My name is Stephen Nelson. I have some stories to tell, and some great and talented friends to help me tell them. If you like a strange story, if you enjoy a twisted tale, sit down, stay a while, and listen! Someday soon, we hope to transform our stories into comics which you may purchase, so as to bear happily home to you demented domiciles.

You might not want to let Mom see them, though.

Projects my friends and I are currently conspiring on include my macabre fantasy adventure/comedy Rat's Tooth, Rita Gorgoni's awesome Dark Fantasy tale, Iron Head, and The Children of Pollut Un Roone, a dark fantasy tale written by myself, illustrated by Stefano Cardoselli, and set in the incredible fantasy world of Brom Kah, created by Garrett Adderly!

So please come in, look around, and we hope you enjoy our Stories! Unpleasant Dreams!

Thanks go out to lots of folks, including Alex Johns, who designed the logo you see above for me!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Iron Head Teaser

Near the end of a lifetime of battles, Duke Higer, a peerless fighting man, wants only to return home to his wife and his ancestral lands. But the road home will be longer and more tortuous than Higer imagines. Going home again, may, in fact, be impossible...

Iron Head is the brainchild of the formidable creative team of Stefano Cardoselli and Rita Gorgoni of Azurek Studios, Italy.
A bonanza of graphic violence and imaginative storytelling, Iron Head is already well along the road to completion, and is due to wrap up in July of this year, when it will be ready for release through Hard Words for Hard Times!

Iron Head Test Colors in Progress.....

Some samples of Stefano's superb pen and inks----Enjoy!

Watch this space, dear friends, as the story unfolds....

Shawn Mafia

It's nothin' to do with comics, but I thought I'd take a little space to plug my friend Shawn and his most recent record, Dustbowl Anarchy. I've known Shawn for many, many moons, and for most of them Shawn has been gigging all around the California Southland with his band of desperadoes, (when not attending to his undertaker duties down at the mortuary, or laying down in the bushes with a bottle of bourbon.)

In the narrow borderland between the seething, unsleeping metropolis which is Los Angeles and the long, dark quiet of the Mojave, the Mafia tells his stories with aid of a speaking guitar, for he IS, first and foremost, a storyteller. And his stories are about real people and real life experiences.

If you're into the whole Chuck Bukowski/Jack Kerouac/Tom Waits milieu, that universe of beautiful losers, bad lovers and threadbare souls, all dancing to the music of the mighty dope opera, you really must experience the mafia. Shawn's latest effort, Dustbowl Anarchy, boasts some of his smoothest numbers yet. Walking to the Door with Jesus comes off so so sweet and so natural, that when I first heard it, I assumed it was a redux of some old gospel favorite. I assumed wrong. Shawn wrote it.

If ya can't make it out to the Joshua Tree to see Shawn live, drop by his digs at www.shawnmafia.com and pick up a copy of his cd, or look him up on youtube...he is happy to bring his stories into your home, and you will be happy to have him there.


"To each of us, God grants one right and one right alone, the right to call a land and a people our own..." -From IMPALER

Some of you may be pleased to know that despite a host of challenges and a few temporary setbacks, the IMPALER project is going forward again.

Once more into the breach dear friends.

We are very pleased and proud to announce that Stefano Cardoselli is joining the IMPALER team, helping me with the layouts and storyboards. His relentless enthusiasm for our projects and his staggering ability to conceptualize and deliver rough breakdowns all in a heartbeat are proving to be invaluable to our endeavour to bring the 700+ page story of Vladislas Tepes III into your local comic book shop. The first issue script is currently going through its fourth and final re-write, the overall storyline is being shifted toward a 30-issue format, rather than the twenty we had originally planned, and Alex is sharpening his pencils and beginning to skewer the new pages on them.

IMPALER, which may eventually be retitled for reasons I won't get into right now, is our retelling of the legend of Vlad Tepes III, "Dracula"...considered by some to be the founding father of Romania.

Better known as a folkloric ogre in Western Europe and America, his story is a curious and complex one, and demands great care in the telling. (not to mention great labors).

Yours truly is striving to bring to bear all my resources to bear to tell this tale as it needs to be told, and I hope to God I'm up to it, for the true story of Vlad Tepes is incredibly complex...it is both sad and inspiring, shockingly repellent and exhilaratingly mesmerizing...like the stink of smoke and blood borne on a sweet mountain breeze.

I couldn't find a more perfect artist to help me tell this tale than my friend Alex Johns. Alex's work is riveting in its starkness, but it is invariably posessed of a genuine tenderness, a sensitivity which is an idyllic counterweight and complement to the hard-nosed grittiness of this story....

