Wednesday, December 31, 2014
So. 2014. There were times I really felt like the year was dragging along. But now that we're at the end, I sort of wonder where the year went. I have lots to write. So many deadlines.
But I honestly can't say I have any special insight about wrapping up another year. I did accidentally say New Year's Revolution to my wife instead of Resolution, and I sort of liked the way it sounded.
2015: New Year's Revolution!
And ... well ... no, I actually don't really know what that means, not exactly. Just that there are a few things I'd like to do differently. For one thing, I am HUGELY grateful for any and all work-for-hire comic book gigs that come my way. Making a living as a writer can be tough, and it's not something I take for granted. Having said that, I think I would like to shift my focus slightly to more creator-owned things. Sally of the Wasteland wrapped recently, and I miss scripting characters of my own invention. I love working with artists to create something new.
I'm also keen to be more proactive about getting my books and comics to film, and I'm actually working with some people now to make that happen. More on that if/when it comes together.
So, yeah, more proactive .... but more selective too. I want to zero in on fewer projects but really put all of my best efforts into them.
For a while novels took a back seat while I cranked out the comics. I'm very glad to be back in the novel writing business, and I want to keep fanning those flames. Fantasy and science fiction are big in my life right now, but I haven't given up crime writing. Check it out here.
So ... nothing really so revolutionary after all. These are all things any number of writers might say, right?
And yet ...
I feel there is something hovering just on the edge of my perception, just hanging out there. The big WOW thing. I need to be vigilant. I need to be ready to grab in case the WOW thing comes within reach.
Maybe. Who knows?
Friday, December 19, 2014
Monday, December 15, 2014
I don't really do "reviews" on this blog, but I do occasionally make mention of somethign if it catches my eye, and that's the case here with Suffrajitsu.
Tony Wolf has hit on something interesting here. There might be another comic out there that takes on the suffragette movement in 1914, but if so I don't know anything about it. These women are not prim and proper. They are kick ass.
Joao Vieira's art seems a perfect match for the subject matter. It really has that old-timey vibe that takes a reader straight back to 1914.
Jet City is a relative newcomer to the comics industry, but with the might of Amazon.com behind them, I've been curious to see what they can do, and Suffrajitsu is a good introduction to the publisher. Wolf especially does a good job leaving us with an intriguing cliffhanger that spurs us to get issue #2. I'll be keeping an eye on Jet City and this title.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Issue number five of SALLY OF THE WASTELAND brings our exciting and irreverent post-apocalyptic tale to a close (for now).
But with endings come new beginnings! (And new sales pitches!)
All five issues of SALLY OF THE WASTELAND have been collected into a handsome hardcover with a nice chunk of bonus material. The book will be available in a few months, and as always, I encourage you to pre-order at your favorite local comic shop.
But, hey, this is the internet, so here's a link right HERE if you'd rather order online.
Working with artist Tazio Bettin and Titan Comics was a hugely rewarding experience, and I'm proud of this crazy, B-movie comic.
So ... throw lots of money at the hardcover. Thanks!
Some stuff people said and junk:
"B-Movie magic in comic book form." -- Comic Book Therapy
"This comic pays a perfectly honed homage to the days when there was little distinction between sex and violence. And it does it with a kick." -- Bloody Disgusting
"To say that the art is amazing is an understatement. " -- Comic Bastards
"Sally is a character you’ll either love or hate. She’s like Harley Quinn and Deadpool – sassy and full of chaotic impulses. She skirts the line between being a full-on cartoon character vs. someone who has adopted a care-free outlook on life to avoid internalizing the horror of the outside world. Mostly she’s just fun. If you enjoy either of those series and want to give something new a shot, I highly recommend this book." -- Rhymes with Geek
"Long story short, this (in my opinion), is a fantastic "Testosterone" comic. Not too heavy handed on the story, plenty of action and nothing offends my artistic eye. So go ahead, crack open an ice cold beer and have a read." -- Comic Crusaders
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
I thought that the Kindle version of Ink Mage had been put on sale for Cyber Monday, but my publisher informs me that the novel is actually a kindle monthly deal. This means they've knocked a couple bucks off the price. So if you've been waiting to pull the trigger on this novel, then now is the time. Or -- since this is the season of giving after all -- maybe it's a good gift choice for the fantasy lover and/or Kindle user in your life.
Ink Mage is the first book in the A Fire Beneath the Skin trilogy. I'm grinding hard on the sequel now. (Deadline!) But, hey ... the sequel won't make quite as much sense unless you read the first book. So come on! Make with the click click.
