Strange Are the Ways of Love

Strange Are the Ways of Love (1959)

Strange Are the Ways of Love (1959)

Publisher: Crest Books (no. s336)
Date: 1959
Genre: Sleaze/Lesbian

Strange Are the Ways of Love is not only the first novel Lawrence Block sold, but also the first he finished writing. He was a student at Antioch College, and although he was selling some short stories, he wanted to write a novel. He tried writing a short nurse novel that were popular at the time, but after starting in on one, he couldn’t come up with anything for his characters to do, so he quickly gave up on it. According to Block, he got drunk one night, and when he woke up, hungover, he had an idea for a novel. He wrote the story over the next couple of weeks, writing a chapter each night. Not long after, he had sold it to Crest Books using the pseudonym Lesley Evans (a play on the word lesbian, but one that was originally meant to be Leslie, a name that could belong to a male or female writer).

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Home is the Sailor

Home is the Sailor (Gold Medal Books, 1952)

Home is the Sailor (Gold Medal Books, 1952)

Publisher: Gold Medal Books (no. 225)
Date: 1952
Genre: Crime

Home is the Sailor proves once again that Day Keene could write some quality pulp crime novels. It’s one of his earlier crime novels and doesn’t pack a punch as some of his other novels, but it does roll along at a fast clip despite its reliance on the old pulp conventions. Swede is one hell of a lead, and it’s hard not to pull for him to succeed in the end (and punch a few faces along the way). And Corliss, well, she’s everything you’d want from a femme fatale. Of course, innocent and sexy Mamie is the real treat in this story. She’s just a side attraction in the story, but I certainly wanted more of her.

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Carla

Carla (Midwood, 1958)

Carla (Midwood, 1958)

Publisher: Midwood (no. 8; later reprinted as 131)
Date: 1958
Genre: Sleaze

Vintage sleaze is much more tame than today’s erotic fiction, and from my limited exposure, the stories themselves often lacked any real drama or tension. They’re just fluff. Inconsequential. Despite being penned by an author who would eventually become one of the best crime novelists of all time, Carla is no different. Continue reading

Restless Virgin

Restless Virgin (Midwood, 1961)

Restless Virgin (Midwood, 1961)

Publisher: Midwood (as no. 78)
Date: 1961
Genre: Sleaze

The cover art for Restless Virgin by Paul V. Russo (pseudonym for Gil Fox) isn’t one of Paul Rader’s best. The color scheme feels a little too dark, and the pose doesn’t entice the reader the way some of his other covers do. Despite the nude girl on the cover, it’s not even particularly sexy. It certainly shows Rader’s mastery of capturing the female figure, but it lacks any real impact.

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The Boy Who Wanted War Scheduled with FUBAR

Boy-Who-Wanted-War-CoverSmallThis morning presented another first for me: My upcoming comic now appears on a publisher’s schedule. That’s right, The Boy Who Wanted War is now listed with the rest of Alterna’s upcoming comics. Damn it feels good to see your book on a publisher’s schedule. I knew it was coming, of course, but seeing it online alongside other great comics, well, that just takes the experience to a whole new level.

Not only that, but my book is lucky enough to be available the same day as FUBAR: Guts and Glory. Jeff McComsey has done some great things with his zombie series, and it’s an honor to see my comic released on the same day. I’m not sure if that will help increase exposure for The Boy Who Wanted War, but it’s nice to be included with such esteemed company.

May 28 can’t get here fast enough. Continue reading

Final Cover: The Boy Who Wanted War

Boy-Who-Wanted-War-CoverAfter I sent the files for The Boy Who Wanted War to the publisher, we decided to take a second look at the title design. While we all liked the original version, we realized that it wasn’t big enough. It didn’t really stand out. Not on the front cover, and not as the title design of a really cool science fiction war story.

So after coming up with some general ideas on what I thought the title should look like, I turned to Nic J. Shaw for some assistance.

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