November 5, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Hi folks – you may have noticed that the cupboard has been bare of late, and by that we mean this blog! Truth be told, we have been so busy the past few months, there’s been little time to blog! But, this weekend we have several big announcements to make, and rather than spring ‘em all on you at once, a “bring-you-up-to-speed” post is in order in preparation.
- The Battle for LA recording session went wonderfully. Everyone had a great time (as is almost always the case at these sessions), and Karen and Tom are hard at work for the next behind-the-scenes video, while Lance begins work on the first voice-over edit. Estimated time of delivery: winter of 2013. CD and Mp3.
- Thanks to everyone who dropped by our tables at APE in San Francisco and New York Comic Con! Elaine and Bill will be at Coast City Con at the Double Tree Hilton in Portland, ME this coming weekend, where Bill will entertain with a few readings…as well as a live 5 minute teaser of something really special we have planned for next year! Plus we’ll have a booth where you can buy CD’s and download cards, as well as Starstruck graphic novels. In Portland this weekend? Come by the Double Tree, we’d love to see you!
- We’re happy to say that comics legend TRINA ROBBINS will be adapting her Honey West story “Killer on the Keys” as our next HW AudioComics offering in 2013. It’s the mid-60′s in Los Angeles, and someone is out to off the star attraction of the Sunset Strip’s grooviest club, the Purple Pussy. How will Honey catch the killer? Last time around she was a movie extra…this time she’s a go-go dancer!
- Also happening in 2013 will be the remaining chapters of our first Domino Lady serial, “Moxie’s Gamble” and “Blood is Thicker” by Rich Harvey, and directed by Lance Roger Axt. Mind you our first Pulp Adventures trilogy…could wind up being a tetralogy…either way Karen Stilwell, Peter Carini, Peter Papadopoulos, Bill Chessman, Kevin Donnelly, and Mandy Brown are coming back for more!
- Finally, we’ve some outstanding reviews come in for our 2012 slate, and you can find them on our press page here!
Okay, big news coming Friday…hold on to your hats…
September 7, 2012 § Leave a Comment
We’re happy to announce that casting has been completed for our upcoming production of Battle for LA, based on the Moonstone illustrated prose novel by CJ Henderson and Mark Sparacio. Our 12-person cast is:
The Phantom Detective: Josh Pollock
The Black Bat: John Strain
The Domino Lady: Karen Stilwell
Airboy: Christopher Britt
Secret Agent X: Matt Morris
General Todd McAlister: Geoffrey Mutch
Col. Kevin Meares: Kevin Donnelly
“Silk” Kirby/ensemble roles: Lance Roger Axt
Gen. Hiramasi: Ryota Saito
High Priest/ensemble roles: Perry Aliado
Ensemble roles: George Q. Nguyen
Announcer: Christopher Mills
Now, you have probably noticed by this point that we have replaced a pulp character from the book, G8, with a comic book character from the 1940′s, Airboy! While G8 will be in the book, Airboy will be in the audio. Okay, so, “who’s Airboy?” you ask.
Created by writers Charles Biro and Dick Wood and artist Al Camy for Hillman, Airboy was the lead character in Air Fighters Comics, circa 1942. His real name is David Nelson, the son of an expert pilot and, despite his youth, a crack flyer himself. His guardian, inventor and Franciscan monk Brother Francis Martier, had created a highly maneuverable prototype aircraft that flew by flapping his wings. Martier is killed during the test flight, leaving “Birdie” to David, along with a uniform that had been in Martier’s family since the days of the French Revolution.
After fixing “Birdie,” “Airboy” works with the Allies during World War II, taking on not only German and Japanese pilots, but also villains of a bizarre nature, including the pre-Swamp Thing swamp creature The Heap, the mysterious Misery (whose flying Airtomb imprisoned the souls of dead pilots), and his most prominent nemesis, the sensual German aviatrix Valkyrie (nemesis, that is, until she defects to fly alongside the good guys). In the 1980’s Eclipse Comics brought Airboy into the present day with a 50-issue series scripted by writing machine we know and love as Chuck Dixon (with Tim Truman, certainly no slouch himself), as well as numerous spin-offs (featuring the modern and classic Air Fighters) and one-shots, and in 2009 and 2010, Moonstone released two one-shots (again scripted by Dixon) featuring the character in the 40’s.