Get Ink Mage right HERE.
Friday, November 21, 2014
Check out the spiffy new cover of STAY the thriller I wrote for editor and all-around cool dude Brendan Deneen at the Thomas Dunne imprint of St. Martin's Press. As Macmillan Entertainment has reported on their Facebook page, STAY has "already sold to a major TV network." Fingers crossed on all that.
(Click image to enlarge.)
Sunday, November 2, 2014
I meant to compose this blog post back on October 22, the actual release date of Ink Mage last year, but I've been really busy in the author mines. Working hard on funny book scripts as well as the next book in the A Fire Beneath the Skin trilogy.
But whatever. Close enough.
So what have I learned in a year? I've learned that patience pays off. I am not naturally a patient person, but I'm trying to do better. I've wanted to write fantasy since I was a kid. Decades later, I finally got around to it. It also seemed to take forever and a day to get the green light for the next two books in the trilogy. Understandably, the publisher wanted to wait and see how well the first book sold. Again, this is where I needed patience because it's not like all the book flew off the shelf at once. But readers -- excellent, wonderful, intelligent, good looking readers -- found the book, and they kept on finding it. Over a year later, people are still finding it. Many of you are taking advantage of the Kindle Unlimited option. Some readers are even (gasp!) buying the book in paperback. What will they think of next? However you found the book, thanks. You rock.
But now I find that it is no longer a time of patience and waiting. It's time to GO GO GO HURRY HURRY HURRY because the deadline for the sequel is coming at my face like a freight train with a coked up Casey Jones at the stick.
It's cool. I'm on it.
In the meantime, if you haven't quite gotten around to reading the first book, you'll need to do that to be up to speed and ready for the next one. You can get caught up by clicking HERE.
Oh, and feel free to follow the official Ink Mage blog HERE. That's where you'll find announcements and whatnot. Posts will start coming faster when the next book hits.
As for me, back to the mines. I have sword stabbings to write.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
On my recent trip to Italy, I met talented Italian artist Ivan Fiorelli in Milan. Take a look at his contribution to Clown Fatale history below ...
Click images to make bigger.
(p.s. If you missed the 4-issue run of CLOWN FATALE you can get it now in a snazzy trade.)
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Saturday, October 4, 2014
So for several months whenever a reader would ask, "When do we get an Ink Mage sequel?" the answer was always the same. If readers like it enough ... if they BUY it enough ... then the publisher would pull the trigger on two more books in the trilogy.
Well, you did it. YOU did it. You grabbed enough copies to make the publisher happy and now I'm happy because I get to keep telling the story I want to tell with the characters I love. (Official announcement here.)
Hey, let's celebrate by watching the trailer again ...
Friday, September 5, 2014
Thanks for the support, ye mighty readers! The trend of the feedback has been very positive so far!
What folks are saying ...
"Gischler makes sure every page, panel and dialogue is over the top, fun and filled with odd one-liners and enough graphic gratification to keep you on the edge of the seat, stunningly supported by the visuals of Tazio Bettin." -- Comics for Sinners
"Just from the second issue alone, I thoroughly enjoyed Sally of the Wasteland. No, not enjoyed; loved!" -- FangirlNation
"Sally Of The Wasteland is not a subtle comic. Then again, Sally is not a subtle person. One does not expect subtlety with a heroine who owns a shotgun named Bertha. But while Sally may not be subtle, she is one of the more memorable female protagonists to star in a comic in some time. She is a lost sister to Tank Girl and Cassie Hack, whose personality bounces between “Annoyed” and “Psychotic” even when she’s trying to be flirtatious. 4/5" -- Kabooooom
"It is however the action sequences that [Bettin] excels in the most, with the brutal panels being both beautiful and gory, taking the series to the level of intensity it needs to be at. Bettin also produces his own colours with his striking palette giving a very rich tone to the series." -- Unleash the Fanboy
"Sally #2 is a very funny issue." -- Comic Book Therapy
Additionally, I've gotten lots of nice comments directly from readers. Thanks.
And just for fun (and to show how fair minded I am) here's a dude that really really hated Sally all together: Click.
Thursday, August 7, 2014
I'm not sure how this happened.
When my son was about 6 years old, he said he wanted to go around the world. My wife, in an attempt to put him off said, "You have to be at least ten years old to go around the world." People, let me tell you, kids REMEMBER that stuff. And so, in the few years that followed, something my wife had said casually, somehow became a "plan."
