Friday, September 30, 2022

ANCIENT HISTORY

Travel back with us now to Brooklyn in the 1960s: My best friend, Bob Izzo, and I have pooled our comics, setting up shop in front of our apartment building and selling the books for a nickel each. With our ill-gotten gains, we will indulge in multiple slices of pizza...and, no doubt, buy more comic books!

We didn't always stick so close to home. As my old friend Michael Todd, who usually joined us in these groundbreaking business endeavors, reminded me, we'd sometimes lug the books over to nearby Newkirk Plaza, just outside the subway station. This clever plan meant two things: 1)  More potential customers and 2)  We were mere feet away from the object of our desire: the pizza place!

My mother took this picture from our apartment window.  I'd love to have a clearer view of the comics themselves, but I'm grateful for this blurry window into the past.


Thursday, September 29, 2022

WALL-CRAWLING


Edge of Spider-Verse
#5 is out next week—featuring the tale of Sergei Kravinoff, the Hunter-Spider! It's a fun story—plotted by Dan Slott, scripted by yours truly, and illustrated by the great Bob McLeod, inker of Kraven's Last Hunt.  (You can preview the entire issue here.)

And speaking of Spidey: Had a chance to proof the first issue of Spider-Man:  The Lost Hunt. Set during the same era as my recent Ben Reilly:  Spider-Man series, TLH features a powerless Peter Parker, a very pregnant Mary Jane, and a danger from the past that threatens to engulf them both and upend their new lives in Portland.

Can't wait to share this one with all of you. It's out in November!



Friday, September 23, 2022

BACK IN THE BALLOON

Had a great time last night chatting with the always amiable and knowledgeable John Siuntres of the Word Balloon podcast, covering everything from the DeMultiverse to Spider-Man to the hard-ridin' cowboys of 60s TV—and so much more. Enjoy!


Thursday, September 22, 2022

STRANGE VISITOR

Fifty years ago, a hero from the ancient past arrived to save a world in crisis—and, for five decades, Anyman has been the inspiring symbol of all that’s good in humanity, the superhero the entire world reveres. There’s just one problem: Everything we know about him…is a lie.

With art by David Baldeon, color by Arthur Hesli, and lettering by Taylor Esposito, Anyman is one of four new series I’m launching via Kickstarter and Spellbound Comics.

Head over to the Spellbound website to learn more and sign up for updates.

The DeMultiverse is coming!


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

LANDS OF WONDER

On a windy October night in 1995, thirteen-year-old Layla Tripp is swept away to a land where trees read minds, rivers sing, and animals talk. But this isn’t Oz or Wonderland. Layla is DEAD…and these are the Lands of After!

But Layla refuses to accept her fate and so—with the help of a group of friends, old and new—she sets out to return to the land of the living.

But is it too late?

With art by Shawn McManus, color by Arthur Hesli, and lettering by Taylor Esposito, Layla in the Lands of After is one of four new series I’m launching via Kickstarter and Spellbound Comics.

Head over to the Spellbound site to learn more. And join our Spellbound Comics Facebook group!

The DeMultiverse is coming!


Tuesday, September 20, 2022

GUNSMOKE AND SORCERY

Husband. Father. Actor. Journalist. Outlaw. Sorcerer.

Meet Gabriel Wisdom—and begin an epic journey across the Old West that will end in a war for the very soul of the planet.

With art by Tom Mandrake, color by Jan Duursema, and lettering by Taylor Esposito, Wisdom is one of four new series I’m launching via Kickstarter and Spellbound Comics.

Head over to the Spellbound website to learn more and sign up for updates.

The DeMultiverse is coming!

                 

Monday, September 19, 2022

COSMIC TURTLES AND OTHER THINGS


When a celestial being arrives from nowhere, the world isn't sure how to react. Is he friend? Foe? Savior? And why does unremarkable junior high school teacher Eric Small become so obsessed with the man they call Godsend? And why in the world does a turtle with a man's head (or is it a man with a turtle's body?) suddenly manifest in Eric's living room?

