Wow… Summer 2003 is gone. Does it seem like it is already the first half of September? See, I didn’t think so either. It has been an interesting last few months or so. I returned from a trip by 15ft. moving van to the Tampa area of Florida the end of July. My ex-brother-in-law has had it in his head for a very long time that he would one day sell everything and move south. Well, that day came when, after his mom had died, nothing save an inherited house and a few friends remained for him in upstate New York. So he sold everything except his bedroom furniture and odds-n-ends, and down the road we went. It was an adventure! For me, the most important fact of it all was his not having to make the trip back alone.

I guess there are times in a person’s life when they feel the call of wanting to wander; A time when they feel no other course lay ahead of them except one they’ve self charted. That said, I’ve recognized that I’m at that point in my life (again) also. So despite what I’ve written here before, and setting aside that I’ve got several projects on back burners… I’m taking a most bold step and launching a massive revision and revamp to this website. So watch for it!

Reviews for the Reading Starved

Some nice surprises here this month! If you’re reading this for the first time, you’re going to want to come back for more. I want to extend my thanks for those of you taking the time to send me your feedback. In most cases I pass it along to the specific publishers and they appreciate it too! Comments can be sent to me. Small Press has much to offer a mind that is reading starved. So feed the need!

Just Another Name #1 Vol. 1. by Kevin Gleason of Crossroads Comics.

24 pg. Standard format, B&W and color cover. Just Another Name is written and drawn by Kevin Gleason. The book bears the indicia membership imprint of my favorite organization, the SPA.

“Many of us can recall that awkward moment of meeting a girl or guy for the first time. This story easily could’ve been told in an awkward way, but it wasn’t. Gleason tells this story from his heart. It is a story of Scott and Emma. Two young adults trying to break the communication barrier, while taking a chance on getting to know each other a little. In initially looking at this book, I was a little apprehensive. Oh sure, I’d read it…but would I enjoy it? I’m a man of a half century old that has been married to one same woman for the last 29 years. We have 5 children of our own, two grandchildren (thus far), and I only hope they will someday experience the wonderfulness that comes from being as daring as Scott, or as charming and gracious as Emma. This story was very fairly illustrated with the pencils and style complimenting the story. Good job, Kevin! Thank you for giving me the pleasure of reading such a beautiful and caring story.” RO<p>

Cost: $2.95
Trades: Not likely
Look for Kevin Gleason at

Ashenwood: Deitrich’s Tale #1 Vol. #1 April 2003
Seraphic Vision Studios, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15210
12 pg. Standard format, entirely B&W with cover art by J.R. Bender, Art by Jason Bender, and Written by Russ McIntosh

“I discovered this book in a pile of books I’d gathered since April. As I’ve commented previously here, I’ve never turned away from books by LE’s Books creator and founder, Russ McIntosh. His Iccarian Dreams imprint also delivers in the vein of entertainment. Sadly, while superbly written and very fairly illustrated –This book of swords, sorcery, and elves failed to captivate me.” RO

Cost: $1.75
Trades: Not Known

KINJO #1 created, written, and drawn by Branden Mcfadden.
Mailing address not listed. Try:

16 pg. Standard format, B&W internally with a black illustrated coated finish cover.

“This is a very creative and character quality presentation. The characters, story, and art is very manga style with room for some background development. I liked the main character KINJO. The story was simple, but most impressing me was the panel layout. Action scenes are not the easiest things to choreograph in a comic book. These fight scenes were excellent! ” – RO

Internet Collaborative Anthology, Full Sized, Color Cover, B&W internally. THE GIG: By Glen Jeffers, John Etienne, Travis Walton, Ed Dukeshire. HIGH SEAS AND THE LOW BOATS: By Doug Griffin, Emmanuel Reyes, Steven O’Connell. Chris Mendoza. A BOY’S BAD DREAM: By Brian Dittfield, Dario Carrasco, James Taylor, Ray Dillon. TOMMY TREK: VOODOO ISLAND: By Brian Miller and Mike Worley. ARAZEL & XARENIA: By Jeffrey Stevenson, Deon Nuckols, Serge LaPointe, Ed Dukeshire. ONE SHOT: By Ryan Scott. TAGGING THE ROUTE: By Chris Kirby and Dan Schmidt. JUST ANOTHER WEDNESDAY By Ev Jameson and Justin Peterson. THE WORLD THROUGH THE EYES OF HARRY BITTLE: By Troy Wall, Michael Duron, Austin Janowsky, Ed Dukeshire.

