Those Martians Sure Have Some Ruling Class…

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Hey, science-fiction fans! As you probably know, today’s the broadcast premiere of “The Empress of Mars,” the latest episode of the long-running TV series Doctor Who. In it, the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and his companions Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas) arrive on the Red Planet to find Victorian Era soldiers battling old-school DW villains (and native Martians) the Ice Warriors, who this time are led by the never-before-seen Martian Empress (FYI, that’s not the empress in the banner up top). If you have plans to watch it this weekend, perhaps you might be interested in one of our titles that stars a different sort of female Martian royalty…

princess_bookfestA Princess of Mars, originally published in 1912, is the first in Edgar Rice Burroughs’s “John Carter of Mars” ten-novel series about a post–Civil War era American who suddenly finds himself on the Red Planet, battling to stay alive against all sorts of alien threats, and ultimately to win the love of the titular Martian princess. It served as the basis for Disney’s 2012 film adaptation, John Carter, and inspired a century’s worth of SF works, including Flash Gordon, Star Wars, and James Cameron’s Avatar. The special StarWarp Concepts edition—available in both print and digital formats—features six incredible illustrations by SWC artist supreme Eliseu Gouveia (Carmilla, Lorelei: Sects and the City), and a special introduction by Mars-fiction expert John Gosling, author of Waging the War of the Worlds. Here’s the back-cover synopsis:

Captain John Carter thought his days as a fighter were over. The South had lost the Civil War, and as a soldier now without a battle to fight or a cause to believe in, he journeyed west in search of a new life.

But not even Carter could have expected that his new life would begin with his death in the Arizona desert, and his inexplicable arrival on the barren plains of the planet Mars. Or that he would find love in the eyes of the beauteous Dejah Thoris, princess of Helium.

A prisoner of the giant, green-skinned warrior race called the Tharks, Dejah Thoris is meant to be used as a pawn in the ongoing war between the Tharks and her people, the red Martians—unless the gentleman from Virginia takes sword in hand to free her…and thus unite a divided world.

Once more, John Carter has a cause to fight for—and this time, a love to win, as well….

A Princess of Mars is available in print and digital formats. Visit its product page for ordering information.

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Monstresses On the Prowl

Hey, horror fans! As you might know, this Friday is the U.S. release date for The Mummy, the latest iteration of Universal Pictures’ classic Egyptian monster first brought to celluloid life by the legendary Boris Karloff in 1932.

This time around, the titular character is a woman—Princess Ahmanet, played by Sofia Boutella, whom you might remember from the popular movies Kingsman: The Secret Service (she was the blade-footed assassin) and Star Trek Beyond. And trying to stop her plans for world domination is none other than megastar Tom Cruise, with some help from Russell Crowe—who’s playing Dr. Henry Jekyll and his notorious counterpart, Mr. Hyde! It’s the kickoff title in Universal’s “Dark Universe” line of movies, to be followed by rebooted versions of The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Creature From the Black Lagoon.

white_fell_large_book_cover2017Speaking of female monsters, are you familiar with the story of White Fell—The Werewolf? Originally published in 1896 as The Were-wolf, it was written by renowned author, artist, and suffragette Clemence Annie Housman, and is regarded by scholars as perhaps the first feminist werewolf story. It’s also the launch title of our SWC Horror Bites line of chapbooks. Here’s the back-cover copy from our edition:

A beautiful woman wanders into a snowbound village—and into the hearts of twin brothers, one of whom immediately becomes smitten by her.

The other brother, however, soon grows suspicious of the enigmatic White Fell. Where did she come from? Why does she always carry an ax? And is her sudden appearance somehow related to the recent sightings of a bloodthirsty wolf in the area?

He may come to regret being so inquisitive…

Critics have continued to enjoy it, even 121 years after its first publication:

“For Housman, the female werewolf is a vehicle for her to present a strong feminist-inspired female character…. It is possible that Housman was telling the world that women had a hidden strength and that men should beware of their own hidden nature.”—The Nuke Mars Journal of Speculative Fiction

“White Fell is interesting because she subverts many of the tropes of the monstrous woman—i.e without maternal instincts, animalistic, lustful, etc. She is a femme fatale only in the most basic sense that she is a deadly woman.”—International Gothic Association

White Fell—The Werewolf is on sale right now in print and digital formats, so visit its product page for further information and order it today.

