Thursday, October 23, 2014

Audio reading: Imaginary Enemy

Today I direct you to the embedded video for a reading of one of the tales from my book of short stories, GZ Tales, Vol 1. Now I do have a couple of spots where I trip up because I have internal spasms from MS, but as you can see, I don't let that stop me. So I hope you enjoy the reading of Imaginary Enemy!



If you would like to get the book for kindle or in paperback, check out the link to my author's page in the upper right of the screen.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Guest Artist: Amie Key!

Today I bring you a talented young lady from Columbus, Ohio. Her guest artist submission was none other than Bast of Ankhforce. Wow, what a job she did! Just look at that! From the interview, I think you'll agree that this lady is up and coming. I think we will all be on the look out for what she comes up with! As always, you can click on an image for a better look!

GZ: So, Amie, how long have you been an artist?

Amie: I've always been doodling. When I was younger I traced stuff by using the light through sliding glass doors. In '94 Lion King came out and I tried drawing those free hand. I had really good art teachers. They taught me a lot.

GZ: Far out. So what kind of career do you want in art?

Amie: I've never really sought out a career in art primarily because I like drawing what I want. My career has been working with animals. I would love to find time to draw and sell art on the side though.

GZ: I think working with animals is really cool. But then, you aren't for hire yet?

Amie: I am coming back into drawing after a 10 year break. Trying to get a tablet/scanner and photoshop/manga pro. So currently not for hire. I'm fast at doing line art and drawing characters, so in the future I will be doing those at least.

GZ: We can see that by the examples here. So what is your favorite style?

Amie: My favorite style is Anime/manga. Jim Lee's pencils I adore though.

GZ: From all of this, do you have any projects you want to pursue?

Amie: Right now I'm writing a story I will make a comic out of. I've been primarily a writer for the last 10 years.

GZ: I bet that will be something to look forward to. What inspires you most in your work?

Amie: I'm inspired mostly by seeing other really nice work and some of my older stuff. I'm hoping to put out a comic worthy of being seen and read.

GZ: Well you seem to be off to a good start. Lots of luck to you!

Big thanks to Amie Key for being a guest artist today! While she's currently not for hire, keep an eye peeled! This young lady is a future talent just waiting to take off!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Guest Artist: Scott "Fuzzy" Joseph!

Independent artists are their own special breed and I love to share space with them. Today's guest has his own style and flair and he's published too! As you know, to be in theme with this blog, guest artists choose a GZ character (any GZ character) and draw up their own rendition of him or her. Scott chose Anhur from Ankhforce and the result is pretty darn cool. But this, as always, is just the tip of the iceberg. 

I asked Scott some questions about his work.

GZ: How long have you been an artist?

Scott:  I've been an artist since I was a child. I would copy the pages from my comics and draw on any surface I could. My father would tell me that I would draw on the underside of tables and the bunk bed that I shared with my brother.

GZ: That sounds like an awesome Dad! What kind of career do you want in art?

Scott: I want a career doing what I love, and I love creating art. I would also love to be part of something that has an impact on someone else. Something that inspires and encourages. Ideally I would love to get into game designs. Conceptual art for characters and monsters for either video games or table top war games.

GZ: I can totally relate since GZ aims to inspire youth with disabilities. Are you currently for hire?

Scott: I'm always for hire. That's what's fun about this whole art business, is that many opportunities come along and you have to decide if it's going to be something you embrace or neglect.


GZ: Speaking of that, I see you are published! What can you tell us about Patch Hawkins?

Scott: Oh man, Patch Hawkins, that's one of my kids right there. It all started out as a LEGO figure I made so that I had a cool hero to play with alongside my 4 year old daughter. I would have him go on adventures it was fun. I then thought about turning him into a comic book. I had recently started Panda Fuzz Ink (A self publishing comic book company) with a good friend Anthony Ray Bench, who is a great writer, and threw the Patch Hawkins comic together.
Patch is your 80's action hero with your 90's comic book violence. There's lots of blood, lots of one liners and lots of Patch getting out of ridiculous situations. What makes Patch real to me is his goal, to avenge the disappearance of his wife and kids during an attack by the beastly race of Khareeshians. I had a Kickstarter for it in 2013 and a lot of friends and family supported it, now as a result, it's on ComiXology, you gotta check it out!

GZ: Well, we are posting the link to that right HERE and echo that sentiment to our readers! Please do check it out, people! It looks way cool! Now, Scott, where is this 'Fuzzy' business from?

