Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

And may 2016 be good to you and yours.

New Day, New Year

I haven’t updated my blog in months. The simple, and personal, reason is this: my mother passed away earlier this year, after years of battling cancer.

In fact, I struggled with writing all of last year as well, even as I was finishing volume 1 of Persia Blues. Luckily for me, I don’t make my living from writing, otherwise I would have been in the unemployment line a while ago.

But today is the first day of spring, which is also the Persian New Year, called Noruz (literally: new day). So I think it appropriate to use today as the catalyst for my renewed effort in writing and creating again. I’ll start with baby steps, a few blog posts here, maybe a piece of flash fiction there. We’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, happy new year to all.


Indie Cover Spotlight: Border Worlds #6

Border Worlds was a mature readers science fiction series by Don Simpson, published in 1987 by Kitchen Sink Press:


I like simple cover designs like this one, as they tend to stand out quite well amongst all the other flashy, multi-color covers on the shelves. The light blue color for the masthead is also a nice touch, as it makes it pop out.

The return of A1

A couple of days ago, I featured the old British anthology series A1 as part of the Indie Cover Spotlight feature. In a happy bit of synchronicity, Bleeding Cool is now reporting that editor Dave Elliott is bringing A1 back, some 20+ years later, via Heavy Metal magazine.

Frankenstein, by Alex Horley

Creators include Andy Kuhn, Alex Horley, Toby Cypress, Ron Marz, and others.

And dig this: there’s also a new story from Mark A. Nelson, another great artist who has been absent from the comics field for a long, long time. Also, one whose work was also featured here as part of ICS.

Bandits, by Mark Nelson

The vacation will continue…

…until morale improves.

Sorry for the lack of regular updates this past week, but I’ve been on vacation. Things I’ve done so far: paddleboarded on the Atlantic ocean, hand-fed large Tarpon, been bitten by a pelican, stood on the southern most point of the continental United States, ate breakfast with free roaming chickens and roosters, and took several naps. All good for the body and soul, but not good for a productive writing schedule.

Anyway, back in a few days with new content. See you soon.

Donating comics to Operation Gratitude

If you’re a comic book fan, then odds are you have thousands upon thousands of comics in your house. And there’s probably quite a few that you can easily part with. Like that issue #1 of a series you decided not to follow, books from Free Comics Book Day, old series you’ll never re-read, and miscellaneous mini-series or one-shots you have no idea why you picked up in the first place. I certainly had a bunch.

Over the years I’ve managed to thin out my collection a bit by giving out comics at Halloween, offering freebies at my booth at Comfest, and at other events. I was also aware of charities that donated comics to a good cause, like Operation Comix Relief, which sends them to troops overseas. However, when I contacted the organizer recently he informed me that he is not accepting donations at the moment, as he has a major backstock of donated books he still needs to process.

So after a bit of Googling, I came across a similar effort called Operation Gratitude, which is much larger in scope. From their website:

“Operation Gratitude annually sends 100,000 care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions, to their children left behind and to Wounded Warriors recuperating in Transition Units. Our mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member’s face and express to our Armed Forces the appreciation and support of the American people.”

Since I had plenty of comics I no longer read or felt the need to keep, I decided to gather them up and send them off to a good cause via Operation Gratitude. I tried to get a good and varied mix of books: superheroes, indie books, color, black & white, fantasy, sci-fi, Marvel, DC, etc. And just for good measure I included a few of my own comics as well, plus some PANEL anthologies. All in all, I ended up with a box full of about 150 comics.

The box was is currently on its way to the Army National Guard armory in Van Nuys, California, where Operation Gratitude sorts and assembles all the donated items into standard care packages for shipping all over the country, and the world.

So if you’re anything like me, I’m sure you have plenty of comic books that you can easily part with from your collection. Please consider donating them to this great cause. For storage purposes, they prefer that donations of goods be made during the following date ranges: March 15 to May 5 & September 15 to December 5. So as of today, you have a week to get your goods shipped to them.

However, they accept letters and financial donations anytime. Drop by their informative website and see how you can help.