Totally Not (Un)Dead!

We are not (un)dead…just like the post title says.

Have we been hibernating? Nope. It’s summer.
Have we been just lounging around on the couch? Nope. Not as much as we’d like anyways.
Have we been busy working on the Knights of Albion? Ummm. Kinda. Maybe. A little.
Has life gotten in the way of TPC’s goals of world domination? I think a solid ‘possibly’ is the appropriate answer here.

But, it doesn’t mean we haven’t been working. The work continues on the Team Pop Culture Podcast. We have a handful of episodes recorded, and are working out the technical issues and logistics of recording episodes together from afar.

Also, R. Smith and I (this is Shawn filling in for R.) have been focusing on separate projects this summer. And before that, I had what I can only describe as ‘editor’s block.’ It took me nearly 3 months to kick my sorry ass out of that funk. That did NOT help our productivity one bit. Yeah, I’m shouldering the blame on that one. It was all me.

I’ll let R. decide if she’ll dish on what she’s been working on this summer (besides waiting on my edits), but as for me, I’ve been toiling away behind the scenes at Escape From Jesus Island. I’ll not bore you with the details (because it’s a lot of layout design and other ‘Zzzzzz…’ worthy speak) but we’ve been working out partnerships with other creatives for things like 28mm EFJI Minis, EFJI skins for guitars, laptops and boards and more. We are also close to completing a 14-page short story for the upcoming Cthulhu Williams: Monster Hunter comic series written by Tim Stiles.

EFJI intro image

I’ve also been working on various personal projects. I’ve devoted more time and energy to my art blog Give Us Art!, reopened Savage Apparel, roughed out a story line for my own comic mini-series, and generally kept myself running around in circles. But for the right reasons. I hope.

Well damn, when I started writing this, I didn’t expect it to turn into a shameless self-promotion post. I swear. I just wanted to let the world know TPC isn’t dead. We still have 2 books published (Pop Culture Sucks! Manifesto of a Vampire & Everything Sucks! Anthology) and available in all major e-book formats and in paperback. And the Knights of Albion trilogy is too much fun not to complete! I think you’ll all really enjoy it. You know, when we finally get it finished and published.

-Shawn

Disastrous Awesome

Here’s happens to me when weather like this rolls around:

Why work when I can lay in the sun and do nothing?

Why work when I can lay in the sun and do nothing?

I get lazy.

The garden gnomes work harder than I do.

The problem with this situation? Team Pop Culture’s work gets done in less than timely fashion.

To make matters worse, release of our second book, the Everything Sucks Anthology did not create the giant media frenzy we were (of course) expecting. Not a single entertainment reporter called to request an interview. I was shocked. Point is, promoting the book’s release was up to us. The renegade indie publishers! Who really don’t like this part!

I’ve finally managed to muster up enough discipline to get important shit done despite the sun’s glorious, seductive glow. Our most important shit to get done at the moment is do our best to make sure every English speaking man, woman, and transgendered person who reads this post becomes overwhelmed with a deep desire to own OUR BOOK. Our other one is pretty sweet, too. It’s available RIGHT HERE.

I don’t normally push two products at once, but like I said, I’ve been lazy. Really need to catch up the self-whoring. [I'm told 'serious' artists use the term 'self marketing,' but pfft! Liars. We're whores. Outrageously talented whores who live on ramen noodles and hope, but the fact stands]. We pride ourselves on being considerate whores here at Team Pop Culture, so even though we’d get more royalties from paperback sales, we’re still spreading the word that we’re offering the ebook on Amazon AND SMASHWORDS at .99 cents. Aren’t we the nicest indie artists ever? though we are upping the price in a month or so. $3.99ish(?), we haven’t decided. Point is, get ‘em while they’re cheap!

Do it for LITERACY!
Do it for INDIE ART!
Do it so Shawn and I don’t STARVE TO DEATH!!

Whiniest Blog Post Ever.

The view out my window refuses to be anything but blah. Boring. Bland. A middling, pasty grey without even the common courtesy to darken into a dramatic, foreboding storm. Give me giant, boiling clouds! A howling wind! Bolts of lighting! (Basically allow me the illusion that I’ve been transported to a gothic Mary Shelley-esque world.)

SEE? REALLY FUCKING DRAMATIC, RIGHT?!?

SEE? REALLY FUCKING DRAMATIC, RIGHT?!?

But no. Nothing but blah meets my glazed over eyes. The smallest possible raindrops wander down in no particular rush. The tree branches wobble occasionally as if trying to stay awake despite total disinterest in what’s going on.