Godsend—with art by Matthew Dow Smith—is one of four new series launching in October from Spellbound Comics and Kickstarter! Head over to www.spellboundcomics.com to sign up for news and updates.

The DeMultiverse is coming!



Sunday, September 18, 2022

OLDER AND WISER

Another podcast chat, this time with Mac Jackson of Never Gets Old. We talk about the DeMultiverse Kickstarter and the launch of Spellbound Comics. We also talk about internet culture, the Beatles, Sinatra, Star Trek, the Twilight Zone...and many other things. Enjoy!



Saturday, September 17, 2022

MOTORCYCLES IN THE MULTIVERSE

Had a fun chat with the fine folks at the Capes and Lunatics podcast, discussing Ghost Rider's 50th anniversary and my collaboration with Bob Budiansky on the original GR series. We also took a deep dive into my upcoming Spellbound Comics DeMultiverse Kickstarter.  Enjoy!


Friday, September 16, 2022

WELCOME TO THE DeMULTIVERSE!

As you can probably tell by now, I'm incredibly excited about my first Kickstarter campaign—coming in early October, courtesy of Spellbound Comics. We'll be launching four first issues—brought to life by four outstanding artists (Shawn McManus, Tom Mandrake, Matthew Dow Smith, and David Baldeon)—each one different in tone, genre, and style.

*Layla in the Lands of After

*Anyman

*Wisdom

*Godsend

Welcome to the DeMultiverse! Hope you join us for this amazing ride across time, space, and imagination!

Sign up for updates at the Spellbound Comics website.

 

Thursday, September 15, 2022

SADDLE UP!

And now our final title reveal:  Wisdom—a supernatural western with art by the extraordinary Tom Mandrake!

As with our other three titles—Godsend, Anyman, and Layla in the Lands of AfterWisdom will be available in October via Kickstarter and the Spellbound Comics site, so be sure to check there regularly for more info.

The DeMultiverse is coming!

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

THWIP!

And, in other news, the Ben Reilly: Spider-Man collection is out now! This concludes today's shameless hype!



HEAVEN SENT

Title Reveal Week continues as we unveil the name of the fourth book in our October Kickstarter campaign. Today it's the cosmic saga called...

...Godsend—brought to brilliant visual life by Matthew Dow Smith!

Our final title coming tomorrow!  And keep up to date (and get a sneak peak at that last title) by checking out the Spellbound Comics website!

Onward!




Tuesday, September 13, 2022

AFTER ALL

More Kickstarter news!

Yesterday we revealed the title of the David Baldeon illustrated superhero saga, Anyman.  Today it's the second of our four new titles, a fantasy adventure drawn by my old friend Shawn McManus (of Sandman, Swamp Thing, and Dr. Fate fame):

Layla in the Lands of After!

Tomorrow we reveal the title of our third new series!  (And be sure to check out SpellboundComics.com for more updates.)

Can you tell I'm excited?


Monday, September 12, 2022

ANY DAY NOW

I've told you about the four new series coming your way via Kickstarter and the fine folks at Spellbound Comics, but I haven't mentioned any specific titles...till now!

First up is Anyman—co-created by my Ben Reilly: Spider-Man collaborator, David Baldeon.  More details—and more titles—to come!

(And speaking of David B:  the Ben Reilly collection hits shops this week!)



Wednesday, September 7, 2022

A KICK IN THE PANTS

There's a big announcement coming soon about my first ever Kickstarter projects.  Yes, I said projects—plural.  And they're all coming to you through the courtesy of the fine folks at Spellbound Comics.  (Their just-launched Facebook group is here and the Spellbound website will be live in a few days!)

Below is a teaser image for the first of our books—courtesy of the brilliant Shawn McManus (who, among his many other accomplishments, illustrated my two year run on Dr. Fate back in the day).  More to come!  Watch this space!




Update:
  And here's a teaser image for our other Kickstarter book (remember, I said projects, plural), with art by Ben Reilly's brilliant David Baldeon. Stay tuned!


Friday Update:  We're not done yet. There's a third project coming—and here's a teaser image by my friend and collaborator, X-Files and Doctor Who artist Matthew Dow Smith. Three new books? Yes!

