Part 2 of the Zombie theme in a month of #scrypthalloween is my spinoff short ZOMBIE INCIDENTS. After the success of FLESH AND LEFTOVERS, I wrote ten short stories for the graphic novel spinoff. Now for the first time the stories are available in a text quick read release version only at http://www.lulu.com/shop/rick-pipito/zombie-incidents-a-flesh-and-leftovers-accessory/paperback/product-22861751.html
Make sure to post your #scrypthalloween favorite picks for a chance to win any number of giveaways this month.
For this episode I talk about what got us into sCrypt comics, the process of it all, and how it evolved. At the end I included a slideshow with samples of the art.
Special thanks to the artists. They are: Dan Pipito, Leanne Wiedmeyer, Asher Humm, Joe Parisi, Angela McQuillan, Fred Loeffler, Tiff Pugliese, TJB, Phillip Allie, J.C. Spence, Jacob Greenawalt, Sakura Jones, Ivy Duffy, Scott Modrzynski, Vince Pipito, Kelly Swann, Mike Coppolecchia, Ken Hensley, Michael Garard Jr, Kristie Vanderzee, Muhammad Nurul Islam, and Mao Estheim
After a little negotiating, I’m allowed to give some information about the upcoming projects in the works for my novels and comics. Here’s what’s going on:
GENETIC MORSELS: In a not so distant future, the world has come to accept one world leader. Many believe he is just, but something sinister is in his plans. A small group of unlikely allies must come together to uncover the truth, but they have an obstacle… the next step in human evolution has begun. Homoevolutis are a group of humans that have extraordinary abilities, but unlike comic book heroes, these abilities apply to real world physics and can be more deadly than beneficial. (Look for Genetic Morsels in early 2015.)
UNTITLED Alien book: The government has held secrets from the public eye for years, but there is one secret that might shock all of mankind. As visitors from another world return from long ago, humanity must sort out the past and reveal the truth about our own history. What truly lies out there may be something that even the most inventive of minds has not forseen. (Coming late 2015)
NO, IT’S NOT. YES, IT IS: URBAN LEGENDS: Following the format of the argument book I did, this will share personal experiences and humor to address whether urban legends are real or not. It will take a look at these stories and present facts for and against it. Then you decide if it is real or not.
A LITTLE GIRL IN THE LAND OF THE HICCUPS: slated to be released on Black Friday of 2014, this children’s book illustrated by Dan Pipito in his amazing watercolor style, follows the adventures of a girl who must rescue a village from the annoying creatures known as the Hiccups.
A LITTLE BOY IN THE LAND OF SLEEPLESS KNIGHTS: A boy who decides to confront the “monster” in his closet finds himself swallowed into a world where shadowy knights keep children awake forever. Can he stop them before their sleep draining abilities make them unbeatable, and return in time to get some shut eye? (Late 2015)
UNTITLED children’s book: The little girl and boy get lost on a new adventure.
sCrypt Comics Graphic novels:
DEMONIC ENTITIES: This graphic spinoff of the novel DEVIL’S DESSERT focuses on what happened to the demons after the events in the novel.
FINAL UPGRADE: This graphic spinoff of the novel TECHNO FEAST shows more of what happens all over the globe during the events of the novel.
FLESH AND LEFTOVERS: The first in a series of audiobooks brings in talent to revisit the novel that started it all. (Coming December 2014)
There are other projects on the board, but at this time I can’t reveal much about them due to copyrights. Stay tuned.
FLESH AND LEFTOVERS: While zombie incidents plague the world, the survivors must unite to prepare for a much bigger threat.
BLOOD, THE SECOND HELPING: Vampires have been a thing of legend, but throughout history they’ve played an important role. Now a team of humans who have survived horrific incidents must seek out the vampire lord and destroy his clan.
BONES AT BREAKFAST: A sinister villain has evolved into a creature beyond imagination. With his army of werewolf servants and allies, he will attempt to reshape the world in his image.
SOULS 4 SUPPER: The ghosts of countless people roam free in a desperate move toward the afterlife. Can a small group of covert operatives surpass them to prevent the opening of Pandora’s Box?
DEVIL’S DESSERT: Hell’s demons have chosen earth as their final battlefield against the forces of heaven. With humanity caught in the center of this eternal war, they will have to choose their own path toward survival or face extinction.
TECHNO FEAST: A supercomputer has evolved and taken control of all networked technology. With the world at its command, humanity must find a way to combat the threat, by seeking out answers that have been hidden from the public eye.
Non fiction books:
NO, IT’S NOT. YES, IT IS: ARGUMENTS: A lighthearted look at arguing through personal experience will give you a few laughs, might teach you a thing or two, and help better your approach when disagreeing with someone. At the very least, you will know how to deal with certain personalities.
