Readers of my first two novels, The Cestus Concern and The Cestus Contract, will already be familiar with the man behind today’s offering. In the books, David Zuzelo (or “Zuz”) is the slightly paranoid computer programmer sidekick for Malcolm Weir. What you probably don’t know is that Zuz is based loosely on a real guy and friend. The real David Zuzelo is, like me, a hardcore action-adventure fan and his posts on Facebook were some of the things that kept me going during my writing process on The Cestus Concern.
David is also a music fan who was kind enough to put together an insanely badass playlist of music that can help get you in the right mindframe for reading the insane action of my Weir Codex books. If you’re ready to have your face melted off, then check out the selection of music in David Zuzelo’s Cestus CyberCrash Soundtrack!
Enjoy the music! Oh, and if you haven’t checked out my bestselling science fiction, action, cyberpunk novels, now is your chance!
A question I get asked a lot about my new novel, THE CESTUS CONTRACT, is “where does it come from and what are your influences on it?” Okay, so that was two questions squished together. Usually, once they’ve posed the question, the asker will then go on to start guessing at those influences. The most popular guesses have been The Six-Million Dollar Man, Terminator, The Bourne Identity, Wolverine and The Matrix. All good choices and all things I am a fan of — all things that have probably added to what I wanted to do with the work itself.
However, the single biggest influence on the Weir Codex books is the work of a man absolutely no one has offered up as a guess. The man in question is Japanese manga artist and creative genius, Shotaro Ishinomori.
An interesting thing that has happened to me a number of times since my first novel hit the Bestseller’s list on Amazon last year has been getting approached by film producers, agents and actors interested in in. And by “interested” I mean “they sniff around anything out there with even the tiniest bit of buzz.” Still, it’s cool to be considered one of the pretty girls at a dance, even if it is just for a moment or two.
The idea of who I saw as playing Malcolm Weir in a movie adaptation of “The Cestus Concern” was the question most often asked…not that any of those asking really cared what I thought. The actual casting process is generally not one the creator of a property usually has a whole lot of say over. It did get the gears turning in my head, though: if there was a movie, who would I see in it?
It’s a cool question to play around with, and to answer it I have to back to the what I asked on the back of the cover for “The Cestus Concern:” Who is Malcolm Weir? Full Story →
I am a completely unabashed, unrestrained, and unadulterated fan of action flicks. I love every shape and every variation of them: the iconic 80s actioneers, hardcore Asian action, crappy 70s Chinese martial arts, Blaxploitation, Hong Kong action cinema, and everything in between.
I love action.
With my first full-length novel, “The Cestus Concern,” I wrote what I like to think of as my love-letter to my favorite action films. It was filled to the brim with everything I had ever wanted to see in a big-budget summer extravaganza. Explosions? Check. Car chases? Check. Gun fights? Double check. Insane martial arts battles? Triple check. Full Story →
I had the pleasure to be interviewed by one of my favorite authors, Derrick Ferguson. Derrick is the author of a series of books about a character named Dillon, who is sort of like the Rock’s character in “The Rundown,” but even more badass. I’d say Dillon is like James Bond, but that doesn’t do him justice – he’s more like the off-spring of Indiana Jones, James Bond and Jim Kelly…times tend. I love the Dillon stories.
Enough geeking out. Derrick asked to interview me about my past work, my new novel (THE CESTUS CONTRACT – available NOW!), and my thoughts on New Pulp. It was a lot of fun and an honor for me.
At the top of my list of “favorite things about being an author” has got to be interacting with the fans. There really is no bigger kick in life than hearing from people who enjoy your work — from fans who have spent time in the world you’ve created. A really cool subset of that interaction is fan art. In the days leading up to the release of THE CESTUS CONTRACT: WEIR CODEX BOOK 2 I received a couple of really cool pieces of fan art by a pair of incredibly talented artists that I know. Check them out!
Cestus by Cesar Madero
Cestus by John Narcomey
If you’ve got a piece of Cestus fan art or even fan fiction, I’d love to see it and feature it here on my site. Thanks for stopping by and don’t miss out on the upcoming release of THE CESTUS CONTRACT. It’s easily one of the most over-the-top, hardcore science fiction action-adventure novels around!
