Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Kickstarter for Horsemen. Help them ride.

And so it begins with a cry out in the desert that longs to be replenished with life. Please help us give life to Horsemen.  Below is a link to the Kickstarter page where you can most generously assist the arts directly with contributions. And by arts, I mean us, but feel free to help as many independent creators as you like. And you can get exclusive merchandise.


Horsemen is an SciFi adventure and a limited series comic book of 5 issues. This Kickstarter campaign only deals with the first issue. The money goes to pay the artists (penciler, inker, colorist, and letterer) and to pay for the print run so we can send out cool rewards. No money goes in our pocket (though I could use some) and any monies that go over our goal will be invested into the next issue.

About: The Horsemen are champions of freedom. They ride across time and space on cybernetic steeds to battle those who would oppose choice. The villain is a dualistic being named Fate and Destiny. But you ask... destiny is a good thing? Oh no. It is not. Destiny mean that life is predetermined. Your decisions are inconsequential. And this is what the villains want. They want to rule creation. They want to remake existence into a place where everyone does as they are told.

There's a video on the Kickstarter site so please click it and there's more info on the story there too. And as you might notice, we put our money where our mouth is as we've funded projects too. So give what you can and help us let the Horsemen ride across the collective imagination.

BTW, it's easy to donate. You just need an Amazon account. So simple.

Thank you.

Joshua and Mark 


Friday, May 25, 2012

Video: Fighting the Forces of Tyranny!!!

I spent some time today learning how to make a movie out of the completed pages for Horsemen with Movie Maker. My arm is actually sore from patting myself on the back so much and my perma-grin shows no signs of fading anytime soon (why so serious?). I'm not quite ready to take on Lucas Films, but I have to admit I largely surpassed my expectations. So without further ado, I give you Horsemen. Enjoy!

High Def Link:

Low Def Link:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Burned brightly, a poem. Homage to Murphy (my cat) and Blake.

Burned brightly

The tiger can no longer burn bright
the proud predator yearns to slumber
as the breath is labored and reluctant
catabolic cancer consumes all
the cat that once dreamt of fire
now waits while the embers are fated to be
as the frost
on the glass
of the smudged
that beckons the smoke to stain
the view-bright, so bright to be dull-
The asymmetry of the palsied face
invokes memories
as the tiger pounces
on to a silk pillow’s sheen and
Purrs, and Primps, and Watches
the prey mocking birds
parade on the dying
lawn of autumn.
The tiger is fed
claws retract.
The breath is labored
The slumber is not.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Staring down the length of a blade. Exclusive Horsemen cover and pages 1-6!

I don't think I've posted all of this in one place yet, so it seemed like high time to do it. Here's a peek at Horsemen's cover and first six pages. Pencils/inks done by Christopher Hanchey, colors by Rich Cardoso, letters by Jessica Moorman and logo by Cary Kelley. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Quiet Sunday Morn... A Time for Terror.

An adolescent boy playing in an abandoned prison, what could possibly go wrong? I wrote this awhile ago, it was originally published by Inscribed.org, a publication that I believe no longer exists. I Googled it and got a Christian dating site. Once you read the story maybe you'll spew the same ironic laugh I did. Anyway, here is the story in its entirety. Enjoy!

