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