Last weekend was a double dose of big comic book conventions: Wizard Philly Con and Heroes Con in the lovely state of North Carolina. I didn’t get to attend either con in person this year, but my readers, fans, friends and peers have all given me glowing reports on their time at both conventions.
I hope that some of you out there in Knuckleville got to go to one of these nicely run cons. Even more so, I hope you had a good time. Bart Lanning from Wilmington, NC wrote and told me that he was able to pick up five issues of STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES #101 through #105 at Heroes Con for under $20.00 all reading copies. In my book that’s a great deal. Bart had never read any of the issues before I told him about them here in Busted Knuckles. He mentioned that they were even better than I described and that now he has picked up SHOWCASE PRESENTS THE WAR THAT TIME FORGOT by DC Comics. That’s 559 pages that he’s gonna enjoy for a very long time.
Mary Beth Conners from Chambersburg, PA. Wrote and told me that she was able to get my Cobb Magazine as well as The Complete Wynonna Earp (both from IDW Publishing) at the Wizard Philly show and that the dealer gave her a 30% discount on them because she mentioned that she and her boyfriend, Morgan had met me at a con before. See what kind of power my name has? I guess it didn’t hurt that Mary Beth is a real looker either.
My amigo, Billy Tucci, creator of SHI, said that he had a great time in Philly and that his fans loved his work on HEROES FOR HIRE and wanted to know when he was going to do more. Billy thrilled them when he told them that he is in talks with DC Comics right now about working on a huge DC icon character and that his writing partner on the project is a major Hollywood real man. Check Billy’s website for more on this as it happens. http://www.crusadefinearts.com.
CYN by Marlin Shoop
Artist Marlin Shoop, reported to me that he did great at Philly as well. He was there promoting our upcoming CYN comic book based on martial arts movie star, Cynthia Rothrock. Series inker Mark McKenna (COUNTDOWN) was also there spreading the good word and making sure everyone knew about his wonderful children’s book BANANA TAILS. Ya see, I always surround myself with the best talent. It makes a hick like me look good.
Cynthia Rothrock and Marllin Shoop
I’m hoping to get to Shelton Drumm’s Heroes Con next year. It’s always been one of my favorite conventions and Shelton always knows how to treat folks. Imagine, if he treats me good just think how well you’ll get treated.
Wizard Chicago and San Diego Con are coming up. Thos are the biggest of the big. San Diego Con is almost like it’s own planet these days. I won’t be at either this year, but I hope you make it to one or both. Look for good buys and let me know how it went for you. Maybe next year I’ll see you there.
Dead Moon Rising
Moonstone is launching its first book in a new line of horror prose fiction anthologies and I’m a part of it.
Art by Dave Dorman
Werewolves: Dead Moon Rising is prose fiction by me and some of your favorite comic book writers. It’s a whole new twist on werewolves and how they can be presented in fiction. It’s got stories by myself, Elaine Bergstrom, Tom DeFalco, Dave Dorman, Clay Griffith, William R. Halliar, C.J. Henderson, David Michelinie, Christopher Mills, Mike Reynolds, , Paul D, Storrie, “Dangerous” Dave Ulanski, and Fred Van Lente, the book features interior illustrations by Ken Wolak and a killer cover by Dave Dorman.
The story that I did for this book is called “Passing Through”. It’s a very different take on a werewolf story. It’s a western. One that’s brutal, action packed and with a little dark humor thrown in. The style of prose I used in this is also different. I wanted to put an entertaining slant on the type of prose used. I think it worked out pretty good. So did the folks at Moonstone, after all, they agreed to print it.
I thought I’d give you a small taste of what my story “Passing Through” is like. So here is a sample of the opening:
- “Passing Through”
Written and Created By Beau Smith
Ralls thought he was just passing through the town of San Rio on his way to another town that he’d just passed through. He didn’t know that one act of kindness would be paid back in such a strange and life-altering way.
Ralls had done it a little bit of everything. Some soldiering, scouting, buffalo hunting and even a little protection work for a couple of whorehouses in Arizona. Mostly he just kept passing through until he got a little low on money. Then he’d stop and see what opportunities were to be had.
