Music – The Torchum Never Stops, Frank Zappa (with Ike Willis and Napoleon Murphy Brock)

Evil Princes everywhere these days.


Quick Update from Amazon

Earlier today I received the following message from an Amazon support rep:

I have checked your cover file and was not able to see what the issue is. I will connect with our Technical Team who will be able to provide more information about what exactly is causing the constant rejection.

Hopefully this nightmare is almost over.

Createspace Chronicles

The physical softcover version Cirsova #8 is dangerously close to being late, so I thought I’d show folks why.

The problem we’ve been having is a combination of Createspace’s 24-hour turn-around time on file review and support contact with the fact that they have been inconsistent about what the blocking issues for the cover are.

This was the first issue we had.


I got this twice, even after making some tweaks to text, so I asked what the problem was.


It turns out that reviewers will actually show you the blocking issues they highlighted, but only if you contact them. It turned out that I’d accidentally set an additional 1/8″ bleed (the print area was fine) they thought that a small snip of white outside the bleed meant that I wanted a border; they didn’t highlight the text that was allegedly too close to the edge.

7968709 cover

I had a manual and an auto-bleed on when I exported. Oops…

Then I get this:


The advertising images haven’t been a problem for us before, but this time it was because we had the Amazon logo. I also finally get an answer that the date under our artist’s signature is the text that’s too close to the edge; I explain that there’s really nothing I can do about the artists signature and ask if they can cut us some slack.

Below are the images the reviewer sent.

Issue 8 problem 2.JPG

So, the artist’s signature, which is embedded in the art and can’t be moved is too close to the bottom.

issue 8 problem 3.PNG

Well, there’s room to squeeze in B&N’s web address, where you can also buy Michael’s awesome book.


Now I’m told that to reference Amazon, I need two other places listed. Well, there’s one already, so I add Notice that there’s nothing mentioned about text too close to the edge blocking the file. I resubmit having done what the last reviewer asked, making sure that there are two additional outlets listed. Then I get this:


What the last reviewer said was a problem is no longer an issue. And something the last reviewer didn’t mention was an issue is now an issue again. We are back to square one…


Amazon’s support hotline is broken; when you call, it tells you to dial an extension then hit #, but instead of stating an extension, it makes electronic farting noising.

I reached out to social media support, so I’m hoping that someone real will actually call me so this can get straightened out.

We have never had issues like before and hopefully will not again, but this has been so frustrating that I’m ready to tear my hair out.

Wild Stars and Cirsova 8

I’m almost done with the final working draft of Wild Stars III: Time Warmageddon. Soon, we’ll have it into the magazine layout format.

Mark Wheatley’s working on the interior art right now, and we should be getting that back next month.

I’ve just sent the specs to Tim Lim to get started on the cover. As soon as we have a cover ready, we’ll start taking pre-orders.

I’m still wrestling with Createspace over the cover of issue 8. The 24 hour turn-around time is killing me, especially since they didn’t actually answer a question over the weekend, just restated something.

Projects Update! Wild Stars III and Cirsova #8 & #9


First, we’re gearing up for Wild Stars III: Time Warmaggedon.

This is a high-octane space and time-travel in the vein of Gardner F. Fox, Albert DePina, and Raymond F. Jones. Written by Michael Tierney, whose 4-volume history of the Art of Edgar Rice Burroughs is coming out this summer, and edited by Brian Niemeier (The Soul Cycle) and yours truly, I can assure you this is gonna be one heck of a ride.

What does Brian think about this project?

Wild Stars III is just what fans of fun, heroic action stories have been starving for. How do I know? Easy. I’m the book’s editor.

Michael Tierney has been a joy to work with. He is a true pro whose style and outlook remind me of the old pulp masters. His latest book is a whirlwind space adventure that will become the gold standard for putting fun first.

Wild Stars III: Time Warmageddon is a significant source of all your daily pulp requirements:


The more I’ve read this story, the more I love it. We understand, though, that since this is the newest entry into a franchise that has been around for 35 years, it might not be immediately accessible to new readers, so not only will we be making some of the rare and out-of-print Wild Stars material available, we may even be giving the 2002 comic-run away for free to new fans and old picking up this limited edition of Wild Stars III on Kickstarter.