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Happy Wonder Woman Day!

ww-day.jpgFollowing an edict issued by DC Comics on February 16, today is officially the first annual Wonder Woman Day! I’m sure the timing has nothing to do with the fact that yesterday was the U.S. release date for the first-ever Wonder Woman big-screen motion picture… 😉

So how can you celebrate this momentous occasion? Well, you could head off to your local movie theater and check out this big-budget adaptation of William Moulton Marston’s Amazing Amazon. Or you could catch up on your comics reading—there are certainly tons of WW comics and trade collections available both in print and online. As I pointed out in yesterday’s post, I’ve reviewed a few Wonder Woman–related comics at the news site Comics for Sinners—you could check out one of those comics.

Or…you could download a free digital comic that’s only available right here, at StarWarp Concepts!

heroines_large_coverHeroines and Heroes is a collection of comic stories and pinups all drawn by me, dating back to my days in the early 1990s small-press movement—that age of dinosaurs in which creators like me used to make our comics by printing them out on photocopiers and then stapling them by hand. In H&H you’ll find mainstream heroes and small-press heroines, a couple of anthropomorphic bikers—and a certain member of the Justice League.

“V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N (in the Summertime)” is a three-page Wonder Woman vs. Harley Quinn story that I wrote and drew in the late ’90s as a sample for a DC Comics editor who thought I’d be a good fit for their Batman: The Animated Series comic (it didn’t work out). It’s followed by an adventure of small-presser Jeff Wood’s rabbit-eared superspy, Snowbuni; three pages from the long-canceled indie comic Motorbike Puppies; and an adventure of the indie superheroine The Blonde Avenger.

Heroines and Heroes is available for free download right now, so visit its product page for more information, including sample pages. It’s a small-press wonder!

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She’s a Wonder…Finally On the Big Screen!

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Today is the U.S. release date for Wonder Woman, the first-ever big-screen adaptation of William Moulton Marston’s Amazing Amazon. Following the overwhelmingly positive reception from critics and fans alike last year toward Princess Diana’s debut in last year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice—in fact, many moviegoers said she was the best part of that film—comic lovers have been eagerly looking forward to today’s cinematic debut. Starring Gal Gadot as the legendary warrior and Chris Pine (Captain Kirk of the recent Star Trek movies) as Steve Trevor, this spin on WW’s origin story moves the action from Marston’s World War II setting to World War I Europe and smack-dab in the center of the suffragette movement.

WW77Special-1Speaking of Wonder Woman, over at the news site Comics for Sinners I’ve reviewed a few comics that star her; if you want to know more about them, just click on the following links:

Wonder Woman ’77 Special #1: Written by Marc Andreyko, art by Drew Johnson, Cat Staggs, Jason Badower, and Richard Ortiz

Wonder Woman ’77 Special #2: Written by Marc Andreyko, art by Drew Johnson, Cat Staggs, Jason Badower, and Richard Ortiz

Scooby-Doo Team-Up #5: Written by Sholly Fisch, art by Dario Brizuela

And that’s not all! Right here at SWC we’ve got a project that includes Wonder Woman—in a clash with the clown princess of crime, Harley Quinn, who starred in her own movie last year: Suicide Squad!

heroines_large_coverHeroines and Heroes is a collection of comic stories and pinups all drawn by me, dating back to my days in the early 1990s small-press movement—that age of dinosaurs in which creators like me used to make our comics by printing them out on photocopiers and then stapling them by hand. In H&H you’ll find mainstream heroes and small-press heroines, and even a couple of anthropomorphic bikers.

Leading off is “V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N (in the Summertime),” a three-page Wonder Woman vs. Harley Quinn story that I wrote and drew in the late ’90s as a sample for a DC Comics editor who thought I’d be a good fit for their Batman: The Animated Series comic (it didn’t work out). It’s followed by an adventure of small-presser Jeff Wood’s rabbit-eared superspy, Snowbuni; three pages from the long-canceled indie comic Motorbike Puppies; and an adventure of the indie superheroine The Blonde Avenger.

Heroines and Heroes is available for free download right now, so visit its product page for more information, including sample pages.

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Reviewapalooza Unbound

SkullIslandKong01As some of you may be aware, since 2014 I’ve been a comic and graphic novel reviewer for the news site Comics for Sinners, giving my opinion on some of the latest releases for bad-girl fans and general readers alike. Here are the titles I reviewed over the past months:

Dynamite Entertainment
Red Sonja: The Long Walk to Oblivion: Written by Erik Burnham, art by Tom Mandrake

Hyrkania (record company)
“The Ballad of Red Sonja”: Written by Mike and Sal Caputo, and Robert E. Howard; performed by Kurt Gresham and Frank Thorne

Legendary Comics
Skull Island: The Birth of Kong #1: Written by Arvid Nelson, art by Zid

Space Goat Publishing
The Howling: Revenge of the Werewolf Queen #1: Written by Micky Neilson, art by Jason Johnson

Interested in seeing what else I’ve reviewed? Then be sure to bookmark Comics For Sinners to keep up-to-date on my opinionated ramblings about bad-girl (and other) comics.

