Thursday, May 31, 2012

Where can you find Galaxy Zento?

The question is becoming more, "where can't you find Galaxy Zento"? Because it's spreading around.

First of all you can google it and find all sorts of links as Galaxy Zento has a decent little internet presence. Not huge, but a darn good start.

If you are on Facebook, you can see the publicly accessible fan page and we do need more people to hit the "like" button on it and show some love. Even so, we are super happy for everyone who has. Still, here is the link:

Galaxy Zento on Facebook

That's where I started posting but quickly realized that cross networking is the tool I need. To do that, I need to rub elbows with fellow artists so added DeviantArt.com to the networking list. Since there's been some happy followers on the artwork side of GZ, the artwork there is available to purchase on Postcards, mugs, posters, magnets, mousepads, and more (but not T-shirts, that's later below). So, all that art you've seen on the Facebook page? You can get it on what ever you want (that's available and fitting) on DeviantArt. Here's the link:

Galaxy Zento on DeviantArt.com

Well, someone said, T-shirts. So now some of the artwork is available on Cafe Press. Not all of it, so if you don't see what you want, you have to request it. Because Galaxy Zento will always support Autism Awareness and similar educational stances (like anti-bullying) there is a special section for awareness. One day, when I make enough to do more than just support me and GZ is real name for itself, there will be donations and more support. But you can get cards and jewelry to show your support and help educate others right there on site. Plus, I take requests! You have an idea? I'll draw it up and make it available there! Anyway, here is the link for the Cafe Press page:

Galaxy Zento at Cafe Press

Then of course you have right here on the good ol official Galaxy Zento blog. Here is where the upates are and showcase short stories. I would love to see more comments but the fact that people are reading is a very happy thing. I just hope people enjoy it. I thought about writing something here more of a series of shorts that tie together. I would love your feedback on that idea. If enough people like it, I may just do it!

Not content with just that, you can get to know the characters you see much better by checking out their profiles on the wiki! Yep, Galaxy Zento on Wikia shows profiles and soon much much more! It's a lot under construction but I do hope to get a lot more activity there soon. Anyway here is that link too:

Galaxy Zento at Wikia

And more than just the artwork, we have the bookwork. With my novels up for publishing grabs and being sent to agents, there is always hope for more to take off. I still have a lot to learn on all the sites and more art to do. I even have a request or two to bring the role playing game online somehow! Whoa.

Now, you can help GZ get around by passing on to your friends, sharing on Facebook, and linking. GZ certainly isn't ready to stop yet, we're just building up steam and momentum. There will be more to come and we hope you will be with us to enjoy it!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Showcase: The Last Nursery Rhyme


The Last Nursery Rhyme

Roddy looked anxiously up and down the dark street before walking up to his front door. It was a quiet night on the little London street. Roddy would have preferred some noise. The silence was too unsettling. One more glance before he turned his key in the lock and he quickly slipped inside. As he shut and locked the door, he breathed a sigh of relief and reached for the light switch.

As the light came on, rough hands grabbed him from either side. Two large men had ahold of him. Roddy let out a cry of surprise and fear as they spun him around to face his living room.

“Now, now, Roddy,” said the man who sat in Roddy’s favorite arm chair. “Don’t want to annoy the neighbors do we?”

The man wore a red striped barker’s jacket, straw hat and white pants. From his jacket breast pocket, a glossy candy cane stuck out. He wore round wire rimmed spectacles and held a cane made entirely of finger bones. Roddy knew this horror to be the crime boss called, Mother Goose. Since this was also his boss, Roddy felt cold.

            “We have something important to discuss, don’t we, Roddy?” Mother Goose smiled with un-nerving calm.

            “I didn’t do nuthin’, MG, I swear. I been good for you, real good,” Roddy pleaded.

            Mother Goose stood up, “Is that so?”

            Roddy nodded fast, hoping his boss would buy it.

