawer as he replied to Pepper. “I said it looks like Mr. Rollins had a real good time last night. What do you have?”

“Nothing. Just a guest room that’s being used as storage. This guy’s a bit of a pack rat.”

The drawer was a typical sock drawer; it had socks in it. But, there was one single sock with an unusual bulge that stood out. Sanford grabbed the sock and opened it, revealing a large amount of cash bundled inside. Raising a single eyebrow (one of his favorite things to do), Sanford pulled out the wad of cash and started counting.

Pepper stood in the doorway, holstering her gun. “Hey, did you find something?”

“Here, look at what I found in his sock drawer.” Sanford tossed the bundle of money to Pepper, who flipped through it.

“Nice. What’s this…? Four, five grand? That’s a lot of scratch for a janitor to be sitting on.”

“Yes, it is.”

“You thinking it’s a payoff for stealing that missing vial?”

“Could be, but if it is, it’s not enough. That mold is worth millions. Even a janitor should know that. Maybe it’s an advance, or he’s hiding the rest elsewhere. I don’t know.”

“Well, he’s not here, that we do know. Shall we go and check out the next name on our list?”

“Sure. Who’s next on the list, Karamazov or Lipworth?”

Pepper flipped open her notebook to check her notes. “Lipworth. He’s closer.”

“Then let’s go.”

Once again, Pepper was in front, leading the way. As she passed the kitchen/dining area, Pepper saw a somewhat grisly sight and cursed herself for not noticing it when they came in. Stopping suddenly (and almost causing Sanford to run into her; not that he would mind), she pointed to the kitchen table. “Joe. Take a look…”

Sanford followed Pepper’s very lovely trigger finger, which led him to the cheap square table in the middle of the room. On it was an old wooden chopping block with a blood-covered cleaver.

“This assignment just keeps getting better…” muttered Sanford. He stepped closer to the table, and saw that the top of the chopping block was stained dark with blood.

“There’s more, Joe.”

Sanford turned and looked at Pepper, who was inspecting the fridge. On the door and handle of the freezer part of the refrigerator were several smears of blood, similar to the one on the front door.

Sanford walked over the fridge. He looked closely at the smudges, and then turned to Pepper. “I’m thinking I should open the freezer.”

“I’m thinking you’re right.”

Grabbing the handle, making sure he didn’t touch any of the blood stains, Sanford opened the freezer. Inside, sitting on top of an empty box of Hot Pockets (Ham and Cheese) and an ice tray with only three ice cubes, was the severed hand of Cromwell Rollins inside of a Zip-Lock freezer bag.

Pepper and Sanford stared at the hand for a moment, speechless.

Pepper was the first to break the silence. “That’s a hand. That’s a fucking hand, Joe.”

Sanford closed the freezer. He stepped back, took another look at the chopping block and bloodstained cleaver, and raised his eyebrow.

“That’s Rollins’ hand, Pepper. He was infected, and he cut off his hand to save his own life.”

“So, it looks like our theory about Mr. Rollins’ involvement is looking a little more solid.”

“It looks that way.”

“Doctor, what on earth is up with your fridge? This is just disgusting.”

Lipworth was headfirst in a large stainless steel Kenmore refrigerator, trying to find something worth eating. On one side of the fridge, there was nothing but health food, such as tofu, wheat germ, organic vegetables and other inedible stuff. The other side of the fridge was filled with nothing but expired leftovers and condiments. If he didn’t know any better, Lipworth would have guessed a guy lived there, or stayed over enough to mark his territory, so to speak. Dogs piss to leave their mark; guys leave leftover takeout.

“There’s nothing good here at- wait a second, I see something…”

Lipworth hit the jackpot. Hidden behind a week old box of chicken curry was a small bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken (Original Recipe & Spicy). Popping off the lid, Lipworth gave the chicken the official sniff test; nothing vile smelling there at all. He smacked his thin lips and pulled the bucket out of the fridge.

Closing the fridge door with his ass, Lipworth dropped the bucket on the counter and gleefully started rifling through it, looking for a leg or a breast. Finding a real quality leg, Lipworth bit into it with zeal; one would think the man hadn’t eaten in days. Several bites later, Lipworth stopped suddenly, as if he just remembered that he wasn’t alone. He turned his attention back to Dr. Beatrice Karamazov.

“Don’t worry, Doctor, I haven’t forgotten about you. As soon as I get done with my little snack, we’ll get started with your beating.”

Beatrice was sitting in the middle of room, tied to one of her very expensive oak chairs that accompanied her very expensive oak dining room table. In fact, the whole house was expensive, a final gift from her mother (to both of the Karamazov sisters), who passed away a few years ago.

The ropes were tight, cutting into her wrists and rubbing them raw with every move she made. She was still gagged (a rag duct-taped to her mouth), which was just as well, as she really didn’t know what to say. The dried tears on her cheek pretty much said it all.

Lipworth picked the bone clean of meat and tossed it in the trash bin near the back door. No need to be dirty; he was a guest in her house, after all. “That was delicious. There’s nothing better than cold KFC. Well, except cold pizza.”

