By Beau Smith

The response from last week’s Busted Knuckles column “What’s In Your Wallet?” was HUGE. I’m very happy to see that so many of you replied to my question of “How Much Do You Spend On Comic Books?” I’m still getting lots of email from it with more results. I’ll be compiling them and preparing them for print here in Busted Knuckles as soon as they all come in. So look for them real soon.

Manly Recommendations

An Echo and Reflection Is All I Need

Echo #1 by Terry Moore
Abstract Studio
On Sale Now

A few weeks ago here in Busted Knuckles, I told you that Terry Moore of Strangers In Paradise had a new book coming out called Echo. Well, my little amigos, it’s here.

As always, “Texas” Terry Moore has written and drawn the issue. Once again, Terry has given readers, aspiring artists, writers and veterans a schooling on how to pace a story, how to write outstanding dialogue and most importantly, how to entertain. Echo is a perfect first issue. The set up, the character intros and the cliffhangers are all there. This is textbook stuff and you all should be paying attention as well as paying for this book.

Echohas something for everyone. It sure screams action/adventure with superior character development. You’ve got some sort of symbiotic nuclear powered weapon that sorta falls into the hands and body of a sharp looking photographer that is in the wrong place at the wrong time taking photos of the wrong stuff. Did I mention she drives a nice truck. That’s a big turn on for real men reading comics about lead women characters. There are all kinds of clues and lead ins on what’s gonna happen in the next few issues. Like I said, this is a perfect first issue. Get on board with Echo now, before you can’t find the first issue. You don’t wanna miss this.

Give A Manly Hoot

Billy Hooten: Owlboy Book One & Two
Written By Tom Sniegoski
Illustrated By Eric Powell
Yearling Books
$5.99 Each
Available Now

All ages is back! By that I mean a story that anyone of any age can enjoy. The way most things in the mass market are supposed to be. Billy Hooten: Owlboy books one and two are dead on in entertainment. Novelist and comic book writer, Tom Sniegoski has made a pool party for all of us. He’s pulled kids in from the kiddie pool, hauled the adults and teens from the big pool and put them all together in some water that has just the right depth.

I breezed through these two books in a good way. The kind of breeze that makes you feel good, laugh, turn the page fast just to see what’s gonna happen next. It’s full of cool gadgets, likable characters, a kid hero that we’ve all felt like at one time or another and fast paced action. Top all this off with illustrations by Eric (The Goon) Powell and you’ve got a couple of novels that are worth double what you’d pay for the same amount of comic books.

I cannot recommend these books high enough. You can’t go wrong with Billy Hooten: Owlboy as a gift to your kid, yourself or someone you kinda like. Each book runs around 230 pages and they are all worth your time.

What’s Playing At The Drive-In?

Tales Of The Starlight Drive-In Ashcan
By Mike San Giacomo
Art By Twenty-Two Talented Artists Such As Sean McArdle, Rielly Brown, Sam Agro, Henrik Horvath, Francesco Francavilla and Mike Faille.
Image Comics
Available In June 2008
Graphic Novel
220 Pages

I’ve always loved anthology books. Publishers have always whined that they don’t sell and that’s why they don’t do them anymore. The main problem with that is the publishers never took the time to learn how to sell them. They just throw them out there and hope that, like The X-Men or Batman, they will sell themselves.

Recently I was sent a special advance ashcan edition of Tales Of The Starlight Drive-In Ashcan graphic novel written by Mike San Giacomo. It’s a huge graphic novel that proves there’s a place for anthology books. This one is filled with stories that contain action, romance, humor, Drama, crime and even a western. The ashcan is just a tip of what is coming. Almost like the previews that we used to see when there were still Drive-ins across this great nation of ours. I found it ironic and touching that Mike called the Drive-In setting for this graphic novel “The Starlight Drive-In.” We used to have one called that here in my area. Then again, I guess there were a lot of Starlight Drive-In’s across the nation. Cool and fitting name.

Keep your sensors on for this graphic novel. There is a ton of character drama and very cool art here. See you at the snack bar.

Not Seeing Is Believing

Phantom Jack: Director’s Edition Trade Paperback
Written By Mike San Giacomo
Art By Brett Barkley, Mitchell Breitweiser, Sean McArdle, Andly Belanger, Andy Finlayson, Paul McCuster and Jason Baroody.
Atomic Pop Art Entertainment
Available Now

Fully packed and fully loaded. That’s the way to describe Mike San Giacomo’s Phantom Jack: Director’s Edition Trade Paperback. Big, thick and a heavy carry in your book bag. You get every cent of your $19.95 when you buy this action/thriller of a reporter that can turn invisible and get into more trouble than Billy Tucci in a library.

I plugged this book a while back when it was reported to be coming out in trade paperback form. Now that it’s a reality you must add this book to your personal library. It’s been recommended by such creators as Brian Michael Bendis, Brian K. Vaughn, and movie producer Don Murphy (The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen), now it’s being recommended by me?.(I hope that doesn’t cost you sales, Mike)

This trade paperback is loaded with extras that will enhance your reading. Check this out and know that you can always bust knuckles with the spine of this heavy hitter.

