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.

whitefell-werewolf-cvrSpeaking 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 StarWarp Concepts’ SWC Horror Bites line of chapbooks. Here’s the back-cover copy:

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 at StarWarp Concepts for further information and order it today.

May the Fourth Be With You in 2017!

star-wars-40th-logoHey, Panatics! First off, let me apologize for the lack of activity around here. I don’t usually mention my “day job” as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader—“day job” being in quotes because my work hours are very flexible—but April turned out to be a really busy month for me. And believe me, when you work a job that has feast-or-famine assignment periods, you grab what you can get and focus on that to pay the bills.

Also, there’s some Pandora Zwieback novel or something I’m working on… 😉

Anyway, if you’re a science fiction fan, you probably know what the headline of this post means—yup, today is Star Wars Day, that annual celebration of George Lucas’s legendary franchise that retook the world by storm in December 2015 with the box office mega-success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (aka Star Wars: Episode VII), which in turn set the stage for last December’s release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the “heist film” prequel to Episode IV: A New Hope that explained how Princess Leia got the plans to the original Death Star. And now this year we’ve got Star Wars, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi to look forward to! It’s an exciting time to be a Star Wars fan, isn’t it?

But what’s Star Wars Day all about? you ask. To explain this occasion, we look to the official Star Wars website:

“‘May the 4th be with you.’ What started as pun warmly shared by fans has become a full-fledged Star Wars holiday: Star Wars Day, a special once-a-year celebration of the galaxy far, far away…. Once the Internet allowed Star Wars fans around the world to connect with one another, May the 4th soon became a grassroots tradition each year, with fans online and offline proclaiming it Star Wars Day.”

Goth-VadersAs for why we’d be celebrating Star Wars Day at Zwieback Central…well, it’s because I know how to take advantage of a promotional opportunity, that’s why!

What you see here is a sketch cover I drew in 2015, in time for The Force Awakens’ debut (click on the image to embiggen). It depicts Pan as an original Star Wars character: Darth Pandoricus! And standing behind her is her best friend, Sheena McCarthy, as the dreaded Lady She’naa. Hey, it only makes sense that a couple of Goth chicks would want to be dark ladies of the Sith!

For those of you unfamiliar with Pan—just in case you stumbled across the above illustration during your Internet journeys—allow me to provide you with some background:

pan_comic_0Pan—the star of Zwieback in my young adult novel series The Saga of Pandora Zwieback—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. You’ll find 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).

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 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!

pan_annualThe 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).

Blood Feud, Blood Reign, and the Pan Annual 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.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to watch Rogue One again…

Not All Zombies Eat People—Some Have a Sweet Tooth!

RE6-PromoBanner

Hey, zombie fans! Today is the U.S. release date for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, the sixth and last entry in Sony Pictures’ popular zombie movie franchise based on the even more popular video game series from Capcom. Series star Milla Jovovich returns as Alice, the scientifically created action heroine who’s picking up where she left off in her war against the evil Umbrella Corporation, as chronicled in the previous movie, Resident Evil: Retribution. And yes, just like the Underworld series, I consider the Resident Evil movies a guilty pleasure, so odds are pretty good I’ll be on line this weekend to check out Alice’s final battle.

Speaking of zombies, did you know you can find them in my young adult novel series The Saga of Pandora Zwieback? You bet! 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-shifting monster 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. Pan and Annie started their adventures in the novel Blood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1, but it’s in the follow-up that they encounter all-new perils.

Blood-Reign-FinalCvrIn Blood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2, Pan and Annie face even greater challenges as the world’s 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 vampires are only part of the dangers Pan, Annie, and Pan’s boyfriend, Javier Maldonado, have to contend with, as they arrive at mysterious South Pacific island where monsters dwell.

And one sort of monster they find is the sugar zom: a reanimated corpse that eats flesh but also has an insatiable craving for sweets. Rich desserts, snack cakes, stale pastries—if it’s got a sugar content, these zombies will devour it. And worst of all, they can smell sweets at a distance—as Pan discovers in this excerpt from Blood Reign:

Javi slipped off Pan’s messenger bag and scooted up to the edge of the platform to watch the activity below. When he spoke, he did so quietly to avoid having his voice echo in the chamber. “Y’know, this high up, it kinda reminds me of sitting in the upper deck at Yankee Stadium. You should come to a game and see what it’s like.”

Behind him, Pan stuck out her tongue in distaste. Yankees. Blergh.

She began rummaging through her bag, to reach the junk food that she’d taken from a refrigerated shipping container. “You hungry? I could go for something.”

“Nah. I’m good.”

