The Perfect Stocking Stuffer!

pan_annual_coverHey, horror fans! Looking for a gift that would make a great addition to the small holiday haul you’re placing in a loved one’s Christmas stocking? Then allow me to suggest a full-color comic book starring our resident monster hunter!

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 is a spinoff from the novel series, and this 56-page, full-color comic special finds the teenaged Goth adventuress battling vampires and a jealous, man-stealing siren. Behind that striking cover by award-winning artist Henar Torinos (Mala Estrella), it features:

* “Song of the Siren,” written by me, with art and color by Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0, Stargate Universe), in which Pan and her boyfriend Javier attend one of his family’s picnics in Central Park, and run into Javi’s ex-girlfriend, Sophia—who turns out to be a mythological siren!

* “After Hours,” written by Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up) and illustrated by comic-art legend Ernie Colon (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld). It tells the tale of a most unusual New York City bar—and the demon who walks into it after a hard day on the job.

* And “Shopping Maul,” a short story by me, with title page art and color by Elizabeth Watasin (Charm School), in which Pan and her friends run afoul of a group of Elegant & Gothic Lolita vampires in a shopping maul.

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 is available in print and digital formats, so visit its product page over at StarWarp Concepts for ordering information.

Holiday Gifts for Goths

pandora_t-shirtHey, horror fans! With the holidays fast approaching and every mall in the world soon to devolve into full-scale replicas of Thunderdome as shoppers hunt for bargains, the time couldn’t be better for you to order presents for that special Goth in your life—from StarWarp Concepts, of course!

The Official Pandora Zwieback T-shirt: Now you too can be a styling monster hunter like Pandora Zwieback, in this official T-shirt featuring the full-color devil-girl image rendered by legendary painter Bob Larkin! Just like Pan’s, this combed cotton jersey is pitch-black—perfect for blending into handy shadows—with Lilitu (the daughter of Latte, the iconic symbol of the fictional coffee-house chain, Latte’s Inferno) sticking out her tongue at the creatures of the night that are hungering for your soul. Unlike Pan’s, the back is adorned with the Saga of Pandora Zwieback logo and the handy Web address so interested parties can check out all her adventures.

blood_feudBlood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1: This critically acclaimed novel is the beginning of Pan’s story, explaining how she, her parents and friends, and Annie are drawn into a conflict among warring vampire clans searching for the key to an ultimate weapon (or so the legend goes)—a key that just so happens to have been delivered to the horror-themed museum owned by Pan’s father. It’s a character-driven action-fest featuring the kind of gun-toting vampires that Selene would feel right at home among, and it leads immediately into the second novel:

Blood Feud full-color print by Bob Larkin: Have you ever looked at the cover of Blood Feud, the first novel in our exciting Saga of Pandora Zwieback novel series, and thought, “Man, that’s some awesome artwork. I would so buy a poster of that!” Well, now here’s your chance! Presented without logos or book-cover copy, this 11” x 17” cardstock print features the art of master painter Bob Larkin, and is limited to just 100 copies. Order yours today while supplies last!

Blood-Reign-FinalCvrBlood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2: Pan and Annie face even greater challenges as the vampire clans draw up plans to go to war with humanity. Leading the charge is a fallen angel named Zaqiel, whose previous attempt at subjugating the world was stopped by Annie—who, back in the day, was Zaqiel’s lover! But Pan isn’t about to let some ancient monster win the day, not when the lives of her parents and friends—along with those of every human on the planet—are at stake, so she leads a charge of her own. Yes, there’s more vampire gunplay involved—the undead sure do like their firearms—but that’s only part of the dangers Pan has to contend with, as her adventures take her to a mysterious South Pacific island where monsters dwell.

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1: A spinoff from the novel series, this 56-page, full-color comic special finds the teenaged Goth adventuress battling Gothic Lolita vampires and a jealous, man-stealing siren. It features stories by me and Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up), art by Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0), comic-art legend Ernie Colon (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld), and Elizabeth Watasin (Charm School), and cover art by award-winning artist Henar Torinos (Mala Estrella).