So when the time came, I used the "multi-stop" option on websites like Kayak and Orbitz to see what airline tickets would cost to get us around the world. The result: There was NO WAY we were going to be able to afford this trip. I finally started pricing each leg of the trip one leg at a time. One way tickets to Paris from one site. One way tickets to Venice from another. Then to Tokyo. Then home. Doing it this way literally cut the cost IN HALF. We were back! This was doable.
Time was also a problem. Originally, London and Prague were on the itinerary, but with time and money a consideration, we had to see what cities we could visit and enjoy on our budget and wrap the whole thing up in two weeks. So ... Paris, Venice, Tokyo.
The downside: Anything airport or airline related was flat out sucky. I mean, nothing particularly went wrong. I just hate flying these days. It stinks.
The rest of the trip was awesome.
In Paris, we did the obvious tourist things: Museums, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, etc.
In Venice we arrived at our hotel in style via water taxi. Our hotel was right on the Grand Canal and it was cool for the boat to pull right up and let us off. We saw a bunch of historical stuff which was fine, but really, I liked spending my time in Venice as follows:
Tokyo was a big stop for my son as he likes anime and manga and all that whatnot.
And we finished the trip in ... Mexico?
Kidding. The above picture is from the Indiana Jones ride at the Disney Sea theme park in Tokyo. We had half a day to kill before our night flight home, and some Disney fun was a great way to cap things off.
Then home and some world record jet lag.
And while I will be sending my next 500 paychecks directly to the credit card, it was worth it.
Although it's great to be home.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Amazon has made my epic fantasy novel INK MAGE super cheap for people with Kindles or a Kindle App. Only 1.99. This is a "daily deal" so grab the bargain before time runs out. Click HERE.
Guys, I don't have a crystal ball or anything like that, but I get the vibe we might me close to impressing the publisher enough for a sequel. If you like sword stabbings and magic and whatnot, give it a try.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
For a limited time, get some Kindle fiction for the super elCheapo price of 99 pennies.
For a limited time, There Are Aliens Behind Uranus, Mr. President is on sale for 99 cents. One of my favorite authors is Kurt Vonnegut and I always admired his alter ego Kilgore Trout. In a similar vein, I created Emerson LaSalle. This is probably the pulpiest most over the top thing I've ever written. Sex and violence and craziness galore.
I've also permanently lowered the price of Three on a Light to 99 cents. These tales of private eye Dean Murphy and his encounters with werewolves, witches and vampires represents some of my earlier writing, and I've lowered the price to encourage more readers to give it a chance.
To the Devil, My Regards has always been 99 cents. This is the crazy hardboiled novella I wrote with Anthony Neil Smith. A fun game: try to guess which chapters are his and which are mine.
So ... cheap. Enjoy.
Sunday, June 22, 2014
So, my fantasy novel INK MAGE is still going strong, a steady seller for the Kindle. Pick it up HERE if you haven't already.
At the time of this blog post, there are 246 reviews for the novel. Most of them are positive, a fact for which I'm grateful. Once a book starts getting a lot of reviews, you can start to see trends. Something that confuses me slightly is the whole notion of "young adult" or YA. I mean, what exactly makes a book YA? Is it the fact that it is marketed toward a certain age group? Or is it simply that some of the characters in the novel are of a certain age?
In INK MAGE our protagonist is 19 and a few of the other main characters are of a similar age. I specifically wanted to make these characters young, but in no way was I setting out to write a YA novel, and frankly I don't think I did. But if you read only the reviews, you might get confused. One reader cautions, "this is a good read but there is a lot of sex and violence and this is definitely not a YA novel." (In spite of the quotation marks, I am paraphrasing.) Well, uh ... who the heck ever claimed it was a YA novel? Not me. Other reviews say something along the lines of "Obviously more for the YA crowd." Really? So which is it? Definitely YA or Definitely not?
You see my confusion. Both can't be true. Right?
Possibly some of the confusion stems from the fact that "coming of age" is one of the categories Amazon has used to market INK MAGE. I don't know. All I know is that I am curious about how people categorize things and how they arrive at my novel being YA or not. I don't think it is. My wife is an associate professor at a large university and YA literature is one of her areas. You'd think some of her knowledge would have rubbed off on me. It didn't.
So I ask ... what the heck is YA anyway? Not the most original question, but since I am now applying it to my novel specifically I am at last paying attention. If you know anything about YA then chime in. And if you happened to read INK MAGE, let me know your opinion. YA or not YA?
