Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, Tom Floyd!

A very happy birthday to my friend, spiritual brother, frequent creative partner, and the finest gentlemen I've ever known--the one and only Tom Floyd!

The planet is better for having you on it, pal!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

More of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Me

A pre-production sketch amazingly rendered by artist Tom Floyd for yet another upcoming officially licensed project by the estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs, this one to be illustrated by Tom and written by me.

Published by Sequential Pulp Comics, an imprint of Dark Horse.

(Click on picture for a larger image.)
Artwork ©Tom Floyd

Friday, June 24, 2011

Edgar Rice Burroughs and Me

A couple fantastic pre-production sketches of the same scene by artist Will Meugniot for an officially licensed property by the estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs, to be illustrated by Will and written by me. Burroughs has long been my favorite author, so this is a huge deal from me!

Published by Sequential Pulp Comics, an imprint of Dark Horse.

Coming in early 2012!

(Click on pictures for a larger image.)
Artwork © Will Meugniot

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Happy (Belated) Father's Day

I was huffing and puffing and moving boxes and furniture during last week and weekend, and had no internet service yet at the new place, so I'd like to take this moment to publicly wish my eighty-five year old dad a Happy Father's Day. He is seen here with his twin brother, Leslie, on their thirtieth birthday. That's my dad, Charles Wesley Powell, with the cool tie on the left.

Thanks for everything, Dad--you're the greatest!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

THE SPIDER Halloween Special in Previews

Halloween Special
: "The Werewolf War Massacres."

A seething, ferocious nightmare from the Spider’s dark past invades New York City, preying upon the innocent and the helpless. Mutilated victims are strewn in the blood-slick streets, and once normal men have become murderous monsters. The Master of Men must face the deadly demons alone. Not even his beloved Nita Van Sloan can be trusted when everyone—including the Spider himself—may not be what they seem.
Story: Martin Powell
Art: Jay Piscopo
Cover: Dan Brereton
40 pages, grayscale, $3.99
Coming in October from Moonstone

Friday, June 10, 2011

The real Man of Steel

Now this is Superman.

Drawn by my pal, Tom Floyd for a story we're going to do, one of these days, just for fun.

(Click on the picture for a larger image.)

Bela Lugosi in the 21st Century

Bela Lugosi's Tales From the Grave
goes digital!

This issue contains a story illustrated by Terry Beatty and written by me.

From the friendly fiends at Monsterverse.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

THE SPIDER Halloween Special Preview

Awesome WWI opening sequence by artist Jay Piscopo for THE SPIDER Halloween Special, "The Werewolf War Massacres", written by me.

Published in October by Moonstone.

(Click on the pictures for a larger image.)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Beautiful, Lethal Nita Van Sloan

Stunning new page of Nita Van Sloan in action, illustrated by Hannibal King for The Spider # 3, "Blood Reign of the Thunder King."

Written by me.

Published by Moonstone.

(Click on the picture for a larger image.)

Friday, June 3, 2011

R.I.P. James Arness

More sad news. Minneapolis-born iconic actor James Arness has passed away at the age of 88.

He was best known for his role as Marshal Matt Dillon in 'Gunsmoke,' one of the longest-running prime-time series in network TV history, and my 86 year old dad's special favorite. We have many warm memories of watching that show together.

However, for me, I will always best remember Mr. Arness for the shudders he gave me in Howard Hawks' The Thing From Another World, and as the hero of Them!--two of the greatest science fiction thrillers ever made.

You're terribly missed already, Jim.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

R.I.P. Harry Redmond, Jr.

A sad farewell to Harry Redmond, Jr., who has passed away at the amazing age of 101.

Among his work in many other films, he was one of the pioneering special effects wizards on the original 1933 King Kong, which for me is the greatest motion picture ever made.

Thanks for the magic, Harry.



(Interview conducted by Barry Reese.)

BR: Tell us a little bit about The Halloween Legion and how it came about.

MARTIN POWELL: Be glad to. THE HALLOWEEN LEGION is a concept and group of characters that I originally dreamed up many years ago, way back in the vacuous days of high school. One day, during a mind-numbing semantics class, I started sketching these figures in my notebook: a Skeleton, Witch, Devil, Ghost, and a Black Cat, the iconic archetypes of All Hallows Eve.

I remember getting a mild chill when I first drew them all together, a sort of jolt of anticipation. Suddenly I began imagining a whole series of adventures for the weird little group.