He moved back over to the counter, near his bucket of fried chicken, and picked up the tire-iron he brought in from his car. Lipworth felt the weight of it in his hands, and it felt good. He was actually getting excited about what he had to do next.

He let loose that nasty little grin of his, the one that made him look like an emaciated jackal. “I’ll be starting on your legs, Doctor, and then I’ll work my way up your torso, ending with your arms. This should only take twenty minutes or so, and then we can get on with the questions.”

Lipworth raised the tire-iron. He closed his eyes, enjoying the moment, and brought it down.

TRRRINNNG!

Stopping in mid-stroke, Lipworth scowled and placed the tire-iron back on the counter. He reached into his coat and pulled out his cell phone.

“This had better be good…” muttered Lipworth as he answered the call. “They went where? Who’s Stokes? Ah, some drunken friend… no, just stay there. Let me know when they leave.”

Out of nowhere came a voice. “Hang up the phone, Lipworth.”

“I’m going to have to get back to you.” Lipworth said as he shut off his cell phone and turned to the source of the mysterious voice.

Lipworth saw a woman standing in the large entryway which led to the recessed entertainment room off to the side. She was dressed in a tight leather one-piece outfit with a silver zipper that ran the gamut from neck to crotch, unzipped to right below the navel. Needless to say, this showed off her ample bosom, in all the right ways. Right above her left breast was an embossment or embroidery of a black rose; it was hard to tell which one it was. She was also wearing a pair of silver earrings shaped like the rose on her outfit. Her strawberry blonde hair flowed across her shoulders and back, accentuating her pale skin.

In her right hand was a Glock 36 .45 automatic pistol, trained on Lipworth.

Lipworth grinned.

“Ms. Rosamund Karamazov. So nice of you to join us. Please, feel free to call me… Dick.”

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Lucky Vs The Suicide Girls

Lucky may be outnumbered, but I don't think he minds. See how cool he plays it...

And yes, he is wearing two different colored socks, because that is how he rolls.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Doctor Zombie, Mac Style!

About 6-8 weeks ago, before ECCC, I was taking Mac to her Kung Fu lesson, as I am prone to do 2-3 times a week. As we were driving there, she expressed interest in writing a story. I simply told her to go ahead a make one up, as she is quite talented in the Off-The-Cuff-Story-Telling Department.

Picking one of her favorite subjects (Doctor Zombie, see other posts or the Steve Lawlis site for more info...), she immediately weaved a tale called "Marigold's Birthday Surprise". It was a fun little romp as Doctor Zombie and Marigold Murray try to celebrate her birthday, but their plans are ruined when a devil appears and takes away Marigold for refusing to go out on a date with him. It falls to Doctor Zombie to use his genius to create potions in order to save her.

Although the story was short, it was good, really cute and funny. I told a few of my fellow writers, such as Brian Joines (the talented mastermind behind the Indy hit 7 Guys Of Justice), who just loved it. So, with the help of my regular Steve Lawlis artist Erik Thompson, we proceeded to put it down on paper. I turned the story into a 16-page script, and Erik is already halfway done with the artwork. Once we are done with the artwork, we will put this out as a limited Doctor Zombie Special through Rorschach Entertainment.

Mackenzie CANNOT wait to see this book done. Not a day goes by that she does not ask about it. She's only 8 years old, and she's already looking forward to having a comic book of her very own. I think she is plotting to take me out of the picture so she can write more Doctor Zombie stories...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Road To Emerald City


This is the time of year when my brain melts.

As one of the 4 Founding Fathers of the Emerald City ComiCon, a portion of the operations of the show (i.e. setting it up, processing all of the info coming and going, design, print, etc.) falls on me. We all have our areas of expertise, and we all bust our asses all year long to make this show happen. However, with less than a month away, TONS of little things crop up that need to be taken care of on a daily basis. Along with a normal family life and work, this makes for a very scatter-brained Brian... hence, the meltiness of my brain, as of late.

Anyway...

Besides the running of the actual show, there has also been certain preparations for the show that I have been working on, in regards to Rorschach Entertainment. As it stands, RE will have a busy year at the show. We have a couple of new books, an artbook (by Sean Dietrich), and a special guest.

After a long delay, Issue #2 of Sprecken: Kalabus Rex finally makes its debut this year, continuing with the original miniseries of Sprecken that I started at last year's show.

I have also lettered the first issue of a brand new RE series called Bolt Magee, created by Steve Lawlis artist, Erik Thompson. It's a great little book by a talented creator, so pick it up if you're at the show.

Lastly, Gigi Edgley will also be making an appearance at the show, sitting behind the RE booth to promote our venture, Blue Shift. Although the miniseries is still in production, she will have the ashcan on hand for sale, as well as a brand new art print (see above) by artist Camilla d'Errico (who will also be at the show).

As for me, I will be running all over the show floor during the event, but I will try and make time to spend at the RE booth when I can.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008

8th time around!

