StarWarp Concepts to Attend BookCon 2014

For years, friends in the book industry have been telling me: “If you want to be a successful publisher, you have to exhibit at BookExpo America.” BEA is the Super Bowl of book festivals; the literary equivalent of New York Comic Con. For book people, it’s the place to be.

Problem is, exhibiting at BEA is insanely expensive—an average 10×10 booth can cost up to $4,000! And recouping that fee onsite is out of the question: publishers are there to tout their books and try to convince librarians and booksellers to order them, not to physically sell copies to them at the expo. And the general public is excluded from attending because it’s a trade show. So without a chance to make money at the expo, I saw no reason to put StarWarp Concepts in one of those sky-high-rent booths.

BookCon_logoBut then came the recent announcement of BookCon.

According to industry magazine Publishers Weekly:

“Reed Exhibitions [which also runs New York Comic Con] has made no secret about its interest in drawing more consumers to BookExpo America. Today the company released new details about its plans for the consumer-focused third day of the trade show, unveiling an event called BookCon that it is describes as a ‘show within a show.’”

Bottom line? Unlike its parent convention, BookExpo America, BookCon is open to the general public. Also unlike BEA, BookCon publishers are allowed to sell their books, and the booths for this one-day event cost less than the same 10×10 space at either BEA or NYCC. So now StarWarp Concepts has a reason to be there.  ;-)

BookCon takes place on the last day of BEA: Saturday, May 31. Show hours are 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It’s being held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 34th Street and 11th Avenue, in Manhattan. Adult tickets are priced at $30; tickets for kids 6–12 are $5. Go here to order.

Question is, Will you be there to greet us? If so, you’ll find us at Booth 3061, right between the booths for Publishers Weekly and Penguin’s online imprint, Book Country.

For more information, visit the BookCon site.

Introducing Troubleshooters, Incorporated

A little bit of StarWarp Concepts cross-promotion, if you don’t mind.

If you’re a reader of this blog, or the Pandora Zwieback Facebook page, you may have noticed I often refer to a thing I like to call “the Paniverse.” Basically, it’s the fictional universe in which The Saga of Pandora Zwieback is set; a universe shared by other characters that fit within Pan’s horror and dark fantasy parameters.

The mature readers graphic novel Lorelei: Sects and the City takes place there, as do the Heartstopper: The Legend of La Bella Tenebrosa digital comics (which are a sort of 1990s, mature readers prequel to Pan’s adventures since they star her mentor, Sebastienne Mazarin). J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s nineteenth-century novella Carmilla is part of it, too, since House Karnstein, one of the vampire clans appearing in the first two Pan novels, is named after her. (For that matter, Bram Stoker’s Dracula also counts as a Paniverse title since both Vlad and his clan appear in those same Pan books.)

It’s a very comic book thing, like Spider-Man teaming up with the Fantastic Four to fight Doctor Doom—same city, same universe. Superheroes do it all the time, but it’s not limited to comics. Stephen King’s Dark Tower series ties into a majority of his novels and short stories (in fact, the Dark Tower is the nexus of all his literary dimensions), and the “Secret History of the World” in F. Paul Wilson’s Repairman Jack books is outlined in quite a few novels and story collections. Hell, H. P. Lovecraft actively encouraged writers like Robert E. Howard and Robert Bloch to expand his C’thulu Mythos in their own works. Shared universes can be awesome.

Speaking of comics, that brings us to the latest addition to the Paniverse…

SWC_Troubleshooters_CvrTroubleshooters, Incorporated is the world’s first supernatural superhero team-for-hire…at least on Pan’s Earth. The group consists of a wizard named Silver Oak, a Romani sorceress named Yolanda, a female ninja named Shadowmist, an armored rock-n-roll-stage-light designer named Lightshow, and a werewolf named Night Stalker. Like the Ghostbusters, they’re the experts you call when you’re threatened by supernatural forces—as long as you can afford TSI’s substantial fee, of course.

Troubleshooters Incorporated: Night Stalkings is a trade paperback collection of TSI’s first three-part adventure, originally published by Nightwolf Graphics in 1995. It’s a tale of demons and superheroics written by bestselling author Richard C. White (Gauntlet: Dark Legacy: Paths of Evil and Star Trek, S.C.E.: Echoes of Coventry) and his wife, Joni M. White, with art by penciler Reggie Golden and inkers Bill Lavin and Randy Zimmerman. Bonus pinups are provided by Jeff Parker (Batman ’66), Steve Lieber (Hawkeye), and Gary Thomas Washington (Speed Racer).

The print version of Troubleshooters, Incorporated is on sale right now at comic shops with incredible taste, and is available for order from the StarWarp Concepts webstore, Amazon.com, and Barnes & Noble. Visit the TSI product page for all the sales links, including TSI’s digital edition, which is available from the StarWarp Concepts webstore, as well as from DriveThru Comics.