Carmilla_CoverCarmilla: The blood-drenched temptress of a 19th-century novella by author J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla Karnstein is a vampiress who desires not just blood but love from her victims, and when she enters the life of a young woman named Laura, Carmilla decides that her new friend will become her next great love—and won’t take no for an answer. Regarded as the one of the earliest lesbian vampire tales—if not the first—Carmilla was an influence on author Bram Stoker in the creation of the vampire brides in his seminal novel, Dracula, and remains a popular character in fiction to this day. The StarWarp Concepts edition features six all-new illustrations by Eliseu Gouveia, the artist of The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0 and the Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual.

Blood Feud, Blood Reign, Carmilla, and the Pan Annual are available in print and digital formats. Visit their respective product pages for ordering information, as well as sample pages and chapters.

Happy Teen Read Week 2017!

teen-read-weekTeen Read Week 2017 is happening right now, October 8–14. What is it? Well, to quote the event’s website:

Teen Read Week is a national adolescent literacy initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Its purpose is to encourage teens to be regular readers and library users.

Teen Read Week’s 2017 theme is “Unleash Your Story,” in which “library staff and educators are encouraged to leverage this theme to encourage teens to tell their own stories as well as find stories, biographies, autobiographies, folktales, and more in their local library.”

 For more information on this annual event, visit the Teen Read Week site.

The theme of “unleashing your story” for teen writers reminds me of “My First Published Story,” a blog post about a science-fiction story I wrote all the way back in high school. As I say in the post, looking back it’s a little cringe-worthy, but it proves something I always tell young writers: Everybody’s gotta start somewhere. Go give it a read!

And speaking of books for teens, are you familiar with my young adult, dark-urban-fantasy series The Saga of Pandora Zwieback? Pan is a 16-year-old Goth girl who’s spent the last decade being treated for mental health problems because she can see monsters. It’s only after she meets an immortal shape-shifter named Annie that Pan discovers she’s never been ill—her so-called “monstervision” is actually a supernatural gift that allows her to see into Gothopolis, the not-so-mythical shadow world that exists right alongside the human world. You’ll find Pan in the following titles:

blood_feudThe Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0: A free, downloadable comic that serves as an introduction to Pan and Annie—with an 8-page story written by me and illustrated by Eliseu Gouveia—as well as Pan’s first novel, Blood Feud (via a pair of preview chapters).

Blood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1: This critically acclaimed novel is the beginning of Pan’s story, explaining how she, her parents and friends, and Annie are drawn into a conflict among warring vampire clans searching for the key to an ultimate weapon (or so the legend goes)—a key that just so happens to have been delivered to the horror-themed museum owned by Pan’s father. It’s a character-driven action-fest that leads immediately into the second novel:

Blood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2: Pan and Annie face even greater challenges as the vampire clans draw up plans to go to war with humanity. Leading the charge is a fallen angel named Zaqiel, whose previous attempt at subjugating the world was stopped by Annie—who, back in the day, was Zaqiel’s lover! But Pan isn’t about to let some ancient monster win the day, not when the lives of her parents and friends—along with those of every human on the planet—are at stake, so she leads a charge of her own. But whose side is going to emerge the victor remains to be seen…

Blood Feud and Blood Reign are available in print and digital formats. The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0 is a digital exclusive. Visit their respective product pages at StarWarp Concepts for ordering information, as well as sample pages and chapters.

StarWarp Concepts Comic Book Thrills and Chills for the Spooky Season

Pandora0_CoverLooking for illustrated tales of the supernatural to enjoy as you anxiously await the arrival of Halloween? Then look no further than StarWarp Concepts’ backlist of comic books and graphic novels that are perfect for horror fans young and old!

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0: A free, downloadable comic that serves as an introduction to the adventures of Pandora Zwieback and her monster-hunting mentor, Sebastienne “Annie” Mazarin, with an 8-page story written by me and illustrated by Eliseu Gouveia, and a preview of Pan’s first novel, Blood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1. Pan is a 16-year-old Goth girl who’s spent the last decade being treated for mental health problems because she can see monsters. It’s only after she meets Annie that Pan discovers she’s never been ill—her so-called “monstervision” is actually a supernatural gift that allows her to see into Gothopolis, the not-so-mythical shadow world that exists right alongside the human world.

pan_annual_coverThe Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1: A spinoff from the novel series, this 56-page, full-color comic special finds the teenaged Goth adventuress battling vampires and a jealous, man-stealing siren. It features stories by me and Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up), art by Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0), comic-art legend Ernie Colon (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld), and Elizabeth Watasin (Charm School), and cover art by award-winning artist Henar Torinos (Mala Estrella).

