By Beau Smith

I’ve been writing my weekly Busted Knuckles column for over five years. Every now and then I take the time to promote my own stuff. I can do that. It’s my column. It’s also one of the reasons I’ve been in this business for over twenty years. (Read my book No Guts, No Glory: How to Market Yourself in Comics for more tips.

This week is one of those weeks where I promote one of my upcoming projects. I came up with this idea ten years ago and have been tweaking, adding, subtracting and enhancing it ever since. I wanted to also wait until I had the right artist that could relay what I had in my head to paper. I found that artist in the form of my long time friend, Gary Kwapisz. Gary is best known for his long run on Savage Sword of Conan at Marvel as well as The Punisher. Gary is one of those artists that can do anything and any genre. He comes from the influence school of Frank Frazetta and Hal Foster. He can do fine art or he can do the animated style and even political cartoon work. It’s great to have an artist with that kind of ammo belt.

Gary is also a keen storyteller and it always shows in his art. There’s never a lack of background or reference when it comes to location and equipment. Working with Gary was a pleasure in the fact that I could bounce ideas off him and he was always able to fill in the void. Gary also shared my views on the lack of self-contained stories in comic today. The art of doing a self-standing story with a beginning, middle and end has been scarce in the last decade. We both remembered being able to pick up a comic book and having a complete story that didn’t lack of character layers or action. We wanted to prove that kind of craft was not dead in comics and could be done. I’m not saying that every comic should be self-contained, I just think there should be a variety and we owe it to the readers to give them a good, solid story without having to pony up $3.99 a month for six months (As well as pray that one of the issues isn’t late)

Self-contained stories also give the retailer a book they can sell all year round. Something they can suggest as an add-on when a reader picks up a like genre. With the case of my new book Lost and Found from IDW Publishing, I made sure that almost every genre was covered, Sci-Fi, Action/Adventure, Time Travel, Romance, History, Paranormal, Military, and more. If you were to pitch this as a film or TV show it would be something that would appeal to anyone that enjoys Lost, 24, The X-Files, National Treasure, Indiana Jones, and In Search Of.

I’m very proud of this book because I not only wrote it for me and what I like, but I wrote it for you , the readers, that share the common bond that only comic books can bring us. Here’s the rundown on Lost and Found. I hope by reading this and seeing some of Gary’s art and colors that you’ll give it a shot this November when IDW releases it. The retail/Diamond ordering number is also there so that you can pre-order it NOW and not miss it.

Lost And Found

Written and Created by Beau Smith
Art and Colors by Gary Kwapisz
Published By IDW Publishing
Diamond Retail Ordering Number–SEP08 4130.

How The Clock Got Stopped

The Bermuda Triangle, the Devil’s Triangle, black holes, Stonehenge and the Arctic Vortex have long been said to be mysterious portals or places of danger where anything near them gets sucked away into oblivion.

But, if you were to tell the truth, you would call it like it really is the chute to the lost and found… “the dead letter department” of an ancient lab test.

Thousands of years ago, a unified group of ancient scientists made up of Mayans, Egyptians, Greek, and Lemurians from the fabled city of Atlantis, developed a portal as a giant petri dish with which to study beings, creatures, and materials of the Earth. To do this, they planted “trap doors” to snare specimens. They created places like the Bermuda Triangle, the African Musabba, and the Arctic Vortex just to name a few of these so-called trap doors. These ancient scientists did not worship Gods or spirits. They worshiped science!

In this test lab, time moved different than it did anywhere else. Everything and being that fell into this test area never aged. Time did move; it just didn’t have any effect on the age of things trapped there. That includes humans, animals… and dinosaurs.

Millions of years passed and the civilizations of these ancient scientists faded or were destroyed. But their experiment did not fade. They forgot to turn it off. This test zone has developed its own life built upon chaos. It is populated with various beings and creatures from history and other cultures that have separated into their own tribes, nations and factions. Not all are friendly.

This world trapped in time is made of all climates that can change within a very short distance. One mile could be sunny and beautiful, then you go another two miles and you could be in an Arctic freezer. The one common climate is danger.

There has been a war brewing between factions for quite a while, so far resulting in a stalemate. But now that has changed, with the latest acquisition made by the Bermuda Triangle…

A nuclear bomb.

Molly Travis, transport pilot and U.S. astronaut, was part of a mission that was transferring this new, prototype bomb to an undisclosed location when they were engulfed without a trace. Now Molly and her crew find themselves and their cargo the object of desire of the psychotic pre-Nazi, Axel Kriegsherr.

Molly does have an ally of her own in World War I fighter pilot Frank Lujack. Lujack is the leader of a group that has been fighting hard to keep Kriegsherr from taking over this rip in time. Now Kriegsherr may have the means to destroy everything.

It’s up to Lujack and Molly to make sure this world isn’t lost, found, and destroyed.

“Getting voted off this island could really hurt.”
–Molly Travis

Cast of Characters

Frank Lujack: Born 1892 in Odessa Texas. World War I Fighter Pilot and Barnstormer. Lafayette Escadrille. Lujack is a superb mechanic and able to rig almost anything in dire situations. A man very set in the ways of his time. Handgun of choice is a Smith & Wesson Model 1917 revolver. Caliber .45 ACP.

Molly Travis: Born 1977 in Madison Heights, Michigan. Molly is a solider/transport pilot who has done tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Expert pilot with
most anything that flies. Currently flies an AH-Apache with M230 chain gun with a mix of AGM Hellfire and Hydra 70 rockets. Her family has always been military dating back to the Civil War. Her great grandfather was a Tuskegee Airman. Molly is very confident and sure of her abilities.

