Projects

"Spire City Noir"
"Spire City Noir Anthology"
"Spire City/Johnny Saturn Series Bible"
"Johnny Saturn No 18"
"Johnny Saturn Planar Eclipse"
"Medieval Book of Lists"
"Name of the Shadow"
"Requiem"

Timing, Reviews, etc.

There is a time for promotion, and a time for creating new material. For the past year and a half, more or less, I’ve been doing nothing but promoting. Nor for a turnabout. For the rest of the year I’ll be creating new content. That means prose, posters, maybe even new comics. I’m feeling pretty positive that this is what I need to do. I’ve already gotten started, and I’ve been writing on no less than three different stories at the same time. I’m weird like that.

Prose

I’ve been revising an old short story today, one set in Spire City. It’s a good story, but events in the ongoing comic threw it out of continuity.
 
So, now I’m trying to restore continuity. It’s not big deal, because this is one of my many unpublished short stories. I’m gathering all the short stories up, putting them together in chronological order, and going to publish them as a Spire City Noir/Johnny Saturn anthology.
 
All the prose stories I wrote in this setting, excepting City of the Broken Gate, will be in it. CotBG is it’s own thing. Anyway, it should be pretty cool. It will also have Benita’s story, Being Johnny Saturn, which was published in Johnny Saturn: Homeland Insecurity.
 
I ran into author buddy Mike Wolff last night, and we briefly discussed writing projects. I am at work researching another paranormal/science fiction/superhero novel that will be set soon after CotBG. It’s not a continuation or sequel, really, but it continues with several of the main characters (Tara and Johnny himself). Maybe it is a sequel. Maybe not. Hard to say.

Available Now!

Spire City Noir no. 1 is available now on Comixology, DrivethruComics, and Indyplanet. Follow these links, buy it, and I’ll be happy, and you’ll enjoy it, and it’ll be a win-win.
The Kindle guided-view edition of Johnny Saturn: Intelligent Redesign is available for a mere $7.99. That’s 200 pages of the best damn comic I’ve ever made.

New Review on Johnny Saturn: Synns of the Father:

5.0 out of 5 stars
What Makes Indy Comics Great
on May 1, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
Thanks, Scott Story and Benita Story, for offering this compelling graphic novel that introduces the world to Johnny Saturn, a hard-nosed street hero in a world of full-blown superheroes. From the moment we’re introduced to Johnny — in a really unique way — to the unpredictable genre mashing as the graphic novel moves along, you get a tense and exciting piece of work.
You’ll find plenty to like in this graphic novel! Johnny is the Batman-esque hero everyone loves — no-nonsense and laser-focused. We’re also introduced into a whole universe of superheroes that come in every variety. Many of those heroes don’t survive, either, because this story brings a brutal reality to the dangers of being a superhero: Sometimes you’re simply not equipped to counter the threat you’re trying to stop!
I’m not sure who wrote the story or who did the art in Synns of the Father, but I was impressed with them both. As a fan of truly independent comics, I can tell you this ranks up there with the best. The plot is clear, the dialogue is crisp and the art is compelling.
Some people might offer a few gripes about the art — “It’s not as good as Spider-Man comics” — or that it rolls through so many genres — police story, vigilante story, high-powered superhero story, supernatural story, underworld story, slum story. But you know what? That’s what makes indy comics great — freedom to do what you want with what you got! Keep them coming, Scott and Benita!

Sneak Peek

Hi, Folks–Here’s a sneak peek of the as yet uncolored cover to Spire City Noir no. 2. Art by Steve Doty, Inks by Mike Vlasity, and colorist tbd. (Note: The blue tint is only there to make the other elements pop. It’s a temporary thing.)

Liminal Reflections

Good Morning, Friends & Readers!

It’s a dark and stormy morning here in the Midwest, and a good time for personal reflection. This is not a blog post about publishing efforts and events.