Lorelei Presents: House Macabre is Lori’s debut as the hostess of a horror anthology comic. Behind a cover by bad-girl artist supreme Louis Small Jr. (Vampirella, Vampirella/Lady Death), you’ll find stories by me and Dwight Jon Zimmerman (Iron Man, Web of Spider-Man). Art is provided by Uriel Caton & “Chainsaw” Chuck Majewski (Heartstopper: The Legend of La Bella Tenebrosa), Lou Manna (T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents), John Pierard (Graphic Classics: Horror Classics), and Juan Carlos Abraldes Rendo.

troubleshooters_lrg_coverTroubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings is a general readers’ graphic novel about a group of supernatural-superheroes-for-hire taking on their first case. The team consists of a wizard, a female ninja, a sorceress, a werewolf, and a rock ’n’ roll lighting designer wearing high-tech armor. Sure, they might not be on a power level with the Avengers or Justice League of America—they’re more like superpowered Ghostbusters—but they get the job done. The graphic novel is written by the husband-and-white team of Richard C. White (Terra Incognito: A Guide to Building the Worlds of Your Imagination, For a Few Gold Pieces More: Tales of the Rogue With No Name) and Joni M. White, and illustrated by Reggie Golden and Randy Zimmerman.

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual, Lorelei Presents: House Macabre, and Troubleshooters Incorporated are available in print and digital formats. Pandora Zwieback #0 is a digital exclusive. Visit their respective product pages at StarWarp Concepts for ordering information, as well as sample pages.

You Can’t Celebrate Halloween Without Some…Tales to Sorta Tremble By!

Tales-Sorta-Tremble-CvrHey, horror fans! On October 13, Pan’s publisher, StarWarp Concepts, be releasing Tales to Sorta Tremble By, the second title in its new SWC Horror Bites series of dark-fantasy chapbooks. It’s a collection of little-known mini terror tales that first appeared during comics’ Golden Age. To quote the back-cover copy:

The Flower of Evil. Jardini’s Jaw. The Living Brain. The Walking Dead.

These, and many others, are the tales you’ve long forgotten—or never even heard of before. They were the text stories, sometimes written anonymously or pseudonymously, that 1950s comic book publishers inserted in each issue of their macabre series to meet postal mailing requirements in order to be considered magazines.

This collection spotlights a baker’s dozen of those time-lost terror shorts, so gather round the jack-o’-lantern and prepare to be a little bit shocked and a tiny bit horrified by these…TALES TO SORTA TREMBLE BY!

Includes: The Walking Dead • Jardini’s Jaw • The Lonely Place • Call for Claws • Land of the Dead • Call of the Werewolf • The Flower of Evil • The Lady in Black • The Living Brain • The Shadow in the Moonlight • Just What the Doctor Ordered • Death and the Maiden • The End of the Line

Just as with SWC’s debut Horror Bite, Clemence Annie Housman’s White Fell—The Werewolf, Tales to Sorta Tremble By will only be available through the StarWarp Concepts webstore, so be sure to order a copy when October 13 rolls around!

It’s National Comic Book Day 2017!

Pandora0_CoverToday is National Comic Book Day, an unofficial “holiday” that’s celebrated every year on this date…although no one seems to know why that is, or who exactly started the tradition. Nevertheless, if you’re thinking that the friendly fiends at StarWarp Concepts must have some illustrated fiction that would be perfect for this occasion—you’re absolutely right!

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0: A free, downloadable comic that serves as an introduction to the adventures of Pandora Zwieback and her monster-hunting mentor, Sebastienne “Annie” Mazarin, with an 8-page story written by me and illustrated by Eliseu Gouveia, and a preview of Pan’s first novel, Blood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1. Pan is a 16-year-old Goth girl who’s spent the last decade being treated for mental health problems because she can see monsters. It’s only after she meets Annie that Pan discovers she’s never been ill—her so-called “monstervision” is actually a supernatural gift that allows her to see into Gothopolis, the not-so-mythical shadow world that exists right alongside the human world.

pan_annual_coverThe Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1: A spinoff from the novel series, this 56-page, full-color comic special finds the teenaged Goth adventuress battling vampires and a jealous, man-stealing siren. It features stories by me and Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up), art by Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0), comic-art legend Ernie Colon (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld), and Elizabeth Watasin (Charm School), and cover art by award-winning artist Henar Torinos (Mala Estrella).