“Do you like action, mystery, sci-fi, horror and anthropomorphic tales with a hero here and there all under one cover? I do! I really enjoy creative anthologies by creative people with talent! You’ll enjoy this book! I’ve been a subscriber to DWP for several months now, and with only a couple of creating participants (not worth mentioning here) this book is chock full of surprises. Besides being the first and foremost BEST VOTED creative community on the Internet at: a #1 place to get your advice, guidance, and camaraderie from! Shun all others ‘cause you’re wasting your time otherwise!” One negative thing I noticed with this recent mailed in subscription copy was four blank internal pages. ‘Course, being a person to make lemons out of lemonade, I’ll be getting some other four lucky small press creators to do a sketch on each of those pages in the near future. If you were unfortunate enough to get a substandard copy – follow my lead and make your copy unique and daring! – RO

Cost: $2.95
Trades: Not Likely

SHOOTING STAR #2 Comics Anthology
Shooting Star Comics/ 5665 Hwy 9 Suite 103-140/ Alpharetta, GA 3004

64pg. Full sized, Color cover, B&W internally, 2003, “38 Days” Story and Letters by Sean Taylor, Art by J.P. Dupras. “The Veil” Story by Lance Stahlberg and Danika Kenn, Pencils by Mariano dela Torre, Inked by Enric Fernandez, Letters by Sean Taylor. “Rainmaker” Story by J. Morgan Neal, Art and Letters by Todd Fox. “Nick Landime” Story and Art by Erik Burnham. “Bedbug: Making A Name” Story and Art by Scott Rogers. “Feeling the Sting – Part One” Story and Art by Scott McCullar. “Interrogation of Specimen One” Story by Scott E. Hileman, Pencils by Chris Franklin, Inks and Letters by Ethan Colchamiro. “The Yellow Devil” Story by J. Morgan Neal and Gree W. Noon, Art by Timothy Truman.

“I’m a huge enjoyer of anthology based comics! So my hat of thanks is tipped to Sean Taylor on his sending of #2 to me. This book is one I am certainly subscribing to in the near future. “38 Days” was a short reflecting tear inspiring story that captivated my desire to see a convict get a break. Excellent!

“The Veil” reminded me of how much I enjoyed “The Forgotten”, which an interview is available here on my column archive, and the TPB is now available. The story on the “The Veil” was very well written. Take a bow Lance and Danika! I’m looking forward to more, plus the art (again) seemed familiar. So it was a treat to read and view!

“Rainmaker” had a futuristic flair to it. I am never very critical of a new story when I’m reading it in chapters. I liked what I perceived to be the basic premise of this chapter. The initial character of Aym Geronimo had the native American thing running through my head, which isn’t a bad thing.

“Nick Landime” was a treat to read primarily because I’ve followed a little previously of what creator Erik Burnham has created. I liked the fact that this portion of mind candy had a talking monkey, a vampire looking girlfriend, and poor old Nick. Great job, Erik!

“Bedbug: Making A Name” introduces this new reader to the fun and frolic that motivated a certain Mr. Ditko to pour his creative juices into another bug character we’re all privy to knowing. Bedbug was pricelessly funny! I give a huge high five to Scott Rogers because this was really fun to read! Just the stuff that younger kids would love to enjoy! Thanks Scott!

“Feeling the Sting – Part One” has amazing art in it! If I had anything critical to impart it would be that this chapter was a tease. Show me more! I liked the story flow, and the layout showed some innovative thought. Just what a comic book needs today!

“Interrogation of Specimen One” is a hoot! I loved it! The story concept is one that never misses or loses a beat. Anyone that subscribes to a basic belief in UFO’s and little green (or otherwise) men will drool over this.

“The Yellow Devil” is a story set in the old west. I’m old enough to recall the many good western themed comics that have all but disappeared from the mainstream sales rack. Like westerns as much as I do? Do something daring and buy this anthology book for the western chapter alone. It is superb! With Art by Tim Truman, this story made a nice impression on me.

Yes, okay, these people like all the people in this book are friends of mine by virtue of their inclusion within the Small Press Association. But don’t be fooled pard! I’m so positive on this book because it is chock full of surprises and offers the reader a roller coaster ride of excitement.

My overall reflection on this anthology is that it IS one of the few out there worthy of your buying dollars.” RO

Cost: $4.95
Trades: Not known

Closing Commentary

I embarked on a small personal creational effort recently. You can read all about it at: website It is my attempt to join the online blog movement. Any of you that know me already realize I can be like a train wreck waiting to happen, so tune in to see what dizzy little escapades my mouth gets me into. ‘Course there will also be plenty of history, opinions, and all sorts of suggestions on how this hobby and industry can pull itself back up by the bootstraps to be a better entertainment factor in America. Hey check this website out:

Comics Directory – comics related news, books and web resources.

And if you’re reading this column from a foreign land drop me an email. Starting next month, I’ll be printing a letters column with responses. I’d enjoy hearing from anyone in any country besides France or Germany. Until next time be safe, sane, and read your funny books!