Our Kickstarter campaign launches in October!


Saturday Update:  Did you think we were done?  Wrong!  There's a fourth and final project coming—and here's a teaser image by the legendary Tom Mandrake. 

That's four new series crowdfunding in October, through the courtesy of Spellbound Comics and Kickstarter!



Tuesday, September 6, 2022

DE FALCO, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

While I was enjoying my social media vacation (yes, I'm back), I had the pleasure of taking part in a podcast honoring my old pal, the great and powerful Tom DeFalco.  You can watch it below.

Monday, August 29, 2022

GONE FISHIN'

I'm taking a short vacation from social media.  Be back in a week, give or take.  Everyone stay safe and healthy.

I'm off to the fishin' hole!  (Metaphorically speaking.)


Sunday, August 28, 2022

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE KING

Happy birthday, Jack Kirby—wherever in the multiverse you are.  Your amazing work only gets better with time and my gratitude for your impact on our popular culture, and my life, can't be fully expressed in words.  You were, and will always remain, the King.


Wednesday, August 24, 2022

SPIDER-MAN BEYOND

Back in March, I took part in Marvel's Beyond Amazing event (celebrating 60 years of Spider-Man) with erudite editors Tom Brevoort and Steve Wacker.  Marvel's released video of the conversation and you can watch it below.  Enjoy!


Monday, August 22, 2022

RAY OF LIGHT



Today is Ray Bradbury's birthday. I’ve written about this extraordinary writer—this extraordinary man—many times over the years and, as a birthday tribute, here's a tapestry of selected passages from previous posts.  (Yes, I've shared this here before—but it's Bradbury, so it bears repeating!)

***

There are few people on the face of the planet who have influenced and, more important, inspired me as much as the great Ray Bradbury. Reading a classic Bradbury short story or essay on creativity, immersing myself in his novels (especially Dandelion Wine, one of the most glorious and magical books ever written), is an experience that strips away the layers of what I call the CNN Reality—the voices of Doom and Naysaying Cynicism that seek to tell us that we're small and helpless, ordinary and afraid—and opens our hearts and minds to a deeper, truer, more joyful reality: one where life is sacred, creativity is an expression of pure delight and the universe is viewed with eyes of innocence and wonder. Bradbury's words set fire to my soul decades ago and they still do the same today.

***

People call Bradbury a science-fiction writer, a fantasist, but I don’t think either label applies. He’s a preacher, a rhapsodist, an interfaith—no, interdimensional—minister. I’ve rarely encountered anyone who more eloquently encapsulates the sheer sacred joy of life. When I read a Bradbury story, I not only want to race to the computer and create literary wonders of my own—the greatest gift a fellow writer can give you—I want to race out the door and up the street with my arms wide, embracing the entire universe.

***

Reading Bradbury—opening your mind and heart to that unique voice, that amazing spirit—it’s as if the author himself arrives at your house. The door bursts opens, nearly flying off its hinges, and Ray races into the room, enveloping you in a bear hug—nearly cracking your ribs—spinning you around in circles as he bellows with laughter and perhaps sheds a tear or two, touched, as he is, by this reunion. He’s a one-man Imagination pantheon, an explosion of gods and goddesses, each one with a unique story to tell. You get him to sit down for a minute or two, have a sip of wine, but he’s soon up on his feet, dragging you to the window, pointing to the clouds, the moon, the stars...the whole wide universe. You watch in wonder and delight as Bradbury reaches out, wraps his arms around God, yanks him down to earth and kisses Him full on the mouth.

When Ray’s done, when he’s given his last oratory, spun his last tale, he crushes you in another bear-hug then races out the door, leaving you utterly exhausted, inspired—and grateful to be alive.

***

Here’s a passage from Bradbury’s essay “Predicting the Past, Remembering the Future” that, for me, boils the man down to his cosmic essence:

"My own belief is that the universe exists as a miracle and that we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?

We are that audience.

We are here to see and touch, describe and move. Our job, then, is to occupy ourselves with paying back the gift."