Airboy has always held a very special place in the hearts of comic book fans, especially those who discovered or re-discovered the character through the Eclipse series. Which bring us to November of 2010:
I, along with a talented cadre of actors, am re-enacting scenes from Starstruck as part of a CD release event at Atlantis Fantasyworld. At the end of the event, I asked the crowd to tell me what they might like to hear from AudioComics in the future. I get more Starstruck requests and Invincible from that one guy who won’t read anything but Robert Kirkman. But then, out of nowhere, I get a request from a fan, one who must’ve been in his late forties/early fifties: “Airboy. Do something, anything, with Airboy.” Airboy…I hadn’t thought about him…or for that matter Valkyrie or the Iron Ace, Skywolf, the Black Angel…
And promptly forgot about Airboy once we began talks with other creators about their licensed materials. But that request must have been hiding somewhere in the back of my head, because I recently found myself back in Atlantis Fantasyworld…in 2010.
So, G8’s cameo now goes to Dave Nelson and his amazing aircraft. And who knows…this could lead as a launchpad (pardon the pun) for other Airboy AudioComics productions… (not including the 1980’s Eclipse series, as Eclipse’s assets were bought years ago by McFarlane Productions many moons ago…sorry) Plus, we have a great actor in the form of Christopher Britt taking on the voice of the 20-year old flying phenom. And if that one lone voice from Santa Cruz is reading this…your wish is granted! (For now, anyway.)
I would be very remiss if I didn’t bring up our fifth pulp hero, whose appearance is likewise brief, but integral to the story: Secret Agent X, played by Matt Morris. Like Airboy, X entered the public domain long ago, but he is as loved by pulp aficionados as Airboy is by comics fans (well, comics fans with a long memory). Secret Agent X’s real name was…well, we don’t know. To this day, no one knows his real name, save newspaper reporter Betty Dale, and his handler K-9. (And they ain’t talking!) All we do know is this: he is a master of disguise, known to adopt different identities and voices in every adventure. While he is an undercover operative for the U.S. government, the police at large consider “X” an outlaw (surprise, surprise).
One last thing: I need to give props to Karen Stilwell and Perry Aliado for their casting assistance, and for Karen and Tom Spingola for volunteering their time once again to film the behind-the-scenes action! We will have another promotional video…which will go very well on AudioComics’ forthcoming YouTube channel…
August 24, 2012 § Leave a Comment
The AudioComics Pulp society continues to grow with the casting of Bay Area actor/composer/musician Joshua Pollock as The Phantom Detective in the forthcoming Moonstone AudioComics “audio movie” Battle for LA (adapted from the one-shot prose adventure by CJ Henderson and Mark Sparacio) alongside Karen Stilwell as The Domino Lady and John Strain as The Black Bat, combating a menace from beyond in 1945 Los Angeles.
The second pulp hero to appear after The Shadow, The Phantom Detective appeared in his own pulp beginning February of 1933 with the story “The Emperor of Death” until the summer, 1953 edition for a total of 170 stories (the third highest number of issues for a character pulp after The Shadow and Doc Savage). Our hero was actually millionaire Richard Curtis Van Loan. An idle playboy prior to World War I, Van Loan served as a pilot behind enemy lines. Disheartened with his old life upon returning to America, he found himself solving a crime the police couldn’t handle. Finding his true calling through this first “case,” Van Loan became a master of disguise, escape, and forensics as The Phantom Detective.
Dressed in a domino mask, top hat and tails, “The Phantom” (as he was called in the stories) always carrying a platinum badge in the shape of a domino mask as proof of his true identity when confronted by law enforcement.