A New Year’s Message from the Managing Editor

Happy New Year! 2014 is shaping up to be an exciting year for those of us at StarWarp Concepts, and here’s what we’ve got in store:

AnnieWilkesFirst off, please welcome our new (and first-ever) production manager, Annie Wilkes!

Hailing from Sidewinder, Colorado, Annie loves books…with the exception of anything starring our succubus character Lorelei, whom she regards as a “dirty bird” (which is okay; Lori’s not for everyone). She’s a voracious reader and likes to bill herself as the “#1 fan” of quite a few writers (she’s particularly fond of the works of Paul Sheldon), and she’s a stickler for punctuality, which is a definite plus. Her method of motivating our creative talent to meet their deadlines—a method she calls “Misery Loves Company”—might be considered incredibly unorthodox and highly unethical by those outside the book publishing industry, but it has proven to be surprisingly effective. We think she’ll fit in just fine around here.

SWC_BloodReignThe first job we’ve tasked her with is straightening out the unfortunate delay with the long-awaited and much demanded Blood Reign, second in our critically acclaimed Saga of Pandora Zwieback young adult novel series. Annie has promised to right this ship so that readers eager to follow Pan’s adventures will finally learn what became of her after the cliffhanger ending of the first novel, Blood Feud.

You’ll definitely be seeing Blood Reign this year—no matter how much its elusive author, Steve Roman, complains about his broken ankles. Walk it off, you big baby.  ;-)

 

Lori_HouseMacabreBlood Reign is just the first ’Warp release scheduled for this year. In September, our dirty-bird succubus returns to host Lorelei Presents: House Macabre, a one-shot special in the tradition of horror anthology comics like Creepy, Eerie, and Bela Lugosi’s Tales From the Grave.

Behind that (not final) cover you see here by bad-girl artist supreme Louis Small Jr. (Vampirella, Lady Death), you’ll find stories by the deadline-challenged Roman as well as by Dwight Jon Zimmerman, former writer of Web of Spider-Man, She-Hulk, and Transformers, and most recently the New York Times bestselling co-author (with Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly) of Lincoln’s Last Days. Art is provided by Ernie Colon (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1), Lou Manna (T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents), Uriel Caton (Heartstopper: The Legend of La Bella Tenebrosa), and John Pierard (My Teacher Fried My Brains).

troubleshooters_lrg_coverAnd on sale right now in comic shops is the graphic novel Troubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings. Yes, the book originally came out last year, but then it was picked up by Diamond Comics Distribution for retail sales this month. Head on down to your local comic shop and ask them to stock our supernatural superhero team’s debut adventure—and then pick up a copy for yourself!

On the convention scene, we’ve already got three appearances lined up: Awesome Con DC in April; Eternal Con in June; and the Brooklyn Book Festival in September. Unfortunately, we’ll be skipping October’s New York Comic Con—it’s become a really expensive show at which to exhibit—but we may return to it one day.

One final note: If you haven’t already, please Like our StarWarp Concepts and/or Pandora Zwieback Facebook pages. We love keeping in touch with our fans, and that’s just one more way you can follow the doings around here.

Best wishes to all our readers for 2014!
—K. C. Winters

2014 Convention Schedule

Plans are already in the works to finalize StarWarp Concepts’s 2014 convention calendar, and so far we’ve got two appearances locked in place:

Awesome Con DC (April 18–20): It’s the second year for this fast-growing Washington, DC show, and we’ll be making our first appearance there. It’s being held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, in the heart of the nation’s capital, and you’ll find the StarWarp crew set up in artists’ alley.

Eternal Con (June 14–15): Another show that’s been getting a lot of attention as it prepares for its second year. This one is held at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, Long Island, and artists’ alley will be our home for the weekend.

We’re still awaiting word on a date for September’s Brooklyn Book Festival—as well as waiting to hear back from other book festivals we’ve reached out to—but it’s a sure bet The ’Warp will be back in attendance at Borough Hall Plaza in the fall. Stay tuned for the latest updates!

An Eerie Interview

eerie_digest_logoLast month StarWarp Concepts was an exhibitor at the Baltimore Comic-Con, and it was there that I met Joseph O’Donnell, publisher of the online magazine The Eerie Digest. After talking to Joe about what The ’Warp had to offer to dark fantasy readers, he asked if we could do a follow-up interview for the magazine’s fiftieth issue—and it’s now available!

Head on over and read the entire interview here.

Critics Love Our First Pandora Zwieback Annual

pan_annual_lgForget all about that gun-totin’ “Trinity of Sin” gal from our Distinguished Competition—The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 is the only comic starring a Pandora-named character that you need to be reading!

Don’t believe me? Then take the word of Aida Jacobs, the Girly Geek of the comic news Web site Word of the Nerd, in her review of our first full-length Pan comic:

“Steven A. Roman demonstrates yet again his ability to write in the voice of a teenage girl without resorting to the petty whining and needless angst that seem to plague a lot of the female teenage characters in books today… With The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1, entertainment is guaranteed.”

Read the entire review here.