Her fingers brushed against cellophane wrapped around a pair of familiar round shapes. With a smile she pulled out a package of chocolate-frosted devil’s food cakes. Her favorite brand, too. She slid the food under her jacket to muffle the sound of the cellophane snapping open, pulled out the first cake, and took a whiff of the frosting. Pure heaven.

Javi glanced at the snack, so she held it out. “Want a bite?”

He smiled. “Nah. You enjoy it.”

“Oh, I will,” she replied.

Javi chuckled and turned back to observe the excavation—then started. “What the hell…?”

Pan leaned forward to see what had caught his attention. “What’s going on?”

The crew had stopped working. As one, they tilted back their heads and sniffed the air. The wheezing noise generated by a hundred people snuffling sounded like an inflating bellows with a leaky bladder.

“Oh crap,” Javi whispered. “They are using sugar zoms, like I thought.” His shocked gaze moved from the corpses to the snack cake in Pan’s hand. “And they can smell that.”

Blood Reign is available in print and digital formats. Visit the Blood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2 product page for ordering information, as well as a sample chapter.

You Want to Talk Gun-Toting Vampires?

underworldbwheader

Hey, vampire fans! Today is the U.S. release date for Underworld: Blood Wars, the fifth entry in Lakeshore Entertainment’s popular vampires-versus-werewolves movie franchise. Series star Kate Beckinsale returns to her iconic role as the death-dealing vampire Selene, continuing her war on lycans following the events of the last film, Undewrworld: Awakening. I’m the first to admit that, as with Milla Jovovich’s Resident Evil series, the Underworld movies are a guilty pleasure for me; in fact, I’ve already bought my ticket for this weekend!

blood_feud_lg_cover_2013Speaking of vampires and blood wars, are you familiar with my young adult novel 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-shifting monster 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:

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 featuring the kind of gun-toting vampires that Selene would feel right at home among, and it 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! 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 Elegant Gothic & Lolita vampires in a shopping mall and a jealous, man-stealing siren in New York’s Central Park. 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_CoverAnd if your prefer your vampires less action-oriented and more Gothic, then let me direct you to Carmilla, the 19th-century novella by J. Sheridan Le Fanu that’s become the most popular title in StarWarp Concepts’ Illustrated Classics line of books.

In Carmilla, a young woman named Laura is so desperate for a friend that when a woman her age 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 lesbian vampires, 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. Our edition contains six original illustrations done especially for StarWarp Concepts by the super-talented Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1).

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

You Want to Talk Vampire Hunters?

Pandora0_CoverTonight is the broadcast premiere of Van Helsing, the SyFy Channel’s latest entry in their ever-growing scripted-series schedule, and one that has no connection to that terrible Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale movie from 2004. To quote the press release:

“The 13-episode series, from acclaimed filmmaker Neil LaBute, will focus on Vanessa Helsing (True Blood’s Kelly Overton), the latest in a long line of famed monster hunters. The series will feature an intriguing twist on the Dracula story, with Vanessa being resurrected in a future in which vampires rule the world. Discovering that she holds a mysterious power over them (the bloodsuckers, that is), Vanessa must lead what’s left of humanity against the vamps in a post-Rising world.”

Well, if vampires and the hunters who fight them are your thing, are you familiar with my young adult novel 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 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 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).

blood_feud_lg_cover_2013Blood 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 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.

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 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).

Blood Feud, Blood Reign, and the Pan Annual 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.

You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Movie

sharknado-4-poster-1Like Christmas and Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July, it seems that a new annual tradition has been added to the world’s list of celebrations—except this one involves high-velocity tornadoes and man-eating fish from the deep!

Tonight is the SyFy Channel broadcast premiere of Sharknado: The 4th Awakens, the latest entry in the bizarrely popular film franchise produced by low-budget “mockbuster” movie studio The Asylum. Franchise regulars Ian Ziering and Tara Reid return to battle the forces of nature, this time alongside guest stars David Hasselhoff (Knight Rider, Baywatch), Gary Busey (Predator 2), former supermodel Cheryl Tiegs, and Tommy Davidson (In Living Color). By the time the fight’s over, the Las Vegas Strip will never look the same—and will probably reek from the stench of decaying shark meat broiling in the Nevada sun. Ugh.

blood_feudSpeaking of the terrifying creatures that hunt mankind, and the plucky humans who battle them, have you met Pandora Zwieback, star of my StarWarp Concepts novel 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:

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).

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! 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…

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).

Blood Feud, Blood Reign, and the Pan Annual 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.

May the Fourth Be With You!