For the last two-and-a-half years I’ve put most of my creative pursuit time into packaging and promoting projects I have completed already. I’m not done (you are never done), but I’m proud at what I’ve gotten accomplished on this so far, and my improving online sales confirm that. Now, however, it’s time to take a step back and create some new content. That means novels, comics, posters, etc.

I’ve already been practicing with acrylic paints and alcohol markers because I intend to paint a lot and color future covers with traditional media. I know I have a lot of promise with digital media, and some people really like what I do, but at some point I hit a wall and realized that I just didn’t enjoy painting or coloring that way. So, from now on I’ll save digital art for all my pro illustration work, and traditional art for personal projects. Sound good to you?

In a way, this indicated where my thoughts on art have developed in recent years. As a longtime comic artist, I began my career with the feeling that the only art that “counted” was that which was published and distributed over a wide market. Anything else wasn’t worth the effort. Then came the internet and webcomics. I was suddenly able to show my art to a wide market of readers and enthusiasts and reap the benefits of it that way. Nowadays, I don’t care about the art’s reproducibility as much—it doesn’t have to be on paper or the web. What matters is that a lot of people see the work and that I’m compensated. A good example of this would be the holiday card I make for a favorite customer every year—its mailing list is only in the hundreds, but people see the art and enjoy it, and some of the recipients frame and hang the card. That is satisfying.

 

FRINGE WEIRDNESS–IDEAS FROM THE EDGE

OK, I usually write about art and publishing, but it need not be that way, so it’s time to touch on some more esoteric stuff. I saw today the mug shot of a minor criminal with all black eyes. Eye-tattooing is a thing, apparently. But, for those people with a keen interest in the paranormal and Fortean world of the weird, black-eyed people are well-known and quite frightening. I’ve never encountered such an individual, but I’ve always considered them a distinct possibility. These “people,” if such they are, fall roughly into a class of beings that include men in black, alien-human hybrids, shadow people, and non-human entities that can often pass as human. This can be scary stuff, a strange, liminal world that fills a gap between folklore and the very real.

Are you a hard-core materialist that believes only in accepted science? Not the cooky “out there” science that lives on the fringes, or that which often gets turned into New Age wish fulfillment as has quantum physics, but textbook science that believes only in what is quantifiable and repeatable? If that is the case, then my ramblings will certainly seem like magical thinking and ignorance to you. If you have had personal encounters with ghosts or witnessed some the world’s fringy weirdness, then you probably can dig some of what I’m talking about.

I’ve always wanted to create a blog about my experiences, but life is short and time is at a premium.

 

Other Cool Stuff:

Imagine this used as body armor!

Finally, check out this video of the coolest flight suit yet.

Publishing News!

Hello, Brave Readers!

It is I, Scott, here with news of heroic publishing and daring do!

I just hit the “publish” button on Amazon.com’s Kindle book listing of “Johnny Saturn: Intelligent Redesign.” It warns that it takes about 72 hours to post, and longer than that to get matched up with its print edition. It’s hard to be patient! I want it available now!

And, available it is, on Drivethru Comics! It is published as a PDF, a CBZ, and now a beautiful guided-view Kindle mobi file. It sure looks pretty, popping by frame by frame, on the backlighted and oh-so-high resolution Kindle Fire!

 

 

 

 

 

 

In other news, “Spire City Noir: Hauntings” has waited in line at Comixology for a while, and it should be up for sale on April 26. Like all Comixology comics, this will be in guided-view format.

Have a great week! Scott

 

 

 

Keywords, Fringe, Media, and Guided View

Hello, Most Excellent Readers!

I’m taking advantage of one of my days off today, and getting a bunch of things finished or (in some cases) begun.

 

Johnny Saturn: Intelligent Redesign

On this graphic novel, I’ve finished the Guided View Kindle edition, and I’ve already uploaded to Drivethrucomics this  morning. I’ve got ths edition uploaded but not yet published on Amazon.com, because I’m letting the wonderful application known as Kindle Samurai sort through potential keywords. Keywords are important because they help people find the book with organic searching.