Tool Time!

Zombie-Proof #3
Written By J.C. Vaughn Art By Vincent Spencer
Available in Two Weeks
Moonstone Books $3.50

Another book that I’ve mentioned here before is Zombie-Proof by J.C. Vaughn (24: Nightfall) and art by Vincent Spencer. It’s all about a ball Peen hammering locksmith and handyman that is out to Zombie-Proof your world. The adventures of Billy Bob Driwhal from Moonstone Books screams to be a film or TV series, which it know doubt will become. Think Home Improvement and Evil Dead directed by Robert Rodriguez and you have Zombie-Proof.

Loads of action, clever dialogue and a late night animated style of art and colors that will make ladies look at your toolbox with a whole new lust.

Do not cheat yourself by missing this. It’s original, it’s fun and it’s a foundation of manliness. That Billy Bob is one rugged looking character?.

Look for more of J.C. Vaughn’s thrill heavy writing in the upcoming Vampire Hunter Dean from Moonstone Books.

Femme Noir Know-How

It’s Heads up time for a future recommendation. There’s a creator-owned comic book coming out from Ape Entertainment this
Summer, Written by Crime Noir king, Christopher Mills and drawn by Joe Staton. (Green Lantern) It’s called Femme Noir: The Dark City Diaries, and it’s a cartoon crime comic in the slant of The Spirit and Dick Tracy.

It’s tough as nails from a fully automatic nail gun. It hits you fast, hard and nails your eyeballs to the page. Make sure you keep those same eyeballs peeled for this book and check out all of Chris’s links to stuff you need to read.

Busted Knuckles Manly Cover of the Week: Warfront: Featuring Dynamite Joe #38
Harvey Comics 1966

Dynamite Joe The Blast Crazy Marine. Do you really need to know more than that to figure out why this was picked as the Busted Knuckles Manly Cover of the Week? There is nothing that my buddy, Chuck Dixon can do on his website to out-man this cover.

Harvey Comics in the mid-1960’s churned out some incredibly fun comic books much like what Archie Comics were doing at the same time. Warfront is just the pin of the grenade of fun that you could have as a kid in 1967. I always recommend that you seek out mid-60’s Harvey and Archie Comics from this time period when you are at a convention. You will never be sorry.

Busted Knuckles Babe of the Week: Diana Frank

If you’ve never seen the German TV series Der Clown then you are missing something. There are more fist fight, gun fights, car fights and explosions per minute than any thing I’ve ever seen. Best part, no CGI. All stunts all the time by real people. Oh, the other best part is the beautiful Diana Frank. The leggy, blonde beauty is well worth pretending I can understand German. She is a eyeful to behold and great in this action series.

If you want to know more about Der Clown and Diana Frank, check out the latest issue of Impact: The Global Action Entertainment Magazine. It’s THE source for everything action. It also has a kick-ass poster for Der Clown in it.

Mid-Life Crisis on Earth Beau

It seems that The Joker is pretty pissed at The Kubert Brothers and the way that they tend to draw him from time to time. If I were Andy and Adam I don’t think I’d wanna be on the bad side of The Joker. Just ask Batgirl.

Stroke My Ego, Put Money In My Pockets and Watch Me Grow

24: Cold Warriors Graphic Novel
Written By Beau Smith
Art By Steve Bryant
IDW Publishing
48 pages
Order # DEC073744

I wanted to remind all of you (And I mean ALL of you) that my latest writing work is out and for sale at any great comic books store near you, on the web or in most bookstores. 24: Cold Warriors hit the shelves March 5th and is getting very good buzz in this “Without Jack On TV” world.

As an added value there is a feature article and interview with me on the book in the latest issue of Impact: The Global Action Entertainment Magazine. It’s in-depth and very slick. Loads of behind the scenes info and art from the book.

I need the money, the sales, the work and most of all the praise from people I don’t know. My ego must be fed. Do all of these things and I will be in your debt until you turn your back. If nothing else, I’m honest.

Buy the book. Read the book. Let me know what you think. Help strengthen my self-esteem.

The Roundup

It’s March here at the Ranch and every day is like living in the Bermuda Triangle, one day Rain, the next sun and then a snowstorm. Saturday I walked four miles in the snow (winds, 27 degrees) to get to the post office and library. Felt good. Next day Sunny and the snow melted. Today overcast and 60 degrees. What’s in store for tomorrow?dust storm, ice storm, or maybe a heat wave? In the month of March, it could be anything.

Here’s a photo of me from Saturday morning. Ya know, I could’ve used this as reference for my 24: Cold Warriors graphic novel. I look like a Russian Terrorist, don’t I?

Okay, go buy books. MY books!

Your amigo,

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507

Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!

About The Author

Beau Smith

Beau Smith is a writer for Comics Bulletin