Come to find out that it's a good time to discuss branding, universes and "presence" on the internet bookshelf.
When I was a snot-nosed brat growing up, one of the best places to visit was downtown Aiken, SC. A short bike ride past the Highland park golf course and voila' you were in the center of a cornucopia of small shops, thrift stores, drug stores, 2 movie theaters (The Rocking Chair and the Mark 1&2), a sporting good store and a newsstand/convenience store. For a ten-year-old kid this was a major component of the pulp paradise that would help define my level of taste (the other being Kmart and Nonesuch Books ).
Downtown Aiken, SC had, for all intents and purposes been built in the fifties and sixties when the Savannah River Nuclear Facility came online and brought thousands into the sleepy town and the 20th century. Prior to that, the main street was dirt and geared toward not only cars, but horses and carriages. Aiken was known as one of the premier horse training areas in the country with several Kentucky Derby winners to its credit. It was a small town that liked it that way, and did its best to accommodate the great influx of people, money and commerce that a nuclear plant provides.
So by 1974 or so, I had the good fortune to be able to navigate this sleepy downtown corridor of 50's storefronts and find all sorts of cool things - the kind that delight the mad-pulp-bastard-in-training with a voracious appetite for reading, hobbies and movies - of the fantastique variety. We would get Aurora model kits and Estes rockets from Aiken Sporting Goods. We would devour copies of Famous Monsters, Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella at the Quick Stop; pick up comics at Hooks Drug store and Starlog and Fangoria at Aiken Drugs. Some Saturdays we would go to the Rocking Chair Cinema and see things like The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Silent Running, The Planet of the Apes movies, Godzilla v. Bionic Monster, and later more adult fare like The Great Texas Dynamite Chase, Death Race 2000 and yes, even Big Bad Mama.
[OMG - Captain Kirk is getting naked with Police Woman! She is so hot!]
So this is the stuff I grew up with (though not necessarily grew up on. I went to high school with an emphasis on reading, and because I had such a habit I read everything - including all the literature that's supposed to be good for you). Yes it informed my style, and the style of many of my peers. From those humble beginnings we haunted garage and attic sales and the occasional swap meet looking for these buried treasures...
And we realized we weren't alone.
(Cue dramatic organ music)
So what does that mean for you creators and our audience?
For established writers it means if you have material that fits the description and has been published before - we want to talk to you to see about possibly licensing your work for new pulp-inspired editions. We want to keep your work in print and looking its best to our audience so that it makes all of us a nice profit. This includes prose as well as graphic novels.
For artists it means we want to see about licensing art from you for covers and interior illustrations.
For new writers who may have a few credits it's an opportunity to work with us writing novel and graphic projects we've developed - just like the old pulp publishing houses. You'll have the chance to earn money in print as you develop as a writer. You get to work with all of us here and get stuff done.
You see, I'm setting a goal of licensing 100 titles in the next two years. A pulp library dedicated to bringing back the "buried treasures and guilty pleasures" of yesteryear, as well as developing new pulp properties in the classic mold. A library that draws an audience and is the launching pad for all sorts of media creations: tee shirts, posters, web series, movies, games and toys.
(Nobody ever said I wasn't ambitious)
For the audience it means you'll get a plethora of pulp entertainment at your fingertips (or wifi connection) : digital books, print editions, media and merchandise that doesn't break your bank and looks great on the shelf. It means you get to hang out with people who are just like you, and help us develop a company that's geared toward what you like. Maybe even develop your own talents just like Don Glut or Joe Dante or John Carpenter (when they each wrote for FM) and become a pro at it.
We've already had some small success with Brother Blood and we're building on that with Radio Western Adventures and our upcoming Frankenstein Lives Again.
I can let you know right now we have many more cool things in store for you, and I look forward to hearing what cool stuff you have in store for us...