Maybe my least favorite part of writing is research. And yet it’s a part that is so important and necessary when the book you’re about to start writing contains things you know nothing about. Like paranormal investigation. I don’t know anything about it, other than what I’ve seen on shows like “Paranormal State”, and I’m not entirely convinced those things are as legit as they claim.

So today I had to do some research on paranormal investigators, including emailing these guys in hopes of finding someone I can ask a bunch of questions. It says the team was started in 2008, but I have no idea if it’s still around; I emailed them because they’re local to my area. With any luck, they are still around and I can ask them anything I need to know and, hopefully, their answers may even open new avenues of the novel’s plot, new twists and possibilities I wouldn’t have thought of before.

We’ll see.

While it didn’t feel like I got a lot done today, I think I did anyway because it was all important stuff.

First I spent some time compiling and formatting the file for the Invasion Agents Year One Omnibus, including some extras that haven’t appeared in any of the issues before. Then I did some research for The Third Floor 2. I can’t say what kind of research just yet, I don’t want to give anything away 2 days into plotting the book, but it’s all going to be necessary to help flesh out the characters and make the writing of the book easier.

Tomorrow will be more of the same. I’ll do some more work on those extra pages for the Omnibus, then get back to the research.

Meanwhile, I’m currently reading, or going to be reading:

   

   

 

First day of 2019 and I’m two days into plotting out the next novel, a sequel to The Third Floor. Finally. Back in 2013 when the book was selling, people said I needed to write a sequel, but at the time I didn’t have a story for what happened next. Since then I’ve written two short stories, “In the Presence of Loneliness” which is a newsletter exclusive you can get for free HERE by signing up for my free weekly newsletter, and “Problems and Bigger Ones”.

With those stories in place as a base, I’ve come up with what I think is an excellent follow up and for the first time in years I’m excited to write a sequel to this book.

I only have 569 words of the plot written, and it’s mostly me talking to myself, sorting out details and the direction and tone of the story, but I’m glad I decided to try to iron out some of the details beforehand as opposed to just writing and hoping I got somewhere interesting. I have faith I could have written a good book that way too, but I’m much happier with the direction the plot is going when I give myself time to talk it out with myself.

Taking all these threads from the original novel and the two short stories and tying them together into one larger whole is an amazing experience and just reminds me to have faith in the process, because when I sat down yesterday to start plotting, I wanted to do anything else BUT start plotting this book. I’d worked up the idea of it so much in my head, I feared anything I wrote was going to be a disaster. And I don’t think it’s too much to say there’s a bit of pressure on this one to be good. At last count, I probably sold over 50,000 copies of The Third Floor, so yes I want this one to do as well, or close to. So a substandard follow up won’t do.

But then I did get started and the words and the ideas came and I feel very confident now that The Third Floor 2 is going to be a great fucking horror novel.

Deadly Class Deluxe Edition Volume 1: Noise Noise Noise

Collecting the first three arcs of RICK REMENDER and WES CRAIG’s dark, violent and twistedly humorous story of a group of damaged teens enrolled in a secret high school, training to become the world’s greatest assassins. Bursting at the seams with sketches, concept art and other extras, this oversized 8×12” hardcover is the ultimate way to experience the 1980s underground.

Collecting DEADLY CLASS #1-16.

Invasion Agents Annual: Resurrection and Faith

You think you know the Invasion Agents? So far we’ve only seen one corner of their world. There’s more to this universe than simple Capital City, Missouri. The Invasion Agents Annual #1 tells a story located in another part of the world, not far away, in Black Foot, Kansas.

What appears to be a simple case of arson leads to demon possession and mass murder in the span of a few hours, and that’s only the beginning.

There’s a new hero in town, one with a familiar name, and he’s on a mission. First, how can he learn to control his situation in the wake of a whole new revelation in time to be of assistance?

It’s chaos in Kansas as demons destroy, atrocities abound, and the fate of the world lies in the hands of one hero who has no idea what he’s doing.

