Monday, July 27, 2009

It's Only Skin Deep

Sort of on a deadline crunch right now (several, actually) but thought I should take a sec to post this.

My twisted new version of THE UGLY DUCKLING has just been published by Stone Arch Books! Should be in all major bookstores and libraries very soon.

Many thanks to Donnie Lemke, Bob Lentz, and Heather Kindseth for making this book more than I dreamed it could be. It's truly one of my favorites, disturbing illustrated by the amazing Aaron Blecha.

ISBN: 9781434215932/ 1-4342-1593-8

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One Giant Leap

Suddenly, almost magically, I didn't mind being my age yesterday. Because on July 20, 1969, I was there. watching the single greatest achievement in the history of humanity.

For a brief shining moment we were one world, one person, all of us dancing on the silver lunar dust. Even as a little kid I could feel it, knowing I was witnessing a miracle. The wonders of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and Edgar Rice Burroughs had become real right before my eyes, on our old fuzzy b&w TV screen.

The sight of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the Moon changed me that night. I felt mysteriously different after watching the Great Event. I remember going out in my dewy backyard and looked up at the Moon glowing against the deep Kentucky sky. I thought, "There are people up there! Right now! Men walking on the Moon!"

I wanted to be up there, too. More than anything.

I still do.

Boy, do I ever...

Monday, July 20, 2009


To the world at war the Black Angel is a modern myth, a looming legend on the battlefields, and in the bleeding skies beyond.

To the Axis powers she is the Winged Avenger, the Undying Enemy, and ultimately the Angel of Death.

To America and her Allies, she is our greatest Hope.

The Black Angel Flies By Night!

Nazis Beware!

Soaring at you soon, from Moonstone Books, by artist Ver Curtiss and written by yours truly.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Newly Discovered Australian Dinosaurs!

By happy coincidence, my return to blogging has coincided with some exciting paleontological news!

Australian scientists recently hailed their country's most significant dinosaur discovery in decades, after three new species were unearthed in Queensland.

The discovery, analyzed in a 51-page report published in the peer-reviewed online science journal PLoS ONE, confirmed for the first time that Australia was once home to a flesh-eating dinosaur that was big, fast and terrifying. The newly exhumed predator, which stalked the Outback 98 million years ago, was a 500 kilogram (1,100 pound) killer with three slashing claws on its powerful forelimbs. Fossilized remnants of its limb bones, ribs, jaw and curved serrated teeth were found in Queensland state, along with bones of two other new species of gigantic, long-necked herbivores weighing up to 20 metric tons (22 tons) when the animals were alive.

The 5 meter (16-foot) long carnivore, Australovenator wintonensis (pronounced oss-tra-low-VEN'-ah-tor win-TON'-en-sis), has been nicknamed "Banjo," after the poet A.B. "Banjo" Paterson who in 1885 penned Australia's unofficial anthem "Waltzing Matilda". Banjo's Latin name means "Winton's Southern Hunter."

The cheetah of its time, Banjo was light and agile, a sort of Australian version to Velociraptor, but considerably larger and undoubtedly much more dangerous.

The other two discoveries were previously unknown types of long-necked titanosaur, the largest dinosaurs that ever lived, more than 16 meters (52 feet) in length. Wintonotitan wattsi (pronounced win-ton-oh-TIE-tan wot-SIGH), nicknamed Clancy, translates from Latin as "Watts' Winton Giant." Diamantinasaurus matildae (pronounced dye-man-TEEN'-ah-sor-us mah-TIL'-day) has been nicknamed Matilda; the Latin name translates as "Matilda's Diamantina River Lizard."

All three lived in the mid-Cretaceous period which extended from 145 million years to 65 million years ago. Interestingly, Matilda's and Banjo's bones were mingled. The scientists suspect Matilda may have become stuck in river mud and that the hungry Banjo fell into the same fatal trap while moving in for the kill.

Paleontologists have described Australia as new frontier in vertebrate paleontology and an untapped resource in the world's understanding of the dinosaur age because so few fossils of the ancient reptiles have been found there. This is largely because the continent is relatively flat and has long been geologically stable. The movement of tectonic plates in other continents, such as our American west, has forced layers of rock bearing fossils tens of millions of years old to the surface making dinosaurs much easier to find.

Expectantly, the vicious Banjo is enjoying the scientific spotlight more than the other two because it's the most complete meat-eating dinosaur ever found in Australia. Before Banjo, all of the carnivorous dinosaurs that had been unearthed were only known from a single bone or tooth. The new dinosaur is an exciting, very significant discovery and enough of the bones were found to confidently construct a complete skeleton.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

THE PHANTOM Unmasked Preview

I apologize for the long delay in posts.

It's been over two weeks now since Lisa's surgery and all went well. She's still very sore, but is recovering quite nicely. She's even doing some sewing and has made herself some new skirts and a new blouse. This is one of her passions (she did design and create Bruce Willis' costume in the movie 12 MONKEYS, after all), and it's wonderful seeing her return to her art so enthusiastically.

Many thanks for all your prayers and well-wishes. We truly appreciate all of you.

I've finally gotten back to work myself. Last night I finished my first full story since before Lisa went into the hospital. I'm actually pretty excited about it. More about that soon.

Another project I'm currently working on is THE PHANTOM Unmasked, for Moonstone.

Here's the pitch that won me the gig:

A dying billionaire induces a shady female investigator to bring him absolute proof of Life After Death, worth a million dollar reward. Setting out on her adventure, she encounters rumors of the legendary Ghost Who Walks and, with unlimited funds, pursues the evidence across the United State, through Europe, and ultimately into the Deep Woods itself. The Phantom and his stalker meet, engaging in a deadly game of cat and mouse. Little does the investigator realize that her billionaire benefactor is playing them both, with a secret sinister agenda all his own with an ancient, vicious vendetta against the Man Who Cannot Die.

The art on this mini-series is by the incredible Hannibal King.