***

Read Bradbury. Listen to Bradbury. Unfold your soul and let his words wash over you. If you're a budding writer, he'll fill you with burning passion for your chosen field. If you're an old hand like me, he'll make you feel like a newborn, just beginning on the most miraculous path God ever created. And if you're not a writer, I suspect he'll touch and move you in surprising ways that will echo on through your heart—and through your life.

***

I’ll add one final thought to those I’ve reposted above: The writers that matter most to us become our dearest friends and companions.

Happy birthday, Ray. I still treasure your friendship and always will.



Monday, August 15, 2022

SHIFTING REALITIES

Sherpherd.com is a wonderful website for book lovers and I spoke to them about my novella, The Excavator, and five of my favorite, mind-altering books. Click this link and prepare to have your reality shifted.


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

LOST AND FOUND

This past weekend at the San Diego Comic Con Marvel announced my latest project, Spider-Man: The Lost Hunt—with art by Eider Messias and Belardino Brabo.  Here's the description:

Releasing this November, SPIDER-MAN: THE LOST HUNT is a five-issue limited series that will dive into Kraven's origins, revealing secrets and answering mysteries Spidey fans have been waiting for. Prepare to explore the depths of what made Kraven the Hunter the powerhouse villain he was!

As Peter Parker and Mary Jane prepare for their new lives in Portland, a man from Kraven's past stalks them. Who is this mystery man, and what does he want with Spider-Man? Find out when we return to the time period after SPIDER-MAN: THE FINAL ADVENTURE when Peter Parker was powerless!

The first cover (by Ryan Brown) and a couple of teaser pages are below.  Enjoy!




Saturday, July 2, 2022

PRINT IT!

A number of people have asked if there's going to be a print edition of my novella, The Excavator.  Thanks to the fine folks at Neotext, there is—and it's now available at Amazon.  The print version includes all ten, full-color illustrations by the amazing Vassilis Gogtzilas and you can purchase it right here.


Sunday, June 26, 2022

NEVER GETTING OLD

I had a deep-dive conversation with the Never Gets Old podcast—talking about comics (of course!), as well as learning disabilities, the need for compassion, the creative process, and other things.

Enjoy!




Tuesday, June 21, 2022

EXCAVATION DAY!

My novella The Excavator—with illustrations by the brilliant Vassilis Gogtzilas—is on sale today. You can learn more at the Neotext site or order directly from Amazon.
You can also read a sample here.

Very excited about sharing this story with all of you. Hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, June 18, 2022

HAPPY 80th, SIR PAUL!

I am, as anyone who follows this blog knows, a hard core John Lennon fan: He remains my one true rock and roll hero. But the truth is, preferring John to Paul is like preferring breathing to the beating of my heart. Both are necessary to my existence.

Paul McCartney's music has brought me joy, comfort, and inspiration since I first laid eyes on the Beatles in the fifth grade, when they exploded across America's TV screens on The Ed Sullivan Show. There are a handful of other artists whose work has impacted me as much as Paul's, but none that have impacted me more.

My favorite Paul solo albums?  McCartney, Band on the Run, Tug of War, Flowers in the Dirt, and Memory Almost Full.

Favorite solo songs? In chronological order:

1.  "Junk"

2.  "Every Night"

3.  "Maybe I’m Amazed"

4.  "Too Many People"

5.  "Band on the Run"

6.  "Let Me Roll It"

7.  "Mamunia"

8.  "Let 'Em In"

9.  "London Town"

10. "Waterfalls"

11. "Tug of War"

12. "Here Today"

13. "The Pound is Sinking"

14. "Wanderlust"

15. "Put It There"

16. "Motor of Love"

17. "Calico Skies"

18. "Jenny Wren"

19. "Mr. Bellamy"

20. Medley from Memory Almost Full ("Vintage Clothes/That Was Me/ Feet in the Clouds/House of Wax/The End of the End")


If I had to pick one as my absolute favorite solo McCartney song, it would be the gorgeous, haunting "Waterfalls," which you can hear (and see!) in the video below.  (And how is it Paul looks younger there than he did during the Beatles years?)