If you’re a science fiction fan, you know what the headline means—yup, today is Star Wars Day, that annual celebration of George Lucas’s legendary franchise that retook the world by storm last December with the box office mega-success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (aka Star Wars: Episode VII), which in turn set the stage for this coming December’s release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the “heist film” prequel to Episode IV: A New Hope that explains how Princess Leia got the plans to the original Death Star. It’s an exciting time to be a Star Wars fan, isn’t it?

To explain this special occasion, we look to the official Star Wars website:

“May the 4th kicks off a season of celebration, particularly since the month of May has always been important to Star Wars fans. The six live-action movies of the Star Wars saga debuted in May (starting with the original Star Wars on May 25, 1977). The month of May includes George Lucas’ birthday (May 14, 1944), and has been the traditional start date of the popular Star Wars Weekends at Walt Disney World Resort.”

So, how come I’m celebrating Star Wars Day here, at the home of monster hunter Pandora Zwieback? Because I know how to take advantage of a promotional opportunity, that’s why!

Goth-Vaders

What you see here is a sketch cover I drew last December, in time for The Force Awakens’ debut. It depicts Pan as an original Star Wars character: Darth Pandoricus! And standing behind her is her best friend, Sheena McCarthy, as the dreaded Lady She’naa. After all, it only makes sense that a couple of Goth chicks would want to be dark ladies of the Sith!

For those of you unfamiliar with Pan—just in case you stumbled across the above illustration during your Internet journeys—allow me to provide you with some background:

Pan—the star of Zwieback in my young adult novel series The Saga of Pandora Zwieback—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. You’ll find 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).

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!

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).

Blood Feud, Blood Reign, and the Pan Annual 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.

Darth Zwieback: The Vampire Strikes Back

That’s right, Star Wars fans, today is the U.S. release date for Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens—the latest entry in the space-fantasy series that changed blockbuster movies forever. So, what’s an epic space opera got to do with Pandora Zwieback? Well, who better to be Dark Ladies of the Sith than a couple of Goth girls like Pan and her bestest friend, Sheena McCarthy—right? And with Marvel publishing blank “sketch covers” for its Star Wars titles, the Darth Vader #1 blank was, I thought, the perfect canvas for my latest “masterpiece”:

Goth-Vaders

 

Surprised I’d try to tie in Pan to the biggest sci-fi movie franchise of all time? As a wise Muppet once said, “There is no try. Only do…or do not.” 😀 Also, I was in a drawing kind of mood, and once the sketch idea popped into my head I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see how Pan and Sheena would look in the Star Wars universe.

So, hey, Marvel, when do the girls get their own spin-off series…?

The Pan You Need

Today is the U.S. release date for Pan, the latest movie adaptation loosely based on the classic novel Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie. Starring Levi Miller as Peter, Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy) as Captain Hook, Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [U.S.]) as Tiger Lily, and Hugh Jackman (X-Men: Days of Future Past) as Blackbeard, who’s fighting both Peter and Captain Hook, it looks like one strange production.

blood_feudBut let’s be honest. That movie may be the Pan you want to see, but it’s not the Pan you need. No, my friends, the Pan you need is none other than Pandora Zwieback, teenaged Goth chick, amateur monster hunter, and the star of The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, a series of novels and comic books written by Steven A. Roman (that’s me), the bestselling author of X-Men: The Chaos Engine Trilogy. And it just so happens that you’ll find our Pan 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 access it by clicking on the “Download Free Comic” link you see in the sidebar to the right.

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—with cover art by award-winning artist Henar Torinos (Mala Estrella)—finds the teenaged Goth adventuress battling vampires and a jealous, man-stealing siren. It features three original stories of what I’ve termed the “Paniverse”—tales that take place within the fictional universe of The Saga of Pandora Zwieback.

  • “Song of the Siren,” written by me and illustrated by Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0) involves Pan and her boyfriend, Javi, attending one of his family’s picnics in Central Park, and running into an ex-girlfriend of Javi’s. An awkward situation, to be sure, made even worse by the realization that with her monstervision, Pan can see the girl is really a siren: a creature from Greek mythology that can hypnotize men with its voice!
  • “After Hours” is by writer Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up) and comic-art legend Ernie Colon (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld), and involves a working-class demon dropping by his favorite bar.
  • “Shopping Maul” is a short story written by me, with title-page art by Elizabeth Watasin (writer/artist of Charm School). Pan, Javi, and their friends stop by a Queens mall to do a bit of window-shopping—only to find themselves caught in the middle of a fight between Gothic Lolita vampires and Pan’s monster-hunting mentor, Annie!

Blood Feud, Blood Reign, and the Pandora Zwieback Annual 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.