            “That’s not what I heard,” Mother Goose shook his head slowly with an exaggerated frown, “You know, Roddy, we had a very large shipment come in from New York last week. A shipment we were very careful to conceal in every way.” Mother Goose moved closer to Roddy, “Oddly enough, however, that shipment was seized.”

            Roddy eyed the cane and hoped that all he would have to do is lose a finger to it. Most mistakes were made up for that way because Mother Goose like the Yakuza way of doing things. But Mother Goose was far more sinister than they could ever be.

            “You listening, Roddy ol boy?” Mother Goose tapped Roddy on the forehead with the cane.

            “Yeah, Mother, but I had nothing to do with it, I swear. Whoever told you I did is lying to protect himself, MG!”

            Mother Goose leaned in close and dropped his voice to a whisper, “Do you mean to accuse the Hag of being a liar, Roddy? Would you like to say that to her face then?”

            At this point, Roddy didn’t know which way was out of the frying pan and into the fire. No one messed with the Hag, not even Mother Goose. Roddy shook his head ‘no’ as the color drained from his face.

            “Right! So we’ll just deal with this right here! That means just one thing to do!” Mother Goose smiled

            Roddy prayed to lose a finger, even a hand.

            “Tie him to the chair in the corner boys and make it nice and tight. We can’t have him moving a single muscle,” Mother Goose ordered.

            “What?” Roddy cried out, “Ah no, MG, not Little Jack Horner, anything but that!”

            “Well, what did you expect, Roddy? I have a mult-million dollar shipment to retrieve. Did you think one of your fingers was worth that much? Your whole arm isn’t worth that much.”

            “Take em both!”

            The two rugged men tied Roddy down to the chair around his torso, legs and arms. They even put a strap around his neck. The chair had been bolted to the floor earlier. Roddy couldn’t do much but wiggle fingers and turn his head slightly.

            Mother Goose lifted a pie from a nearby table, “I hope you like this, Roddy. I made it just for you.” He set the pie in Roddy’s lap where Roddy shivered and stared down at it in horror. Mother Goose continued, “Now do be real still and set a good example, won’t you?”

            “Please, MG, come on! I can turn this around!”

            Mother Goose smiled and walked out the door with the two henchmen Next to those men, Mother Goose was a small man, but neither of them would cross their boss like Roddy did.They closed the door behind them and walked out and across the street. Across from Roddy’s house was an adjoining street and the three men walked down that way a good distance from the house to a waiting red sedan.  Mother Goose turned to look at Roddy’s house and reached into his pocket.

            Roddy’s face streamed with tears and he glanced around desperately and finally began to shout, “Help meeeee! Somebody help m….”

            The explosion brought daylight to the little street as Roddy’s house became a giant ball of fire and debris. The concussive force of the blast shattered windows on cars and nearby homes. The house next to Roddy’s was caught up in the blast and on fire. Next came the clatter of falling debris and car alarms.

            “Ahhh, fireworks and music,” Mother Goose mused, “how beautiful. Well, off we go boys. Mother has work to do.”

            The three men climbed into the sedan and drove away. Roddy made a terrible mistake and for that, earned his last nursery rhyme.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Meet graphic artist, Robert Beltran!

This really is a special edition of my guest artists. All it takes to be a guest artist is to draw any one of my characters from GZ, but this was different. I commissioned Rob to do a very special piece of work for me and boy did he.

This summer, we are using some vacation fun time to go to a comicon on June 22, in San Antonio. Naturally, I intend to network for my project and writing while I'm there. I'll be handing out business cards but I thought I needed just a little something more. Enter, Rob Beltran.

Big Rob, as they call him, does a lot of graphic work and you can check out his page of hats and shirts HERE. After seeing what he does to ballcaps I had an idea. I realized a King Falcon hat would be perfect to go with networking and this was just the way to do it. So I contacted Rob and tossed him some details. You can see the results!
Click on image for closer look.

