Scans from Kellan's Comics: Spidey/Torch Jump Into the Wayback Machine

April 28, 2012

Though I'm home from vacation, I've still got one more edition of Scans From  Kellan's Comic Book Collection for you, true believers. For the last two weeks we've done Spider-Man and Human Torch team-ups both modern and not-so-modern. Now it's time for a look at Issue #1 of Marvel Team-up, from March, 1972, by the writing and penciling team of Thomas and Andru. Ah, the days when Stan the Man Lee was still Editor at Marvel.

How would our superpower-less hero Kelly come by such a treasure*? Let's just assume he's willing to shell out when the inducement is right. It's worth it just to be able to laugh his ass off at Johnny's shirt. Oh, the seventies...

Yes, he just said "fantasticar". Which is why when they rebooted the FF with Ultimate, Ben was quick to point out that Reed and his naming skills "fantastisuck".

You cannot tell me this doesn't look like the plot of a romance novel at this point. There is ROPE involved.

"Phew. Remind me to look you up after this so we can go back to my place and try it without the imminent threat of drowning. Amiright?"

And that's all for this little venture into Kellan's comic book collection. Oh, there are many, many more to be found, but perhaps this gives something of a glimpse into our little nerd-boy's dorkpsyche. And his favorite ship... which he never, ever shipped 'til he met Jamie.

But more on that in Nobody's Hero. ;)

*How did I come by such a treasure? Not the quarter box. Thanks, Dad! <3


April 27, 2012

Hey y'all. A serious post for a sec, here.

I talk all the time about my editrix Raven and how much stuff she does for me--and I'm not the only one. Thing is, the healthcare system in the US is, uh, you know. Not really a system. And it's dicking her over right now. Not in a good way. At all.

So I've set up a little indiegogo campaign, complete with fabulous (super-hot) perks--the grand prizes have only just got started, and you can believe the winner of both drawings will get a massive pile of books out of this in the end--to help out in a temporary way.

I said it all over at the campaign page, so I'll spare you. But Raven's awesome, so if you can help out, please do. And it's not even something for nothing. We'll give you things!

Thanks to my first responders Missy Welsh and KC Burn for helping to spread the word early on in huge ways.

<3 Katey

WiP Wednesday: Jody

April 25, 2012

This will be the last of the April "random shit Katey's been writing" posts, as now -- with any luck -- I'm actually back from Italy and in recovery. This is the book I'm actually working on writing just now, as opposed to the others which are mostly finished and in some sort of editorial stage. I don't even have a title for it yet, I just think of it as Jody's book. It is by far and away the most intense because, yes, this is The Witch Hunter Book.

I've always intended, since before Equilibrium was even done, to write a book about what happens to awakened (as in superpowered) folk who get mixed up with sleeper (as in non-superpowered) witch hunter fanatics. The problem is that this is an experience -- as Hansen from Equilibrium knows -- that leads to some serious psychological scars on a family. Not to mention on the person themselves, if they survive the experience.

And Jody Aguirre, the hero of this book, does.

Now, this is serious raw first draft stuff, y'all -- absolutely no one else has seen this, not even my first readers, because the book isn't finished yet. So I apologize for what a mess it is, but here's the way it starts...

[To anyone seeing this on a feed, such as at goodreads or via email: the formatting doesn't transfer, I know. Please click through using the link at the bottom of the post to see it at the blog. Sorry!]