Happy 80th, Sir Paul! 



Wednesday, June 8, 2022

BEN'S GOODBYE

The final issue of Ben Reilly: Spider-Man—wrapping up our four part exploration of Ben's life and psyche—is on sale one week from today.  It's been a genuine pleasure immersing myself in this unique, unforgettable character again—and doing it in the fine company of David Baldeon, Israel Silva, Joe Caramagna, and Danny Khazem.

Hope you've all enjoyed the ride.  And here's to the possibility of more untold tales of Spider-Man in the future!



Monday, June 6, 2022

VISITATIONS

I had an interesting conversation with Scott Larson of the Visitations podcast, discussing Spider-Man, the creative process, death, duality, and...Jack Benny?

COMING SOON!





And you can preorder it right here.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

STRANGER THINGS

My friend, the brilliant Jon J Muth, was going through old files and unearthed this:  an early 90s proposal I wrote for a Phantom Stranger graphic novel. The PS pitch clearly didn’t sell, but the idea evolved into the Mercy graphic novel that was part of the 1993 launch of editor Karen Berger’s Vertigo line. 



Actually, the book didn’t start at Vertigo:  Art Young, Karen’s former assistant, was working for Disney Publishing, tasked with putting together a line of mature readers comics—dubbed Touchmark—and Mercy was originally part of that.  When the Disney line collapsed, Art returned to DC, and brought Mercy—along with several other Touchmark projects—with him.  (Mercy is currently available in a "director's cut" version from Dover Books.)



I have all the early Mercy materials in my files, but no trace of the Stranger pitch.  In fact, I have no memory of writing it and Jon has no memory of it, either.  It’s like it manifested itself from the ethers—which sounds like something the Phantom Stranger would do! 

Monday, May 30, 2022

ALL THINGS COME TO HE WHO WAITS

This Kraven's Last Hunt promo poster went out to comics shops when the story first appeared in 1987. A few years ago, a kind, generous fan gave me his copy—and I've finally framed it. Thirty-five years in the making!


Saturday, May 21, 2022

WHOOPS!

Just a short one to let you know that I'm having a problem replying to comments, so if you leave a comment and don't get a reply, that's why.  Here's hoping I sort this out ASAP. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

FAN OF HEROES

I had a wonderful chat with sixteen-year-old Brazilian comic book fan Caio Santucci for his Fan of Heroes podcast—and I was very touched by the fact that this young person, living in another country, was so familiar with my work.  A sweet, smart kid and it was a pleasure talking to him.


PENULTIMATE REILLY

Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #4 is on sale today.  Last month, our villain was revealed as the forgotten clone, Spidercide, and now Ben and his "brother" face off—in strange and unexpected ways. 

One more issue to go! 


  
 

Monday, May 2, 2022

PROSE AND CONS

A short, but happy, post to formally announce that my new novella, a supernatural thriller called The Excavator, is coming soon from the fine folks at Neotext.  The novella will have ten beautiful, haunting illustrations by my friend, and frequent collaborator, Vassilis Gogtzilas.  More details to come!


illustration ©copyright 2022 Vassilis Gogtzilas

Friday, April 29, 2022

REMEMBERING ADAMS



There are few comic book artists whose work has echoed across the decades more than Neal Adams and it was a great shock to discover that this legend has passed away.  His work with the brilliant Denny O'Neil on Batman redefined the character and the same team exploded the superhero genre (and my sixteen-year-old mind) with the "all new, all now" Green Lantern/Green Arrow series.   

Adams was also a champion of creators' rights at a time when few, if any, others were taking a stand on that issue.  Back in my journalism days, I interviewed Adams for an article in the long-defunct Soho Weekly News that focused on the fight to unionize writers and artists, and he provided the cover below.




Heartfelt condolences to Neal Adams' family and friends.  His influence will be felt as long as there are comic books.







Sunday, April 24, 2022

JUSTICE TALK

I joined the fine folks at the Unlimited Justice podcast for a deep dive into my history with the Justice League—and you can watch it below.  Enjoy!


