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.

Forgotten Frights: Leprechaun

There’s a Leprechaun in me head,
and I wish that I were dead
For I don’t think he’ll e’er let me be.
Oh, he tempts me with his gold,
and if I were e’er so bold
I’d strangle him and leave him in the street.
—“The Leprechaun (You’re No Irish Laddie)”
Lyrics by Marc Gunn

leprechaunAh, the Leprechaun movies: that low-budget, R-rated horror series created by writer/director Mark Jones that starred Warwick Davis (Star Wars, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Willow, the Harry Potter films) as an evil Irish sprite who, over the course of six(!) movies, spouted groan-worthy one-liners as he ruthlessly murdered anyone stupid enough to steal his pot o’ gold—sort of a low-rent Celtic Freddy Krueger. In case you missed any, here’s a quick primer to bring you up to speed in honor of today being Irish-Americans’ favorite holiday: St. Patrick’s Day!

Leprechaun (1993) is better known for being the big-screen acting debut of Jennifer Aniston, who went on to fame in the TV show Friends, but this story of a leprechaun who travels from Ireland to North Dakota to take back what’s his is clever enough to introduce a new type of supernatural baddie who wasn’t a straight-up knockoff of Krueger, or Jason from Friday the 13th. If you think about it, it’s sort of like that Mel Gibson movie, Payback, where he’s a crook just trying to collect the money he’s owed—only in this case, it’s a nasty sprite handing out gruesome punishments to the jerks who ripped him off. And Davis works really hard at selling the evil character he’s playing.

Besides, in spite of getting savaged by critics, the movie did well enough at the box office to get a sequel green-lighted, so that’s saying something, right?

Leprechaun 2 (1994) involves the little terror searching Los Angeles for a potential bride—he just has to find a woman who sneezes three times without anyone saying “God bless you” to her. Of course, that depends on him not killing her first for taking his gold…

Leprechaun 3 (1995), the first straight-to-video release, finds the Leprechaun popping up in Las Vegas, where he hunts new victims in the casinos and adds a new twist to his powers by using his bite to start turning one particular target into a leprechaun—a wereprechaun, maybe?

Leprechaun 4: In Space (1996) took the franchise to…well, it’s there in the title, right? Although, really, it should have been Innnn Spaaaaaaace! Sure, it’s a helluva stretch, but when you realize that both two other franchises, Friday the 13th (Jason X in 2001) and Hellraiser (Hellraiser IV: Bloodline in 1996), followed the same formula, with Hellraiser beating Leprechaun 4 to the finish line by a few months, I guess it’s not that much of a stretch.

Leprechaun in the Hood (2000) returned the action to Earth and co-starred rapper/actor Ice-T (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) in a tale of rappers, a magic flute, zombie fly girls, and—to quote the film’s entry at Wikipedia—“the Leprechaun rapping about being an evil Irish leprechaun.” That sounds…terrible.

Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood (2003)—oh God, that title—provided an origin for the gold-obsessed baddie as he hunts down the latest group of unfortunates to steal his gold. This entry brought the Davis-led series to a close, and that was probably for the best—the series was getting progressively worse with every sequel.

There’s one other movie out there, 2014’s Leprechaun: Origins—a reboot of the franchise that was produced by WWE Studios, released by Lionsgate Films, and starred pro wrestler Dylan “Hornswoggle” Postl. Critically panned, it apparently crashed and burned on release to theaters, sending the malicious sprite and the franchise to their final resting place. That’s…probably not such a bad thing.

Still, you know that someday some Hollywood producer is going to become aware of the dormant Leprechaun franchise and say, “Hey, why don’t we revive this thing?” Let’s just hope there’s a bit more thought given to the writing that results in a good movie for a change. I mean, even an evil leprechaun deserves a little Luck of the Irish, right?

Well, anyway…Happy St. Patrick’s Day!