When I woke up, I mean really woke up, I had no idea what day it was. Only that, if the little window overhead wasn't a filthy liar, it was getting to be evening. My mouth tasted like a sewer, my arms and legs were heavy, and I still had on the pajamas I'd been wearing when they took us. Place stank like rust and chicken shit--or, fuck, maybe that was just me. Either way, I had a little Sherlock Holmes moment, figuring that must mean we were still near Harrisonburg.
I rolled my head to the right, spotted the brown stain on the cement across the little room--cell, whatever--and my empty stomach clenched. A nightmare vision of a slick, dark red puddle filled my head, and I shoved it away, packed it up, trying to focus. The rest of the room was in black and white. The walls were gray cinder-block, the floors about the same, and they'd thrown in a couple of charcoal-colored blankets.
Their concern for our comfort was fucking touching.
But there was no "our" anything. No "us", no "we", just "me". That's what that stain meant.
I thought I should cry. I wondered if I already had. I couldn't remember what'd happened, exactly; the stupor had been too heavy. Just some shouting, a flash of cold, and a gunshot. I remembered someone, a woman, red-headed, with breath like a dragon, in my face. Telling me I was a witchy little orphan now.
I pushed myself to sitting, aching. Track marks all over the inside of my elbows, more like a witchy little junkie. My head swam, but I gritted my teeth and waited until it passed. A dull throbbing in my brain to match the one in my arms. My middle hurt here and there; I pulled up my shirt and spotted a bruise or two, but nothing major. They hadn't been gentle, but if they'd wanted me dead, I'd be dead.
Avoiding the other side of the room--the bloodstain they'd left, probably just to fuck with me--I concentrated hard. Dug into myself, looking for the source. A huge emptiness in my middle froze, hardened, and then came to life.
My eyes started to burn, but it was just relief.
I flexed my hands, pushed the feeling outward, slowed the air. Little clouds of frozen moisture collected at my fingertips. Sluggish, and my head hurt like hell, but it got easier as my brain came back online.

I know, you're not supposed to start a book with the protag waking up. It's old hat. Welllll so far I've not been that successful convincing Jody to do anything he doesn't want, so what can I say. He'll have to make up for it elsewhere.

Have I mentioned that this book will be angsty? Yeah, I'm usually a pretty light touch with that kind of thing, but as this bit shows, I'm screwed on that one this time.

And now you know what a Katey Braindump looks like. And what my editor has to deal with. Bless you, Raven, for all you endure. Will this book ever get a title? Will it make it to my editor whole? Will I ever get over the angst it causes and just finish writing it?

I hope so. Poor kid, I can't just leave him like that :/

Scans from Kellan's Comics: Spidey/Torch and the Quarter Box

April 21, 2012

And now for another edition of Scans From Kellan's Comic Book Collection. More specifically, Spider-Man (Peter Parker) and Human Torch (Johnny Storm) team-ups.

Kelly is a master of digging through the quarter boxes. Those of you who are not comic readers, let me tell you about this incredibly cool--by which I mean dorky as fuck--ritual. Most comic shops have boxes and boxes of back issues of every title imaginable. Most of these aren't worth dick as collector's items, because for a comic to actually appreciate in value it has to be pretty much mint. Of course that's not an absolute but for the most part, those old comics in your attic aren't going to make you rich. So comic shops will buy boxes full of them from collectors (or collectors' parents who got pissed off about their kid going off to college and leaving all these damn comics everywhere), oftentimes without even really looking  through them. Occasionally they get a gem, but for the most part, they end up in neatly sorted back-issue boxes priced cheaply or, in the cases where they're not even deemed worth organizing, in the quarter box -- as in "dig through this box of random shit, take what you want, and it's $.25 a pop."

You can spend a whole afternoon sitting on the floor, ending up smudged from fingers to face in newsprint, and come out of it with a whole run of Claremont's New Mutants (not that I've done that *cough*) or the complete Emerald Allies crossover (Kyle as Green Lantern/Connor as Green Arrow -- slashiest bromance ever). There will also often be a fifty-cent box and a dollar box, but oh, the quarter box is where the magic happens.

And now, a scan from one of Kelly's favorite quarter box finds: Marvel Team-up (vol 1, #121, 1982) Featuring Spider-Man and the Human Torch, by DeMatteis/Gammill.

Hold me, Pete! Our bromance depends on it!

Damn you for looking so heroic, Johnny!

Torch, you jerk! ... I love you anyways. :/

Ah, the early 80s. Good times.

That's all for this edition, but come back next time for a round with the way-back machine!

WiP Wednesday: Gabriel

April 18, 2012

Hello, hello! I'm certainly in Italy right now, so this is another pre-set WiP Wednesday post so my blog doesn't feel all neglected while I'm gone. (I am checking comments and email and stuff -- if you need me, you can still find me the same ways, promise.)