Heartstopper: The Legend of La Bella Tenebrosa: Long before she met Pan, Annie was the star of this short-lived, Mature Readers “bad girl” comic book miniseries published in the 1990s. Here you’ll find Annie doing a bit of research for an article about gentlemen’s clubs in Times Square—research that includes actually performing as an exotic dancer (I did say it was a ’90s comic, didn’t I?). It’s that part-time gig that brings her into contact with Corum de Sade, a heavy metal singer with a deadly secret: he’s a soul-devouring incubus! All three issues—written by me, with art by Uriel Caton (JSA Annual), Holly Golightly (School Bites), and David C. Matthews—are available for free from this very website, so download them today!

SWC_Lorelei-SectsLorelei: 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, 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) and a frontispiece by original Vampirella artist Tom Sutton (Ghost Rider, Man-Thing, Werewolf by Night).

Lorelei Presents: House Macabre is Lori’s debut as the hostess of a horror anthology comic. Behind that eye-catching cover by bad-girl artist supreme Louis Small Jr. (Vampirella, Vampirella/Lady Death), you’ll find stories by me and Dwight Jon Zimmerman (Iron Man, Web of Spider-Man). Art is provided by Uriel Caton & “Chainsaw” Chuck Majewski (Heartstopper: The Legend of La Bella Tenebrosa), Lou Manna (T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents), John Pierard (Graphic Classics: Horror Classics), and Juan Carlos Abraldes Rendo.

heroinesandheroes-1Heroines and Heroes is another free digital comic book. It’s a collection of stories (and a few pinups) that I’ve drawn over the years, featuring mainstream and indie comic characters that include the superheroic Blonde Avenger, the anthropomorphic Motorbike Puppies, the half-human/half-rabbit superspy Snowbuni, and my “legendary” Wonder Woman-meets-Harley Quinn three-page tale that was meant to be my entrée to fame and fortune as a DC Comics artist (it didn’t work out, though).

The Chronicles of the Sea Dragon Special is a digital pirate-fantasy comic created and written by Richard C. White, coauthor of SWC’s supernatural-superhero graphic novel Troubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings. 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 Annual), it’s 48 pages of high-seas adventure perfect for fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise, as well as classics like The Crimson Pirate, Against All Flags, Captain Blood, and The Sea Hawk—and it’s available for download for just 99¢!

troubleshooters_lrg_coverTroubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings is a general readers’ graphic novel about a group of supernatural-superheroes-for-hire taking on their first case. The team consists of a wizard, a female ninja, a sorceress, a werewolf, and a rock ’n’ roll lighting designer wearing high-tech armor. Sure, they might not be on a power level with the Avengers or Justice League of America—they’re more like superpowered Ghostbusters—but they get the job done. The graphic novel is written by the husband-and-white team of Richard C. White (Terra Incognito: A Guide to Building the Worlds of Your Imagination, For a Few Gold Pieces More: Tales of the Rogue With No Name) and Joni M. White, and illustrated by Reggie Golden and Randy Zimmerman.

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual, Lorelei: Sects and the City, Lorelei Presents: House Macabre, and Troubleshooters Incorporated are available in print and digital formats. Pandora Zwieback #0, Heartstopper, Heroines and Heroes, and Chronicles of the Sea Dragon are digital exclusives. Visit their respective product pages at StarWarp Concepts for ordering information, as well as sample pages.

It’s Banned Books Week 2017!

Banned-logoGot a favorite book? Well, odds are good there’s someone out there in the United States who’d liked to see it censored. And that’s where Banned Books Week comes in—an annual celebration of literacy in which the spotlight is shone on the problem of censorship in U.S. libraries and bookstores. To quote the Banned Books Week website:

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries.

This year’s focus is on “the importance of the First Amendment, which guarantees [American citizens’] inherent right to read.”

According to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)…there was an alarming 17% increase in book censorship complaints in 2016. Since most challenges are not reported, the actual number is probably much higher. Even more disturbing, while only 10% of the titles reported to OIF are normally removed from the institutions receiving the challenges, half of the most frequently challenged books were actually banned last year.

Banned Books Week 2017 is happening right now, September 24 to September 30, so visit the BBW website for more information, including a list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2016 that they’re celebrating this year.

Happy National Read a Book Day 2017!