Keep one eye on this space...
...cause we aren't quittin'.
Impaler Issue 1 is due for completion in the summer of 2010.

We shall issue regular reports to our faithful through this blog and through

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Rat's Tooth Concept Art- Cardoselli & Johns

Hats off to Alex Johns and Stefano Cardoselli!
These character studies were completed last fall, when Jeremy and I were doing the early work on the scripts. Stefano signed on for the Concept project and almost instantly began turning in beautiful work at a frightening pace. He picked up the feel of the world of Rat's Tooth amazingly quickly and really delivered the goods. Alex kindly volunteered some time to lay down the colors, and his soft and carefully chosen tones were just right, I thought, for Stefano's strong, European style. He also went a step further and added some creepy trees in the background, something that I really liked and which is becoming a Johns trademark.

The glee which we felt seeing these old friends step out of the dim, dusty corners of our imagination and onto paper is hard to quantify.

Hope you like em too.

(From top to bottom)
The Wild Hunt
Lennard Cromkow as novice (left) and master (right) necromancer
The Dark Knight
Ravvin the Ratboy

Friday, February 26, 2010

(Tip o' the hat to Art Guru Alex Johns for the beautiful logos he designs for us......)
Rat's Tooth is an old story. Older than I care to think about, for if I think about how old it is, I must necessarily be reminded of the fact of how old I am. Rat's Tooth began when we were all in college, indigent, ignorant, and probably likeable in that way that a stupid but basically good natured dog is likeable. These were the days when Logan fantasized, (in a positive way, mind you,) about what it would be like to live your whole life in a closet, and Jeremy courted death by climbing across the roofs of cars as his friends drove at 80 mph down the freeway and swerved wildly trying to throw him off...it was when I couldn't decide whether I wanted to become a rock star or an army officer, before I ended up studying literature and becoming not much of anything. We all liked trashy literature. I was a big enthusiast of Poe, Tolkien, Howard and Lovecraft, and Jeremy shared my affection for the works of most of these writers. Logan tended to read a lot of Sci-fi novels which Jeremy and I sniffed at...They looked Star Trek and Cookie Cutter to us.

At some point, I can't remember exactly when, we found an economical way of entertaining ourselves in off hours...it involved a lot of top ramen and killer wine and the invention of weird stories that interconnected with one another in odd and spontaneous ways. Logan, always the closet-dwelling minimalist, was fascinated by the concept of an anthropomorphic Rat-hero who had no posessions but rags and a rusty knife, and who could survive by eating trash. Jeremy, who first introduced me to the exciting hobby of sitting around in a dark room loading guns, drinking bourbon and talking about whether snuff films were real or not, invented a mad necromancer named Lennard Cromkow. (Where he got that name, I do not know.) The best thing about Lennard was that he really thought he was death incarnate, clothed in a temporary flesh, come to earth on a mission to claim the living. Whether he was right or not, we never got clear on...we did know that every other character in the story just went on the assumption that Lennard was just some weirdow who happened to be crazier than an outhouse rat.
The story went on for a long time, and ended up involving a lot of people, including my friends Jason Boesiger and John Ford. Others drifted in and out of the group, some staying for only a session or two...we have lost touch with most of them....
Jeremy and I, however, never lost touch, and it was a funny thing that through the many years which followed, the characters of the story we had invented way the hell back in the mists of ancient days remained near the surface in so many conversations. Thier lust for gross, stupid violence was all too perfect a metaphor for the essential retardation which is youth. Their sick-humor deeds and attitudes represented us in better fashion than we could ever hope to represent ourselves in moral or in serious terms....I think we were all fascinated by evil, which we thought of then, as potential...
There is an evil woman who wears many faces, and she got to every one of us eventually...there were sojurns on Alaskan islands. There were horrific near deaths at sea. There were mail-order Chinese brides and dominatrices...There were panicky Hungarian border guards with armfulls of death and sweet old Hungarian women with armfulls of bread. There was some dumb guy who got so busted-hearted, he joined the paratroopers looking for death and almost got what he went looking for...and then, with a rude abruptness, it seemed, we got kinda old, and Jeremy and I were sitting around making a batch of beer one day in a haze of old fuck anger, and I started talking about some guys I'd seen online building what looked like a hell of a comic called Brom-Kah, and we thought of Lennard and Ravvin and in some weird way, life suddenly snapped back into focus and got interesting again...
We went back to the old story and tried to remember and commit to ink everything we could...weirdly, we have ended up being blessed enough to work with two simply amazing artists, Stefano Cardoselli, and Orlando Baez...and so, if you're interested, we will bring the old story of warm-hearted depravity which is Rat's Tooth to you sometime this year, in the shape of Rat's Tooth issue #1...
Look for it...................