Saturday, May 31, 2014
(click image to embiggen.)
Gischler likes getting good things in the mail ... as opposed to bills and anthrax-laced letters.
Above, we see the two covers for issue #1 of Sally of the Wasteland, an irreverent B-movie style post-apocalypse tale set in Southern Louisiana. It's chock full of wisecracks and mutant monsters.
On the left is the variant cover by Tim Seeley. On the right is the cover by Tazio Bettin who is also in charge of interior art and colors.
Big thanks to Titan Comics for risking their reputation to publish this thing.
It comes out in July, so there's still plenty of time to harass your local comic shop into ordering you some!
Thursday, May 1, 2014
I write for a living. I am a fortunate guy. But freelancers are not on what you might call a regular schedule. Oh, there might be some in our midst who are organized enough to keep to some kind of regular routine, but most of the other freelancers I know often pull second shifts as night. We pick up the slack on weekends. Sometimes we even have our vacations interrupted. Thus do I offer the following image ...
I found this picture while looking through old photos on my Droid. Those who know me know that I am a fan of Disney. On a trip a while back, my family and I woke up, bright eyed, ready to ride the rides at a Disney theme park. As usual I checked my email while drinking my first cup of morning mud. And there it was. An email from an editor. A script needed tweaks. Now.
So I grabbed my laptop and headed to the park. Once inside, I bid my family farewell and told them I would catch up with them later. I found the above spot, plugged in, sat on the ground and tweaked my tweaks.
90 minutes later I was back to my vacation.
Some day I'll tell you which issue of what comic was written entirely on a cruise ship.
Maybe, in the distant future I will have the opportunity to take a vacation and leave my laptop at home. Maybe.
FOR BONUS POINTS: Which Disney theme park am I in in the above pic, and where in the park am I?
When my epic fantasy novel INK MAGE came out last October, it was only available as an eBook on Kindle. A lot of folks expressed they didn't do the e-thing and would hang around and wait for the paperback.
Now you can get it in paperback RIGHT HERE.
Friday, April 18, 2014
Okay, if your the sort of comic reader that waits for the trades, then there are a few coming soon and you need to bug your local comic shop to order a big fat box of these things. (Or at least one for yourself.)
So you like Werewolves with mini-guns, right?
Then order yourself a trade of KISS ME, SATAN!
What? You say you prefer deadly female circus clowns. Then throw your money at CLOWN FATALE!
So those are the trade, but we have a NEW one coming out soon from our pals at TITAN with up-n-comer Tazio Bettin on art duties. Hey just give issue one a try ...
So ... get yourself a bank loan and get to your local comic shop and drop your wad of cash on the counter and yell, "Gischler me up!"
What, you don't like pictures with your stories? Then you should know the paperback of my fantasy novel INK MAGE comes out at the end of the month.
But you can still get the Kindle copy for pretty darn cheap right HERE.
Okay ... sales pitch concluded.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Monday, March 17, 2014
Well, I say I was J.K. Rowling for a day, but I doubt Miss Rowling obsesses over her Amazon ranking, and if she does it is from the comfort of her gigantic castle. But this past Friday, I did get a glimpse of what it was like to see my name alongside the top ranked authors on Amazon.com.
If you follow me on Twitter or if you are my pal on Facebook or if you read previous posts on this blog or if you were standing across the street when I was shouting it from my front yard, then you know my novel INK MAGE was the Kindle Deal of the Day for Science Fiction & Fantasy on Friday, March 14. So, yeah, my eyes were glued to the computer screen as I watch my Amazon ranking for INK MAGE climb and climb (meaning the number got lower and lower.) I started the day around #9,600 and by the time I went to bed, the ranking was #8. I don't know what happened overnight, but when I woke up the ranking was #5.
But here's the thing. When J.K. Rowling goes back a week from now to see how her books are doing on Amazon.com, she'll still be J.K. Rowling. And I'll just be me again. Like a circus balloon losing it's helium, my ranking is already drifting back toward the mortal realm. At the time of writing this blog post, I cling to the top 100 at #92. I am still #1 in a few categories like "Fantasy" and "Magic & Wizards." On the day of The Daily Deal, I tweeted a lot about my ranking and how the price was a bargain and so on. Looking back, I have one very minor regret.
I wish I'd have talked more about the book itself.
