What we’ve been up to…

I know this site has been a little quiet in 2011 (…too quiet…), but with good reason.  You’re faithful Web administrators have been hunkered down at the Zero Hour! ranch, cooking up a new batch of pulpy goodness for the new year.  And this time, we’ve brought some friends along with us for the ride.

Episodes from the Zero Hour! Volume 4 is the first time we’ll be stepping away (not entirely, but mostly) from the serialized fiction model we’ve used in the previous three volumes.  It’s going to be a collection of stand-alone stories, and with this one, we’ve chosen a theme that’s in running with our eclectic tastes and the rich pulp history available to us.

Zero Hour! 4 is our homage to the weird fiction magazines of the pulp era.  Books like Weird Tales, Strange Tales, and even, to some extent, the Tales from the Crypt comic book helped to really cement the idea of horror and fantasy fiction into the collective unconsciousness, inspiring so many of today’s masters.  Of course, weird fiction is kind of a subjective term… one of the really interesting things about this book is seeing how different authors interpret the theme differently.

And that brings us to the next bit of news:  our line-up.  In the previous books, we’ve kept the line-up of authors small, but this time around, we’re expanding on the number of creators taking a crack at the Weird Episodes from the Zero Hour!.  Some of these names are familiar, and others are new to Zero Hour!, though well established in the world of modern pulp.  Our authors for Volume 4 are:

  • Anthony Schiavino, founder of Episodes from the Zero Hour!, and creator of independent comic book, Sgt. Zero.  This will be Anthony’s second time writing for the Zero Hour!; his first work, “C.T. and the Savage Chimps of Cannibal Mesas,” can be found in Volume 3;
  • Bobby Nash, a freelance writer of novels, short stories, comic books, novellas, and graphic novels for a variety of publishers.  You can find out more about Bobby’s work at his Web site, http://www.bobbynash.com/;
  • Frank Schildner, a martial arts instructor and writer from New Jersey.  Frank has written pulp novels, comics, occult adventures and tales of ancient aliens on Earth that have been published in the United States and Europe;
  • Stefan Dogaru, another Zero Hour! alum who’s returning for a second bite at the apple.  Stefan’s work can be seen in the serialized adventure short, “Mac Samson: The Secrets of the Lost City” featured in Volume 3;
  • and finally, Jason Butkowski, the managing editor of Episodes from the Zero Hour! and creative mind behind Zero Hour! properties, “Knuckles, Tough Guy for Hire,” “Federal City Nocturne,” and “Rex Rockwell, Weird Game Hunter,” will be back again.  Jay’s breaking the one-shot rule with another Rex installment, and is contributing a second strange tale to the mix.

In addition to the five very-talented authors listed above, we’ve lined up a top-notch artistic talent to bring their stories to life.  Dirk Shearer is an illustrator, painter, designer and all-around artist from Pennsylvania Dutch country (I don’t think he’s Amish, but will ask him next time I get an e-mail from him).  Dirk’s putting together one heckuva cover, and will be handling interior illustrations as well.  His stuff can be found at http://www.dirkshearer.com/.  Yeah, on second thought, he probably isn’t Amish… what with all that computer stuff and all…

So, there you have it.  Keep an eye peeled for Episodes from the Zero Hour!, Volume 4 to hit book shelves some time in the spring of 2011.