Axel Kriegsherr: Born 1754 in Wolfsburg, Germany. He is a psychotic German military leader and Occultist. He was the Nazi party before there was a Nazi Party. He was Adolf Hitler’s role model and a legend the modern Nazis. Germany did their best to keep his deeds out of the history books. It was rumored that his own
government had him assassinated when his plans became too radical, but there were also rumors that he found the secret to immortality and is still behind the Nazi movement. In truth, he sought out the portals and delivered himself to the strange new place where all things lost were found. He did this in hopes of learning the secrets of science that would lend him to world and time placement domination.

Bob: The name Bob was given to this 40,000-year-old caveman because it was the only name they could get him to speak. They tried “Todd,” but it kept sounding like “Turd,” so they settled on “Bob”. His kind was the last link to what we are today. He has limited vocal skills, but is not stupid and he is an expert with sign language. Bob is a skilled hunter and fearless fighter. He is very resourceful and a quick study. Some customs do confuse him such as his habit of mixing up the “Thumbs-Up” sign for giving someone the middle finger. Bob is very loyal to Lujack.

Ray Crabtree: Born 1836 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Piloted the Confederate submarine the CSS H.L. Hunley. College-educated and believes strongly in the old ways of the South. When the Hunley was first engulfed by a portal and brought to this strange place, he joined up with Kriegsherr until he saw what true evil was all about. He left Kriegsheer’s side for good when he saved Union Seaman, Jacob Baldwin, from being murdered by Kriegsherr.
Jacob Baldwin: Born 1837 in New York City, New York. Yankee submarine pilot for the Union Alligator. A very street-smart young man who was involved in petty crime and street gangs before given the choice of jail or serving in the Union Navy. He now has an unlikely ally in rebel submarine pilot Ray Crabtree.

Oble: Born 1850. Zulu Chief of Cetshwayo. He was taken by a hidden portal during the Siege of Eshowe. Amazing warrior with incredible leadership skills.
Expert with spear and shield. He is a man of very few words, but when he does speak it is always with wisdom. Amazing stamina and does not suffer fools.

Olaf Ragnar: Born 810. Exact place of birth unknown. Viking Warrior and Boat Builder. Ragnar is a hulking fighter and expert with heavy hand-held weapons, and a master seaman. Bad weather doesn’t affect him and he is able to withstand large amounts of pain without notice. Loves to brawl, laugh, drink, and chase women. Seeing him and Oble in battle against Kriegsherr’s army is an amazing sight to behold.

Magua: Born 1732 somewhere in the Hudson River Valley. She is of the Mohican (Mahican) Tribe. Native American. Magua is a superb fighter and expert with bow and arrow as well as using a canoe and navigating rivers. Talented tracker and has valuable nursing/medical skills. She is very much in love with Lujack and is quite jealous of newcomer Molly Travis.

Omura: Born 1133 somewhere in Japan. He is a Samurai of the Heji Rebellion. Omura is very ruthless with a thirst for bloodletting. Omura is a superior
swordsman and expert in martial arts. He has given his loyalty to Kriegsherr because of their shared ability to kill without remorse.

I hope that you pick up the book and give it a shot this Fall. I look forward to your thoughts and reviews as always. Thanks for the opportunity to let me entertain you.

Busted Knuckles Manly Cover of the Week: Savage Sword of Conan #39
Marvel Comics

Speaking of Savage Sword of Conan…why not pay homage to a really great series by making one of its painted covers the Manly Cover of the Week. This was always one of my favorites. Great presentation and summed Conan up to perfection. You can never beat a good “blood on the snow” cover.

Busted Knuckles Babe of the Week: Nikki Cox

Los Angeles born and raised, Nikki Cox is one of the few that has taken her career from TV and been able to cross back and forth to film with all the benefits of both. She’s equally ready for comedy, action or drama. Her tour on the TV show Las Vegas is a part of what makes that show a lot of fun. Did I mention that she ain’t bad to look at either? She’s attractive, smart and has a way with comedy. I read in a recent interview with TV icon Mary Tyler Moore that she said if they were to cast her in a bio film that Nikki Cox would be her choice to play her. How’s that for a recommendation?

The Roundup.
Come See Me!

That’s right; I want you to come see me and visit. No, not here at the ranch. You don’t wanna get shot do you? I’m talking about at the 2008 Mid-Ohio Comics Convention in Columbus, Ohio. It’s October 4th and 5th at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. I’m going to be set up there as a Special Guest signing books and telling lies as well as the moderator for the Sgt. Rock: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Panel with legendary Joe Kubert and Billy Tucci (Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion). As the Official Lifetime President of the Sgt. Rock Fan Club, I will be making sure that those in attendance get the full circle of all that is Sgt. Rock. Joe and Billy will be talking about their experiences with Sgt. Rock, both past, present and future. This is a rare opportunity to ask questions and learn all sorts of great stuff from the men that have put Sgt. Rock to paper.

I will be hurt if you are there and don’t stop by to see me. Make sure you bring lots of stuff that I’ve written for me to sign. Make sure you ask me about all the new projects I have coming out this year. Make sure you brush up on your compliments, because I really like em’. Keep in mind that I am a sensitive fella and have fragile feelings as well as very thin skin. I also carry a grudge like a well-fed mule.

I look forward to seeing you there. It’s always a great show and this year they’ve moved the date up away from Thanksgiving, so I’m sure there will be lots of folks there.

See you in a few weeks.

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch

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

About The Author

Beau Smith

Beau Smith is a writer for Comics Bulletin