Scott: During the Tattoo Apprenticeship I had, my mentor Tattoo Bee, bestowed the nickname of 'Fuzzy' to me. I'm a big hairy guy and throughout the apprenticeship I had these awesome mutton chops.If you want to improve as an artist. you need to find something like a mentor..Surround yourself with artists and creatives better than you, it will push your art in a positive direction. I learned more artistically in my apprenticeship than I did getting a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art.

GZ: Nicknames always have the coolest stories, don't they? Do you have any upcoming projects we should know about? 

Scott: Currently I'm working on Patch Hawkins Issue #2! It's exciting. I handed over the writing reigns over to Writer Anthony Ray Bench this time around to see where we can go with the book, and it looks like it's gonna be a beast of a book.We're delving deeper into how sick the Khareeshians are and get a look into the supporting cast of characters while also getting to know Patch more.

GZ: Sounds smoking hot.

Here you have it folks, and you definitely need to check out the stylings of Scott "Fuzzy" Joseph. You can do that at the following links:

www.ravenborn.com His personal page, loaded to the gills with art!

His Facebook page, with cool updates!

Links open a new page and as always, click on images for a closer and cooler view! Big thanks to Scott for being with us on GZ!


If you want to be a guest artist, get the details right HERE!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Building in Minecraft?

Yes indeed. It was recently suggested to me that I build locations from Galaxy Zento in Minecraft. And why not? I can give tours of some locations that will be or have shown up in the stories. The first place I'm working on is Maestro's castle. It's one of GZ's deadliest places. Maestro is making his debut in my next book of short stories; GZ Tales Volume 2 (currently in the works). He puts Anubis and Horus through some terrifying ordeals and you won't want to miss it.

It's unfortunate that this tour version of his home will lack the deadly magics hidden in every wall, but you'll get the idea well enough. Maestro loves intruders and enjoys torturing them. If their plight amuses him enough, he may even reward them (usually with their lives).

While the tour version is solid, his actual home is anything but easy to navigate. Rooms shift and change, walls appear to block your progress. Then there's the dungeon.

Eventually, I'll make it so you can tour it yourself (once I figure that out) on your Xbox 360 via online. But you can also bet there will be a ton of pics going onto the Facebook page and Google+.

There will be other cool locations made as well, but I don't want to give away all the goodies here. OH what the heck:

The Radioactive Sandwich (interstellar bar)
King Falcon's Palace
The Royal Palace of Chyssia (Chessmen location)

Just to name a few. Just another way to check out the huge universe of GZ! Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Character Power Meters

The GZ character power meter is a selection of stats that show you just how powerful the character really is (or isn't). Stats in GZ are ranked from 1-10. 1 is your basic human at almost minimum. No one goes lower than 1. 10 is godlike proportions (but there is another scale for gods). These stats fall into 5 categories (pretty simplified).

Strength: This covers not only a characters lifting ability, but some endurance as well. It also tells you how powerful energy blasts can get (though energy types have their own minimum scales of damage that may exceed strength). So if a characters strength is higher than the minimum that an energy type can do, the character can increase the damage of the energy blasts. On this scale you could see a level one lifting around 25-50 lbs with general ease. A level ten has no trouble lifting an aircraft carrier.

Endurance: How long does it take a character to get tired? How long can they hold up that aircraft carrier? A 1 means you may only have a few minutes, while a 10 means you can do it all day long. Its basically how long you can do any one task before you have to stop.

Speed: So how fast can the character travel? 1 is your most basic human speed, maybe 15 mph at the best. 10 is so fast the image of the person lingers after they're gone. Speed is pretty straight forward, but requires the next stat for control.

Agility: From basic balance to acrobatics. This is a characters dexterity and ability to not fall flat on their face when attempting some heroic or villainous feat. While a 1 doesn't make you clumsy, you're no tight rope walker either. A 10 can do a handstand and balance on a fingernail.

Mentality: This is how intelligent a character is and how powerful psychic abilities may be. Problem solving, deduction, and ability to understand what's going on all fall into this stat. Academics govern part of how high it goes. A 1 has general education and understanding, while a 10 has the knowledge of the cosmos.

Coming up I will be doing some Power Meter spotlights so you can see just how powerful some GZ characters are! Compare them with some of your other favorite characters to see how they stack up. I have a complete scale on the the Galaxy Zento Wiki and you can check it out HERE. You can also check out several characters information and power levels on the wiki already! Look up Ankhforce or the Chessmen and see for yourself.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Guest Artist: Ken Davis!