Unrepentant Nascence
by Mark C. Frankel

It began with a cell. Most times that’s where it ends, not so in this case. It was an unused, dim confinement that had been vacant for several decades. Dwayne visited often, dreaming of its past dwellers.
            The mattresses were gone, allowed to rot until not even the rats could make a nest with their flesh, but the bones remained. Undoubtedly in a few more decades they too will become dust. Sometimes he sat on them. That day he did not, unconsciously fearing the inevitable flaw that would cause collapse. In the chamber he enjoyed most, the sink and toilet still stood, entirely intact, although without working water. Nonetheless, he pretended that he washed the blood off his soaked hands. Why else would he be here?
            Chernobog Prison was silent. That was his favorite part; Dwayne had silence. It was a peaceful palace for plotting, no yelling or cantankerous elders to order him about. Even older sisters don’t follow boys into broken buildings. If they didn’t follow, they couldn’t call him names, he reasoned, nor laugh and tease him about his now emerging acne. And in this horrific haven, they could not watch him pull on his organ, something he knew was wrong but could not resist.
            One of them caught him once. Not here, but at home in the dark where he thought he was safe, burrowed beneath the blankets. She told everyone. She told everyone it was small, too. They all laughed. It’s not, he tried to say, it was only startled. He still wanted to choke her when he thought about it. One day, one day…
            None of that mattered today. He was blissfully alone and began to strut through the halls. Today he imagined being the guard rather than the prisoner. Dwayne had a stick that he rattled on the bars as he passed each cell. Da-ding, da-ding, da-ding…
            “Lights out, five minutes!” Dwayne bawled, the echo of his voice reverberating along the empty corridor. In his mind, the prisoners muttered, some daring to stick their hands out of the bars. He struck sharply at them with his baton and paused before those cells, glaring as if to intimidate the felon. He smiled a toothy grin as if to say, I’m out here and you’re in there, whatcha gonna do?
            Dwayne paused before his cell, the place where he dreamt most often, and then with some hesitation, entered. He rattled the bars as he did. Kicking the frames, Dwayne used his stick to poke at the nonexistent mattresses.
“Bed check,” he said “you all better be tucked in tight. Don’t want no bed bugs biting ya. Dirty, filthy bastards, here because you do dirty things.”
It was hard to ignore one bed; without the mattress, a large black stain could be seen. It had seeped into the floor, becoming an indelible piece of this penitentiary. Dwayne was drawn to it, gazing at the grisly blemish in wonder. Today he leaned over to touch it, as he had done many times in the past. He kept waiting for the day when he would reach out and feel not cold stone, but hot, wet ichor, the lifeblood of some sleeping inmate. As he extended his arm, the hairs on it and the back of his neck pricked up sharply. Quickly he jerked back, not quite reaching his goal. It looked wet today.
His head swung around and Dwayne’s eyes scanned the whole room. He turned his body about, but nothing, or more correctly no one, was seen. He looked up. It must be a leak, he thought, yet there was no hole in the ceiling. It was just a cement bulwark, the construct so solid that not even a chip appeared in it. Don’t build ‘em like they used to, he could hear his grandfather say.
The dim light from his little flashlight shone on the puddle. Steam seemed to rise off of it like a recently erupted geyser. Dwayne shook with both apprehension and anticipation. He reached out again, actually getting down on his knees next to the pool and carefully, but absently laying his weapon down next to him. His index finger found the sodden floor, and as he often dreamed, it was damp. Dwayne brought his hand up to his face and peered at his digit. Not only did it feel wet, it looked it too. He smelled it. The liquid had a hot, acrid smell. With little hesitation, he inserted it into his mouth. It was sharp, even bitter, but it was blood, of that he was sure.
Dwayne knew how blood tasted; he had many experiences with his own. Usually he lost his battles; frequently the sanguine fluid would ooze from his nose, a river that most often became a lake at his mouth. However, that was not the only way he knew its tang and texture. Dwayne liked to cut himself, usually with a small Swiss Army knife he kept in his pocket. He never did it where anyone could see him, often choosing his upper arms or inner thighs, and always made sure to be alone when he made his sacrifices. Usually, he was at the prison.
Out came the knife. After a few phantom slashes into the air, Dwayne began to make downward stabbing motions above the puddle. It was a repetitive, ritualistic gesture; he had made it hundreds of times before. I bet this is how it was done, he always thought. I bet I could do it. Dirty bastard, probably needed a good shank. He began to chuckle. With a measured slash, Dwayne cut a crevasse across his forearm. Perfectly formed and matching several other recently healed canyons, it bled a dark red liquid. He held his arm over the pool and allowed the colors to mingle with each drip. The hot stream soothed his earlier astonishment, allowing him to almost meld into the cell’s floor from his kneeling position.
Clank! Abruptly a loud crash sounded behind him. He didn’t need to turn around to know it was the door sliding from its rusted open position into a fully closed lock. Nor did he. Dwayne understood on some level that he was being confined here, but that was perfectly acceptable. He liked it here. He didn’t care that it was improbable for metal rusted solid to become operable. He was so engrossed in his macabre mixture that didn’t even care who perpetrated the deed.
“I’ll tell you a secret, you dirty bastards.” Dwayne said in a low, hushed tone. He giggled a gruesome soft laugh as he slashed at another appendage, allowing the blood to stream down his thigh and past his knee. He crawled directly into the puddle, kneeling amidst the center and letting the tributary flow into it. He hacked his other leg so that it could do the same. “I’m a dirty bastard too.” He giggled again, this time with more force and timbre.
He thought about releasing other tensions into the growing lagoon, but instead Dwayne decided to keep his experiment unadulterated. There was enough liquid for his purpose, no need to be excessive. A cut on his other forearm should be sufficient. With a quick motion, it was complete. He let the solution saturate his surroundings, watching it gather about him. There was almost enough.
Finally, Dwayne had sufficient means. He cupped his hands and raised as much of the blood as he could to his mouth. A small sip first, followed by a splash on his face as if cleaning himself. With increasing alacrity, he brought up more and more of the liquid, finding his face, his limbs, his chest and then continuing downward until he had lathered his whole body. He covered himself, leaving no bare skin at all. He rolled in it, like a dog in grass.
The job done, he smiled a sickly crescent, the white pearls of his teeth a decisive contrast to his blemished brow. “I’m the dirtiest of all you bastards,” he said.
Standing abruptly, he turned toward the cell door and promptly walked through its bars. He had to go home and wash himself off. Dwayne didn’t want to be late for dinner.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A query letter that worked on editors and agents.