Graphic Comic Books:
ZOMBIE INCIDENTS: spinoff filling in back story of events in Flesh and Leftovers.
LEGENDS OF VAMPIRE: spinoff building on the world of Blood, The Second Helping.
IN CASE OF WEREWOLF: spinoff of events in Bones At Breakfast.
GHOSTLY HAUNTINGS: spinoff stories from Souls 4 Supper
EDEN’S ORDER TRILOGY: Collects Flesh and Leftovers, Blood the Second Helping, & Bones and Breakfast, as well as novelized versions of Zombie Incidents, Legends of Vampire, In Case of Werewolf and bonus material.
PANDORA’S CHAOS TRILOGY: Collects Souls 4 Supper, Devil’s Dessert, & Techno Feast, as well as novelized versions of In Case Of Werewolf, Demonic Entities, Final Upgrade, and bonus material.
All of the above listed are available for purchase in multiple formats through the links on the right of this page.
Today I want to focus on the artists who I’ve had the pleasure and honor of working with. These people, featured in my Artist of The Month spotlights, are not just super talented, but take passion in what they do. What else is there to say other than this picture is only a small sample of how they brought my comic book spinoffs to life?
My novels are always my focus, but it is artists like these that make me enjoy doing the comics as well. Click here to see more from them. Of course, you can always purchase copies of the comics via the specified link on the right of the page.
Although the book is not yet available (it is scheduled to be released in early 2015), GENETIC MORSELS is already gaining popularity. So what’s the deal with this next novel?
Imagine if the evolutionary process took a sudden leap forward today. Suddenly people developed abilities of the like that you’d only see in comic books. The difference is that comic books aren’t real. When physics of the real world applies, these “powers” can become deadly to not only the user but those around them.
It is a tale of tragedy and struggle to find one’s self. It is a tale of corrupt government and the few who can stand against it. It is a tale of what it means to be a family. Obviously there isn’t much that can be discussed at this point, other than the rights that currently exist. This stand alone book brings back familiar characters from my previous entries, but in their latter years. Zoe Omandi, the African girl who was possessed by an angel at the age of eleven, is now an adult in her thirties. Cain Lightcap, the son of Gordon and Moira, has a rare blood type that puzzles even modern biologists. Jason Black is now President of the World. Richard Biggs has dropped his codename “Hawk” and his seat in the senate to reform his former black ops team. And those are just the tip of the iceberg.
The new characters coming in will cover all sorts of ground and be introduced to an eventual trilogy that will have them facing off against even greater threats than what the “homo-evolutis” will bring.
My question to you is this… If you had the choice to pick one super powered ability. What would it be and why?
While the stories to the books written by Rick Pipito are the main content, a good cover to the book is what catches the eye. Let’s take a few moments to talk about the ideas behind each cover and the art that Dan Pipito brought to life.
FLESH AND LEFTOVERS has a cover that come into mind over the phone. I pitched my idea for the first book to Dan and he immediately said, “Zombies? Okay, I’ve got it. The cover is a set of teeth tearing into a raw hunk of meat.” He felt that it matched the title of horror and food amalgamation.
For the spinoff comic ZOMBIE INCIDENTS, the concept was mine. I had access to various fake body parts that looked and felt real. In my mind I thought, “What would Hannibal Lecter keep in his fridge?” We set up my spare refrigerator with a bowl of bloody leftovers, through in the fake body parts and snapped a picture. Then Dan put the whole thing through a celophane like filter to give it that artistic touch (after all, leftovers ARE often found wrapped in plastic).
BLOOD, THE SECOND HELPING’s vampire theme is evident in the cover. Dan incorporated a lot of the story elements from the book. The city bathed in blood is symbolic, while the shadowy outline of the antagonist’s face is seen behind the large fangs. A pivotal scene from the book is also shown with a reconstructed body rising from the fountain of youth. It’s a very busy (in a great way) cover that keeps with the theme of the teeth from F&L.
LEGENDS OF VAMPIRE, the BTSH spinoff comic, was another of my ideas. Wanting to keep the real photograph idea of the first comic, this time we had a friend pose for us holding a glass of wine. The closeup shot of her neck with the wine (which is good for your blood of course) was put through an antique filter to give it an oil painting appearance. Dan added the fang marks and highlighted veins to be more pronounced to give it the “I’ve just been bitten by a vampire” paleness.
BONES AT BREAKFAST is the last in the first trilogy, so it made sense to close it out with a similar theme of teeth. This time Dan had the full snout of a wolf prominent in the foreground. You can notice that the jaw is not as pronounced as a normal wolf, giving it that human likeness of a werewolf in front of a very full moon.