So last week I did one of my weird elemental fae bits. Back to more superpowered love today. You might've noticed the pretty dude with the rainbow-waisted underpants over there in the sidebar, lately. I thought the place could use a little more perking up, and that's a drawing the fabulous Astro did of one of the heroes of what I hope will be my next superpowered love book, working titled Losing Better. Andrew fancies himself a superhero. Gabriel -- aka Special Agent GenĂȘt -- fancies him a sociopath.

And yet, love happens whether you want it or not.

As with the others, please bear in mind that this is not a finished product, just a look at the strange life of a Work in Progress. Thank you to John and Hayley for all their help with this one! [To anyone seeing this on a feed, such as at goodreads or via email: the formatting doesn't transfer, I know. Please click through using the link at the bottom of the post to see it at the blog. Sorry!]

I asked, "What's here for you?"
Andrew shrugged, the cords of muscle in his broad shoulders and back flexing beneath the soft shirt. "The lake. The people."
That would've been implausible ten years ago, when Hooperstown had been the shithole I remembered from my youth. Today, I might almost have believed him, if I didn't already know better. "The parties?"
"Those too."
The last of the uneaten food tucked away, I asked, "Where's the coffee?"
"Behind the Coke in there."
I ducked back into the refrigerator and retrieved it, stared at it for a while, uncomprehending, and finally dropped some reasonable-looking amount in the grinder.
After a few moments, he said, "Next one's this weekend. You should come."
"Not really a party boy."
I looked over my shoulder. He leaned back against the sink and crossed his arms over his chest, grinning. I asked, "And what is that supposed to mean?"
Andrew laughed, and the wickedness in it reminded me of a bottle of bourbon and a bout of My First Hangover. I might've fucked him that night, if we hadn't been too drunk to manage anything but dry humping on the couch -- a circumstance I'd regretted almost as much as the bourbon itself, the next morning.
I laughed too. "Did you ever consider that I might not still behave like a horny teenager, Andrew?"
"Nope. Want to know why?"
"You want to tell me, anyhow."
"'Cause I never met a person who didn't. If they were being honest."
"You may be right." If he made this any easier, I might have to feel sorry for him. And what the hell else went into making coffee? Water, beans, and ... "Filters?"
"Here, they're kind of hidden." He moved to stand next to me and rifled through the overhead cupboard.
The smell of him again, still green, but cleaner. Like spicy wood--cedar, maybe. It wasn't a chemical, cologne smell, but the fresh scent of soap and skin. Like most of his kind, even when he wasn't trying a faint aura of coolness clung to him.
He found a handful of brown paper filters and lowered his arm, then turned. This put us face to face, as I'd stolidly maintained my position between him and the fridge. His dark eyelashes fluttered as if he hadn't expected to find me there. "Ah, sorry." Then he cocked his head. "You used to be a lot shorter than me."
I raised my eyebrows, enjoying the slow but insistent, electric heating of my blood, the overwhelming sensations of the moment. I lowered my voice so he'd have to lean nearer and said, "Did you ever consider that I might've grown since I was a horny teenager?"
"Actually, yes. That, I considered." He let go the filters, resting his hand on the counter, and took the bait. He tilted his head and leaned forward. "Once or twice."
My heart hammered against my ribcage, and my cock, already halfway there, filled out.
How fortunate that I'd had practice controlling him in this state. "Andrew."
"Gabriel." One corner of his mouth pulled upward. His breath was cool on my lips, but the scent of wine was warm.
I reached up and flattened my palm against his chest. Cool, yes, but his heartbeat was quick, and it warmed him little by little. I let a faint static charge spiral up from my middle, trip through my arms, and discharge through my fingertips.
His mouth slackened at the tickling sensation. He sighed, lashes drooping low over wide, pale eyes.
I smiled. "Are you about to do something two parts stupid and one part wonderful?"
"That does sound like me, doesn't it?"

So before you ask, yeah, Gabriel's kind of a cock. But, um, he makes it look good? And you should see him when he gets his, "FBI, motherfucker!" on.

Will Losing Better see the light of day? I hope so, and I hope soon, in some form. But now you know what I'm working on!