Saga Book Two: Deluxe Edition

At long last, it’s finally time for the second hardcover collection of SAGA, the New York Times best-selling series praised by everyone from Alan Moore to Lin-Manuel Miranda! Created by the multiple Eisner Award-winning team of artist FIONA STAPLES (Mystery Society, North 40, Archie Comics) and writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN (THE PRIVATE EYE, PAPER GIRLS, WE STAND ON GUARD), SAGA BOOK TWO continues the action-packed education of Hazel, a child born to star-crossed parents from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war. Collecting 18 issues of the smash-hit comic, this massive edition features a striking original cover from Fiona Staples, as well as a brand-new gallery of exclusive, never-before-seen SAGA artwork from legendary creators including CLIFF CHIANG, PIA GUERRA, FAITH ERIN HICKS, KARL KERSCHL, JASON LATOUR, SEAN GORDON MURPHY, STEVE SKROCE, and MORE!

Rat Queens Vol. 4: High Fantasies

currThe Queens are back! Palisade is still a rat-infested hell hole, and Violet, Hannah, Dee, Betty, and the brand-new Queen, Braga are the only hope of saving it! It’s been a long time since they’ve done a good slaughter, so join them as they get back to the basics of killing monsters and drinking away the profits! This is a fresh, hilarious new take on the RAT QUEENS with new artist OWEN GIENI! Collects RAT QUEENS, VOL. 2 #1-5

Rat Queens Vol. 2: Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth

This booze-soaked second volume of RAT QUEENS reveals a growing menace within the very walls of Palisade. And while Dee may have run from her past, the bloated, blood-feasting sky god N’rygoth never really lets his children stray too far. 

Collects RAT QUEENS #6-10.

Rat Queens Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery

Collects RAT QUEENS #1-5

Who are the Rat Queens? A pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, and they’re in the business of killing all god’s creatures for profit. It’s also a darkly comedic sass-and-sorcery series starring Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief. This modern spin on an old school genre is a violent monster-killing epic that is like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack!

 

Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile

FABLES is the winner of 14 Eisner Awards and is one of the most enduring Vertigo titles ever. Here, in this new, 10th anniversary edition, is a newly colored 8-page story from the Fables prose work PETER & MAX: A FABLES NOVEL, as well as a beautiful new cover from series artist Mark Buckingham. 

When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the “”mundys,”” their name for normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters created their own secret society that they call Fabletown.

From their exclusive luxury apartment buildings on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, these creatures of legend must fight for their survival in the new world.

Collects FABLES #1-5.

Last week I decided to publish an old story that has, so far, only been available in anthologies and collections, but never gotten the chance to stand on its own.  Which is a shame, because I think it’s a really good story.  So I finally published it as a standalone short story, and you can get it HERE:

Sean Leonard went out for pizza one day and never came home. Not that he didn’t try. After what he was sure had to be twelve hours driving the same unchanging stretch of highway with no off-ramps or exits in sight, Sean finally spotted another living person, the first he’d seen in hundreds of miles.

Now Sean and Jamie are on the run down this one long stretch of road, fleeing from the trio in the black car.

“They’ll take whatever you’ve got,” Jamie says, “and if you don’t have enough, they’ll take you.”

Or, if you’d like to see it when it first appeared, in the DARK HIGHWAYS anthology, or in the short story collection of mine where it was first reprinted, WHAT THE BLIND MAN SAW, you can do that, too.

Wherever and however you read it, though, I would love it if you left a review afterward.  Thanks.

I’m taking a dive into my son’s Batman graphic novel collection and reading a few books I’ve always wanted to read.  Click the covers if you want to read along with me.

Batman: R.I.P.