Rob won't just paint hats, oh  no, he'll paint just about anything! You'll find shirts, shoes, and even a bicycle! He's done Marvel characters, Transformers, and Disney too! My hat ran me 30 bucks plus shipping (but keep in mind that prices may vary for shipping or demand). Payment is before work begins and it's WORTH IT. Paint for the hats is rubber based (I think for shirts and shoes too) so NO running colors if you're caught in the rain.

So, you can't do work like this and not be a guest artist for GZ! It's only deserving after all.  I'm telling you, if you wear ballcaps or want some really cool work on your favorite character, this is the guy to go to. Big Rob has been on DeviantArt.com for 10 years and has done hundreds of works. You can reach him at his page or on facebook.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Showcase Origin: Demon Jack!


The Origin of Demon Jack

DJ Wilde 2012

Carter Henderson grasped a fist full of weeds and pulled them from the well churned earth of his garden. The pumpkins were getting big and soon neighbors would be buying some of them from him. He grew all sorts of vegetables in his garden and shared much of them.  After long hours working for the post office, Carter’s way to unwind was gardening.

After pulling a few more weeds he edged forward on his muddy knees to reach some more. No weeds would be choking out his plants this year. The next one was a thick weed. He grasped it and pulled. It resisted. Thinking it must have a long root, Carter adjusted his grip and gave a good hard pull.

In the first split second, his back felt like it was hit with a sledgehammer. In the next split second he saw flames and the sound of the explosion deafened him. With nearly instantaneous results he saw bright fire and knew only searing agony, then darkness.

People around Carter’s block stepped out of their homes wondering at the sound. The column of smoke could be seen for blocks.

“Hey, that’s Carter’s yard!” people exclaimed and from deep in a dull state, Carter could hear them.

Carter moved a leg first, then an arm. He felt no pain, but still saw flames. He also felt something else, something in his mind that moved. It was the strangest sensation Carter had ever known.

Neighbors burst through the gate to the back yard but came to a stumbling halt at the sight before them. The crater was nearly 20 feet across and the garden was gone. Something in the smoke was still burning, and it moved toward them. As it came into view, the neighbors started to scream. What Carter understood even less, was the eerie laugh that seemed to be coming from his own mouth.

Miles away, in downtown, New York City, Larry Peters entered a federal building with a package. He dressed in his usual black leather jacket and jeans. His long blonde hair draped around his shoulders. The receptionist smiled and buzzed him through the security doors. Larry was well known in the offices of the FPA (Federal Protection Agency) as the member of an special response team called PAC (Parahuman Activities Commission). He was better known by the name Blacktide.

Blacktide rode the elevator, wishing they would change the music and soon stepped onto the floor of his office. At his desk he saw a large dark image that looked like a shadowy werewolf with great black wings. Despite the muscular bulk of the creature called Nyhtwulf, he balanced on the edge of a desk on the balls of bare though clawed feet.

Blacktide handed Nyhtwulf the package, “You really need to use a chair,” he teased shadowy partner.

“Chairs and my wings don’t fit so well,” Nyhtwulf said as he tore open the box, “Ah you got just the ones I like!” Nyhtwulf pulled out a handful of foil wrapped cubes of cream cheese and popped them into his wolfen mouth.

“I don’t care what you say,” Blacktide poured himself a cup of coffee, “I am never eating anything with the wrapper still on it; especially cream cheese.”

“But it’s so delicious that way!”

“And it’s all yours.”

Blacktide and Nyhtwulf
“Blacktide and Nyhtwulf!” came the earshattering shout of Commander Henry P. Larratus, “In my office!”
Though the shout was enough to make most people run with conviction, the two put down their morning edibles and walked back to the office of their manager.

The balding man at the desk in the large office banged his smoldering cigar into an ash tray as they walked in. “Did I sound like you should take your time? You both need to head to this are of Great Neck right now! You’ve got a live one.”