Friday, April 1, 2022

SPIDEY DUDES

More Spider-Man and Ben Reilly talk, this time taking a deep dive with the fine folks from the Spidey Dude podcast.

Monday, March 28, 2022

THE MAGIC OF THE UNCONSCIOUS (AND OTHER THINGS)

I had a great conversation with Jace of the Comic Source podcast—talking about Ben Reilly, The Brothers Karamozov, William Blake, the power of story, the magic of the unconscious, and other fun things. You can watch it below.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

AND SPEAKING OF BEN REILLY...

The third issue of Ben Reilly: Spider-Man is on sale today.  This is the turning point for Ben—and for the series—as we reveal who's been behind the mysterious attacks and why he (or she.  Or it?) has it in for Mr. Reilly.

Two more issues to go...and things really heat up from here!



Tuesday, March 22, 2022

BEN AGAIN

I talk to The Write Project podcast about Ben Reilly: Spider-Man...and other things.



Friday, March 18, 2022

THE OVER THE HILL GANG

Over on Twitter, the brilliant Kevin Maguire shared this amazing piece of art:  his vision of what our JLI would look like today (y'know, if comic book characters aged in real time).


And I can't help thinking he found his inspiration in this photo my wife took at DragonCon back in 2019...


To which I can only add:  "Bwah-ha-ha!"

Thursday, March 17, 2022

BEN AND PETER

A short, but interesting, chat with the Traversing the Stars podcast—talking about everyone's favorite Spider-Men, Peter Parker and Ben Reilly.  Enjoy!

Monday, March 7, 2022

THE GREATS

I recently took part in a podcast tribute to one of the Marvel's greatest—and, for many of us, most influential—writers:  the brilliant, iconoclastic Steve Gerber.  You can listen to it here.


And speaking of all-time greats:  Here's a tribute to George Perez, a man whose art and storytelling has shaped, and enriched, the worlds of both Marvel and DC.  George has pancreatic cancer and, tragic as that is, it's heartening to see the tributes pouring in while he's still with us.  God bless you, George.


Friday, February 25, 2022

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AVATAR MEHER BABA!

 "I belong to no religion. My religion is love. 
Every heart is my temple."
Avatar Meher Baba



Wednesday, February 23, 2022

A GENTLE REMINDER

Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #2 is on sale today!

See?  Wasn't that gentle?




Monday, February 21, 2022

THE COSMIC (COMICS) CUBE

I had another wonderful talk with Duy Tano of the Comics Cube podcast and, once again, we got into some strange and interesting conversational corners.  It's embedded below.  Enjoy!




Monday, January 31, 2022

AMARTITHI 2022

On January 31, 1990, I sat just outside Meher Baba's Tomb-Shrine in Meherabad, India, my head resting against the cool stone, surrounded by thousands of His dear ones—all of us joined in fifteen minutes of silence to commemorate the day when the Avatar of the Age dropped His body to live on in the hearts of His lovers. It was a profound, unique, and unforgettable experience that bypassed the mind and settled into the deeps of my soul. It lives there still.

Wishing a very Happy Amartithi to my Meher Baba family around the world.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

CRAWLING

Had a great, spider-centric chat with the Spider-Man Crawlspace podcast the other day.  We covered Ben Reilly: Spider-Man, The Child Within, Kraven's Last Hunt and more.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, January 19, 2022

CLONING AROUND

Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #1 is on sale today and I couldn't be happier with the way our first issue turned out.  Set in the days of the Clone Saga, the story take a deep dive into Ben's psyche as—back in New York, back in the Spider-suit—he tries to build a life from the ground up.  

Hope you all enjoy it!  (And wait till you see what's coming over the course of the next four issues!)

Thursday, January 13, 2022

THE LIFE OF REILLY

It's farewell to the JLU but hello to another old friend.

Ben Reilly: Spider-Man #1 is out next week (January 19th, to be precise) and I couldn't be more excited about
 working with David Baldeon, Israel Silva, and our editor Danny Khazem on this book.  Playing in the Spiderverse again, reuniting with my old pal Ben, has been a genuine delight.  Hope you all enjoy the series.

You can read a four-page preview below!