Tying into his other blockbuster stories of 2008 FINAL CRISIS and BATMAN, THE RESURRECTION OF RA’S AL GHUL, the legendary Grant Morrison confronts readers with the unthinkable … the death of The Dark Knight. The troubled life of Bruce Wayne seems to spin out of control when his relationship with the mysterious Jezebel Jet deepens. Soon Bruce Wayne drops out completely, having seemingly become the victim of mental illness, and abandons his Batman identity for a life on the streets of Gotham City. Capitalizing on the fall of their greatest foe, the Club of Villains begin a crime spree through the streets of Gotham that threatens to bring the city to its knees. Collects BATMAN #676-683.

Batman: The Complete Hush

A NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller!

The complete critically acclaimed and best-selling tale is now available in one sensational volume.

BATMAN: HUSH is a thrilling mystery of action, intrigue and deception penned by Jeph Loeb (BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN) and illustrated by comics superstar Jim Lee (ALL STAR BATMAN & ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER). Batman sets out to discover the identity of a mysterious mastermind using the Joker, Riddler, Ra’s al Ghul and the Dark Knight’s other enemies–and allies–as pawns in a plan to wreak havoc.

This volume collects BATMAN #609-619 as well as the 6-page segment from WIZARD #0 and a 2-page origin story.

 

Batman: The Dark Knight Saga: Deluxe Edition

 

In a dark dystopian future, Gotham City has descended into lawlessness in the ten years since the Dark Knight retired. When his city cries out for help, Batman returns to save the city he had dedicated his life to protecting.

Joined by Carrie Kelly, a teenaged female Robin, Batman takes to the streets to end the threat of the mutant gangs that have overrun the city. And after facing off against his two greatest enemies, the Joker and Two-Face, for the final time, Batman finds himself in mortal combat with his former ally, Superman, in a battle that only one of them will survive.

Frank Miller’s THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN are considered two of the most influential superhero graphic novels of all time, cementing Miller’s status as one of his generation’s greatest graphic storytellers. Collected here are both parts of Miller’s DARK KNIGHT saga, including THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS #1-4, THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN #1-3, with additional character sketch and script pages.

Collects issues #1-5 of THE GREEN HORNET, plus bonus materials!

The Green Hornet is back, and Dynamite is the new home for the avenging hero, his faithful sidekick, Kato and their sweet ride – the Black Beauty! Playboy Britt Reid Jr. has lived a frivolous life of luxury. But when a mysterious figure from the past brutally and publicly murders his father, all of that changes. Now, driven by a thirst for vengeance and guided by two generations of Katos, this one time underachiever will find those responsible and take his father’s place as Century City’s greatest protector – The Green Hornet!
Collecting issues one through five of the series based on Kevin Smith’s unproduced Green Hornet film, this volume also features a complete cover gallery by industry greats Alex Ross, John Cassaday, J. Scott Campell and more, as well as an introduction by the man himself, Kevin Smith!

 The ABDUCTION arc concludes.

Trapped on an alien ship, Jack can’t escape without the boy he’s come to rescue. But once he finds him, how does he get off the ship and back home? That’s when the story of a high school legend comes to him and Jack finally has a plan.

Also, Blackbird’s secrets are revealed and this issue is prelude to the year-ending mega arc, The Legacy Wars. Don’t miss it!

Get the Kindle version here.

Green Lantern: Earth One  Vol. 1

The newest Earth One original graphic novel presents an all-new origin for the Emerald Warrior!

 Hal Jordan yearns for the thrill of discovery, but the days when astronaut and adventure were synonymous are long gone. His gig prospecting asteroids for Ferris Galactic is less than fulfilling-but at least he’s not on Earth, where technology and culture have stagnated. When Jordan finds a powerful ring, he also finds a destiny to live up to. There are worlds beyond his own, unlike anything he ever imagined. But revelation comes with a price: the Green Lantern Corps has fallen, wiped out by ruthless killing machines known as Manhunters. The odds against reviving the Corps are nearly impossible…but doing the impossible is exactly what Hal Jordan was trained to do!

 Co-writer/artist Gabriel Hardman (Invisible Republic) and co-writer Corinna Bechko bring us a soaring original graphic novel that takes a radical new look at the mythology of Green Lantern and provides a great entry point for new readers.