This is a query letter I wrote for my YA novel. It got solicitations for 4 partials and 3 fulls from editors and agents. It's a cross between a screenplay pitch letter and a common query for novels. It starts with a log-line and expresses the beginning, middle and end while revealing the stakes the characters must face. I didn't list any of my writing credits because it burdens the length and people, especially editors, don't have the time. A query is hook and not a full synopsis or your life story... Just figured I'd share.  

Dear Mr./Ms.________

Lives and dreams can be cut short by death, but the biggest tragedy for those who survive is not taking advantage of second chances.

In the paranormal YA novel The Cell, seventeen year old Les Logan is an aspiring comic book artist who begins to doubt himself after Aki Kubo, his friend and creative partner, dies in an accident in which Les is involved. From beyond the grave, Aki contacts Les through a cell phone and tells him there’s a problem. Aki can’t cross over because a girl named Rachel is wasting her second chance at life after receiving his donated liver. Les must help her so Aki can move on to the afterlife.   
There are a few big problems: one, if Rachel doesn’t move on with her life soon Aki’s spirit will disintegrate. Two, there’s a limited amount of time and they can only communicate via cell phone. Three, Les hasn’t driven since Aki’s accident. And finally, a devious scientist named Professor Gluck finds out about Aki and wants to capture the ghost in the cell phone so to prove his theories about the paranormal. He gives Les a job so he can keep an eye on him and set a trap for Aki.
Les enlists the aid of his two off-beat friends and sets out to discover a way to save Rachel but encounters with Professor Gluck stand in his way. When these friends believe in each other, and do what they think is right, not even a mad scientist can stop them from saving the living as well as the dead. In essence, this is a rescue tale. Les must rescue Rachel but by doing so he also rescues Aki and his own dreams for the future.
A partial or full manuscript can be sent upon request. Thank you for your precious time. I look forward to the reply regarding a possible submission.


Joshua Lee Andrew Jones


BTW, I'm still waiting on replies. But, if you know of any editors who might be interested let me know.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dropping the Bomb - Exclusive First Look at Horsemen Pages 4-6

By now you have all seen the cover and pages 1-3. I was tempted to leave you with the cliffhanger at the end of page 5, but I figure you have all waited long enough. Here are completed pages 4, 5, and 6 of Horsemen. They were penciled/inked by Christopher Hanchey, colored by Rich Cardoso and lettered by Jessica Moorman. The team has done an awesome job on these, feel free to drop your thoughts and kind words in the comment section. Enjoy!

About BS I saw at a conference... a poem.