Oh, not because it would have impacted sales or anything like that. The fact is, it was FUN to write INK MAGE. I grew to love the characters and the story and the world I built. Rina is a spoiled 19 year old. She knows how to use a sword because she's been taught by her enormous bodyguard Kork, but to her this is merely a matter of exercise. She has never known battle and doesn't plan to. When her homeland is seized by invaders from across the sea, everything changes. She is forced to flee. A wizard in exile gifts her with the power of the Ink Mage, something called the Prime tattoo. Once she has the Prime, she can collect more tattoos which give her amazing powers. Along the way, she collects a couple of traveling companions, and together they plot how Rina can return to claim her homeland. This is the most mainstream novel I've written -- in my opinion. But there is lots of violence and a dose of sex. I wouldn't call it YA.
Okay ... them's the basics. Rina's world is so clear in my mind ,that I am itching to return to it, to explore further the magic of her tattoos, and basically to have some more swashbuckling sword-stabbing, spell casting fun. A sequel depends entirely on sales, so I hope I sell enough. We'll see.
When Ink Mage was the Kindle Daily deal, they dropped the price to 1.99. It's back up to 3.99 now which is still pretty cheap. What's that? A happy meal? Check it out HERE. I hope you'll give it a read.
Friday, March 14, 2014
Hey, folks. If you haven't pulled the trigger on purchasing INK MAGE yet, today will be the last day for a while you can get it for cheap before the price nudges back up. Kindle version right HERE. Yes, Amazon has picked today to make my novel their "Daily Deal" in the Science Fiction & Fantasy category. This is a chance to move a lot of copies. There are no guarantees. But there is potential.
The fact is, sales of INK MAGE have been fine. But I'd like to go from "fine" to "WE DEMAND A SEQUEL." I'd love an opportunity to expand Rina's world, to pick up some of the story threads, and to revisit these characters whom I've grown attached to. But that depends on enough readers buying it.
So if you haven't gotten your copy yet, today is a good day. And if you already have ... thanks. Seriously.
So spread the word, people. Let's see if we can kick that Amazon ranking square in the balls.
UPDATE (March 15): Woke up this morning to find INK MAGE ranked #5 over all in Amazon's Kindle store. Time to go buy my beach house and maybe several sports cars. Okay, no, it wasn't THAT good of a day. Not even close. But it was fun. We'll see how long it lasts. Now that the Daily Deal is over, the novel has gone back up to 3.99 ... still on the cheap side. So anytime you want to join in on the sword-stabbin' magic-flingin' good time just click HERE and welcome.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Saturday, February 15, 2014
While INK MAGE was being serialized by Amazon's 47North, I had thousands of people in the UK and Canada and Australia ask why eBook versions of the novel were not available in their various necks of the woods. Okay, maybe not thousands. Maybe like seven. But still, the books were in English, not like they needed to be translated, right? So what was the hold up?
I don't know.
But I do know they ARE available NOW.
So Kindle uses in Canada can click HERE.
And Australian readers can click HERE.
And UK folks can click your clicker right HERE.
Don't worry ... I plan to put the earnings to good use. (cough cough booze cough cough.)
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
As I write this post, my epic fantasy novel has just completed its run as a serial from Amazon's 47North imprint. Most of the action centers on Rina Veraiin a young, exiled duchess who is gifted with extraordinary magical tattoos that give her kick ass powers.
The novel is full of sword stabbings and spell casting and a sex scene or two because we likes that, yes we do, precious. Readers have been generous. We're sitting on 58 Amazon reviews ... mostly 5 and 4 stars. I'm optimistic. I hope there is demand for a sequel.
One thing about the serial format: LOTS of people lamented having to wait for the next chapter. Hey, I get it. I'm not big on patience either. So now you can get the COMPLETE novel right here on Kindle. No more waiting for the next installment!
Oh, and there are still plenty of people who are all "Ebooks my ass! I likes my novels made of them dead trees!" We got you covered. You can preorder the trade paperback HERE.
As Douglas Adams might say, we now enter the long dark tea-time of the soul while I wait and see if sales justify a sequel. I feel I've built a rich fantasy world, and we've barely scratched the surface of it. And Rina has plenty of open skin for more tattoos.
If you purchased INK MAGE as a serial ... thanks. If you haven't yet ... well, maybe the trailer below will nudge you in the right direction.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Later today, episode 7 of my epic fantasy novel INK MAGE hits Kindles.
If you're not familiar with Amazon serials here's how it works: You pay one low price (1.99) and the episodes are delivered automatically to your Kindle or equivalent app. So if you jump on board today, you'll get ALL of the episodes up to this point and then the final episode will appear next week as if by magic.
So hop on board and catch up. Check out INK MAGE.