Yesterday was Mackenzie's 8th birthday. For her, it was a modest and mellow event, considering her past birthdays almost always ended up with an evening at Chuck E Cheese. No night out, just the family at home with a small dinner, some cake, and a few choice presents. As part of my effort to cut back on the amount of useless crap my kids tend to end up with, she got quality over quantity. No crappy toys this year...

Her presents this year consisted of 2 light-weight jackets (one track and one hoodie), a couple pairs of nice jammies, a Hannah Montana music CD, a movie called ROXY HUNTER (about a 9-year-old girl detective), a pair of silver Converse shoes, and the Grand Prize Of Them All, a pink Nintendo DS.

She was very excited about all of them, especially the DS, of course. Like the rest of the family, she loves her Gameboy, and this is the first one she has owned that was not a Hand-Me-Down. All in all, a good day for her...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Octo-Bot!

Mostly as an exercise in creativity and/or stress release, I have a tendency to start working on designs for no particular reason. With all of the various projects (whether freelance, personal, or work related) I am working on, I find it's a nice break to just play around with something that has no deadline.

One the of the ideas I have been playing with is the "Mighty and terrible Octo-Bot, with its Tentacles of Doom!" (as shown here). This design really serves no purpose, other than being a fun looking image. But, it might make a neat t-shirt design.

Recently, some friends of mine (such as artist Sean Dietrich) have been getting involved with submitting t-shirt designs to sites like Threadless and Design By Humans. I'm not sure how well they've done with those submissions, but considering that those designs that are chosen are printed and paid for, I'm thinking about submitting this design for consideration. However... I'm not sure if this design is strong enough, or if I should drop the words, or change the color. I may play around with it a bit first...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Holy Hot Rod!

After almost 9 years of driving the same car (my beloved 2000 Dodge Neon), I have taken the plunge and bought a (nearly) brand new 2007 Chevrolet HHR.

With the arrival of my boy Jack "Lucky" Meredith over a year ago, my small but growing family placed a bit of a strain on our vehicle situation. My Neon and Amy's Hyundai Elantra were just not big enough. Oh, sure, we could get around town easily enough with all five of us packed in to either car, but we were packed in. Not exactly a lot of room left for the little things, like space or comfort.

On top of that, my work at the Comic Stop calls upon me to pick up shipments on a weekly basis, not to mention any trip out of town for family or business.

So, with all of that in mind, Amy and I kept an eye out for a new vehicle, preferably something not too expensive, decent gas mileage, and enough room for everyone and everything we would need it to do. Our list of requirements left us with a very short list of cars. One of these cars was the Chevy HHR.

After about a month or two of looking around, Amy found a sweet deal on a used HHR at a nearby dealership. This HRR had only 1,000 miles on it, and was a lot cheaper than other comparable HHRs we found.

After making an appointment to see and test-drive the car (which handled great), we found out the previous owner had just bought it a couple of months before. It turned that his mother suddenly turned ill and he needed a large mini-van to get her around (I believe he traded it in for a Dodge Grand Caravan). We thought about it overnight, and went back in the next day to see what kind of deal we could make. in the end, we got a new car for about $7-8,000 less than had we just bought it brand new.

Of course, the downside to this great deal is that I have car payments again...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Free Comics?! WOW(IO)!

Apparently, Modern Pulp and the rest of the Rorschach Entertainment titles have gone digital!

James Taylor, publisher of RE, just told me that all of our titles are now available online as PDF downloads from WOWIO. For those of you unfamiliar with the site, WOWIO is an online bookstore that enables people to download all sorts of "ebooks" for free. Instead of a normal "pay to download" system, they use commercial sponsorships to pay creators and publishers. The people have zilch. Not too shabby of a system...

The only drawback I've seen of this site is the registration. In order to download the books, you must register and set up an account. No big deal there, but you have to wait a day or so until they get back to you with account verification before you can download any books. Still, those with a bit of patience (and I know you are out there!) can easily wait a tiny bit before downloading a book.

Each book is in PDF format, so anyone can read it using Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you don't have that, just go to the Abode website and download it.

For all of the Rorschach Entertainment and Modern Pulp books currently available, head on over to the RE page at WOWIO to start downloading!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Not With A Bang...

...nor with a whimper. The new year of 2008 appears with nary a noise, and a few false starts (anyone watching the ill-fated and poorly executed fireworks display in Seattle can attest to that). Granted, it's only been a day, so who knows what this new year will bring.

For me, nothing has really changed. I still have Blue Shift and Steve Lawlis and Sprecken and Dallas McCoy in the works, with other projects festering in the background. I still have the upcoming Emerald City ComiCon to work on, as well as The Comic Stop to run.

If all goes well, the next issue of Sprecken: Kalabus Rex and Steve Lawlis will be out for ECCC, if not sooner. The first issue of Blue Shift is also slated to debut at that show, but may not debut until later in the summer, such as at San Diego or Chicago.

I'm hoping to get the launch of the Dallas McCoy series out by the Fall, as well. And who knows, if all goes well, there may be a Gibson Dent miniseries starting, too. Beyond that, I think I'll keep my schedule open and see what happens...