Ya Gotta Be Reading!

mets-ya-gotta-readWell, here’s the sort of literacy program Pan can totally get behind—especially since it involves her favorite baseball team!

A partnership between the New York Mets and Delta Air Lines, Ya Gotta Read (a playful twist on the old Mets saying, “Ya Gotta Believe!”) is, according to the press release:

…a program to help foster a love of reading in students. More than 5,000 students at nine elementary schools in Queens are participating in the program. The goal is for students to read one book a week for a total of six books. Students will write a book review for each book and hand it in to their teachers. The more books students read, the more prizes they will earn!

The student from each school that reads the most books will be awarded four field level tickets a Mets game at Citi Field and be invited participate in an on-field pregame ceremony. The student who reads the most books in the overall program will win four Delta Club tickets behind home plate.

The class that reads the most books will win a visit by a Mets player and Mr. Met and memberships to Mr. Met’s Kids Club. The top class from each school will receive additional Mets premium merchandise.

Ya Gotta Read runs from February 12 (the start of Mets spring training) to March 23. For more information, and to follow the schools’ progress, visit the Ya Gotta Read page at the Mets website.

Chaos…in the Halls of StarWarp Concepts!

Tonight is Game 1 of the 2015 World Series of baseball, in which the National League Champions, the New York Mets, battle the American League Champions, the Kansas City Royals, in a best-of-7 series. And that’s caused a bit of tension here at ’Warp Central, between die-hard Mets fan Pandora Zwieback, the teenaged Goth adventuress who stars in my Saga of Pandora Zwieback novels and comics, and Nightstalker, the lycanthropic member of the supernatural superhero team Troubleshooters, Incorporated!

Now, being a werewolf who’s trying to make a living, Nightstalker (real name Alex Johnson) hasn’t really shown much interest in being a baseball fan, but when he realized that his co-creator, Richard C. White (co-author of the graphic novel Troubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings), is a Royals fan, he immediately threw on a KC shirt so that Maryland-based Rich would have some representation in SWC’s New York offices. That, as one would expect, hasn’t been well received by Pan and her best friend, Sheena McCarthy…


How will it end? Only the Mets and Royals can determine that outcome. Of course, since I’m a Mets fan, like Pan and Sheena, and Pan’s dad, David, I’m pulling for the home team.

Oh, and in case you’re unfamiliar with the participants in this major league rivalry:

blood_feud_lg_cover_2013The Saga of Pandora Zwieback is about 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-shifting mopnster hunter named 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. You’ll find Pan and Annie battling evil in the following titles:

The 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). You can snag a copy by clicking on the “Download Free Comic” link that you see in the sidebar.

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-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!

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 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).

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, the werewolf Nightstalker, 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 Rich and his wife, Joni M. White, and illustrated by Reggie Golden and Randy Zimmerman.

Blood Feud, Blood Reign, the Pan Annual, and Troubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings are available in print and digital formats. Pandora Zwieback #0 is a digital exclusive. Visit their respective product pages for ordering information, as well as sample pages and chapters.

Let’s go, Mets!