The ruffle of suede and faux fur
being hung up diminishes in
the echo of eager voices
awaiting the recital and reveal
of the salutations
The plain podium rattles with cascades
of coffee stained papers
the ruffle stops, the silence forebodes
the mechanical mouth of the ancient
orator that opens with a cough
the speech is chewed vigorously
professors count the letters as scribes
with ink saturated palms smearing images
on ledgers made of dust and slate
they talk to themselves and describe the
faulty bridges, verses and lack of philosophy
as they all go over the transom as wonderful
wisps of waxing and waning bewilderment 
building tension and stress as the seated audience
feel their backs bend and crack and soon
they will seize
The orator slips on his embroider jacket made of dog hair
linen and lion’s regret, it falls and fits
A quietude resumes, the words
are counted, spoken, and placed
Under shoe and step
To be ground down into paste to fill
the wrinkles on their faces
and in a casket of ancient resolve
the feast of language is consumed
with soft sensitive dentures and
ready bent forks
The ruffle of suede and faux fur
is furious as the flight from the
benediction is swift out into the winter gates
No longer do the pundits read
from the stained pages that fell
the rattle of wooden shoes stomp off
and diminish with distance.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Exclusive First Look at Horsemen!

I know you have all been waiting patiently for completed pages of Horsemen. Jessica Moormann has done a great job adding her letters to Rich's colors and Chris' pencils/inks and Josh and I think it is high time to show them off. Without further ado, here are the first three pages of Horsemen. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The dog who saved my life.

This is Logan. The dog who saved my life. A golden prince of pooch if there ever was one. Without him coming along in a time of unrelenting misery, there would be no novels, no screenplays, no poetry and no me or at least in this current condition. He was a dog with infinite eyes who looked through me when the rage flickered across my existence. As I reached the verge of detonation, a tilted head and an upward glance defused the bomb before it had a change to destroy all that was nearby, including myself. So I decided to post this picture in memory of what he did all his life. He looked out for me.  

I owe him everything that I am but now he is gone.

I miss my puppy dearly.  


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Trajectory - Short Fiction

Quick note: Trajectory was originally published by Midnight Times in the Summer 2009 issue. It is still archived here: http://towerweb.net/mt/archive.shtml if you prefer to read it in the original form. Enjoy!

By Mark C. Frankel

It begins with a bullet.
            Lying peacefully, nestled amongst cold steel. Unflinching and unremorseful for its task to come. Its abeyance is ending.
            A simple click, the primer ignites the propellant and the propellant pukes out the projectile. As if a train through a tunnel, the round rockets from the barrel spiraling in perfect symmetry and cutting through the air. One pop and a thud.
            The hole on one side is small, almost unnoticeable but for the appearance of a third eye. A second crater gapes, a match for the completing contents spewing across the brick wall.
A waste? Maybe, but only of the bullet.

            The detective looks at the scene. An execution, point blank. The victim must have stared the killer in the eyes when he pulled the trigger. It takes a cold son of a bitch to do that. Or a lot of hate.
            One casing on the ground, one round through the victim’s head. As he looks over the scene, the detective figures his killer is cold. Hate would produce more ammo.
            “Name?” he asks one of the cops on the scene. The only answer is a shrug and a mumble, something about no ID. He’s not surprised; the crumpled corpse was probably homeless and lived in the alley. Might have been days before anyone even noticed.
            He asks a few more questions and gets expected results. Tough neighborhoods don’t give easy answers. No one had heard or saw anything. Probably a druggie or a drifter. He’ll know more when they do. With a grunt and a flip of the notebook, he retreats to the car, finally turning off the siren and leaving.

            It continues with a blade.
            Just as quiet, snuggling instead in red velvet. Classy, but dangerous. Meant for close quarters where one can bathe in the sanguine river’s flow by the moonlight.
            A pop of the button, the knife is free. Two steps to close quarters, hot breath awash over the face like a summer breeze. The fleshy prison collapses as the key is inserted into the organic cage.
            A swipe to each side and back into the sheath. Waste not, want not.

            Dawn and already a call. Coffee scalds the inside of the detective’s mouth, but he refuses to let it show. Different MO, but it just feels the same. Much messier this time, yet the results are the same.
            No ID, no name, different alley, tougher neighborhood. This one definitely has gone unnoticed for days. A “concerned citizen” called in a strange smell. Summer makes bodies rot quicker causing the pungent odor to creep into everything.
            Strays chewed some of the entrails. That will make the job tougher, but it’s still clear what happened. He figures it was done with one motion, no extra stabs. Probably dead instantly.  Cold, certainly cold – almost surgical.
            The next stage is silence.
            A rope, simple and frayed, indistinguishable. A tool to bind, now a weapon with intent for ill.
            Quiet is essential, searchlights beaming down every alleyway. One dirty form shuffling along hardly gives pause. The cord slithers down the arm, falling slack and dragging along the ground. It whips up wrapping the neck quickly trapping the remaining breath. Effortlessly, the other hand grasps the tattered end.
            No sound is heard but a slump of the carcass to the ground.

