Posted on Leave a comment

Halloween For the Win!

Miniature pumpkins adorn large plants and small, planted trees.

After the disaster that was Halloween 2020 (which included government threats, unnecessary fearmongering over going door-to-door, kids stuck walking a circle in a parking lot for trunk or treat ‘events’), thrilled that many refused to buckle last year and did the best they could, while today/tonight? It would appear Halloween is coming back with a vengeance.

My place is in the middle of nowhere. We always need to set up at someone else’s house where they get (at least, used-to) hundreds of kids and parents. I’m looking forward to getting back in my casket, and scaring the hell out of people once again. At the house, though, I couldn’t go without doing anything, so got some pumpkins in the planters to be a bit festive, Pam can use ‘em for pumpkin pie when we bring ‘em inside on Monday, and at least the feel is back. Bringing candy over to Mom’s even though she lives in a retirement community, hoping some kids’re staying with grandma and grandpa and will be walking the cul de sacs. Hope you and yours—especially if you have kids—are rockin’ it this year! Stay safe, enjoy, and bring on the darkness!

Posted on Leave a comment

Psssst—Cancel Cultists? You Just Became The Puritans You Used To Hate

Dave Chappelle in 2018

Dave Chappelle doesn’t need my defense or anyone else’s; he’s too sharp, too quick-witted, and, essentially, has a license to print money after the faux-outrage Netflix brouhaha. I am thrilled he’s the beneficiary of such narrow-minded criticism and hatred because a guy as bright as he is can absolutely bludgeon the hypocrites to death with it. Even Netflix higher-ups know better than to side with the simpering cancel cultists on this one, because the slope they want to drag us down makes the one Bond skied in The Spy Who Loved Me look like a snow-covered Kansas driveway.

Imagine this. Today’s cancel cultists (not to get political, but look at them—largely self-described progressives and liberals—and what they’re shrieking about). Let’s take this crew of hand-wringers and knee-jerkers and drop them in 1971, at the NBC headquarters. NBC is considering adapting a hit UK sitcom, airing it in primetime on Friday night…and hiring an all-black cast. Groundbreaking, right? A progressive’s wet dream, right? But, now let’s look at the man they choose for the lead role. Redd Foxx, one of the bluest of the ‘blue comics,’ and his routines. How long you think that show lasts—assuming it goes into production at all—without Foxx? How do you think a leaked email chain concerning Foxx pushing to use the dreaded N-word, which he did in multiple episodes, would’ve gone? Episodes with a social commentary he fought for! (Look up articles on the ‘courtroom episode’ after watching the clip, in which he blasts the judge for the racial disparity by pointing out there are “…enough ni66ers in here to make a Tarzan movie.” 

You think that show ever airs given today’s ‘progressives’? You think Good Times gets green-lit? You think the white-dominated landscape of traditional family-based sitcoms and dramas becomes so diverse so quickly? Think Freddie Prinze ever gets on TV in a co-leading role in 1974 without Sanford and Son leading the way? Pffft. Today’s so-called progressives would have torched Foxx and NBC and demanded they pull the show. Don’t believe me? Look at Chappelle. Employees at Netflix are going to stage a walkout and are looking for support from the public. They want to cancel a successful, minority comic who’s known for biting, social commentary (recall, he was lauded by these same hypocrites for his George Floyd 9 minute ‘bit’ mere months ago. They championed that. And in a heartbeat, they want to kill his career.)

Rewind a bit further. Can you imagine Lenny Bruce (the role for which Dustin Hoffman got his first Oscar nom) or George Carlin, unquestionably referred to as ‘legends’ of the field, ever getting out of the tiniest of back-room clubs? Today’s progressives wouldn’t have let them sniff the big time. Richard Pryor? Are you kidding? Another black man who never would have gotten beyond the club scene given his routines concerning women, blacks, prison, etc. But, it isn’t all about ‘ancient history’ (despite guys like Carlin and Pryor dying in our lifetimes). Think about a kid like Chris Rock getting his big chance. Does he survive a leak of emails and script notes concerning the ‘Ni66a Please’ parody commercial? Does he ever get an HBO special if today’s progressives saw him do the bit about “You want to hide something from ni66as? Hide your money in books, ‘cause ni66as don’t read! Books are like kryptonite to a ni66a.”? Can you imagine the ‘outrage’ about such a skit? Well, you don’t have to. SNL hired Shane Gillis in 2019, but fired him before he ever got on set due to old jokes and ‘offensive’ bits surfacing. (Picture how many SNL alum would’ve gotten on-air given today’s cancel cultists combing their standup history. It’s probably a show that doesn’t make it to season 10) 