Today is National Read a Book Day, which is celebrated in the United States every September 6th since…well, nobody seems to know precisely when this “holiday” began, or who started it, but it’s a celebration of reading, so it’s all good, right? And if you’re looking for the right book on this special day, here are a few StarWarp Concepts titles you might want to consider:

Dark Urban Fantasy
blood_feudBlood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1 is my young adult novel that’s perfect for lovers of dark urban fantasy. It introduces readers to Pandora Zwieback, a 16-year-old Goth girl who’s spent the last decade being treated for mental health problems because she can see monsters. It’s only after she meets professional monster hunter Sebastienne “Annie” Mazarin that Pan discovers she’s never been ill—her so-called “monstervision” is actually a supernatural gift that allows her to see into Gothopolis, the not-so-mythical shadow world that exists right alongside the human world. In Blood Feud, Pan, her parents and friends, and Annie are drawn into a conflict among warring vampire clans searching for the key to an ultimate weapon (or so the legend goes)—a key that just so happens to have been delivered to the horror-themed museum owned by Pan’s father.

Blood-Reign-FinalCvrIn Blood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2, Pan and Annie face even greater challenges as the vampire clans draw up plans to go to war with humanity. Leading the charge is a fallen angel named Zaqiel, whose previous attempt at subjugating the world was stopped by Annie—who, back in the day, was Zaqiel’s lover! But Pan isn’t about to let some ancient monster win the day, not when the lives of her parents and friends—along with those of every human on the planet—are at stake, so she leads a charge of her own. But whose side is going to emerge the victor remains to be seen…

Fantasy Adventure
Gold-Pieces-CvrFor a Few Gold Pieces More: This collection of ten critically acclaimed short stories by author Richard C. White stars a Rogue With No Name who travels a world of epic-fantasy adventure, looking for treasure—and revenge against the woman who sent him to prison for a crime he didn’t commit (but she did). Think Lord of the Rings meets the “spaghetti Westerns” of director Sergio Leone (A Fistful of Dollars; The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly), with a healthy dose of monsters, magic, and swordplay mixed in. Weighing in at a hefty 420 pages, it sports a cover painting and a frontispiece illustration by fantasy artist Shane Braithwaite, who also provided the cover art for Rich’s 2015 SWC release, the writer’s reference book Terra Incognito: A Guide to Building the Worlds of Your Imagination.

SWC Classics
Princess_Of_MarsA Princess of Mars: Originally published in 1912, this is the first in author (and Tarzan creator) 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 while falling in love with a beautiful 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, The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1, Lorelei: Sects and the City), and a special introduction by Mars-fiction expert John Gosling, author of Waging the War of the Worlds.

Carmilla_CoverCarmilla is J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s 19th-century classic vampiric tale of love gone wrong. Laura is so desperate for a friend that when a young woman named Carmilla practically turns up on the doorstep of the castle owned by Laura’s father, she thinks her prayers for companionship have been answered. But as she comes to realize, Carmilla isn’t as interested in making friends as she is in spilling blood. Regarded as the one of the earliest female vampire tales—if not the first—Carmilla was an influence on author Bram Stoker in the creation of the vampire brides in his seminal novel, Dracula, and remains a popular character in fiction to this day. Just like with A Princess of Mars, our edition contains six original illustrations done especially for StarWarp Concepts by the super-talented Eliseu Gouveia.

King-Kong-Final-FrontCvrKing Kong is our e-book-exclusive Illustrated Classics edition of the 1932 novelization of the renowned motion picture. 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, the SWC edition of King Kong 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, Flare, and Dan Turner: Hollywood Detective.

Writers’ Reference
terraTerra Incognito: A Guide to Building the Worlds of Your Imagination is our popular how-to book for writers and gamers in which bestselling fantasy author Richard C. White takes you through the step-by-step process of constructing a world for your characters, from societies and governments to currency and religion. Included is an interview with New York Times bestselling author Tracy Hickman (Dragonlance) that discusses his methods of world building, as well as his creative experiences during his time as a designer for gaming company TSR, the original home of Dungeons & Dragons.

The Pandora Zwieback novels, as well as For a Few Gold Pieces More, A Princess of Mars, Carmilla, and Terra Incognito are available in print and digital formats. King Kong is a digital exclusive. Visit their respective product pages for ordering information.

Happy reading!