            It is a small break, but still a break. He is tired and was almost finished with his shift as the call came. A neighbor had looked outside to see a large man fleeing the scene and so the detective rushes there, hoping to find a hot trail.
            “Can you describe him?” he asks tapping on the notepad.
It was dark. He was tall, only saw his back. Thought he got into a two door, no, four door car. American, um…maybe Japanese model.
The detective sighs, frustration etches its way onto his stony face. He flips the pad closed and thanks the woman for her time anyway. She says something trite, like how she wishes she could help more, but he has already turned away from her and pretends not to hear.
It’s still the same guy, he thinks, and he’s getting bolder. The moon is bright and the neighborhood is better. The target seems to be someone who was just unlucky enough to have been there at the wrong time. Despite the strong smell of alcohol, this victim was not homeless. He had a wallet and ID on him.
The other cops want to investigate the victim, but not the detective. He thinks its random, just bad luck to have crossed paths with the killer. Let them track down those leads. They argue with him, but he knows. This was cold; it was simple strangulation. No attempt to snap the neck or bash the victim’s head in and therefore not an act of rage.
Might as well go tell the family, then maybe a beer and bed. Tomorrow will be a late night.

Tonight will be a night off. The city can sleep. One night only, sleep one, sleep all.

His feet are sore. The detective’s walk through alley after alleyway produces nothing but a few strange glances and several offers for “dates.” A Friday night should be a prime night for the killer to strike, but other than a scuffle at a local dive, no violence.
He evaluates the red glow in the East. His night is ending. A grumble accompanies a kick to the air. He chastises himself for his disappointment at the lack of action. At least no one died. He balls his hand into a fist before correcting himself again – there is one person he’d like to expire. Then slowly, he hobbles home to get ready for his next shift.

The climax. It builds to the point where hero confronts villain. Sometimes those lines blur, criminal in every champion, altruism in every evil. Not him. Not tonight. He won’t blur those lines.
            The cop has left for his night walks. He is point on the case. Time to bring it home. The bludgeon will do nicely.
            One downward stroke, the hammer descends. It ought to crack louder, but it catches a soft spot and squishes. Another slump and a surprised look in the compressed eyes. The door remains slightly ajar, enough to arouse interest. The hammer keeps it open.

            He is tired again. A second night of no results weighs heavily on the detective with each step up the stairs to his apartment. He barely makes it to his floor as the sun peaks into the window at the end of the hall.
            With the dawn comes a realization that something is wrong. A light from his door intrudes upon the hallway. It is too early for anyone…
            Several quick strides reveal an open door. A gory hammer pries it apart from the latch. His observations numb, focus to a narrow thread. There is only the body in front of him. A detached voice tells him this was cold, probably only one blow.
The detective can’t bring himself any closer. He wants to. The man wants to step all over procedure and contaminate the scene, run to her. The cop can’t make himself break protocol. He steps back, trips on the hammer.
Written on masking tape along the mallet’s side is a name. He knows it. Rising with renewed energy he heads back out before all goes red.

Resolution. Waiting near impossible, eagerness to try a new weapon. The oldest kind - organic pistons that grip, rip and pound. Darkness surrounds all, lingering, about ready to pounce on the intended.

His pistol is loaded and sits hot in his hand. He can feel the worn grip. It hasn’t been fired in some time, but remains ready always. A foot on the door, the frame cracks inward. He bursts in, two hands cradling the revolver.

The target appears as expected if not on cue. Another moment’s pause, but no matter. As soon as the shadow passes…

The detective senses the attack before he feels it. A blow to the ribs, he almost drops his sidearm. Instead he whirls about, only to get another punch to the midsection. This time the gun drops and he grapples with his assailant. They slam into the wall, knocking plaster to the floor.
His attacker wears a black ski mask, but it doesn’t matter, he knows who lies beneath. The detective smashes his forehead upon the opponent, making a gratifying crunching noise and knocking him back…

Repelled. Not something expected. It should have ended easily, one, two blows at the most. Instead they face each other gasping. Arms rise, ready to strike as they circle like carrion birds over an injured animal.