Scans from Kellan's Comics: Spidey/Torch Today

April 14, 2012

While I'm on vacation, another little something to amuse: scans from Kellan's comic book collection. More specifically, Spider-Man and Human Torch team-ups. Because oh man, dude has a looooooooot of 'em.*

Today, a little something from Fantastic Four #512 by Waid/Wieringo. This is from the end of part 1 of a 2-parter called "Spider-Sense" in which Johnny Storm (aka the Human Torch), who is for the first time in his life a figure of public loathing, comes to Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man) for instructions on how to endure being a loser.

Because Pete would know all about that.

Pete narrowly avoids strangling Johnny and takes him to the park for a little lesson. Unfortunately, Hydro-Man shows up...

Oh yeah. Those are definitely Fantastic Four boxers. Oh, Johnny...

Can't you do anything without Pete? (Apart from traumatizing small children?)

Ah, Torch and Spidey. So not made for each other. (I don't usually buy FF, but when #17 drops, best believe I'll be downloading that baby to ye olde Marvel app.)

*By which I mean I have a loooooot of 'em. And a scanner. Oh yeah.

WiP Wednesday: Adam

April 11, 2012

Hiya! So I'm probably running around like a cracked out monkey getting ready for my flight tomorrow right now. Awesome. As I said last Weds, I've set up some WiP Wednesday themed posts to just keep things rolling here while I'm busy being absurd and traveling and such. So here we go!

This time I'm gonna do something a little different. I've said a few times that I do stuff other than straight up superpowered love, and a lot of that is fae-oriented. So today I'm going to share a tiny piece of a WiP with an uncertain fate. Its working title is By the River and is one of four books, each for a different element, that are best described as... um, contemporary magical realist fairy tale romances.

I think. That makes it sound more complex than it is when in fact I think this is the simplest love story I've ever written. I don't know. Either way, they're weird and a lot more, um, poetic, I guess than my usual. But no one likes a one-trick pony, right? By the River is about two dudes in a small West Virginia river town -- one of whom, Leith, has a neurotic -- or maybe just magical -- attachment to water.

Again, although this has been thoroughly beta'd (heart you, Meghan!), it is by no means a finished product. [To anyone seeing this on a feed, such as at goodreads or via email: the formatting doesn't transfer, I know. Please click through using the link at the bottom of the post to see it at the blog. Sorry!]

"Back in a sec. Make yourself at home, Adam." And Leith disappeared down the hall.
Adam sat on the nearest couch, trying not to stare at Mr. Marshall. Old, yes. Grizzled, maybe. Dressed normally enough. Didn't seem infirm, or, for that matter, awfully crazy.
Adam allowed himself a glance, and Mr. Marshall stared at him in this strange way. Something like Leith's unending compassion in his eyes. Or maybe it was more like pity.
It set Adam's teeth on edge, just like that. Before he could stop himself, it just came out: "Why don't you want him to see the ocean?"
Mr. Marshall smiled as if this was a very good question. His answer, however, was another question: "You think you know what my boy is?"
Adam's upper lip curled. He shouldn't have spoken. Shouldn't have talked to him. Now it was going to turn into some kind of keep your hands off my son, he's no homo, and Adam would spend the rest of the night being angry.
But he had to answer, now. The old man was staring at him.
Adam said, "He's... Leith."
"It means river. A big, broad river, like ours. She tried to love it, but she was an ocean creature."
Adam clutched at the arm of the couch, knuckles going white.
"She went back to it. Never seen again. And so will he, the second he feels it calling." His eyes, a nondescript, common blue shade, misted over. Crow's feet deepened at the corners of his eyes. "I can't let him go."
Adam's eyes burned, some weird, sympathetic reaction.
Mr. Marshall lowered his voice and leaned forward in his chair as if sharing a secret with an old friend. "He sing to you yet? Hate to tell you, son, but you'll never get over it."
Adam's mouth opened, but nothing came out.
That... was...
What the fuck?
Mr. Marshall sat back, returned to watching the nightly news as if nothing had happened, nothing had been said.
A door opened down the hallway, and Leith emerged, the edges of his hair wet as if he'd washed his face. He'd changed into a rugby striped Trinity polo. "Okay, we can go."
"Right." Adam stood. He didn't want to look, but his gaze was drawn inexplicably to Leith's father. "Good to meet you, Mr. Marshall."
Mr. Marshall stood, tottered a few steps toward him, extending a hand.
Adam met him halfway and took it, shook. It was a good shake, actually. Firm, but not cockswinging.
Mr. Marshall was all sympathy again when he said, "You too. Have fun, boys. Not too much, though."
When Adam let him go, Leith patted his dad on the shoulder and started for the door. "We got this, Dad. Night."
"Good night."