The comic spinoff, IN CASE OF WEREWOLF, was another photograph idea. I gave Dan the concept and he took some bones from a medical office skeleton, threw them on a plate with some prop hair, and added a cup of coffee and orange juice to symbolize the bones at breakfast aspect. Again, he passed the photo through a filter before adding text and finalizing the cover.
THE EDEN’S ORDER TRILOGY cover is a simple tree. This is no ordinary tree. Upon second glance, you can see that the bark of the tree is stretched skin like in texture, the branches are in fact shaped like bones, and the red tips where the buds would be is blood. This is to show not just the tree of life from the Garden of Eden (a place we visit in the novels), but also to represent the flesh, blood, and bones from the titles of the included books.
SOULS 4 SUPPER marks the start of a new themed trilogy. Dan went simpler this time. I told him about what my version of Pandora’s Box would look like and that is what we decided for the cover. He added intricate gear and piston layouts, and I told him I wanted souls to be wisping from the top of it like they were escaping. His decision for the textured background and very little color is perfect for focusing on the object depicted.
The comic spinoff, GHOSTLY HAUNTINGS, came as an easier venture. Dan worked in a kitchen at the time, so when I said I had this idea to have ghosts escaping from a pot of stew, he grabbed the biggest deepest pot he could and took a picture of the steaming contents. Then he added ghostly faces into the stew and steam. The even better part of this is that the faces are actually warped and altered photos of famous people and pieces of art. They are altered to the point beyond recognition, but if you look closely, you may just see something you recognize.
DEVIL’S DESSERT has an intriguing cover. The Crown of Thorns, the Spear of Destiny, and the Sword of Eden are all artifacts crucial to the book’s storyline. Those are the items represented in the two tone cover, with a little bit of orangy-yellow fire coming from the blade.
TECHNO FEAST’s cover was another mutual idea. The main threat of this book operates from a satellite. This satellite depicted isn’t necessarily THE antagonist, but it makes sense once you read the novel. Outerspace in the background with the purplish gasses displayed among the deep blue make it a contrast that is eye captivating.
PANDORA’S CHAOS TRILOGY is another combination idea. The Statue is a way of representing the ancient history involved in the story (think roman architecture). It’s one arm has a broken limb. You can see feathers of what is an angel wing, while a dragonfly like demon wing droops to the other side. It’s face is very mechanical looking, while his heart is Pandora’s Box yet again, but with ghostly energy emanating from it. Souls, Demons and angels, & technology (the focus of these 3 books) are represented evenly.
NO, IT’S NOT. YES, IT IS: ARGUMENTS is the only book by me (Rick Pipito) that does not have a cover done by Dan. The idea here was to represent the turmoil of arguing that the non-fiction book’s topic is about. I had wanted to represent the two sides to one’s own psyche. There is a wavering of opinions that often are quite contrasting without facts. So, I had my wife take a picture of me facing one way with my glasses on and a different hairstyle. Then I removed my glasses, and took another shot of me with some facial scruff. By putting the two of them together and filtering them to look like a blueprint of arguments, it seems as if my two selves are in a dispute with each other. It not only symbolizes some of the times that I’ve struggled to decide what is right or wrong, but also gave me the experience of making my own cover for what will eventually be a trilogy of non-fiction.
In addition to these amazing covers, there is also the few pieces of internal art that work with the stories when they are needed, and then there is of course the comic books which have multiple artists representing the plots. All of the above book covers can be seen in closer view through the novels and comics sections of this site. They are also available through purchase links on the right side of this page.
Be sure to follow Dan on Instagram and twitter @dpipito, as well as myself @rickpipito. Like our facebook page for all the published works http://www.facebook.com/fleshandleftovers.
31 Days of Halloween continues with my 6th novel, TECHNO FEAST. What started out in horror had to graduate slightly for a novel about technology turning against humanity. We depend so much on electronics of all kinds, that society has become spoiled in a way.
I am just as guilty as the next person to find myself staring at my phone reading articles or text messaging. I also enjoy playing video games on occasion, and the luxuries of modern cars and household items. So I thought to myself, “What if technology was gone? What would we do?”
In what has been called by fans as “The Terminator meets The DaVinci Code,” TECHNO FEAST gives us a look at what could occur based on research. If an intelligent computer took over everything tied into a network on the planet, we’d be fighting against an antagonist that is an all controlling, all seeing machine void of human emotion.