He's a locksmith by day and artist by night. I present to you our next guest artist, Ken Davis! Ken elected to do a version of my Cyborian character Galose and wow. He really knows what he's doing when it comes to mechanical design. I sent Ken a  few interview questions to enhance our presentation and this is how that went:

GZ: How long have you been doing your artwork?

Ken: Since I was a wee child.

GZ: What kind of career would you like to pursue in art?

Ken: When I feel my abilities can produce the story that I have in my head, I hope to self publish several stories that run the gambit from horror to comedy, to science fiction.

GZ: Seeing as you chose Galose, are armored or robotic characters your favorite to draw?

Ken: It just depends on the mood I am in.

GZ: Are you currently for hire?

Ken: Yep, you can reach me at isazacstuidois@outlook.com (Ken also has a DeviantArt page and Tumblr!)

GZ: What are your favorite comics?

Ken: Walking Dead, Invincible, the new X-men, Manhattan Projects, Guardians of the Galaxy, They are my top choices but there are several more.

It is highly advised to check out Ken's range of talents. Pencils, inks, and colors make him a triple threat (or triple treat) in his work. And genre doesn't seem to slow him down at all. Ken's work shows excellent examples of going from superhero to fantasy art.


Check out the range of colors in this piece. I could take tips from him on doing planets and the flame guy is awesome. You can see power in the character and it looks like he WILL command that rocky thing he's standing on to fly him right into space. As raw fantasy images go, this is stellar.







This was a piece he did for someone else, but you have to see it. His form for Optimus Prime is dead on. Lines are solid, view point is sharp and it looks like Optimus is going to jump right out of the picture. He didn't even miss the detailing of the tire treads. On his pages you can see where he does more characters that you will recognize. So don't forget to check them out.







It was hard to chose inkwork to wrap this article up with. I really love this piece. It will take you right to your days of playing DnD in the basement, only way more epic. Look at the detail in the mouth of the serpent and its eyes (click on images for larger view). You just can't miss here.

Be sure to add Ken's pages to your favorites and consider his talents for your art project desires. Big thanks to Ken for being a guest artist!

Want GZ to show of your work as an independent artist? All you have to do is a pic of any existing GZ character and get that to me. I'll put together and interview and the next spotlight will be on you!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Galaxy Zento Universe Update!

Lots of amazing things are happening with the GZ universe and it's time to dish out the news! While building my universe and writing my stories, there's no doubt I want this to go as many places as possible! Lot's of ideas are on the drawing board, but these are the most prominent!

Chaos is rising! Yes, my next novel, Chaos Rising is planned for release around the holidays. You see the prospective cover right here! It's about 95,000 words packed with action from cover to cover. It's the first book of a series as the history of the GZ universe. Eventually, characters in all my books will meet and interact with each other. It's also my best written work to date (in my humble opinion). The mistakes that got missed in Chessmen still distress me and I will eventually review. But the going vote has been for me to move forward rather than back. I have a lot of stories to tell after all! So be on the lookout for Chaos Rising!

Games! Games! Games!

Galaxy Zento the Boardgame heads to art design! After much testing we are moving forward on the artwork for the GZ Chessmen board game. It will be the first in an interlocking series of games that can all be played together. Three editions are currently being planned. Not sure how fast Chessmen will be done, but you can be sure of updates right here. This game has been voted, and I quote, "extremely fun" by play testers. In this game you can fight enemies, recruit allies, gather artifacts, or just beat each other silly. Or do it all! We plan to have a meeting this week to discuss art details. You can bet it will be vibrant and full of color.

Galaxy Zento the Card Game has gone through lots of play testing. It's being held back because of the overwhelming vote on the board game, but it's still there. I will still be playing with designs on the side while working on the board game. Plans for the set include three decks of cards and a few extras for deck building. You get the whole set all at once and ready to play. The first set is Chessmen of course and depicts character battles. You're getting a sneak peek at character card design right here, done by Gray Taylor.

Guest Artists!

I have it on good word that there are 3 artists working on something to show off their talents. I'm not going to spoil names at this time. I would rather let their work do the talking as I post their talents and pages with an interview.

These are definitely exciting times and I'm so glad so many of you are along for the ride! Keep it real heroes!