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Pirates, You Say? We Know a Few…

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Hey, fans of nautical adventures! As you probably know, today is the U.S. release date for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth entry in the popular pirate-fantasy film series that stars actor Johnny Depp as the notorious Captain Jack Sparrow, along with returning cast members Geoffrey Rush and Orlando Bloom. This time, Jack has to deal with the supernatural dangers presented by Javier Bardem’s Captain Salazar, and the insidious presence of…music icon Paul McCartney?! Anyway, I’m sure you’ll be rushing off to see it this weekend.

seadragon_lrg_cov_revBut hold on, mateys! Before you pull up anchor and set sail for your local movie theater, perhaps you’d be interested in checking out one of the ’Warp’s offerings. Because whether you’re a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, or classic films like Captain Blood, The Crimson Pirate, and The Sea Hawk, does StarWarp Concepts have a pirate-fantasy comic for you!

The Chronicles of the Sea Dragon Special is a one-shot digital comic created and written by Richard C. White, author of SWC’s the fantasy-story collection For a Few Gold Pieces More, the supernatural superhero graphic novel Troubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings, and the nonfiction how-to book, Terra Incognito: A Guide to Building the Worlds of Your Imagination. Drawn by Bill Bryan (artist of Caliber Press’ Dark Oz and DC Comics’ House of Mystery), and featuring cover art and color by Eliseu Gouveia (SWC’s The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annuals), it’s 48 pages of high-seas adventure for just 99¢!

Visit the Chronicles of the Sea Dragon product page for more information, including sample pages.

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‘Warped Week: May 21, 2017

Howling-sienkiewiczWelcome back to ’Warped Week, a recap of what we’ve been up to at ’Warp Central during the past seven days. If you missed anything, now’s the perfect time to catch up!

On Monday, I let you know that my latest comic-book review had been posted at the site Comics for Sinners. The Howling: Revenge of the Werewolf Queen #1 is a Space Goat Publishing miniseries sequel to the great 1981 werewolf movie from director Joe Dante (Gremlins) that picks up the story of Marsha Quist—the female werewolf memorably played by actress Elisabeth Brooks—who’s on the hunt for a mystical relic. Based on what we’ve seen at C4S’s Facebook page, the review is especially popular with Space Goat employees—they’ve been sharing it with all their followers!

john-carpenter-darkchyldeOn Wednesday, yet another article of mine—but not a review—appeared at Comics for Sinners. This one, the latest edition of my “It Came from the Bad-Girl Archives” series, examined the announced-but-never-filmed John Carpenter’s Darkchylde, a proposed movie adaptation of the 1990s bad-girl comic by creator/writer/artist Randy Queen about a teenaged girl who discovers she can turn into a demon. At the outset, the notion of the acclaimed director teaming up with effects company Weta Workshop (of Lord of the Rings movie fame) sounded like a good idea, but considering the fact Carpenter hasn’t directed a movie since 2010, it’s a good bet it’s a dead project. Head over to C4S to read the whole story.

On Thursday, we made you aware of a New York Times article about a King Kong musical set to debut on Broadway in the fall of 2018. That, naturally, gave us an opportunity to throw in a plug for our King Kong Illustrated Classic e-book, which reprints the Delos W. Lovelace novelization of the original Kong movie from 1933—a novelization that also serves as the basis for the musical!

A Princess of MarsFriday was the U.S. debut of Alien: Covenant, the latest entry in the popular sci-fi movie franchise that started with 1979’s SF/horror masterpiece Alien. And so, as long as the topic of aliens and humans clashing on another world was up for discussion, we thought it was a good time to remind everyone about our Illustrated Classic A Princess of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It’s about a man from Earth who suddenly finds himself on the Red Planet fighting for his life—and for the love of a Martian princess. Maybe Princess doesn’t have face-huggers and xenomorphs, but it does have seven-foot-tall, green-skinned Martian warriors carrying swords—close enough, right?

And that’s the week. What’s coming next? You’ll have to keep checking this blog during the days ahead—or join us on Sunday for the next installment of ’Warped Week. See you then!