He was low on funds when he found himself in the town of San Rio. It was a town made just for folks that passed through and the residents that sold things to folks just passing through.
Of all the jobs that Ralls had done, being a lawman was never one of them. Sure he might’ve bent the rules a little on occasion, but he never went out of his way to break any. He just couldn’t see the payoff of risking your life over somebody wanting to get drunk and shoot a pistol at the moon a little. That didn’t mean that Ralls was ignorant and without morals. He knew the difference between right and wrong just as he knew which side of the iron bars to steer clear of.
So on that late summer evening as he rode into San Rio he had no idea how much his life would change from one act of honor. Ralls was looking to stable his horse while he was in San Rio to see what possibilities the town had for funding his next trip to nowhere special. It was there at the livery stable he heard a tussle. It was two ranch hands that were low on manners and heavy on hands.
Seems these two horndogs were on their way to forcing their unwanted affections on a pretty young lady that was screaming and yelling in some language that Ralls had never heard before, not even in that French whorehouse he was in a few years back.
Ralls could see that the young, dark haired woman wanted no part of this poking party that the two ranch hands were putting on. Ralls noticed that the dress they were trying to rip off her wasn’t like the ones town ladies, whores, or prairie women wore. It looked like it might have had a Mexican style to it, but it weren’t. He knew a little Mexican and what she was a yelling wasn’t Mexican.
Needless to say Ralls knew he couldn’t let these ol’ boys continue with what they had planned. It just wasn’t right. There were whorehouses for men to vent out their urges. These boys were poor, but not the money kind, more the moral kind. Hell, they looked to be pretty much bankrupt on manners.
So Ralls calmly asked the boys to please put their ugly little friends back in their pants and wander on down to the whorehouse to satisfy their carnal cravings. The dirty ranch hands took great offence to Ralls suggestion. They also didn’t like having their peckers called little.
It was about then the boys went from pawing the girl to pawing for their guns. Ralls kinda figured they might feel that way so he had mentally prepared himself for an act of violence. Soldiering and working bouncer will prepare a man for rude mood swings in men of black and white decision making. It was pretty evident that black and white were the only colors in these boys’ paint box.
Ralls was never what one would call a “quick draw”. His time in the service and hunting had taught him that the cooler head with a good aim will almost always win out. That way of thinking had kept him alive for 30 years, he figured why mess with the odds now.
Ralls’ first .45 caught the tallest of the two horndogs square in the chest. There was that usual small entry hole that seemed to swell as it traveled through the body, moving everything in its way to a new exit out the back. Funny how one small piece of lead can make such a mess of a man’s innards when provoked through a gun barrel.
Well, to find out what else happens I guess you’re gonna have to buy the book. Funny how that works out ain’t it? I hope you enjoyed this little preview of WEREWOLVES: Dead Moon Rising. Make sure you tell your local comic shop to order it. Trust me, it’s something they need to carry. You can also contact Moonstone directly at http://www.moonstonebooks.com.
WEREWOLVES: DEAD MOON RISING is a 192-page book that’ll retail for $14.95 and is due in stores in October.
From Bigfoot To Yeti
Last week I told you all about a great horror/action book called THE SHADOWKILLER by Matthew Scott Hansen. It must of struck a hairy chord with a lot of you because I got a lot of email telling me that a bunch of you were gonna pick it up or already had. One of those emails came from Ben Chang in Los Angeles, CA. Ben wrote to tell me that he really loved THE SHADOWKILLER and it sparked him to head to his local used book store to find something else along in those lines. In fact he did better than that. Not only did he find something big and nasty, but he found two of em’ and sent one to me.
The book Ben found is from 1978 published by Dell. It’s called SNOWMAN written by Norman Bogner. It’s a great book about a hunger-crazed Yeti that makes its way from the Hymalayas, across Siberia to Alaska looking for human flesh. This big boy is 25 feet tall and not quite human and not quite ape. It’s big, bad and wants a lot of people dead. The big battle hits hard when the Yeti makes it’s way to a lush ski resort in northern California. This book is filled with action, blood and suspense. Another book that should’ve been made into a film. Enough with the zombies and vampires, it’s time Bigfoot and the Yeti got their turn in the horror spotlight.
