Friday, November 21, 2014

Flask of Eyes--the Cake!!!

My coworkers (God bless 'em) surprised me with a lunchtime party to celebrate the release of "Flask of Eyes", where I even got to sign copies of the book for them. Anyway, get a load of that cool cake! What a dandy! It's truly amazing what can be done with images on cakes these days, isn't it? And yes, keeping in the spirit of the book, a few folks did eagerly eat the eyes of Ash Arcenaux's arresting image!!!

Also as a nifty bonus, take note of the below shot, just prior to my cutting the cake. My pal, Skip Hulbert, put his artistic talents to use and gave me an unsettling Michael Myers half-face: a chilling touch which also invokes Phantom of the Opera, don't ya think? (Hey, now that I think about it, there's also a sprinkle of Shatner/Kirk in there!!! Wow!!! Talk about exuding multiple personalities!!!)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Novella Announcement--The Hyde Seed Cometh!!!

Have another story set for publication through Damnation Books, entitled "The Hyde Seed"!!! Since I don't have any images to reflect my particular characters at this point, I thought I'd let the Oscar-winning duality of good ol' of Frederic March stand in lieu for now. More details ultimately to follow...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Time Travel Time #7: The Time Travelers

Famed science-fiction writer Ib Melchior's "The Time Travelers" is a low-budget, 1964 reply to George Pal's highly acclaimed adaptation of H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine". (The knock-off was produced by Samuel Z. Arkoff and Bill Redin for AIP, as part of its long line of imagi-movies.) Like the Wells classic, "Time Travelers" has proven most influential on the pop-cultural scene, due to its use of a portal as a means of trekking through time. In truth, "Time Travelers" is the basis for Irwin Allen's popular "Time Tunnel" series, as well as the feature-length "Journey To the Center of Time". Its portal concept has also found its way into "Austin Powers: Goldmember" and has clearly influenced the teleportation premise in "Stargate".

Melchior's plot centers on a group of scientists who trigger an actual jaunt into the future (the year 2071, to be precise) and find that the window of their laboratory has amazingly "melted" away, allowing them to enter a strange, new world. 

The crew consists of Steve Connors (Philip Carey); Erik von Steiner (Preston Foster); Carol White (Merry Anders) and giving the adventure a touch of comic relief, technician/electrician Danny McKee (Steve "Dobie Gillis" Franken). They are an affable and credible group, respectful of their work and concerned for the consequences it's spawned. They're also understandable apprehensive of the harsh predicament in which they find themselves. 

Initially, the landscape of the futuristic world appears desolate, but soon the travelers are tracked by angry mutants: quasi-Morlock types, who unlike the famed creatures that inspired them, maraud in the daylight. Also, as the scientists' luck would have it, their portal (which is otherwise conveniently visible after they depart their lab) vanishes. To avert the mutants, they seek refuge in a cave and are granted access to an underground city, where non-mutant humans and androids reside.

The underground realm is presided by Dr. Varno (John Hoyt of "Man with the X-Ray Eyes" and "Star Trek'"s "Cage"/"Menagerie"). Varno reveals that his people are completing a spacecraft that will deliver them to Alpha Centauri via suspended animation: safe and secure from Earth's dire aftermath of nuclear war. 

Though Varno's intent is admirable, the belligerent mutants are dead set on thwarting it (and perhaps, we eventually learn, with some justifiable cause). To complicate matters, our intrepid travelers are rejected by Varno's council to accompany them on their interstellar flight, (influenced mostly by a cantankerous overseer portrayed by "Dark Shadow'"s Dennis Patrick). This leads the group no other choice but to devise a new portal, in hopes of returning to their original place in time. Alas, their efforts result in confounding consequences and a most unique (if not harrowing) ending. 

Melchior's direction is competently paced, and though the film has tell-tale signs of its confined budget, Vilmos ("Close Encounters of the Third Kind") Zsigmond's cinematography thwarts any potential, visual restrictions. On another positive note, the film offers a beloved cameo by Forrest J Ackerman, legendary editor of "Famous Monsters of Filmland": a big treat to fans at the time of the film's release (and still enchanting to those who remain in the know). 

Beyond a few moments of insinuated titillation, "Time Travelers" is essentially G-rated material and will more than suffice for a carefree weekend view, which is how many of us experienced it as youngsters during the '60s and '70s. 