It’s days like this that my creative energy becomes. . . insert your own interesting parallel here, I blew all my creative juice for the day on the Mary Shelley thing.

It’s days like this I’m most likely to take a Fuck It All approach to life. Load my system with sugar and caffeine for the energy spike–with the intention of regaining the energy to be productive, go ahead and guess how well that works out.

Basically, bland weather is my whipping boy.

“I’d go for a nice walk if I had the energy. DAMN YOU, WEATHER!”

“Lemon ginger chicken wraps sound really good right now, but the box of cheeze-its is right here. Yeah, I’ll settle for the crackers. DAMN YOU, WEATHER!”

“I know it’s only noon, but I’m gonna go ahead and change back into my jammies and fuzzy socks. DAAAAAAAMMMMMNNNN YOU, YOU DULL-ASS GREY!”

Then I feel guilty for being so lazy. Then I chug more coffee and shuffle around the house munching cheeze-its.

Is blaming the weather a cheap excuse? Yes! Do I care? . . . Meh. Maybe I will tomorrow. Today all I can think about is how much I love my fuzzy socks.

The Twist.

Detective Hank. Gritty. Determined. Always surrounded by dramatic fog for some reason.

Detective Hank. Gritty. Determined. Always surrounded by dramatic fog for some reason.

This is a short sample from one of the stories in our recently released Everything Sucks Anthology. Read. Laugh. Share with all your friends. And family. And the guy next to you on the bus. Seriously, don’t shut up about it.

Jon’s grin grew to face-eating proportions. “What do you think of when I say . . .” (one last pause for effect) Detective Hank and the Black Widow?

“No fuckin’ way!” Al leapt off the couch, throwing hands in the air as he rose.

Jon savored his golden moment.

Al gushed on. “Oh man, I ate those books for breakfast, lunch, and dinner when I was . . . oh, musta been about fourteen or fifteen. Oh, wow, I am old!”

Jon threw back his head and let out the triumphant hollar he’d been waiting all day to enjoy. “I knew I had you figured right! Man, Haggerty was king of the pulps, wasn’t he?”

Al nodded. “Damn right! Martin J. Haggerty was tops, no one else came close. Shit, I can’t believe someone in 19 friggin’ 81 wrote a Detective Hank movie!”

“I know!” Jon shouted, unable to suppress the slobbering fanboy within.

Al returned to the couch, practically panting with excitement. He didn’t outright hate most of the projects he attached himself to, but it was rare he ever found one he wanted to really sink his producer claws into. Find the money, assemble a team, and move on was his typical involvement. “So the script is a winner?”

“Oh god no!” Jon said as he picked up the script and unceremoniously dropped it. “No, this script is awful, my cat could crap a better one, I’m interested in the idea. I figure we call . . .” he squinted at the name typed under the title. “Montgomery Sheldon–what an awful pen name–we butter him up, get him to sign over the rights, and kick it to the best script doctor we know of. With a set of guidelines, of course.”

“Strict guidelines!” Al interjected.

Jon fixed Al with a serious gaze, and replied with the sincerity of a Minister, “I promise, I will protect Detective Hank with my life.”

“You’re a god among mice, Jon. Mice.” A moment of silence passed. “So who do we like for the cast?”

Jon shrugged. “Not my department. I just truffle pig the scripts.”

“I’m bringin’ ya in, buddy.”

“Can you do that? I thought producers just wrangled investors and yelled at directors.”

Al’s mouth puckered and his nostrils flared. “I am shocked, shocked that someone on my staff told you what I do!”

GET THE REST OF THE STORY, AND SEVERAL OTHERS HERE.

Man, I love this Lady!

Meet the main character of Easy. She’s a strong, ballsy gal, and I really enjoyed writing her. You can download the whole story HERE

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Later that evening she flipped the ‘Closed’ sign in the front window, and shed her ‘Seamstress’ skin, exposing the one beneath. The Runner. Stealthy, solid, and clever.

Stitch and their Ma handled the brewing, she and Tommy did the running, and Norman was the guard dog. He wasn’t so big on intellectual stuff, but a sharp guy in all the ways that mattered. He just wasn’t the bookish type, and that was fine by Bitsie. She knew he’d cut off his own leg before he ever lied to her, and a man you could trust was a man to hold on to.

Anyhow, every night when she flipped the sign, it was an electric thrill.

Most nights the ‘shine business ran smooth as any other, but the possibilities excited her for some reason. She figured her insides were wired a little off center, though she was darn glad for it.