SNOWMAN is a great book to pick up if you’re looking through the used book stores or online. I thank Ben very much for sending it and I hope he enjoys the package I shipped his way.
Building The Craft For A Successful Career In Comics
A wonderful Must Have book has just been released from TwoMorrows Publishing titled: WORKING METHODS: Comic Creators Detail Their Storytelling and Artistic Processes. It done by John Lowe.
The book takes an in-depth and detailed look at the creative process from the true teachers, craftsmen and professionals of comic books. In this book you’ll hear from Mark Schultz, Scott Hampton, Sean Murphy, Pat Quinn, Chris Brunner, Kelsey Shannon, Tim Levins and Jim Mahfood. I cannot stress how important this book is for aspiring comic book creators as well as established creators. John Lowe has done a wonderful job in asking and covering the parts of the creative process that other publications either gloss over or don’t cover at all.
Art by Mark Shultz
The book is filled with photos, sketches and art processes that everyone that wants to create comics should see and know. This is not just a pretty sketch book with “wanna be clever” remarks. This is a serious book for anyone really serious about working in comics or any other creative form of story telling. It’s printed on very nice paper and should be a staple in your bookshelf.
It’s 176 pages of black and white as well as partial color in a large softcover format. The cover price is $21.95 and worth every cent. Check it out through your local comic shop or contact TwoMorrows directly at http://www.twomorrows.com or 919-449-0327.
Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week
This week I present to you a Busted Knuckles “Classic” babe of pop culture. For those of you growing up in the late 1950’s and 60’s you’ll no doubt remember the hit TV series HAZEL based off the very famous cartoon strip. The show starred the talented character actress Shirley Booth, but if you were a young boy beginning to feel hormones kicking in then you mainly remember the young, blonde, leggy wife and mother on the sitcom played by Whitney Blake.
Before this hit TV show you could always find Whitney in loads of action packed western movies and TV shows. She also played a lot of female leads in some of the hip detective series that ruled TV at that time. Whitney always had that Doris Day sex appeal of a good girl that just may be bad at times. Some of you may also know that she was the real life mother of actress Meredith Baxter who has starred in many films and TV shows.
Sorry to report that Whitney died of cancer in 2002, but we’ll always have her being the best looking mom on the block in reruns and the DVD set of HAZEL.
Busted Knuckles Manly Cover Of The Week
Action Comics #176
This cover is what Superman would be like If I had his powers only the asking price would be a lot more.
Let’s face it, if any of us had Superman’s abilities we’d all be drunk with power. Not many of us would take the Boy Scout route. Oh, you talk a good game right now because you know you’ll never have his super powers, but if you could I promise you, helping an old lady across the street and world peace would be last on your list.
Trust me, if I had his powers your rent on this planet would go up. You’ve just gotta love all these early Superman covers with the wild and crazy stories. Face it, if you saw this cover on the stands you’d HAVE to buy it. Kinda makes you wish DC would add “IMAGINARY EARTH” to their new lists of Earths. A place where stories like this could once again be told. The nuttier the better. Now I’m not talking that weirdo Vertigo type of stories. You know the type, the ones that make you wanna French kiss the barrel of .45 automatic. I’m talking about fun stories that could make you smile and also show that having super powers could make you act like a real turd at times.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this Manly Cover Of The Week. It’s different. You might also wanna go to Chuck Dixon’s message board and see his futile attempt to out man me. http://www.dixonverse.net.
Okay, I’ve jabbered enough for one week .I had better let you go so you can hunt down all the stuff I wrote about. I know most of you take notes on this column. If you don’t then you should. How do you think guys like Mark Millar, Chuck Dixon, Brian Michael Bendis and Neil Gaiman got this far? (Answer: By NOT reading my column)
Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to your thoughts, emails and letters.
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