Wild Stars 3 covers.png

More details on that soon, but we’re looking at taking pre-orders in June, once we get the cover art in from Tim Lim (yes, that Tim Lim).

In other news…

Cirsova #8 draws ever nearer to being done and ready to go out the door. Actually, it should’ve been ready today, but Amazon is being weird about stuff and they have an obnoxiously long turn-around time for corrections.

But the digital editions are done and there is a pre-order page up.

Issue 8 Cover w Clock ad v2 Front Cover ONly updated

Issue 9’s art is done and the latest work-file is in the hands of one of our trusty editors.Issue 9 Cover Front Only low res.png

I’ll be ready to start taking subscription orders for the final issues of Cirsova Volume 1 soonish.

Lastly, here’s a tease for you:

Stark Tease.png

Art by Star Two.

Death Crypt of the Ultra Lich – Old Buried Abbey (Level 2)

This second level is the lower, original abbey that was buried under a layer of dirt and ash. The hole in the chapel of the newer, upper church leads to room 10. The stairs north of 1 lead to the Library. Well in 22 is the back door to the Artificer’s workshop. Capstone in 26 leads to the Crypts (Level 3). Stairs in 27 are the main entrance to the Artificer’s workshop.

Space between 16, 19, 22, and all between 17 and 20 used to be an herb garden for soap-making; it can theoretically be cleared enough to create a “short cut”, but it would hardly be worth the effort. Exterior doors open to solid walls of dirt, stone, and ash. These can be excavated, but will take much longer than the upper tunnels.

Dungeon Level 2 - Main

  1. High arched wall w/stairs going down; spider webs
  2. 1d4 crab spiders
  3. 1d4 crab spiders; rack w/tattered clothes
  4. 1 Mage Spider (2HD)–Light, Read Magic; Scroll of Magic Missile x3; 5pp
  5. Several tables w/books. Most crumble at the touch. 1 is open to an illuminated page showing battle of wizards. Falls apart when touched.
  6. Webbed antechamber
  7. Narthex. 2 empty fonts. Door cannot open. Lever to secret door by west font
  8. 1d4 faded wraiths (2HD, drain only on a 6); 8 vials of holy water. 3k gp, 8 holy symbols
  9. Caved in room. Can be tunneled/excavated
  10. Four Saint Statues making holy gestures (1k gp each)
  11. 1d4 crab spiders; 22 cp, +1 mace
  12. Rows of wooden benches; Altar w/book (scroll of Bless, 5x charges)
  13. Missing door, 2 skeletons*
  14. (Monks’ cells) 2 skeletons*, 85 sp in d
  15. Long tables w/benches
  16. Kitchen. Oven. 4 bottles of wine (bad); rotted, useless ingredients; 24 blackened silver plates (1gp each)
  17. Prayer room w/empty pool
  18. Cabinet reliquary, trapped door (poison needle on cabinet door); Gold Chalice (500 gp), +1 mace, +1 shield
  19. 1 wight*; 700 gp, tapestries/fur blankets, +1 robe
  20. Soap making chemicals, dried plants, 20 bars of fragrant soap (10 gp each)
  21. A piece of tooled metal
  22. A well in the middle of this room goes 50-ft deep; there are buckets (4), rotting rope and 60 ft of chain; 1d8 fire beetles in the well
  23. 3d4 skeletons*; south door has holy symbols and writing. Read magic, languages or local cleric “Beware the life curse”; below is carved “Blessed be the Resurrection”
  24. A bronze, bi-pedal construct [1.5′] wanders these halls clockwise. 4 mauls
  25. Shelves. 2x sets of thieves tools
  26. 9 ghouls – 3 in each alcove. Attack when party enters the room. Jars w/3k cp, 5k sp, 900 gp, jeweled bracelet (1.2k gp), and rosary. Stone circle [capstone] in center of room. Sigil reads “Beware the life curse”
  27. Two metal faces in corners of the room. Stepping into the room triggers them. 1d6 arrow. 1 per round. Attacks as 1HD monser, 30 arrows. Disassembled, worth 1k gp each
  28. Barrels of nails (3), scrap metal (all rusted together)
  29. Barrels of scrap copper 4x (200 gp each)

*Become active undead if capstone seal in room 26 is broken.