Josh Pollock is an award-winning composer, prolific musician (having released and/or played on over 20 records in the last 4 years), playwright, and actor who has performed throughout the world. He was most recently seen on TV on the (short-lived) series Trauma, on screen in Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, on stage in the Shotgun Players’ Beardo, and on the radio as a mango in a McDonald’s commercial; he’ll next be appearing in the premiere American run of Tom Waits’ musical adaption of Woyzeck in Berkeley at the end of this year.
Note: Mr. Pollock replaces Michael Saunders, who has left the production due to a scheduling conflict.
August 17, 2012 § Leave a Comment
A short entry for this week: Pulp Adventures company member Kevin Donnelly is making the move to Moonstone as the voice of Col. Kevin Meares in Battle for LA, recording next month in San Francisco. Casting continues through the end of the month, upon which we’ll announce the full 10-actor company. And, we’re hitting the convention circuit in October, as Elaine Lee will be at New York Comic Con! She’ll be selling Starstruck and Honey West CD’s (both of which she penned) as well some of her creator-owned print books. PLUS we hope to have a major announcement regarding a new property ready to roll that weekend. (Because, seriously: what’s a convention appearance without an announcement to go along with it?) We’ll have her Artists Alley location for you soon, and we hope, if you’re there, you’ll stop by and say hi! And buy a CD or three…
August 11, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Hi folks! That big news we were talking about earlier: our circle of distribution is widening! First and foremost, before the end of the month you will be able to purchase CD’s of Honey West and Titanium Rain through Amazon, and downloads of Starstruck, Honey, TR, both Batsons pieces, and the first Domino Lady AudioComics Pulp Adventure through Audiobooks.com, which allows you to purchase or stream audiobooks, and now AudioComics’ audio movies, through their custom web apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone, laptop…anything that supports a digital app! (www.audiobooks.com for more information). Plus, you can now purchase TR CD’s through Discount Comic Book Services at 10% off the cover price! Just head to http://www.dcbservice.com/ and enter Titanium Rain in the search engine (you’ll find it under videos/DVD, as they don’t have an audio/CD department…yet).
We’re also happy to announce that AudioComics will be a major part of an exciting new app being developed as we speak. We can’t say a lot about it yet, but if you love audio drama, this will be the app for you…
Finally, we’re happy to announce that with final approval from all sides of the script, we are ready to commence with the recording of our second Moonstone piece, Battle for LA, featuring Karen Stilwell and John Strain as The Domino Lady and The Black Bat. Casting has commenced for other roles, and we head into a studio in San Francisco this September. As always, there will be photos!
June 7, 2012 § Leave a Comment
We’re happy to say that months of toil and sweat have resulted in a slew of works from The AudioComics Company, now available for purchase.
First, Titanium Rain is available through iTunes and Amazon Mp3, as well as AudioComics Digital Direct. Moreover creator Josh Finney has created an amazing website devoted to the audiomovie: www.titaniumrainaudio.com. And let’s face it, you know you’re doing good when you get this tweet from Josh: “Finished listening to the latest rough-cut of the TITANIUM RAIN audio drama. I am DEEPLY impressed. @audiocomics have done a hell of a job.” Note that CD’s are being manufactured as we speak, and you will be able to purchase them through AudioComics online store, Amazon.com, ZBS, and CDBaby.
Prior to AudioComics’ first meeting with Josh Finney and Kat Rocha, Josh had already contemplated audio movie versions of 01′s creations Titanium Rain and Utopiates; we are all fans of the works produced by Big Finish from Doctor Who to Judge Dredd, why not do the same here? But here’s where he took it a step further: he commissioned BBC composer Jonathan Sharp to create original soundtracks to go with the graphic novels. You can hear Sharp’s labor of love in the finished production of TR; AudioComics has taken it a step further with its first ever soundtrack release. The 12 tracks from the production are available as Titanium Rain: The Original Soundtrack. You can purchase it from all of the usual suspects, with links at www.titaniumrainaudio.com. In the meantime, here is the Mp3 art from Josh and Kat to tide you over…
From legendary comics writer Steve Englehart: “When my oldest son was little, he told me he didn’t like black and white movies, and I told him that it’s not the medium, it’s the skill of the people using the medium that matters. From there he went on to silent movies, and opera…and radio dramas. The new Domino Lady is a fully professional radio drama, with all the skill of the 1940s and the technological superiority of the 2010s. This is not a scratchy MP3 made from an old acetate – this is radio drama at its finest, with real actors and real writers — so spend some evenings with the Domino Lady.”