Of course, they’ve been simmering in my subconscious until recently, never quite forgotten, and patiently waiting for their chance to be born. I’m actually very glad that I waited this long. I needed the last couple decades of writing experience to prepare me for their debut. This is a very important, very personal project for me.

I’ve always loved the autumn and Halloween in particular. I wanted to somehow capture that feeling of magic and mystery, the sort of thrill you get as a kid when the falling orange and yellow leaves appear to follow you down the street. It’s too brief a season and I suppose in some crazy way I wanted to have that feeling with me always. THE HALLOWEEN LEGION is the result of that yearning.

BR: You're collaborating on this project with Danny Kelly -- what is he bringing to the table that you think will enhance the experience for readers?

POWELL: I hand-picked Danny from a number of artists that I had to choose from. There is something raw and elemental in his artwork that mixes perfectly with what I had in mind for these characters. I look at Danny’s drawings and I immediately smile. I wanted his sense of energetic, creepy fun.

I didn’t want this group to be photo-realistic, and the works of Edward Gorey and Charles Addams were closer to what I had in mind. Danny fits that sort of style perfectly, while also maintaining his own artistic identity.

BR: The promotional artwork by Danny Kelly suggests a somewhat fanciful tone to the book. Is this an all-ages story or something a bit darker?

POWELL: Hmm. It’s tough to describe. Sounds ambitious, I know, but I’ve always wanted THE HALLOWEEN LEGION to appeal to everyone, kid and grown-up alike. I suppose I can safely compare the book to John Bellairs’ eerie mysteries in its tone. I love his scary novellas.

There is a certainly a whimsical side to my story, but it’s pretty dark, too, even terrifying in some places, I hope. Fans of the pulps, Harry Potter, and Baum’s Oz books will probably feel quite at home here, but I like to think that THE HALLOWEEN LEGION is unique and original.

BR: Again, just by looking at the promotional images, it seems like this is perfectly suited to become a continuing series and even has possibilities for multimedia usage. Any plans for any of this?

POWELL: That’s exactly what I’ve always had in mind for them. Although I'm starting THE HALLOWEEN LEGION off with an illustrated novella, I have lots of other plans, too. I’d love to do HL comic books, animation, action figures, lunch boxes, t-shirts, Halloween masks, radio shows, newspaper comic strips, feature films, and even a gentler picture book version for younger kids, too. I’m going to do my best to make all of that happen.

BR: This is your first foray into the Wild Cat Books publishing line. How long have you known publisher Ron Hanna and what led to WCB becoming the home for The Halloween Legion?

POWELL: Actually, I first worked for Wild Cat Books several years ago, co-writing the Captain Hazzard novel, “The Citadel of Fear”, with Ron Fortier. I’d wanted to do something more for quite a long while, but I could never manage to free up enough time in my schedule.

I’m a full-time freelance writer, and in order to make a living at this I need to write constantly. Luckily, my desk is usually happily swamped with contracted projects, but there just never seemed to be time for anything more.

Then, several months ago, Ron Hanna made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. He offered to publish anything I wanted to write. Anything. Anything at all. In over two decades as a professional writer, no one has ever done that for me. I’ve always been lucky enough to get to write for many terrific characters, like Superman, Batman, The Spider, and Sherlock Holmes, but I’ve very rarely ever been given the opportunity to create, and to own, my own characters.

Well, I doubled up on my writing schedule, working twelve hour days and more, including weekends. Fortunately, I hardly ever sleep. After a few months, I’d finally cleared the space necessary to devote to Wild Cat Books. I thought about what I wanted to do for a few weeks. Ron had stressed “anything” I wanted, after all. That’s quite a situation to wrap your mind around.

Then, THE HALLOWEEN LEGION reacquainted themselves to me, from the back corners of my brain. Of course! I thought, with a distinct, rather giddy thrill. It had to be them. Just had to be. They had been waiting so long for me to get my act together. So, I dusted the cobwebs off my little group and now here we are.

BR: For folks who might be interested in learning more about you and your work, where should they go?

POWELL: Well, I post lots of news about my current and upcoming projects on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/martin.powell1). I also keep a blog for those purposes (http://martinpowell221bcom.blogspot.com/). And I have an Amazon Author’s Page, too, which lists many of my current books (http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001JRXRSU). Soon THE HALLOWEEN LEGION will be lurking among them!

The Halloween Legion © Martin Powell. Artwork © Danny Kelly