The officer feels the weight of sleepless nights. It wears heavy on his limbs, making it hard to keep them up. He realizes that he can’t match the killer’s pace and he might become the next victim to be investigated. Desperate times call for…
He turns into the circling attacker and their hips almost collide. A kick to the knee sends the opponent sprawling on his back. The cop dives for his gun and continues to roll. As he grasps it, he barely evades another strike from the killer’s sweeping leg.
He rises with the gun. The killer struggles to his knees and they lock eyes.

Cold fire flickers in the gaze of opposing orbs. They calculate the distance between the outstretched barrel and a skull. A step forward, the muzzle licks the forehead. Arms go to the nape of the neck forcing elbows up. A sardonic look of surrender asks ‘what are you going to do now?’

And it ends with a bullet. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Written on drugs... maybe?

In the down town evening
The epileptic night seizes
city sounds strangle into silence
the sharp buzz snaps
lights on streaming advertisements
blink, not to be perceived
as gawkers and onlookers
planted in stone
cease mid-sentence
between the plastic realities
bubbling up only to burst
the touch screen implants
as sylvan transplants
lift their feet sidewalk weary feet
just above gravity and halt
The unctuous streets
slide away…
The wrought iron sky
ratchets down, click… click… click
The match head stars
flicker in an inchoate
fit***  * *** **
The epileptic night bites its tongue
flashes of furious motion, slash
the frozen hustle and bustle
that allows the city’s synapses
to stabilize. Balance is temporary.   
The horns honk deadly dares
as heels clack on the cured cement
The pause is brief
The cityscape in repose
awakens in an instant
and just as one experiences apoplexy
it escapes, only to infiltrate
another. It never ends
There’s not enough Ativan
for everyone downtown.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Demons befoul Trevi fountain. Ascendant finished artwork.

The Ascendant cover and pages 1-6. Enjoy!

More to follow!!!!

Horsemen Cover with Logo. Check it out!!!

I know you have all seen the Horsemen cover. Cary Kelley's logo has now been attached and it really completes Chris Hancheys pencils/inks and Rich Cardoso's colors. Take a look and let us know what you think. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hobo Erectus: Flash Fiction or is it?

Hobo Erectus     

            A Manhattan morning lifts over the corner of 20th and 5th. The autumn chill holds still in the soft sunlight. A man named Carl once called Mr., and sometimes Sir, is wrapped in layers of throw away clothes he swiped at Goodwill. He sits down below the pastry shop window next to Arty the Dodger from the shelter downtown.     
            “Deranged, bum, hobo, homeless, crazy old coot, that’s all I could get so far today.  Perfect freedom for a perfectly carefree existence… only subsistence required.  Once a Captain of Industry with a shallow face and now I’m just a vagrant with a fragrant presence.  All we need is food and shelter and this wasteful world provides.  But, stupid pride and synthetic respect rules over the kids scrapping their way up the social ladder to nowhere.  But here, no taxes, no telemarketers, no nothing.  Sounds nihilistic but it is what it is, just survival.  Damn it! Bet I missed the guy with the Chesterfield coat again. He’s good for a sneer and a ‘get a job’.”
             Carl nudges Arty and looks down to his panhandler’s paper cup, a coffee cup that never had coffee in it. Carl shrugs and inhales a deep breath of sidewalk air. He exhales a stream of steamy breath into fast walking foot traffic and urban noise. Carl coughs and begins again. 
            “So Arty, this is the thing. Societies are artificial. They’re socially constructed values. Superficial no matter how internalized and regurgitated.  I am, we are, at the crossroad. Modern primitive scavengers or societal rejects? No we are the ones who see the world for what is… an illusion of confidence, of agreement. The city is here and must be exploited and the validity lies in the fact that if you take this all away and it can be done again.  I will be left standing in my desensitized worn shoes.  By the way Arty, remember to spit when you talk to them. And here comes a real snoot, maybe I can get her to swear.  Listen young blood, surprise is the essence of deconstruction.”
            Carl springs up and puts his hand out. Dirty fingernails stab through worn knit gloves. He bows his head to the woman smothered by a gray business suit. She locks her gaze forward and speeds up her gait. He shrugs and slips back down on the wall below the window. Carl watches people walk by like he was watching a tennis match in the long gone years.   
            “Missus business suit there, if the world sank, would have problems but she has the cell phone so she would high tail it.  The immigrant market guy over there, he would lose everything, but be fine, just start over.  From the highest to lowest, the highest have problems moving in the continuum.  Not enough desensitization, even if they seem insensitive.  That is them thinking about ego and birth.  A sweet smelling scatology so to speak. 
That’s why I hang here and fish for insults, it breaks them down.  Let’s them feel shame for a second so they react.  I’m a street psychologist.  Now take this one, a good insult coming from the prep-school boy.  Wait for it. Damn just the finger!  It was something.  So why do you stake out this corner?  Arty? Why aren’t you replying? It’s a little too early to take the night train. Yo! I’m talking to you.” 
Carl taps Arty on cheek.  His face is a calm blue, a cold blue.  Carl shakes his head.  “Now that’s insulting. You just had to tell me I was talking too much and I’d have stopped.  Dying just to shut me up won’t work.  Damn you were dead the whole time. Weren’t you?” 
Carl looks at a woman strutting by in a red Channel wrap. He points at her as she passes. 
“This is what your society did.” 
“I didn’t do anything,” the woman says as she stops and yanks off her over-sized sunglasses. 
“Exactly. You didn’t do anything.”