What a great idea! You can purchase a copy of All’s Fair in War here from our store, from iTunes or Amazon Mp3, and it will be on Rhapsody, eMusic, and Nokia in the coming months. Plus we have an additional review, care of Airship 27′s own Ron Fortier: http://www.pulpfictionreviews.blogspot.com/2012/05/domino-lady-alls-fair-in-war.html.
Honey West: Murder on Mars can be purchased through iTunes, Amazon Mp3, and AudioComics Digital Direct. CD’s are likewise being manufactured as we speak, and again you will be able to buy them via AudioComics online store, Moonstone Entertainment’s online store (does that make it a Moonstore?), Amazon.com, ZBS, and CDBaby.
We are also happy to announce that HW writer and co-Producer Elaine Lee has written an article on creator-owned comics for THE HUFFINGTON POST! The article on “Fair Trade Comics” is here. Feel free to “like” and make a comment! The more comments we get, the better the chances of her first HP blog continuing.
Finally, The Batsons: The Trouble with Fang! is going through it’s final mastering due to some technical difficulties, but we will have it ready to go by mid-month. In the meantime, you can buy the Mp3 of Carmilla’s Crush through AudioComics Digital Direct, Amazon Mp3, and CDBaby.
March 9, 2012 Comments Off
Finally, Bill-O and I have received a few e-mails regarding a release date for the Starstruck audio short, “Running Scared,” which was presented at I-CON 30 last year. The simple truth is, after hearing the roughs from both recordings, we (Bill, Elaine, and I) have chosen to not release it, with our performance being more of a “rough draft” for a proper studio release. Why? Purely technical reasons. As mentioned in our 2011 I-Con post mortem, we weren’t given the proper amount of time for a proper tech run-through simply because of scheduling. Normally with a live recording of an audio drama you have a couple days to work out the kinks; we had a couple hours. One of our hallmarks is to put out the best product possible, regardless of whether the work is on compact disc or Mp3 download, $9.95 or free. We felt that with what we were given to work with from those two performances, there was no way that we could put out the quality of product that our listeners expect and deserve. We will however, use those performances as the basis for “Running Scared” in a studio , just as the 2009 Starstruck reading in Big Sur helped us in putting together our production at The Studio the following year. And yes, we will try to work with as many of our “cast” from the I-CON talent competition as possible. They too were awesome.
February 24, 2012 § 1 Comment
Damn good question. Right now Bill Dufris is holed away in the studio, finishing mixing on his four pieces, while Lance continues to mix The Domino Lady and prep for the opening of our website store in the next week, and work with CJ Henderson the adaptation of Battle for LA. Elaine is updating the Starstruck website, and is starting in on the scripts for the Galactic Girl Guides series, with every episode clocking in at 10 – 15 minutes. A lot of potential projects have come our way, and we’re still sorting through the 30 or so projects that came our way last year. One major announcement for everyone: the first five AudioComics pieces of 2012 (Honey West: Murder on Mars, Titanium Rain Vol. 1, The Domino Lady: All’s Fair in War, and The Batsons: Carmilla’s Crush and The Trouble with Fang) will be released in May.
However, there is one thing we can share with you, and that is the artwork for the Mp3 of our first Domino Lady piece, Rich Harvey’s “All’s Fair in War.” There are a number of artists we plan to work with in the future on CD and Mp3 art, especially on original pieces: Lee Moyer is one, Jay Piscopo is on the radar…we can add Paul Sizer to the list. Paul’s art was originally part of Warren Ellis’ “Remake/Remodel” project; he kindly made a few changes, and voila!
Ain’t she purty?
January 16, 2012 § 1 Comment
The AudioComics Company is pleased to announce the casting of San Francisco Bay Area stage actor John Strain in the title role of The Black Bat, a pivotal character in the forthcoming Moonstone AudioComics offering, Battle for LA. As with The Domino Lady, this will mark the first time that The Black Bat has graced the airwaves.