After much consideration, here are the keywords I’ve arrived at:

Corporate Espionage
Crystal Skull
Domestic Terrorism
Fallen Hero
Manic Depressive
Pseudo Science
Zeppelin

I’ve been living with this book for the past week as I’ve gotten it ready for publication, and I fell in love with it all over. Is it OK to love our own books? I sure hope so. Most of the time we spend so much time with our creations that they become sort of background noise to the creator, all but invisible in a way. Enough time has passed since I last worked on Intelligent Redesign that I was able to re-discover it much as a reader would. It is a truly satisfying, cathartic reading experience. The guided view presentation is just awesome, as always.

 

Spire City Noir 2: The Black Dirigible

Me, Steven Doty (penciler), and Mike Vlasity (inker) have been hard at work on this project for a long time, but we are really close to pulling the first issue together. After some discussion, we decided that the story would be better as two normal sized issues rather than one oversized one. In any case, it’s time for the lettering and coloring to commence. As far as drawing and inking, we have 17 out of the 20 interior pages of the first issue done.

 

What Media Am I Consuming?

After finished up Marvel’s Iron Fist, I was ready for some time off from fiction. That led to -binge watching documentaries. I’ve watched specials on UFO’s, World War II, Steven Greer and C-Seti, Sacred Geometry, Conspiracy Theory, Noah’s Arc, and Declassified Government Documents that contain some mind-blowing information. Last night I listened to a radio broadcast about the United States Pentagon’s ongoing use of soldiers with psychic ability for information gathering. I was surprised to find out that these kind of operation are rooted in  experiments from World War II, and these mostly secret programs continue to this day.

(From what I’ve gleened, our government gave up trying to keep UFOs and the paranormal secret decades ago, and let public disclosure soft-peddle its way into popular knowledge through Freedom of Information Requests. It sounds like the government doesn’t care who knows what, especially since it is only a fringe element of society that really cares.)

Miscellaneous Errata

Hello, Friends!

I like to keep you up with my creative pursuits, but this has been a week without much of that. Work has been physically challenging, and I’ve been doing things I didn’t think my muscles were capable of, but it has left me worn out. Having said that, I do cram a lot into my day off every week. Today, for example, I finished a commission for a customer, painted with alcohol markers, and prepped three canvases for future acrylic painting. (By “prepping,” I gesso, sand, gesso again, sand, etc. Then, I kill the white by putting down a neutral base color.) Now I’m blogging, and later I will be working on keywords for my graphic novels.

I’m  doing my best to stay off my feet, because I wear my legs out every day, and leg and foot pain can be . . . considerable. Strangely enough, those same legs look like weight lifter legs these days! Yesterday, for example, I walked 16,00 steps, being nearly seven miles walked, and did 33 sets of stair cases. No wonder my legs hurt!

I want to draw your attention to a Kickstarter that my good friend A.P. Fuchs is involved in. A.P. has been a close ally of mine in the indie publishing world for many years, and his influence can be felt through many of my of creative projects, and visa versa. He’s done writing and edits for me, and I’ve done covers for him, and it’s a partnership backed up by real friendship. So, please check out his Kickstarter!

I finished the script to issue 2 of Spire City Noir, aka the beginning of the epic “The Black Dirigible.” This story will take two issues to tell, and it’s a mix of actual UFO lore from the 19th century, as well as time travel, shadow people, steampunk, and of course my characters from the Saturnverse and Spire City. Johnny Saturn doesn’t make an appearance, but the Utopian, Staff of Life, and Hotfoot share the spotlight, as well as a bunch of new characters. If you like the mix of history, mythology, paranormal, conspiracy, and genre literature that I usually create, then you will love “The Black Dirigible.”