Friday, May 4, 2012

New Blog Post - The Ascendant page 2. Check it out!

Okay, so I gave you page one, a fully colored splash page of Cail and Halstein dueling inside the Trevi Fountain. Logic dictates I must give you page two next...so what the hell, here it is. ;)

Fiction in a Flash: an itchy situation.

In the shade.                                                             

A young man dressed in loose blue linen, who has never left the Boroughs, walks with stern intent along the west side of Central Park in full bloom.  He appears as if he has not slept in days. His eyes are scarlet with blood vessels and weariness.  The overcast day soothes his newly found light sensitivity as he rubs his neck under the collar slowly with the tips of his fingers.  Irritable and unapproachable, he goes from the park through the hoards of humanity wearing designer labels and craftsmen hocking their wares.  He rapidly scratches the back of his neck with exhausted desperation.  All he can think is that the cantankerous cankers will not cease.  He pops a pill without water.
            He wonders what could have caused these blisters and why does everything itch all at once?  He has had allergic reactions before but that was because of the bedbugs that traveled to his apartment with the delivery of his new mattress.  He discarded it and sleeps on a pullout now. He wonders if it could be the synthetic fibers of the couch. The young man in blue stops and scratches his leg while leaning on a marble façade of an entrance to a retail building.  The intensity of unnerving, incessant itching increases.
            He gouges his lower back with nubs because he filed his fingernails down so not to cut his face while he slept, but sleep never comes.  His temper is ignited when a tourist with a white visor bumps into him while looking up at the airplanes flying over Manhattan. 
“Don’t touch me,” he screams and keeps walking. 
The tourist says, “I was told to expect this.” 
The young man in blue rushes into a Duane Reade and itches his shoulders as he enters.  The Allergy Medications sign comes into view dangling above a cluttered aisle, a rescue ship to castaways on a desert island. 
            The man in loose blue linen grabs all of the ointments, creams and pills that can be purchased without a prescription.  He never had use for doctors, and thought they were paid too much, but he contemplates going to the emergency room if this last ditch effort does not cure him.  He thinks he really should not have passed on the job with health insurance. Brightly colored boxes holding the relief tumble onto the checkout counter.  The squat male clerk with pock marks dappling his face looks at the man in blue with revulsion.
            “Dude, you get stung by a bee or some shit?” the clerk asks.
            The young man in blue, eyes almost closed, crashes through the exit and jogs through the crowded sidewalks.  People get out of his way as he pants and cradles his white paper bag of medicine like a baby. He reaches the shade of the park. 
Faster and faster he stumbles and knocks over a lithograph merchant and her plastic covered pictures.  He cannot stand it any longer. Getting the medication to his blood quickly will be his only resort.  A favorite sycamore tree is found.
He rips his bag open as he tears off his blue linen shirt and pants.  He rifles through his pockets and finds his nail clipper and pulls a credit card out of his wallet.  The creams are smeared all over his body.  He struggles to get the antihistamine pills out of the generic packaging but finally chops the pills on the card.
He snorts the powder and large chunks get lodged in his stuffed up nose.  Unbeknownst to him, a couple from the ‘Burbs’ with their newborn watch, get up and leave.  They wave a cop down on the street.  The young man, no longer in blue, sits on the top of his hands as he scratches his palms on the roots.  It is not working.  Panic sets in and he begins to shake.  His eyes shut completely as his throat begins to close.  All goes dark.
The cop sees the young man collapse and runs over to see if he is overdosing.  The cop checks his pockets and then his pulse.  He finds the medication.  The young cop radios for a “Bus” and puts the man on his side away from the tree so he won’t choke on his vomit.  The cop looks over at the tree, and having grown up in Jersey, realizes what is there.  He calls another cop in so he can wait for the ambulance and wash his hands. 
The EMT’s get the young man in the ambulance and the driver says, “That is the worst case of poison ivy I’ve ever seen.”
“I didn’t know we had it in Central Park.” 
“Neither did he.”