Will this odd little project ever happen? Yeah, one way or the other, hopefully sooner rather than later, it'll find its way home. Until then, here's a drawing Astro did of Leith. Cute, huh?

Rainbows and Reviews

April 10, 2012

Before I leave the blog to its pre-scheduled stuff (WiP Wednesday and Scans from Kellan's Comic Collection -- yeah, I know, but it'll be fun!), just a few little announcements.

The first is that there's a very cool thing happening at Embrace the Rainbow. Well, there is always a cool thing happening there, but hang on... Becky has gathered an impressive list of books for a massive RT giveaway, so check it out and throw your name into the hat. I have one in there too, yeah, but the list is mind-bogglingly hot.

On a super personal note, I feel very strongly about what EtR stands for and is trying to do, but I'll just leave it with this: if you haven't checked them out, tweeted, friended, followed, whatever yet, please give it a shot. This is word that deserves, needs to be spread.

Now to the me-me-me portion of the post: new reviews have been added to book pages in the last few weeks!

Jay at Joyfully Jay reviewed Equilibrium and the two freebie shorts, "Jealousy: A Love Story" and "Best Gift Ever". I know, sooooo rad. It's the complete Sam-and-Hansen set!
I loved the contrast between Sam and Hansen and the mixture of strength and vulnerability that they each had. The book nicely blends the various plot points of Sam learning his powers, combined with the guys facing threats of exposure, along with the building of the relationship between them. Sam and Hansen were both great characters and very hot together.
And Nobody's Hero made the scene at Melanie's Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words, yay! Just love this review--she totally gets the boys. I think this line sums them up perfectly: "These two characters ease into their relationship with all the grace of two porcupines waltzing."

So true. So very, very true. Hee! Thanks, ladies, for these insightful and lovely reviews.

And in closing, Allie Ritch was kind enough to pass on The Sunshine Award to me. I'll definitely be hitting that when I get back from vacation. Wee~

Superpowers, Bad Trips, and Cleveland: An Interview

April 6, 2012

The fabulous J.A. Rock, who just dropped by here last week, invited me over to hers the other day. In the ensuing interview, we discussed romance and did a mad-lib. Also, of course, there is much talk of Nobody's Hero: Cleveland in all its glory, awakened superpowers, Spider-Man one-liners, the museum of natural history...

Okay, maybe we leave the Nobody's Hero track a liiiiiiittle. But that's what makes it fun, right? So stop by and check it out if you have a minute!

In other news, I have just spent several hours scanning and setting up posts that will give insight into Kellan's #1 fanboy obsession while I'm galavanting across the Atlantic later in the month. Good times. Human Torch. Spider-Man. Bromance 4-ever.

Google Chrome: why do you not recognize galavanting as a word? It is a GREAT word, thank you very much.

WiP Wednesday: Malory

April 4, 2012

Well I'm here for the rest of this week, but I'm gonna be scarce through the middle of April. Yes, the cabana boy and I are finally going on a real vacation, our first in almost four years, to Italy. Yay!

Well, it's our first in four years if you don't count the regular trips to India. But seeing as those are family visits and we really only do one little side trip each time -- generally a day trip, at that -- we don't count them. Convenient, no? 

I'll have net access in Florence, so I'm sure I'll buzz around twitter and tumblr as usual with the old iPad, but to keep the blog content hopping, I'm setting up some WiP Wednesday posts. I've been super happy (and a little surprised, I admit) to get a lot of questions about what's coming next and when, lately. Unfortunately I don't have the answer to either, but I can share some of what I'm working on -- and what I'll be working on while vacationing. So that's what April will be about!