Recently I’ve been studying why we cannot remember whatever we see in detail and simply draw it from memory. Kim Jung Gi seems to be able to do this, for example. I’m pretty sure Michelangelo and Jack Kirby had this ability as well, and I strongly suspect Gene Colan had a serious measure of it. Well, here is the article that finally made it all clear for me. I draw most of my pictures in this way, using my memory as sort of a live reference, although I am not comparing my skill level to that of people who have this anomalous skill in full. What Kim Jung Gi does is virtually a super power. Check him out here and here, and prepare to have your mind blown.

I finished watching Marvel’s Iron Fist on Netflix, and I’m sorry to say that my opinion expressed in my last blog post has not changed. It’s a shame.

Also on Netflix, I have been watching Unsealed Alien Files. These cover a lot of well-trodden space, yet each episode also has some updates with new information I had not heard before. It is clear to me that the religion of Ufology is alive and well. Why do I call it a religion? Because it’s a collection of interrelated narratives that survive through the believer’s faith. More on this in the future.

Lots of Stuff… It’s About Stuff, Stuff, and Stuff

Greetings, my legion of supporters! (I’m feeling optimistic, thus “legion.”)

“Spire City Noir” no. 1 is on the verge of going live on Comixology and Indyplanet, and it already is available on Drivethru Comics. Happy times. My plans for self-published world domination are well underway. Ha ha haa haaaa…

There are three versions of this comic available, being the regular edition, the sketch cover edition, and the black-n-white coloring book version. You can get them in physical or digital formats.

Continue reading Lots of Stuff… It’s About Stuff, Stuff, and Stuff

A Beautiful Day in Indiana

Hi, Folks:

Yesterday I got my copies of “Spire City Noir” no. 1 and the coloring book version of the same. The colors came out beautifully, so I’ll put them up for sale on Indyplanet and format them Drivethrucomics and Comixology. I’ll also order some copies for my collaborators, while I’m at it. I’m really proud of this book.

I just watched “Logan” in the theater. I don’t want to give away spoilers, but this is a very powerful movie, beautifully written and acted. It was not only one of the best superhero movies ever made, but simply one of the best movies in many years. Hugh Jackman is going to be a nearly impossible act to follow.

I’ve also watched more than half of Marvel’s Iron Fist on Netflix. While the two seasons of Daredevil were instant classics, Jessica Jone quite good, and Luke Cage flawed but ultimately good to watch, then we get Iron Fist. Some of the episodes are quite good. Colleen Wing, a real non-character in the comics, is outstanding in this version. The guy who plays Danny Rand/Iron Fist is unrelateable, uncomfortably naive, and seems like anything but a great warrior. Plus, his curly mop top hair bugs me. The pace is slow, the villains (Harold Meachum, Ward Meachum, Madame Gau) are much more interesting to me than Danny Rand himself. The special effects on the Iron Fist itself are underwhelming too.

 

 

A Day Off…

Hello, Friends and Com-padres!

This is my first real day off since I changed positions at work. I was so tired I slept till noon, and I ache in every joint south of the equator. Whew! I’m in a smaller department now, but I’ve actually gotten almost twice the steps per day that I had been getting in my old haunts. If you don’t know, walking on concrete for 8 to 10 hours a day is punishing!

I have not seen Logan yet. I understand it is very good, and I know roughly how it ends, but I’m not sure I’m going to have time to see it in the theater. It’s a shame, but eventually I will see it.

The weekend before last, Benita and I went to see the Viking Exhibit at the Cincy Museum.  It was amazing, and the volume and quantity of irreplaceable Viking artifacts beyond stunning. Over the years, Benita and I have attended museum exhibits on the Romans, the Early Christians, King Tutankhamen, Cleopatra, and the Chinese, so we are well used to examining the amazing craftsmanship of early peoples, but the Viking exhibit was different in that it was the first time we had looked over the works of a so-called “barbaric” people. It was interesting to me that all the Viking goods and apparel all were strikingly utilitarian and useful. Adornment was fine, but the objects had to be highly practical!