Keeping the horror type feel of what I had written to date was my goal, but the elements within give it a slight sci-fi/horror tone. There are some technologies that are in development, and in a few years most of what is in the book will most likely be standard. The horror of it is not necessarily the drama played out, but the thought of this happening, while the sci-fi elements back that tonality. Throw in a touch of thriller and uncovering secrets hidden by various groups such as the Illuminati and the Freemasons, and you’ve got a wild ride that’ll have you questioning whether the humans will succeed by the end of the book.
Enjoy the novel TECHNO FEAST in paperback or on the Kindle via links on the right of this page. Be sure to stay tuned for the graphic comic book spinoff, FINAL UPGRADE.
Now that we’ve covered the first trilogy, let’s take a peek at the beginning of the next one. Book 4, which can be read on its own or as part of the series is a great starting point for anyone who wants to just jump in. When I decided to write SOULS 4 SUPPER, I had personal experience and those of others as inspiration.
This book focuses on ghosts, spirits, hauntings and lost souls, and it can be a very controversial topic. I’m not saying I believe or disbelieve in any of the aforementioned, but I do feel that at the very least our minds connect us to a different plane of existence… you can call it a higher power, or the afterlife, or just a figment of our imagination, but something is there.
When I was in grade school, I remember as plain as day being tucked in to bed one night. About fifteen minutes after my parents turned out the lights my grandfather walked in to speak to me in his soft voice. He stood in my doorway at the foot of my bed and silhouetted by the hall light (which seemed very bright) he told me “Ricky, don’t worry about anything. It will all be okay, and I’m always going to be watching over you.”
I was very young, but this stands out in my mind today, even though his facial features seemed distant. The one thing that I thought was odd back then was that my pop-pop didn’t live with us. We saw him maybe once a week and for that hour it was strange but I thought nothing of it and went to sleep. The next day my dad picked me up at school halfway through the morning. I knew something was wrong because he’d never pull me out of school. He wouldn’t tell me why, and when we were halfway down my street I said, “Dad, it’s pop-pop isn’t it?”
His eyes began to tear, and my dad who almost never cries wanted to know why I said that. I noticed he had slowed the car to an almost stop in the middle of the road as he stared at me. When I told him about my visit the night before, he lost it. My grandfather had died around the same time I had the “dream” the night before.
Similar things happened afterwards with other family members, but not quite so distinct. When my other grandfather died I remember seeing his cancer ridden body lying in a coma. He’d been unconscious and we’d all known he was going to pass soon. When I kissed him on the forehead and said “Goodbye” I knew it was the last I’d see him. I felt something in my heart and I swore the corner of his mouth curled upward (almost smiling) but very faint. Minutes after I left he died.
Then there was my grandmother who had Alzheimer’s disease yet even though she was incoherent in her speech at the end, the last time I saw her she had a burst of coherent speech and knew who I was. It was the end and her body and mind reached out to me one final time.
Okay, so you’ve heard the depressing side of it all, but there is also a good side. When my daughter was 2 months old we went to Jim Thorpe, PA for my uncle’s annual Christmas party at his Bed and Breakfast. We slept in the attic, which is a small library room and my little Lana was smiling in her swing chair late at night. Normally this wouldn’t be strange, but she was doing so and staring in the corner in a way that it seemed she was interacting with someone. I got up to see what she was looking at, but saw nothing there. She stopped smiling when I stood where she was looking and I felt a sudden degree drop in the room. Now the attic is a cold place that time of year and maybe the nostalgia of the antique building, plus the glasses of wine I’d had, were messing with my mind. Who knows?
Later that night I’d woken to use the restroom a floor down and was surprised that there were still people awake. When I reached the bottom of the stairs there was no one there. The voices that I’d heard and the movement in the dim lighting that I’d seen must have been sleep in my eyes. I used one of the two bathrooms that were open, and when I’d exited to return to bed, the other door had closed. There were no drafts in the hall, and no one was in the restroom.
Now again, all of these experiences, and a few others I’ve had could have been tricks of the mind, or a mental state I was in. No matter what it was, the experience fascinated me. I was never freaked out until after I’d thought of it. (I still look forward to going to the bed and breakfast each chance I get). Those personal ties, plus ones of many others I’ve read over the years made me want to write a book about ghosts, hauntings etc. There are many different “stories”, and I wanted to include as many as I could and have it make sense in a larger setting.
Be sure to check out SOULS 4 SUPPER and its graphic comic spinoff, GHOSTLY HAUNTINGS in multiple formats through links on the right side of this page. Also, I highly recommend checking out my Uncle and aunt’s place http://www.timesjimthorpe.com. The bed and breakfast is romantic, the owners are amazingly awesome, and the whole town just has that old time feel.