I'm gonna start with Malory Claremont, since people seem interested in where that's going. You might remember him as Brady's screwed up cousin and sorta-antagonist from Riot Boy. At the moment this book has the working title Reentry Burn (haha yeah, I know, I can't help myself). It's mainly the story of what happens to him after the big  Riot Boy clusterfuck, but also him coming to terms with his past before he can get a life of his own. So as not to spoil Riot Boy for anyone, I'll use an excerpt from one of Mal's flashback bits, in which teenage Brady also features. Please bear in mind that although this has gone through trusted beta readers, it is in no way a final product. Rated R for adult situations and language -- and as a trigger warning, there's some hate speech going on too.

I don't know why Dad went down there that night -- he and Uncle Vic almost never bothered unless they wanted one of us to take out the trash or mow the lawn or some shit. Brady had this guy over, a sleeper from school, this big closeted jock type, which was his thing back then. I noticed Dad going downstairs and tried to catch him, but he was already at the foot of the stairs when I got through the door.
I could hear Brady and this guy. They weren't being loud, exactly, just weren't being quiet. And I guess that's why they didn't hear Dad coming, because he went around the corner, and Brady's bed would've been right there.
Dad said, "What the fuck?"
And that's when the fight started.
By the time I got down there and around the corner, Brady's jock boy was halfway into his pants and pushing past Dad out the basement door. Fucking coward.
Brady was sitting there with his arms crossed over his chest and the sheet pooled in his lap, rolling his eyes. "Don't act fuckin' surprised, Jim. Jesus, coulda let me get off, at least."
I don't think Dad knew I was behind him -- or I didn't at the time. Looking back, I don't think it would've made any fucking difference. He said, "You better not make my kid into a faggot, Brady, or I'll shove my boot up that slut hole so far it'll come out your throat. See how you fucking like it, then."
Brady spotted me behind him. He made this face, like he was sorry I got wrapped up in this. That stupid big-eyed puppy dog face he worked like it was going out of style.
If Dad really didn't know I was there, that's when he figured it out. He turned around, grabbed me with a hand so hot my shirt started smoking under my nose. His face was bright red, his eyes already permanently bloodshot. I tried to shove him off, but he just pulled me closer, burning a hole right through my clothes. "You're moving upstairs."
"The fuck? You think I come down and watch or something? Jesus, gross." I mean, we both contributed to the stash of stolen condoms on the top shelf, he always had some new boy-sex tip for me, and he was curious about girls even if he didn't want to fuck 'em himself; but neither of us needed a demonstration.
Porn isn't that fucking scarce, if you get my meaning.
"I ain't scared about you watching, boy. It's the doing that worries me." Dad gave me a shove that sent me backwards into the wall, and then stormed up the stairs.
Brady's boytoy had gone out the back. We were alone, and the basement was dead quiet but for both of us breathing a little hard.
I just kind of sat there, looking right through him as the pure fucked-up-ness of what my own father had just said sank into my head. Back to the wall, ass to the ground, a big old hole burned through my shirt right over my heart.
Brady yanked on some underwear and came to me, tried to pull me up. "Fuck, I can't decide who's more of a cunt: him or Dad. You okay?"
I stood, then yanked my hand out of his grip.
I still remember the way he looked at me, that bastard. Like guilty and sorry and surprised all at once.
"Get the fuck away from me," I said.
His mouth snapped shut with a click. Then, "Mal, come on, he didn't mean anything. He's drunk and stupid. Don't be like that."
I shoved past him and followed my dad upstairs.
I'm not proud of that particular reaction, but the fact is that I was sixteen, and Dad can still get to me today. And that's why I'm glad he's not getting out of prison any time soon.
That's why sometimes, I know some of that irrational anger I felt for Brady came from envy. Not that he was talented or better looking or more loved or any of that shit he always was, and always will be. But envy that his old man died young and didn't get to finish fucking him up. 

Family, right? Boy, Brady has his issues, but Mal takes the cake. (Even scarier than that: Mal's future boyfriend is worse off than both of them put together.)

So yeah, Reentry Burn is currently in its final grooming stages before I ship it off to my editrix, which puts it in the pipeline. Whether or not it comes out the other end is another question -- but it'll find life one way or the other. Some day.

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