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…
June 29, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Or at least it did! Busy month, so let’s hit some highlights: first off, we are very happy to announce that Elaine Lee’s first entry at the Huffington Post received enough support to warrant an ongoing blog series! YAY! Her second post on the HP, “From Web to Print,” can be found here, and we’re looking forward to entries number three, four , five, fifteen, ninety-three, etc.
We’ve also been the subject of some really fun podcast interviews we’d like to share with you: we’d like to thank Fred Greenhalgh at Radio Drama Revival! in association with WMPG in Portland for putting together the Skype hook-up for RDR’s Titanium Rain special, which aired on WMPG FM June 28, and is now available for your listening pleasure on the podcast here with extended (and uncensored) scenes and interviews with Bill, Lance, Elaine, and Josh and Kat. And you will find on the previous RDR podcast (6/22/2012) the piece Elaine wrote for the National Audio Theatre Festivals’ 2011 Workshop show, The TransMars Tango (following an episode of Fred’s ongoing serial The Cleansed), directed by Brian Price.
Mike Faber, Mike Gordon, and Bobby Nash interviewed us for the Earth Station One podcast; 3 very cool dudes. The link is here!
Finally, new links to downloads and CD’s: Titanium Rain is now available on CD and Mp3 through ZBS and CDBaby, and you’ll find downloads through Artistxite and 7Digital. (And don’t forget…it’s still only $4.99 on iTunes!)
Honey West: Murder on Mars is now available on CD and Mp3 through ZBS, as well as Artistxite and 7Digital. (And don’t forget…it’s also only $4.99 on iTunes!) And Domino Lady: All’s Fair in War is now available for download through eMusic, not to mention we’ll have some Batsons links soon as well!
June 11, 2012 § Leave a Comment
First and foremost, mastering has begun on our second Batsons piece, The Trouble with Fang! We should have it ready to go in the next week; my thanks to those who pre-ordered Fang! a while back and have been patiently waiting; you folks will find a little something extra as a “thanks for holding on” gift with your download. And for the rest of you, yes, Fang! will be available through many of the usual suspects this month; here’s a shot of the artwork, care of the Fonteseses:
Also, you can now find The Domino Lady: All’s Fair in War through CDBaby: here is the link (you will note that with CDBaby, it’s one continuous piece over three separate tracks; simply put, it was easier to enter it as a single).
Titanium Rain and Honey West CD’s are almost done and will be in the mail before too long. We’re happy to say that our good friends at ZBS will be including the CD’s and Mp3 releases of these two titles as part of their online catalogue, as well as (again) CDBaby. Links to come!
Titanium Rain Kickstarter/IndieGoGo contributors: be checking for updates! That means your inboxes and spamboxes!
Finally, we are proud to announce that Bill Dufris has won his first Audie (the audio book equivalent of the Oscars) from the Audiobook Publishers Association. No longer can he say “always a bridesmaid…” His award is for the reading of the non-fiction title The Murder of the Century by Paul Collins, published by AudioGo. NICE JOB, BILL-O!
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.
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?
February 17, 2012 Comments Off
We are now taking pre-orders for Titanium Rain, Vol. 1, Honey West, The Domino Lady, and The Batsons! The link to purchase is here!
Okay, science fiction, space opera and web comics fans, listen up: on February 17, 2012, Elaine Lee and Michael Wm. Kaluta will be launching a new Starstruck website at http://starstruckcomics.com/
They will be posting the story pages that appeared in the Starstruck Deluxe Edition, but making them interactive, so that they link to glossary entries. Moreover the site will include the glossary, history, intro to the book, and links to Starstruck reviews and articles. Later, they’ll be adding things like timelines, sound files from the play’s music and the audio play, pictures from performances, and heretofore unpublished material. And you can buy the book, a download of the play, or a T-shirt, too!
“Ultimately, we’re hoping to draw enough new audience to make creating more Starstruck a worthwhile endeavor (monetarily speaking).”
We love Starstruck. AudioComics and Starstruck are linked big time; the playscript was our first production, and there is a Galactic Girl Guidesseries for kids in the works. We’re thrilled that this site is taking off, and hope you’ll come along for the ride. Again, the site address is: http://starstruckcomics.com/ If it worked for Elfquest, it’ll work for Elaine and Michael, too.
January 27, 2012 Comments Off
January 20, 2012 Comments Off
We are now taking pre-orders for Titanium Rain, Vol. 1, Honey West, The Domino Lady, and The Batsons! The link to purchase is here!
It’s always hard when a sound man goes silent. But unfortunately, this is the case today, January 19, 2012, as the audio book and audio drama communities are learning of the passing (the evening before) of the audio producer/director/writer we affectionately called “El Fiendo,” better known to the world as Yuri Rasovsky. He was 67, and had been battling cancer for some time. Over the course of three decades, “the nation’s most decorated audio dramatist” was honored with The Grammy, two Peabody Awards, five Ohio State awards, nine APA Audie Awards, four Major Armstrong awards, two CPB awards, The Independent Publishers Audio Award, The Gabriel Award, The Joseph Jefferson Award, the NFCB Golden Reel, the Mark Time Lifetime Achievement Award, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Bradbury Award, and on a personal note, I’m proud to say that he was the third-ever recipient of the National Audio Theatre Festivals Norman Corwin Award for Excellence in Audio Theatre, but more on that one later.
Yuri was the founder of the National Radio Theater in Chicago, and led that organization from 1972-1987, moving on to create the Hollywood Theater of the Ear in 1993 in Los Angeles, where he produced and directed (and usually served as writer) at least one full-length audio drama a year in between audio book recordings. His work has been published by Blackstone Audio, and presented on NPR, the BBC, the CBC, and radio stations around the country. His shows include, many of which you can find via Blackstone Audio, include The Mark of Zorro with Val Kilmer and Elizabeth Pena, Black Mask Audio Magazine Vol. 1, Black Mask Audio Magazine Vol. 2: The Maltese Falcon with Michael Madsen as Sam Spade, and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari with John DeLancie.
Yes, his nickname was “El Fiendo.” Yes, he came across as an irascible curmudgeon, but one with a heart of gold. He could motivate any actor to put their best foot forward, and never ever compromised when it came to the finished product. Don’t believe me? Take a listen to any one of those pieces mentioned above. What you hear is quality, no fluff.
In October, I journeyed to Los Angeles as part of the aforementioned-on-this-blog Audio Art of Animation Workshop, where as part of our weekend, the National Audio Theatre Festivals, with our friends Phil Proctor (of the Firesign Theatre), Melinda Peterson (his wife), and Helen Engelhardt, formally presented him with the Corwin Award at Post Creations near Hollywood, where he was completing work on Measure for Measure for Blackstone and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. While he chose to keep the award at home because it was “so damn heavy,” he accepted with grace and humility. I’m glad I got to shake his hand, if only once.
I can’t remember what we were looking at, but it must have been interesting.
The tributes are pouring in on Facebook, but I think Phil and Melinda put it best in a recent e-mail: “God knows, we will really miss the dear old bastard.” With a smile and a tear we toast to Yuri’s memory, and send our best to his “Lorna Doone,” Lorna Raver. RIP.
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.