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New Blog Post - Page 1 of the Ascendant. Check it out!

Since I've been posting the Horsemen colors lately, I thought I'd switch it up a bit and show you page one of another project I've been working on, the Ascendant. I posted the cover earlier, so I thought it fitting to post page one next. Those of you familiar with my twitter feed (@PantherPitt) will probably recognize this page. As with Horsemen, pencils and inks done by the incredibly talented Christopher Hanchey and colors done by the extremely skilled Rich Cardoso. Enjoy!

Pour Some Sugar On Me: The Def Leppard Experiment.

Pour Some Sugar On Me... it most certainly did help.

Now let's take a trip down memory lane to the time when ripped jeans and Aqua-Net hairspray existed in a twisted, though oddly complementary, symmetry.

Though not my favorite video from Def Leppard, it certainly was a touchstone of that day and age. The video was also more importantly a helpful diagnostic tool for my young puberty enthralled mind that was constantly experimenting in ways to get girls or at least find the signals that would allow me to touch them.

Here was the test. If you watched the video on MTV at a girl's house after school and she shimmied in her seat while the video played... then there was a shot at perhaps a smooch. This hypothetical was put to the test and I'm happy to say the theory was valid. But the second part to the analysis was more more telling. When during the song, post-guitar solo, these lyrics would rumble.

"You got the peaches, I got the cream
Sweet to taste, saccharine
'cause I'm hot, say what, sticky sweet
From my head, my head, to my feet"

And if the girl sang along...

... then Sugar (though in a limited but thrilling fashion to a puberty addled squirm of a boy) was a plausible goal. This theory was put to the test and was successful. So, now at this time, I would like to publicly thank Def Leppard for their assistance in the experiment called Suburban Puberty circa late 80's.

In closing, the more innocent ways are extinct. The experiment no longer holds any relevance in this world of 13 year olds sexting and having BJ contests with different colored lipstick to find the winner. We have become a blunt society lacking the ability to read subtext and this makes us sour-pusses indeed. "The play is the thing" as Shakespeare once said and he didn't just mean a theatrical performance. Though I hesitate to call the lyrics of "Pour Some Sugar On Me" poetry, they are considerably more advanced than the magnum opus of Nicki Minaj...

"Did It On Em"

"Shitted on 'em, man I just shitted on 'em
Shitted on 'em, put yo' number two's in the air if you did it on 'em
Shitted on 'em, man I just shitted on 'em
Shitted on 'em, put yo' number two's in the air if you did it on 'em"

Absolutely no diagnostic value at all.

Watch the video up top and enjoy. If you want click an ad to the side or donate to this blog so we can fund our literary projects, that would be a fantastic thing. Thanks and Godspeed.



Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Free Porn?

                                                                        Free Porn?

Where are the pens clenched in fists?
So many sentimental sobs
roll across the page
leaving dilute rivulets of
watery lettering
Profound rage is not outrage
It can’t be controlled
The pen is mightier than the sword
But both stab, and the sword
Is mightier
When the pens have no ink
And all they scribble is
Free Porn.

Sorry if you were expecting something else you dirty, dirty dog. ;)