On the publishing front, I used the very excellent tool, Kindle Samurai, to generate better keywords for “City of the Broken Gate.” When I checked the keywords I had assigned to the book, I found that I had effectively banned the title to invisibility! Making the book easier to search for should help my sales, I think. Soon, I will do this for all my other books as well.

Benita picked me up a DVD of Doctor Strange. I loved this movie the first time I saw it, and I imagine I will get more from it every time I see it. I didn’t know much about Benjamin Cumberbatch before this film, but he embodied Stephen Strange wonderfully. Besides, I like the idea of a superhero (of sorts) who learns all his powers through study and book learning.

Stuff, Stuff, Stuffy Stufforama

Hello, Hello! (Imagine I’m saying it like Steven Fry on QI did)

Me, Benita, and Bob Hickey from 2013

Stuff (not in order):

  1. I just ran my keywords for “City of the Broken Gate” on a keyword analyzer known as Kindle Samurai, and I discovered that the search terms I had entered on Amazon.com are pure rubbish. This is terrible, and it leads me to think that all my books probably have terrible keywords. Clearly, this must be rectified in a timely manner!
  2. I have decided that choosing the medium for my stories that will most likely have the largest and longest lasting influence is pure insanity. None of us can actually know which medium will reach the most people and be remembered best. If anything, this kind of delusional thinking is unwittingly pandering to the future. That never works.
  3. If you choose what kind of stories to write based upon what is popular, then that is being a hack. I would never knowingly be a hack. In other words, money cannot be the first reason that I write a story. This has a freezing effect on my creatively, and it kills what could be great stories.

Here are some videos I liked from Youtube that covers some similar points:

 

For the artists out there, this is from an exceptional art teacher Clayton Barton:

I’m Never Short On Opinions…

 

Greetings! What follows is a short list of thoughts that bedevil me:

  1. I can’t seem to access some of my older reviews on Amazon.com as it relates to my graphic novels. What gives with that? Very frustrating.
  2. A friend of mine felt the need to defend his use of corporate characters in making fan art. I’ve come down pretty hard on fan art over the years, but if other people want to do it that’s fine. It’s just not for me.
  3. I watched the first two episodes of Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” It’s suitably creepy and intriguing, but I haven’t decided if I’m going to watch any more episodes.
  4. Bill Paxton R.I.P. 61 is just way too young to pass away. I like him in everything I’ve seen him in. Godspeed.
  5. I’ve been catching up with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I hadn’t seen any of this season, and it’s good to have this back in my life. It’s interesting for me to contrast the difference between Marvel TV shows and the CW’s DC TV shows.
  6. This has been a tough week for me, because a minor procedure on Tuesday resulted in an extremely painful throat infection. I would almost rather have my foot broken again than go through this.
  7. I’ve been hearing a lot about the Mandela Effect, where perhaps two timelines have gotten merged, or something has been editing actual history but not people’s memories of the way it used to be pre-edit. While I’m sure there are numerous explanations for this, such as mass faulty memories or some such, a part of me wonders if there could be some validity to it. You can see lots of videos on this on Youtube.

Continue reading I’m Never Short On Opinions…

Sometimes I’m Quiet, Sometimes I Talk A Lot

Hello, my fabulous friends and conspicuous confreres!

If any of you would do me the honor of reviewing my by graphic novels on Amazon.com, I will send you the download links free of charge. This way, you can read these books as PDFs, CBZs, or Kindle books (which have the wonderful guided-view function and look great on your tablet computers). Email me at scottstory@yahoo.com, and I’ll get you the links. Amazon reviews are terrifically important to authors, because they increase our author’s ranks and help convince would-be readers to purchase our books. It costs you nothing to write an Amazon review, after all.

Now, on to our regular blog post: Continue reading Sometimes I’m Quiet, Sometimes I Talk A Lot