Death Head Radio Drama

Man, I have some cool friends.  Zack and Nick Keller, both of whom I have worked with on previous audio projects, wrote a comic book series for Death Head Comics called Death Head, a story about a family, a hidden danger in the woods, and a deadly mask.  (A note for all you young artists: you want to work on cool projects? MAKE COOL FRIENDS.)  I was approached to see if I could make an audioplay out of the first issue (half of the first issue, really); partly in hopes that Dark Horse might want to turn the entire series into an audioplay, but mostly just because it seemed like a neat idea.

And it was.

This features the wonderful talents of two more of my friends, Nathan Bock and Reut Sklar.  I work with Reut at the day job and Nathan and I went to high school together (see previous note).  Oh, and it’s best experienced with headphones.

It’s release also coincides with Dark Horse Comics’ release of the trade paperback of the entire Death Head series.  If the audioplay piques your interest, you can find out what happens later in the story by picking up a copy.  Get one from Amazon, Dark Horse, or select comic book stores.

The Dark Man

The Dark Man
Written by Stephen King

Finally, after years of searching for the perfect piece in his bibliography (one that was under five minutes and that hadn’t already been done by someone more talented than myself), I have found a work of Stephen King to record.

My mother’s favorite author is Stephen King and there is no memory I have of the eighteen years I lived with the woman that did not include an entire bookcase containing most, if not all, of Mr. King’s books. It was only a matter of time before I picked one up and started to read it for myself. That occurred in the summer before I entered the 6th grade, and the book was The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger. I picked it up because the book had an utterly badass cover:

The_Gunslinger2

I mean, look at that thing. I knew Stephen King as an author who primarily wrote about creepy ass things happening to authors and children in Maine, but a cowboy? With a crow? What the fuck is the dark tower? And why the hell is its distant shadow above the sunset?! That ain’t no physics I ever heard of. I opened the book and read it twice. I had no idea what the hell was going on, but I did know I loved it. I would spend the next sixteen years, more than half my life, riding the Dark Tower train, and I’m excited to narrate something directly attached to the DT universe.

For those of you who don’t know, The Dark Tower series is King’s self-described magnum opus, and it is connected to many of his other works. It details the adventure of Roland, a gunslinger (a sort of western knight) in a land that has “moved on”, and his quest to reach the dark tower. I could extrapolate more, but I’m not sure it would make much sense (Ka like the wind; I aim with my eye, shoot with my mind, and kill with my heart; 19; Bango Skank; I’ma kill all dem honk muhfuhs; I left the world I knew to watch a kid try to put booties on a fucked-up weasel; Blaine’s a pain; Go then. There are other worlds than these.) If you like sweeping sagas full of violence, honor, love, destiny, betrayal, loyalty, friendship, lots o’ shooting, and some simply fucked up shit, then pick up The Gunslinger and thank me later.

This poem deals with one of Roland’s main antagonists, a wizard who goes by many names and many faces but always wreaks chaos and destruction wherever he treads. I hope I do the character justice. Stephen King is one of my artistic heroes. His words have been a part of my life since the day I was born, and so I hope I do the work justice. If I have fallen short, I cry your pardon. If I have done well and remembered the face of my father, then I say thank ya, big big.

Note to Stephen King, if he happens upon this: If a phone call/IM online chat thingy between you and I could be arranged, I have one question I have been dying to ask you. It’s not for a job or a critique on my own work; just a question that popped into my head after reading a lot of your stuff. Thanks for doing what you do, and for all the books.

Sartre Had it Wrong

I’m sitting naked on the toilet.  I’ve been sitting here for an hour and a half.  The shower has been running the entire time and the hot water has been used up.  All my roommates are gone and won’t be back in until tomorrow.  I can’t call them because my phone is charging on my desk.  They can’t help me.  No one can help me now.

The trash can is empty.  There are no clothes on the bathroom floor because I undressed before I even came into the bathroom.

There are paper towels in the kitchen, but that’s 25 feet away, and all the neighbors would be able to see me walking, crouched down in shameful discomposure, through the windows.  All of which are open.

My towel hangs on the wall, silently laughing its 2-ply, ring-spun, combed African cotton taunts at me.  It knows I can’t use it to get out of this mess.  Using it would only make the mess worse.

I’ve flushed I-don’t-know-how-many times.  I stopped counting once I realized you can’t time the flushes to create a decent splashback.

Hell is not other people.  That’s ridiculous.  Hell is the long, dark solitude that leads to fantasies of owning a bidet.  Hell is longing for even the tiniest scrap of those subscription inserts that fall out of magazines.  Hell is being here, in this situation, with absolutely no toilet paper. nopaper