And over at the site Comics For Sinners, reviewer Richard Boom had this to say about the annual’s lead tale, “Song of the Siren”:

“Creator/writer Steven A. Roman mixes young adult fantasy with some themes like ‘young love’ but also with equal parts of ‘female empowerment’ and lets Pandora be a real and true voice…. The art by Portuguese artist Eliseu Gouveia is just stellar and makes for a perfect match for the story!”

Read the entire review here.

Pandora Zwieback Annual Expands Pan’s Saga

You are aware that our resident teen Goth and YA novel star Pandora Zwieback has brought her monster-fighting skills to comic books with her first full-length, full-color adventure—aren’t you?

pan_annual_lgIn The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 Pan tries to get her chaotic life in order by joining her boyfriend, Javier Maldonado, at one of his family’s picnics, only to run into trouble with an overprotective, holy-water-wielding aunt who’s not keen on her nephew dating a Goth chick. Then, as if Pan needed any more drama, one of Javi’s ex-girlfriends shows up to make matters even worse—and she’s got a terrifying secret. Stupid mythological siren.… “Song of the Siren” is written by me, with full-color art by Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0).

Two backup stories are included in this 56-page first issue: “After Hours,” a short tale of the “Paniverse” by writer Sholly Fisch (Action Comics, All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold) and comic-art legend Ernie Colón (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld); and “Shopping Maul,” my first-ever Pan short story, about (blood) red-tag sales and Elegant Gothic Lolita vampires, with title page art and color by Elizabeth Watasin (Charm School). Cover art is provided by award-winning writer/artist Henar Torinos (Mala Estrella)

The print version of The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #1 is available for order from the StarWarp Concepts webstore, Amazon.com, and Barnes & Noble. Or, if you prefer your comics in digital form, it’s also available for download from our webstore, as well as from DriveThru Comics. Visit the annual’s product page for all the sales links.

Posted in Publishing Tagged

STARWARP CONCEPTS RETURNS FOR NEW YORK COMIC CON 2013

comic_con_logoIndependent publishing house StarWarp Concepts—home of dark-urban-fantasy books and graphic novels—returns for the 2013 New York Comic Con, being held on October 10–13 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

SWC_NYCC13_MapBooth #1337 is where you’ll find bestselling author and StarWarp Concepts publisher Steven A. Roman (X-Men: The Chaos Engine Trilogy) promoting The Saga of Pandora Zwieback–a young adult novel series about a teenaged Goth who teams up with an immortal shape-shifter to hunt monsters–and Lorelei: Sects and the City, the mature readers graphic novel that reintroduced StarWarp Concepts’ first horror heroine.

Joining Roman will be:

Bob Larkin: From Doc Savage and Batman to Star Wars and the X-Men, from the Hulk and Star Trek to Vampirella and Planet of the Apes, there’s little that this legendary artist hasn’t painted. Larkin will make his return to NYCC to meet with his legions of fans and to promote SWC’s The Bob Larkin Sketchbook and The Saga of Pandora Zwieback novels, for which Larkin provides cover paintings. Larkin is scheduled to appear at the booth on Friday afternoon and on Saturday.

Sholly Fisch: The acclaimed writer of DC Comics’ Forever Evil: Bizarro, Forever Evil: Metallo, Action Comics Annual, and the Eisner Award–nominated All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Fisch will appear on Friday to sign copies of the now-on-sale Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1, which includes his 8-page collaboration with art-legend Ernie Colon (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld).

 

Creator appearances are as follows:

Sholly Fisch schedule:
Friday, October 11: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Bob Larkin schedule:
Friday, October 11: 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Saturday, October 12: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

StarWarp Concepts’ latest releases include:

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1: Pan’s first comic book adventure–written by Roman, with art and color by Eliseu Gouveia (Lorelei: Sects and the City)–finds her awkward first date with her boyfriend made even worse by the arrival of his ex-girlfriend…who also happens to be a siren straight from Greek mythology. Two backup features are included: a short comic tale by Sholly Fisch and Ernie Colon; and a Pan short story by Roman involving Elegant Gothic Lolita vampires at a shopping mall.

Troubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings: Co-authored by the husband-and-wife team of Richard C. White (Star Trek SCE: Echoes of Coventry) and Joni M. White, this graphic novel about a team of supernatural superheroes for hire features pencils by Reggie Golden, inks by Bill Lavin and Randy Zimmerman, and cover art by indie comic creator Richard Dominguez (El Gato Negro).

The Chronicles of the Sea Dragon Special: Written by Richard C. White, with art by Bill Bryan (House of Mystery, Dark Oz), this pirate-fantasy digital comic–available for download from the StarWarp Concepts webstore and DriveThru Comics–features 48 pages of high-seas adventure for the low price of 99¢. Cover art is by Eliseu Gouveia.

New York Comic Con is being held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, located at 34th Street and 11th Avenue in Manhattan. For more information on the show, visit newyorkcomiccon.com.

For more information on StarWarp Concepts and its projects, please visit www.StarwarpConcepts.com.