So I started writing this post about a week ago and all I could get out was the following: “Damn, I’m tired.” That about sums it up, kids. I’m fucking TIRED. And my lungs ache. The doctors have no idea why. Whatever.
So yeah, into the future, kids . . .
EIBON PRESS is going great guns. I’m now in charge of a fucking PUBLISHING OUTFIT. It takes up all my time because I do everything over there. From promotions to final product, Eibon is just two guys in terms of administrative/production/editing/shipping, and so my time is more at a premium than ever before. The GOOD NEWS is that, so far, it’s all going really, really well. In fact, the success we are experiencing with these Fulci Comics may be the most extraordinary of my entire publishing career. We’ve laid the groundwork and mapped out a business plan based on our initial success with ZOMBIE #1 that may actually make us a player in the coming years, if all goes well. We’ve gone out and licensed new movies to adapt. We’ve developed and trademarked the VHS COMICS imprint. We’re hiring new artists and I’m hard at work on crazy scripts. I am also the defacto editor and art director on everything we do. Which means countless hands-on hours, using every lesson I’ve learned in a lifetime of doing this shit for a livingl. This is exciting and highly ironic, for those who are regular subscribers to the Express and/or happen to know something about my life and career. For those who don’t, I will now explain in as few words as humanly possible. (“Yeah, right, motormouth,” said the hot chick in the back wearing the ‘Spider-Man Sucks’ t-shirt.)
SO ANYWAY . . . last year, we celebrated The Kingdom at this blog. It was an epic ride. The Kingdom (pictured above) was a crazy house I lived in for 13 years with a lot of crazy people. There was art and music, movies and mayhem at all hours. I basically “went to school” there, learning all I could learn about being an artist and following one’s dreams. At any given moment you might find us executing some crazy scheme to rule the world, from sold-out movie marathon shows at the (then brand new) Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to . . . well, Fulci Comics.
I can remember editing the original version of LUCIO FULCI’S ZOMBIE during a wild Superbowl party in that living room you see up there in that photo, my headphones clamped to my head to filter out the noise, my brain half-pickled on cheap vodka. (You can even see the drawing easel I used in that picture, just to the right of the door.). At the time, I was steering my ship for some mythical horizon that might not even have existed. I mean, what the fuck was I thinking, right? Spend a whole year making a comic book out of some worthless Italian horror movie? ARE YOU INSANE, STEPHEN?????
Well . . . here I am, almost 20 years later, and it’s become the most successful work of my life.
That’s even more insane.
EVEN. MORE. INSANE. I TELL YOU.
But it also probably says something about creative instincts and where they are supposed to lead us. And it says something about The Kingdom, too. If you are unfamiliar with the place and what it meant to us, go backwards in this blog and read about it. You’ll understand. Totally.
A few other things . . .
My NEW SHORT STORY COLLECTION is almost finished and it’s definitely going to be called HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT? It’s a sort of sequel to THE RIOT ACT, filled with insane tales of the dark side of humanity. I’ve been writing these for years. None of them have ever been seen or published before. The book will sneak out through Eibon Press just in time for Christmas, or maybe New Year’s Eve, without much fanfare. And then a third collection will be published in 2017. I’m actually prepping both books simultaneously. HOW BAD is a report from the darkest chasms, both researched and lived through. Among other nuggets of doom, it will feature, for the first time ever:
TOTAL ULTIMATE STEPHANIE. Local girl becomes porn goddess, leaving a trail of dead bodies in her wake.
FOR ALL THE HEARTS WE HAVE BROKEN. Haunted superhero becomes the bad guy, in a pitch black love story inspired by the Spider-Man/Gwen Stacy/Mary-Jane Watson legend of the 70s.
IT’S ALWAYS A LITTLE HARDER SOMETIMES. Local dealer falls prey to some very nasty motherfuckers. Or does he?
WINK. The worst thing that ever happened to me. Period.
JUST LIKE JILL. Gender reversal horror at it’s its most ass-rapingly ironic.
TRENCHCOAT TRAILERPARK MASSACRE. The second official sequel to my epic “Shock Festival.” (The first was “Julia Starchild.”) The story of a young man who achieves his lifelong dream of being a filmmaker, only to find that everything that ever inspired him is a lie.
HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT? Don’t be “that guy” at a party for a rich Hollywood movie mogul. Because you’ll fucking be sorry. This one is so extreme, I named the goddamn book after it. Kill, baby, kill.
ROSE .45. A book-lenegth tale of mayhem and madness which only the strong will survive. It is my gift to those who feel the pain in these dark places, written for the late, amazing Zoe Tamerlis, with whom I am love.
Fair warning. Like THE RIOT ACT, this is my rawest most personal work. I’m damn proud of it, but please do not approach these gates lightly.
The forward will be written by someone cool, but we haven’t closed the deal yet so I can’t tell you who it is. But I will. Soon. In the meantime, I’ll be posting a story or two here for you to sample for free, but they won’t stay long. Part of our mission at Eibon Press is to provide the public with actual BOOKS that are printed on paper, and that is ALL we will be doing. No digital anything. If you can’t hold it in your hands, fuck it. That is why our current edition of THE RIOT ACT is not available as an E-book. I’m also working on getting the rights back to METRO, or at least renting them from Simon and Schuster, so I can publish it as a limited hardcover through Eibon.
So now you know all that.
Meanwhile . . . I’m also really busy because I’m writing things you’ll never see my name on. Ahh yes, the old ghosting standby. I’ve been blessed with some pretty big-deal work in this arena. But I cannot talk about any of it. Much. All I CAN tell you about these projects is that they require a lot of time and attention, and it’s all really high profile. You might even buy it and be amazed by it. And you’ll never have any idea if was me who wrote it. I’m making damn sure of that. But hey . . . I have a skill set. And you need to use your skill set to pay the fucking rent, right? So I’m not complaining. At all. It’s kind of fun to be a ghost.
Meanwhile, I DO get to put my name on THIS:
Which I’m damn happy about. Pat’s working on the art now. It looks amazing.
For those who may be wondering, my script for LASERBLAST is a dark, character-based, R-rated take on the classic film. LASERBLAST was rated PG in 1978, perfect cannon fodder for Mystery Science Theater 3000. Our Eibon “remake” is more complex and body-horror oriented, with the first three issues serving as an expanded adaption, featuring the story and characters you know and love. The next three issues after that are a wild sequel story that gets into some crazy, ultra-violent, and TOTALLY EPIC stuff. The first issue of LASERBLAST, which is also the debut of VHS COMICS, features the awesome battle in the desert which leaves the Laserblaster for young Billy to find. And boy does he ever find it. The battle is, of course, expended and re-imagined in ways Charlie Band and company never could have realized on their meager 1977 budget. The turtle alien cops–AKA Zendar Police Creatures–are given more screen time. They’re also much-needed humor relief inside a story which is all about lost family and death and betrayal. Seriously, folks. We’re not fucking around with this one. I’ve wanted to do a LASERBLAST comic for years and now that we’ve made it happen, you’re gonna get both barrels. ALSO . . . we’ll be announcing another wild movie adaptation title from VHS COMICS this Halloween . . . but I’m not telling until then. Let’s just say it’s a major one.
In other comics news, we’ve just this week signed a MAJOR PLAYER to create our “Eibon Sleeve” covers for GATES OF HELL. That’s our next series after ZOMBIE completes its initial 4-issue cycle. This series right here:
Boy does this stuff ever make me happy! And that’s a good thing, because my “serious work” makes me want to kill myself. HAH! Take THAT, irony!
More to come.
Peace in the galaxy!