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Aliens On Other Worlds, You Say?

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Hey, science-fiction fans! As you probably know, today’s the U.S. release date for director Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant, the latest entry in the popular film franchise and the sequel to 2012’s Prometheus (which, in all honesty, was a terrible movie). If you have plans to see it this weekend, and the notion of humans exploring a new and dangerous world is your thing, perhaps you might be interested in one of our titles while you’re standing on line at your local movie theater…

A Princess of MarsA Princess of Mars, originally published in 1912, is the first in Edgar Rice Burroughs’s “John Carter of Mars” ten-novel series about a post–Civil War era American who suddenly finds himself on the Red Planet, battling to stay alive against all sorts of alien threats, and ultimately to win the love of the titular Martian princess. It served as the basis for Disney’s 2012 film adaptation, John Carter, and inspired a century’s worth of SF works, including Flash Gordon, Star Wars, and James Cameron’s Avatar. The special StarWarp Concepts edition—available in both print and digital formats—features six incredible illustrations by SWC artist supreme Eliseu Gouveia (Carmilla, Lorelei: Sects and the City), and a special introduction by Mars-fiction expert John Gosling, author of Waging the War of the Worlds. Here’s the back-cover synopsis:

Captain John Carter thought his days as a fighter were over. The South had lost the Civil War, and as a soldier now without a battle to fight or a cause to believe in, he journeyed west in search of a new life.

But not even Carter could have expected that his new life would begin with his death in the Arizona desert, and his inexplicable arrival on the barren plains of the planet Mars. Or that he would find love in the eyes of the beauteous Dejah Thoris, princess of Helium.

A prisoner of the giant, green-skinned warrior race called the Tharks, Dejah Thoris is meant to be used as a pawn in the ongoing war between the Tharks and her people, the red Martians—unless the gentleman from Virginia takes sword in hand to free her…and thus unite a divided world.

Once more, John Carter has a cause to fight for—and this time, a love to win, as well….

A Princess of Mars is available in print and digital formats. Visit its product page for ordering information.

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Hail to the King (Kong): Kong’s Heading to Broadway…Again!

Hail-King-logoWelcome back to Hail to the King (Kong), a series of posts that’ll pop up here and there that focus on merchandise and other things that relate to the giant gorilla who’s captured the hearts of monster-movie fans since his debut in 1933. It’s part of our promotion for the latest addition to our Illustrated Classics library: the e-book-exclusive edition of the 1932 novelization of King Kong, which is on sale right now.

Written by Delos W. Lovelace, based on the story by Edgar Wallace and Merian C. Cooper and the screenplay by James A. Creelman and Ruth Rose, it features scenes that didn’t appear in the final cut of the film—including the notorious “spider pit” sequence in which Kong’s human pursuers are attacked by horrific arachnids and insects. What makes our version special is that it contains six exclusive, original black-and-white illustrations by comics artist Paul Tuma, whose pulp-influenced style has appeared in the pages of The Twilight Avenger, The Green Hornet, and Dan Turner: Hollywood Detective.

King_Kong_LG_CoverYesterday, the New York Times ran an article on a King Kong musical that’s headed to Broadway in the fall of 2018 (which happens to be the 85th anniversary year of Kong’s 1933 cinematic debut). A retooled version of a musical that ran in Australia in 2013, its centerpiece is a twenty-foot-tall puppet-robot of Kong; from what I’ve seen of it in YouTube videos, he’s one impressive-looking monkey! And even better, at least from our point of view, is that the musical is based on the Lovelace novelization—you know, the very same novelization that’s available from the SWC webstore!

Now, technically this will be Kong’s third appearance on the Great White Way—the first two being, of course, his use as a prop in Carl Denham’s beauty-and-the-beast-themed show, as depicted in the original film and its 2005 remake. In both instances Kong proved that he’s just not a theater guy; true, he literally brought the house down, but not in a good way. Hopefully, the producers of the new Kong will treat their star a lot better than Denham did—I hear he’s pretty temperamental…

King Kong (the SWC edition) is available right now for download, so visit its product page for ordering information.

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John Carpenter’s Darkchylde Examined at Comics for Sinners

john-carpenter-darkchyldeOver at the site Comics for Sinners, you’ll find the latest installment of the occasional series of posts I call “It Came From the Bad-Girl Archives.” This one doesn’t involve a comic book, but rather John Carpenter’s Darkchylde, a proposed movie adaptation of the 1990s bad-girl comic by creator/writer/artist Randy Queen about a teenaged girl who discovers she can turn into a demon. Although the intention was for Carpenter—the acclaimed director of such films as Escape From New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Thing, and the original Halloween—to develop it as a project in 2010, it never got off the launch pad. Head over to C4S and read all about it.

