Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Blast from the Past!

Egad! Awhile back, my friend Chuck uncovered some pretty incriminating material that I did over two decades ago and the masochist in me just feels the need to share. Pictured below is the first issue of a series of short stories I wrote revolving around my friends and I...sort of. Back in the fall of '86, my friend Steve wrote a short story about us rescuing my parents from neo-Nazis (for what reason exactly I'm no longer sure). I was so caught up in the idea that I, with Steve's blessing, started churning out a number of sequels, adding a bit of a science fiction angle to the stories. There was an 18' foot tall female robot in one, for example. Eventually I went back and tweaked Steve's original story "The Valiant Four" to coincide with the science fiction angle of my stories. Instead of neo-Nazis kidnapping my parents, it was an aged Nazi scientist who found out my friends and I had found his secret formula for creating "super soldiers." I was pretty heavy into Doc Savage at the time, so naturally I (the writer) was the only one to use the formula before it was destroyed by the conscience heavy Steve (pictured below in the black jacket). Suffice it to say, the stories were terrible, but everybody's gotta start somewhere.

I've always said everything I ever learned about writing I learned from reading action/adventure novels and it was about that time that I, thanks to Karl (pictured above in the camouflaged jacket), discovered Gold Eagle Books. Ah, for those halcyon days of the Cold War. Gold Eagle offered quite a line-up of action/adventure novels, from The Executioner and Able Team, to Phoenix Force and The Guardians. Mack Bolan, aka The Executioner, was the Wolverine of his day, appearing in more books than humanly possible. Anyway, out of them all, my favorite series was The S.O.B.s, or Soldiers of Barrabas. Doubtless Nile Barrabas and his team of mercenary bad-asses probably played a huge role in influencing how I was writing my stories at the time. Like I said, everybody's gotta start somewhere, right?

Below is the cover to episode #7. To my knowledge, these are the only two stories to survive. I think I wrote about ten of them, which were eventually boiled down into a full-length novel, which, after changing names and a few concepts, almost saw print. Mercifully, the small press publisher that wanted to do it changed formats and started publishing cook books exclusively before I signed anything. Sometimes I wonder if reading my book made them change formats.

Who knows, boppers, maybe someday I'll print the stories on a blog or do a weekly web strip out of them.

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