The Black Bat first appeared in the July 1939 issue of Black Book Detective, in the origin story “Brand of the Black Bat” written by Norman Daniels under the house name G. Wayman Jones. Both the Black Bat and Batman hit the newsstands around the same time, and both Thrilling Publications and National Comics (respective publishers of the characters) claimed the other was a copy. National (now of course known as DC) editor Whitney Ellsworth, who had previously worked for Thrilling’s head Ned Pines, negotiated an arrangement between the two companies, allowing both characters to exist (staving off potential lawsuits).
The world believes that District Attorney Tony Quinn is blind from a gangster’s attack. In truth, he is able to see, the result of a secret operation where the corneas of a murdered small town sheriff were grafted onto Quinn’s eyes. To everyone’s surprise, not only can Quinn see normally, but he can see in complete darkness. While blind, he had developed the necessary skills of the blind, all of which stay with him after he regains his sight. Posing as a blind man to throw both cops and criminals off the trail, “Special District Attorney” Anthony Quinn, armed with a pair of .45’s, becomes The Black Bat, a vigilante determined to bring those who slip through the system to justice…by any means necessary. For this reason he is wanted not only by the underworld but by the authorities as well. Aiding Quinn is his “girl Friday” Carol Baldwin, daughter of the slain sheriff; Butch O’ Leary, the over 6’5” giant with fists of fury; and Quinn’s “valet,” one-time hood-gone-straight Norton “Silk” Kirby.
John M. Strain holds a BA in Literature with an Acting minor from San Francisco State University, an MFA in Acting from UC Irvine, and a Teaching Credential from Chapman University. Some of his Bay Area roles include Bobby from David Mamet’s Bobby Gould in Hell, Feste from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and Mendoza in The Politics of Decay. Southern California roles include Linder in A Raisin in the Sun, Eddie in Fool for Love, and Zarius Michaels in the short film Hold On! (Semi-finalist, Triggerstreet.com). Most recently, John played Robert in the AFI short Morning Latte, and Adolf Hitler in the premiere stage production of Disney in Deutschland. John currently teaches English, Study Skills, Journalism and helps run “Read Aloud” public speaking tournaments for young adults in the city of San Francisco.
John suits up as The Black Bat in a San Francisco recording studio this summer, when the character appears alongside The Phantom Detective, G-8, Secret Agent X, and The Domino Lady (Karen Stilwell) in Battle for LA, based on the Moonstone illustrated prose novel by CJ Henderson and Mark Sparacio.
November 24, 2011 § 2 Comments
On Saturday, November 19, AudioComics Pulp history was made on Mission Street in San Francisco at Broken Radio Studios, site of the legendary Coast Recorders Studio. Ably engineered by Piper Payne, Craig Neibaur, Karen Stilwell, and the members of the Pulp Adventures Acting Company (Bill Chessman, Suzan Lorraine, Kevin Donnelly, Mandy Brown, Peter Carini, Peter Papadopoulos, and Perry Aliado) recorded our first of our Pulp Adventures audio movies (or in this case audio shorts).
Pete Carini said it best when it was all over: “about twenty minutes from now I’m going to have an adrenaline crash.”
One of the things that I love about the process is that it is an adrenaline rush for everyone involved, especially the director! The actors need breaks, I personally can’t do it; gotta keep rolling like a rocket!
From New York City to San Diego we traveled over the course of seven hours, with Karen “The Domino Lady” Stilwell in a black evening gown, no less. Karen’s boyfriend, Tom Spingola, generously donated his time to video the sessions, so AudioComics Pulp will have a YouTube presence as well. And we have enough great outtakes for that all-important track: the blooper reel! Next week your humble director begins the first edit on the voice-tracks, and Bill Dufris has a plethora of SFX and period music to put us in the mood. So as we prepare for our mandatory tryptophan overdose, enjoy a few more photos from our AudioComics Pulp session, and tell your friends to buy a download or two or three from AudioComics Pulp next year! But for now…photos!