Speaking of bad-girl comic characters, if femme fatales are your thing, perhaps you’d like to meet a couple of StarWarp Concepts’ leading—and sometimes lethal—ladies:

Lorelei is a soul-stealing succubus, and currently stars in two critically acclaimed titles:

Lorelei: Sects and the CityLorelei: Sects and the City is a Mature Readers graphic novel in which Lori battles a cult of Elder God worshipers attempting to unleash hell on Earth. Basically a love letter to 1970s horror comics like Vampirella, Tomb of Dracula, and Ghost Rider, it’s written by yours truly, Steven A. Roman (Stan Lee’s Alexa, X-Men: The Chaos Engine Trilogy), and illustrated by Eliseu Gouveia (Vengeance of the Mummy, Lady Death), Steve Geiger (Web of Spider-Man, Incredible Hulk), and Neil Vokes (Flesh and Blood, Fright Night). It also features a cover by legendary artist Esteban Maroto (Vampirella, Zatanna, Lady Rawhide), a frontispiece by original Vampirella artist Tom Sutton (Ghost Rider, Man-Thing, Werewolf by Night), and a one-page history of succubi illustrated by Ernie Colon (Vampirella, The Grim Ghost).

House_Macabre_large_finalLorelei Presents: House Macabre: It’s Lori’s first outing as the hostess of a horror comic anthology, in this one-shot special that contains four tales of horror, behind eye-catching cover art by fan-favorite artist Louis Small Jr. (Vampirella, Supergirl, Batman 80-Page Giant).

  • “The Old, Dark Manse” is written by me and illustrated by Uriel Caton (JSA Annual, The Ex-Mutants, Heartstopper: The Legend of La Bella Tenebrosa) and “Chainsaw” Chuck Majewski (Harvey Kurtzman’s New Two-Fisted Tales), and has Lori welcoming readers to this special.
  • “All in Color for a Crime” is another tale from me, with art by Lou Manna (T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, Young All-Stars). Two comic book collectors clash over a rare back issue—and only one of them will be adding it to their long boxes!
  • “The Basilisk,” from me and artist John Pierard (Graphic Classics: Horror Classics, My Teacher Fried My Brains), is a “Lori’s Feary Tale” that examines the history of a supernatural creature that’s a cross between a deadly snake and a…chicken?!
  • Wrapping up the special is “Requiem for Bravo 6,” by New York Times bestselling author and comic writer Dwight Jon Zimmerman (She-Hulk, Steve McQueen: Full-Throttle Cool) and artist Juan Carlos Abraldes Rendo. A special-ops team goes on a life-or-death mission…but will they be prepared for what awaits them at mission’s end?

Then there’s Sebastienne Mazarin, an immortal, monster-hunting mentor who currently appears in my Saga of Pandora Zwieback novels, mentoring a teenaged Goth chick on the finer points of handling the creatures of the night. But before she became Pan’s monster-hunting mentor, Sebastienne Mazarin made her debut in a short-lived, 1990s Mature Readers series:

heartstopper_lg_cover_2013Hearstopper: The Legend of La Bella Tenebrosa #1–3: A nefarious heavy metal band has arrived in New York City, and its lead singer is more than just a sex magnet for his female fans—he’s an incubus! Will Annie put an end to his plans for worldwide chaos, or fall prey to his supernatural charms? Written by me (of course), issue 1 is drawn by Pan and Annie co-creator Uriel Caton (JSA Annual) and inker Alan Larsen (Femforce); issue 2 is penciled by Uriel, Holly Golightly (School Bites), and David C. Matthews (Satin Steele) and inked by Larsen. Issue 3 (which Millennium never published) is penciled by Holly, with four pages of inks by “Chainsaw” Chuck Majewski (Harvey Kurtzman’s New Two-Fisted Tales). As a special bonus, issue 3 includes a short preview of the also-never-published Heartstopper/Trollords, a proposed one-shot special that would have had Annie meet Harry, Larry, and Jerry, the Three Stooges–inspired trolls created by Scott Beaderstadt and Paul Fricke, written by me with pencils by Holly and Scott and inks by Bill Lavin (Troubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings).

Lorelei: Sects and the City and Lorelei Presents: House Macabre are available in print and digital formats; Heartstopper is a free digital exclusive. Visit their respective product pages for ordering information, as well as sample pages.

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