Larratus tossed a paper across the desk that Blacktide scooped up. As he did the paper disintegrated in his fingers slightly. Blacktide controlled the power of his energy aura in time not to destroy the whole paper.

“Isn’t the wolf in your head to help you restrain that?” Larratus asked.

“Well, yeah, but things can still get singed, Boss. That’s why I still don’t shake hands. We’ll get right on this. Looks like there’s no time for my motorcycle. Nyhtwulf, you’ll have take us.”

Nyhtwulf put a clawed hand on his partner’s shoulder and the two of them vanished like dissolving shadows.

“I hate it when they do that,” Larratus chomped his cigar, “gives me the creeps.”

Back in Great Neck, the first police car screeched to a halt before the haunting scene blocking their way. It stood tall with humanoid arms and legs of green and had huge pumpkin enveloped in fire, hovering over the body as its head. In the pumpkins face appeared a wide mouth with natural and sharp looking teeth. Its eyes were angled in cruel rage but its laughter echoed. Within the view of mouth, nose and eyes, all that could be seen was fire. Unlike a jack-o-lantern, the features were disturbingly natural.

The two officers watched as long thorny vines extended from where they were wrapped around the thing’s forearms. It drew back and arm and sent the end of the vine at the car, like cracking a whip. The impact crumpled the front of the police car and both officers leaped from the vehicle for their lives. Right after that, a jet of fire came from the pumpkin’s mouth and turned the car into an inferno.

From within, Carter watched it all in horror. This was his body and he couldn’t understand how to make it stop. He screamed but the only sound that made it outside was the despicable laughter.

“Geez, who ordered the salad flambĂ©?” Blacktide commented as he and Nyhtwulf appeared on the scene.

“I’ll come in from the air,” Nyhtwulf spread his wings and jumped into flight.

“And I’ll take him from the ground. Let’s wipe that smile off ol’ Jack’s face.” Blacktide couldn’t help but think of a jack-o-lantern as he rushed forward. He could see that it noticed both of them.

“I don’t suppose you’d care to give up?” Blacktide asked as the air around his fists darkened with disintegration energy.

In response, the fiend lashed out another vine that hit a nearby telephone pole. The pole snapped like a toothpick and fell toward Blacktide who just stood there. Blacktide carries an auro around his body that disintegrates any solid object before it can touch him. In the past, it’s been very useful against bullets and other weapons. The remains of the pole fell around him on the ground.

Blacktide could see his partner was ready to swoop in on their opponent. Blacktide held back a fist and threw a shadowy projectile at the beast, hitting it in the chest. It staggered backwards slightly with what seemed to be a cry of pain. Nyhtwulf flew intangibly through the creature’s body. Normally, when Nyhtwulf does this, he can scramble brain waves and life force of any living being. This time, he found himself thrown down the street.

Nyhtwulf regain his footing with natural agility and shook his head to ward off the effects of the severe dizziness this attack gave him.

Blacktide watched in amazement as the hole in the creature’s chest sealed up and that distraction cost him. A thorny vine wrapped around his throat and the thorns bit into his skin. They smouldered, but did not disintegrate as most things did.  It pulled Blacktide toward it and spoke.

“Must pull the weeds,” Its voice crackled with the roaring flame around its head.

Nyhtwulf flew into the air to rescue his partner and the pumpkin head spun in the flames to face him.

Fighting Demon Jack
“Yes, come closer, I’m going to kill him anyway,” it rasped.

Nyhtwulf veered to his partner and grabbed him. Nyhtwulf made his friend intangible just like him and flew him to a rooftop. Blacktide knelt on the roof choking as Nyhtwulf used his supernatural abilities to heal his friend’s neck.

“I think those thorns were poison,” Blacktide said, “I was blacking out. Thanks, partner.”

“My pleasure, you are healed, but there is bad news.”

“About healing me or the Mr. Halloween party?”

“The second one. There are two minds in this creature, one is human and filled with terror. The other is demon.”