Here’s another one. Go look up one of the biggest stars of the ‘80s/’90s, Eddie Murphy. Find the ‘Gay Honeymooners’ bit, and tell me that if he’d been doing that in clubs before he gets Saturday Night Live, he ever gets a movie deal. Be honest. Watch that routine, compare it to what’s being protested and canceled all across today’s media, and ask yourself…does Eddie Murphy ever get the SNL offer, much less become an A-list movie star? Does Coming To America ever get made? Trading Places? Does he become The Nutty Professor or the face of Disney remakes for a decade? A black man doing such ‘homophobic’ and ‘insensitive’ routines? Yeah, think about that.

The cancel cultists making entertainment companies shiver are the new Puritans. The same folks they claim to abhor and want no association with. “I don’t like that! Anyone who does is a bigot/racist/hater/unacceptable!” That’s the mantra. Now, they’re targeting black artists in a way that would have totally changed the landscape for struggling minorities. We wouldn’t have those seasons of Sanford and Son or Good Times or Chico and the Man, and the groundswell of minority-led casts. Poof, gone, were these people in charge. Chris Rock is a barely-known standup guy who never gets an HBO show to discuss social issues and talk about tough subjects. Murphy doesn’t prove to megacorporations like Disney and Dreamworks that you can put a black man front and center in a movie like The Nutty Professor and Shrek despite his Honeymooners bit. These people would have been the racist and phobic network execs and showrunners they damned until they got shows like Will and Grace—shows their own actions would have delayed for years. The career-killers of minorities who dared to joke about women and alternate lifestyles and…social issues. These are the most dangerous people in entertainment, and it’s a mirror they refuse to look into. : (

Posted on Leave a comment

Shifting Gears

Pencil illustration of a woman standing at the end of a bed with a gun in one hand. She's shining a flashlight in a beheaded, decaying corpse.

Pencils for The Hidden: A Danni Locke Mystery, provided by the talented Jason Moser.

Last week, wrapped a new short story that’s firmly in the ‘extreme horror’ category, and began sending it out to beta readers. Response so far has been excellent, with a couple of valuable contributions from my buddy Mario up in New York, who updated me on subway tech. With the feedback coming in, felt good about getting back on the story I’d been working on before, The Hellhole. 

Nope, not so fast. Having gotten an illustration in for the anniversary-related chapbook we’re looking to release in early November, fellow author Alex Ness tipped me off to an artist he’s worked with, and that inkslinger is coming on board to provide art for another chapbook—the first in the Danni Locke mystery series. (Only pencils right now, I know, more soon, I’m not a tease). This, while an artist halfway around the world is bringing a new zombie story of mine to life. Suddenly, The Hellhole has been put on the back burner yet again, so I can get another comic tale scripted—which would complete the first comic issue we’ll have ready in several years. 

I don’t mind. Right now, I’ve got over a dozen short stories completely finished and ready to go, several with artists doing spot/splash illos, but to put out a new comic now that we’ve got more shows than ever going on in Florida? Yeah, I can make room for that, no matter how tight the schedule is. More to come as things fall into place, and we prepare to make announcements about the talented folks joining the fold.

Posted on Leave a comment

Chill in the Air

Cover to Winterlands

Sure, it’s everyone’s fave month, but even down here in sunny Fla, there’s been a noticeable change. Cold water from the tap in the morning. Little less kiln-ish when you get into the car during the day. And so, perfect timing to add a new product to the store, if only in limited quantity.

I worked on Hunt The Winterlands despite serious concerns. First, I’m a horror guy. Fantasy isn’t my playground, and I know far too many talented scribes who do incredible work there. Plus, the parameters were, quite frankly, daunting. Picture a winterbound continent where *nothing* grows. But yet, there’s still life. Not a whole lot of building blocks for a compelling story, y’know?

That said, I found an angle to exploit, did a bit of narrowly-framed world-building, and the end result was The Lost City (and some pretty nice compliments from folks who read the collection, put together by fellow author Alex Ness).

You can order starting today, I expect to be shipping by Wed or Thurs (Oct. 6/7th), and copies are available signed. Think Mr. Editor’s John Hancock’ll be on there, too.

More products a comin’, especially for you fans of the classics and oldies, stop back in soon!