Unquestionably, this quaint exercise is a fine way to occupy one's time: a humble yet stellar excursion, which in addition to espousing a grim "Planet of the Apes" type warning on nuclear destruction, predominately spins a speedy spree of colorful fun!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Collectible Time #12: Moebius/Jeff Yagher, Adam West Batman kit

From Z&Z Hobbies, picked up the first in a developing 7-piece styrene model-kit series...Adam West as Batman!!! 

The kit is produced by Moebius, one of the companies admirably carrying on the Aurora tradition, and this particular representation holds an uncanny likeness to West, thanks the the masterful sculpting talents of Jeff Yagher. Once assembled, the figure will stand close to 10" tall.

Evidently, next on the agenda is a Julie Newmar Catwoman, with a Burt Ward Robin and Burgess Meredith Penguin to follow!!! Holy styrene kit, Batman!!! This series is truly a modeler's dream come true!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Flask of Eyes Update #6

It's here!!! It's here!!! 

Yes, "Flask of Eyes" has officially emerged (accompanied above/below by a couple more fitting, "borrowed" images, along with Ash Arceneaux's eye-catching cover). It's currently available from Damnation Books (; Amazon; and Barnes and Noble. Be bold! Be prepared! The thrills and chills are truly right at your fingertips!!!

The creatures in the story are impressions of famous monsters, so those who fancy such lurid rallies may have good cause to read my yarn. It's also laced with some dreamy, alternate-reality passages: a few loops through present, past and future. If such a concoction sounds like your cup of tea, by all means give "Flask" a taste!!!

From my press release: "Set in 1963, 'Flask of Eyes' deals with creatures from another dimension who enter our world to thwart an enemy that plans to alter history. The creatures are empowered by their psychic abilities, which are nurtured from devouring the eyes of their fallen."

Sound enticing? Well, check it out. Let me know what you think. I'll be avidly awaiting your comments. And remember...To Taste the Eyes is to Open One's Mind!!!

(Below a little bonus from my press release: a shot taken in the NJDOE courtyard, near the Delaware River, by my coworker, Melissa Orlowski; I'm proudly displaying a Frankie "trophy" given to me by my coworker, Leslie Foster Leslie, to commemorate my getting "Flask" published. Cool!!!)

Collectible TIme #11: Chewbacca 20"; Darth Maul 18"; and Stormtrooper 31" action figures

Practically on the heels of obtaining my 18" Jakks Tie Fighter Pilot figure (see Collectible Time #9; Sept '14), I've purchased from a local Target, a 20" Chewbacca figure. 

This particular representation sports an honorable 7 points of articulation, but perhaps more significantly, it has a swell finish, creating the illusion of shaded fur. 

The size, of course, also adds to the piece's presence, ranking it up there with Kenner's '70s large version of Chewy (the refurbished Bionic Bigfoot, as many of you may recall), as well as the excellent Screamin' '90s model kit.  

For a mere $20, I just couldn't pass him up! Trust me: though the pics adequately capture his overall look, he's even more impressive in person!

For the same price, I also stumbled upon an very impressive 18" Jakks Darth Maul at Walgreens! Like Chewy, he also sports 7 points of articulation.

With his trademark black and red markings, he invokes the character's necessary menace, and at this striking size, it comes across all the more powerfully. This version also comes with an attachable dual-beamed light saber, as is featured in the photos.

Anyway, I've always fancied Maul; too bad he didn't extend beyond "Phantom Menace"; there was so much more villainy he could have implemented within the saga's cinematic stretch.

On another spectacular Jakks note, I learned of a 31" classic-styled Stormtrooper figure from my friend, Steve Goodrich (who you may recall illustrated my "Magical Elixirs" volumes years ago); couldn't so easily locate one of these beauties, so ended up ordering it from Amazon, and whoa, yeah, it's sure a spiffy one and a swell addition to the 31" Darth Vader and Clone Troopers I purchased a while back.

I sure would like to see Jakks do more of these 31" figures, maybe even an all-the-larger scale Chewy, C3PO, Greedo and/or Boba/Jango Fett. Supposedly Maul's jumbo version is scheduled for release in the UK, but why oh, why not here? Oh, well, no one can fault a guy for complain', let alone dreamin'. Guess I'll just keep my eyes peeled and be grateful for whatever falls my way.