“Demon? You mean like you?” Blacktide asked.

“Not like me, but demon all the same. When I tried to fly through it, the combination of life energies repelled me.”

“Great, so we can call him Demon Jack and he has multiple personality disorder.”

“Come back weeds!” Demon Jack called from the street as he lashed away at buildings and parked cars. Thorns flew like bullets and even stuck into brick walls and metal. “Weeeeds!”

“Well, I can’t disintegrate an innocent person, we have to do something else.”

“I don’t think I can separate them, but if you can distract it, I may be able to switch the minds that are in control.”

“Distract it,” Blacktide said, “Great, my favorite part of the job.”

The roof they stood on shook.

“Okay, I’m going to drop through the roof and come out the front. I’ll get Jack’s attention. You do what you can do.” Blacktide increased his disintegration aura so that he dropped through the roof and into the pharmacy below. He rushed past toward the front of the store and noted the fire extinguisher on the wall. He grabbed it on the way out.

Most of the area was evacuated except for a small shop across the street with a crowd of onlookers inside. Blacktide hated it when people didn’t follow emergency proceedures, but he didn’t have time to worry about them now. He ran into the street and came up behind Demon Jack.

“Hey!”

It spun to face him with vines reaching like thorny tentacles. “Ahhhh, there you are, weed.”

Blacktide aimed the canister like a fat magic wand instead of bothering with the hose. “Careful, contents under pressure!” With his disintegration ability, Blacktide swiped a hand across the top of the fire extinguisher, releasing everything in it at Demon Jack’s head. It was a direct hit and Demon Jack’s vines flailed in all directions as he fought to get the fire retardant off of him.

Nyhtwulf swooped in and hovered behind Demon Jack. In his intangible form, the vines couldn’t touch him. Nyhtwulf thrust both of his hands into the back of the flaming pumpkin and endured a shock like grabbing a live powerline. He held on and could feel the two minds within. Thanks to the distraction of the fire retardant, the mind of the demon was preoccupied and unprepared to deal with Nyhtwulf’s intrusion. As mystical fire mixed with extinguisher filled the street with smoke. Blacktide had to back up in order to breath. He covered his face with part of his leather jacket.

After agonizing moments, Blacktide heard the wingbeats of his partner, forcing the smoke away to reveal the more humble looking, Carter Henderson. Nyhtwulf had ahold of Carter by either shoulder.

“Oh, help me,” Carter cried, “It’s still in me. It wants to come back.”

“We know of a hospital that might be able to help you, but we have to know what happened.” Blacktide said.

“I don’t know. I just pulled a weed and it exploded in my back yard,” Carter looked around at all the damage, “I couldn’t stop it.”

“Yeah we know, where’s your yard?” Blacktide pressed.

“We don’t have much time,” Nyhtwulf said, “What I managed was temporary.”

Carter hadn’t gone far from his home and led them to his yard quickly. They surveyed the scene of the crater that used to be Carter’s garden.

“I just pulled a weed right here.”

Nyhtwulf flew into the crater that was easily ten feet deep, “It was no weed that did this.”

“What you got?” Blacktide called after his partner.

Nyhtwulf held up a chunk of half glowing stone. “A meteorite. It must have struck just as he pulled that weed. He never knew what hit him. I sense traces of the other mind on it.”

“Oh no!” Carter stumbled backward, “he’s coming!”

Quickly, Nyhtwulf jumped out of the crater and phased a hand through Carter’s forehead. Carter trembled with a few spasms and fell over. “We have to get him somewhere, quickly. I scrambled his brain waves but he will recover soon and change.”

Blacktide nodded. “Take him to the hospital.”

The Powers University Hospital was the place to take people with powers that needed help in anyway. Blacktide had once committed himself there to keep his powers from hurting others. But that was before meeting Nyhtwulf.  Now the University took in Carter Henderson and worked quickly to see if they could hold Demon Jack at bay. As for if they did, that is another story.