So in the midst of cleaning up the office yesterday and doing some shelf rearranging, I took the opportunity to update the shelf of my own work that I maintain. Oh sure, it's a monument to vanity, etc etc. Sure it is.
Let's break down things and dig in a little. Uh, left to right.
The first five volumes are all self-published work, in this case through CreateSpace, which I don't think even exists any longer, having been absorbed by Amazon, if memory serves. Links will take you to the book's Amazon page, by the by. Do as thou wilt.
HIGHWAY 62 REVISITED is a collection of my non-column writings from around 2003 to oh geez, I want to say 2014 or so? There's a lot of talk about comics there, most of it from the first couple iterations of my comics and other stuff blog, Highway 62. That all started on Blogspot, along with my pretty-frequent posting on places like Millarworld and various comics-related Delphi fora (though not the Warren Ellis Forum's first incarnation, which literally shut down the day I looked into it.) There's still some interesting stuff in there. It's still mostly a mess of brain drippings. I think I maybe printed three or four of these, though it's still available as an ebook. (The print volumes were prohibitively expensive, on the order of twenty-five bucks apiece).
RAGNAROK SUMMER is my I guess second completed novel, probably finished in 1994 or 1996. It's a weird cyberpunk fantasy Norse gods pantheon thing, where they go through Ragnarok and come out the other side winners. And everything is perfect for a hundred years only it isn't. Again, still available as an ebook. I undertook rewriting it at some point and may come back to it, but it seems like a lot of fuss for a thing that doesn't have a lot of heft.
TUG ON THE RIBBON AND OTHERS is my first fiction collection, featuring the story that gave the title (which is out there on the web if you look around, I'm sure -- William Gibson liked it and that was good enough for me.) There's I believe four stories in there, at least two of them are any darn good. Still available as an ebook.
BLUE HIGHWAY is an earlier version of BLACK TRACE, and there's a couple copies of this in circulation on the used market, apparently. The algorithm wanted to price them at four hundred bucks or some ridiculousness. Not that I'd see a nickel of that stolen value. Doesn't matter, a better version of that will be hitting the streets in not too long a time.
THE COLLECTED FULL BLEED is, like it suggests, a collection of my FULL BLEED columns that I wrote starting in 2003 and ran on-again/off-again until 2010 or so I want to say. First at Broken Frontier (for which I got not one nickel and they got all the ad revenue) and then later on at the Comics Waiting Room, which I wrote out of love more than anything else. I think they're still interesting and idiosyncratic looks at the comics business from those years. But of course I would. I might even have print copies of this still, but yeah, you can still get the ebook of this easily enough.
What should be on this shelf but isn't is a collection entitled BLINK AND OTHER STORIES, which are more horror-related, but as it turned out, none I loved so much that I wanted to put up in a printed version. You can grab the ebook, though. Go ahead, be in select company and get yourself a copy. Additionally, DUSTBEARER (two short fantasy stories, yes, I write fantasy) is without a print edition. THE HOWLING PIT really should have a print version but that would necessitate some rewrites and probably additional material. Hmm. THE HOWLING PIT, by the by, is my view on the self-publishing landscape as well as writing in a time of absolute freedom. Hint: it's not as much fun as you'd think.
And now we get to the slim section of work that I've actually been paid for, all from Broken Eye Books. Links go to their site, so buy direct, eh?
QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS you should already know about. If not, it's the story of Cait MacReady, punk rocker and librarian and art forger in early eighties Los Angeles. Tired of copying other people's works, she decides to write one of her own and that's where things get weird. Because the shadowy group known as No Tomorrows not only knows about the book, apparently before it was even written, but their Queen wants it for herself. It's filled with a lot of things that I love, and I'm fortunate to have had the opportunity to write it for folks who can get it in front of others.
IT CAME FROM MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY, an anthology of weird horror/sf, featuring my story "The Kingdom of Is," which explores the relation between monstrosity and language and how each is chained down by the other. That came out just a couple months ago and I'm sure you'd love a copy, if not for my story but for the host of others contained within.
TOMORROW'S CTHULHU from Broken Eye features my first sale to an anthology market through the slush pile, that being the short story "Chunked" that I wrote in what 2012? I'd have to look. Hmm. Shows this version came out in 2016 but I know the story was written a little while before that. Anyways, it's just a simple story about an industrial trawler hunting down the last avatar of the elder gods and turning it into processed food for a hungry planet. There's no other meaning or allegory there at all. Promise.
Ah, STRANGEWAYS. Weird western, featuring ex-Union officer Seth Collins as he crosses the country through the haunted frontier. First volume is cowboys versus werewolves, second is cowboys versus vampires. Worked with some great artists on these (Luis Guragña and Gervasio and Jok from Estudio Haus in Argentina.) I'm glad they're out there but folks, comics are not for the easily buffaloed. Both volumes are still available at my Bigcartel store. Not through Amazon because I got tired of being absolutely fucked by their order/sales practices. I was losing money on each order, so nope. Not doing that. I keep toying with the idea of doing a digital comics release, but I'd have to get the book colored and that's on the order of a couple several thousand dollars to have it done well and I lost enough money on the original run. Besides, weird westerns sell to audiences of hundreds, not thousands.
There's some saddle-stitched pamphlet versions of various stories. "Through the Limbs" and "Tug on the Ribbon" and some STRANGEWAYS ashcans. I keep meaning to do a full collection of the uncollected short stories, but I printed up a few of these to take to shows. You remember science fiction and comics shows, right?
And now there's a whole bunch of what amounts to private press photo books, all through Shutterfly. Four Intrapanel volumes of close-up photography of old comic books, looking at the alchemy of cartooning and cheap printing and how sparks were squeezed out there. Five volumes of CURRENT 20, which are filled with day-to-day photography that I used to make up for Christmas gifts for family and friends. FULL TILT, which is a book of pinball table photography. And finally, three volumes of photographs taken in LA, one of which spanned several years of digital cameras and I think even some film photography dating back to the 90s.
Anyways, these are an expensive hobby, and unfortunately only exist to fill out the shelf.
Oh, the CDs? Yeah, my work is on those. TO JUPITER AND BEYOND is the only place that the Roswell Incident's music was available for a long time (outside the DRONEON tape compilation) before I put some of the work up on Bandcamp. The other discs are live shows or rehearsal tapes and I think a pretty clean master of TRANSANTARCTIC, the only proper Roswell Incident LP, with Chris Barrus and I recorded by Brian MacDonald in November of 1996.) Anyways, what's up on Bandcamp is mostly free to listen to, pay what you want for downloads.
Yeah, I'm not putting up the five books that I was an uncredited co-writer for. Sorry. Rules are rules. I doubt any of you have ever read any of them nor would you be able to recognize my work in them if you did. I wish those had worked out better than they did, but I am who I am and that's all that needs to be said about that.
Yeah, at my age, I'd liked to have put up a shelf that was twice this. I'd like it even more if I hadn't had to self-finance the vast, vast majority of this work. That's how we define success, right? It's okay. You don't have to say it out loud, so long as you understand it.
I'd like it if I had more news about other projects at this time, too. But I simply don't. BLACK TRACE is the big thing coming down the line, and that's not brand new work. I'll probably do a collection of short stories now that they've reverted to me, as well as some that never got published. But in the meantime, I need to get back to work on the stories for the ASPHALT TONGUES collection of stories from HAZELAND. I anticipate that this will be self-published as well, but perhaps I'm misjudging.
Back a little bit later this week.