Today was one of those awesome days that don’t come along anywhere near often enough for my taste. In preparation for the release of my next novel (THE CESTUS CONTRACT: WEIR CODEX BOOK 2), I put together a huge marketing push for my first novel, THE CESTUS CONCERN. I figured, if I could somehow get the word out on the series and how cool it was that it would help with the sequel.
Well, today all that effort paid off. As of 8:15pm Pacific Time, THE CESTUS CONCERN is now the #1 bestselling Science Fiction/Fantasy book on the Kindle and the #9 book overall on the Kindle. In addition to those fantastic spots, the first Weir Codex volume is also the #1 Bestselling Ebook on the following bestseller lists:
All-told, as I write this post, THE CESTUS CONCERN has been downloaded more than 14,000 times in less than 12 hours alone! It’s been a pretty amazing little experiment for a little sci-fi/cyberpunk/martial arts book that was self-published by a first-time novelist. I have been completely blown-away by the response from long-time fans and new readers alike.
I have to say, if you picked up THE CESTUS CONCERN and enjoyed it, you’re going to absolutely LOVE it’s sequel, THE CESTUS CONTRACT. As far as I went with action, adventure and martial arts in the first book, I take it all to the next level in THE CESTUS CONTRACT. Fans of big budget blockbuster movies will go nuts over it…and I hope you do, too. THE CESTUS CONTRACT will be released next week on Friday, November 29, 2013.
Thank you to everyone who has taken a chance of my baby…I appreciate it more than you know. And, as a parting gift, here’s a shot of my face the moment I saw I was #1 on Amazon tonight!
Now it’s back to work for me. Have a great night, all!
SYNOPSIS: The federal government has started a new educational program to install human like robots in classrooms across the country. These robots are to instruct the students just like teachers. A small town in American takes on the program and studies the middle school children’s reaction to the experiment. Open diaries, humor and sci-fiction come together in this new series.
Today I’d like to welcome the author of the exciting new fantasy adventure Trilogy, The THIN GREYY LINE. Elissabeth Frear is a fantastic author with a growing fan following. It is an absolute pleasure to be able to interview her. Full Story →
Synopsis: The “Thin Greyy Line” trilogy chronicles the journey of Greyylene, an Elf maiden, as she discovers a world beyond the borders of her small village. Through a series of unrelated accidents and events she is introduced to the life of a ship captain. As her tale unfolds she is forced to face a destiny that would bring elements together many never thought possible.
Friends and enemies swirl around Captain Greyylene like a typhoon threatening to shake beliefs to their core. Her unflappable resolve to hold to her personal scruples lends the foundation for the strength those around her find as a comfort within the tumult. Growing in strength in her own character and principles Greyy is allowed to witness the birth of nations and a peace through the land that had not been seen for generations. Full Story →
Synopsis: David, Software Engineer is a story about a kid in middle school who ends up being a software engineer. It is the pilot comic book for Lifestyle Learning Comics. The goal of Lifestyle Learning Comics is to expose young people to STEM careers in a fun and engaging way.
Bio: My name is Paris Gamble. I am a married father of two children.
I was a math and science geek growing up. My dream was to be the first African-American astronaut. As a kid I was a very good math and science student. During my 7th – 12th grade years I competed in the Oklahoma City and Oklahoma State Science and Engineering Fairs. I won more awards during that timeframe than any other student in the Oklahoma City Public School System.
I began as an Electrical Engineering major and obtained a BS in Liberal Arts and a MS in Management Science. I am unusual in that I am employed in a STEM occupation without holding a STEM degree.
My passion is talking to young people about math and science and how to become more career-ready.
Synopsis: Piestoff Alienbutt is a struggling taxi driver living a life of monotony until he picks up the wrong fare. Catapulted into a universe of adventure, he is horrified to learn he is a central player and his entire race was wiped out in an attempt to kill him. The kebab eating and often drunk Piestoff Alienbutt has to become a hero to the people of the Ick Empire. It is foretold that only he can save them in a war that is soon to rip the universe apart. As the Coffee Houses move to protect the drug that ensures their power and bring about the fall of the Ick, the last Alienbutt begins to stumble through events that could see him become the greatest hero ever known. The War of the Coffee Bean sees the start of a new Sci-fi saga with the most unlikely hero ever to pull on red boots and stagger drunkenly out of a bar, trying to outrun a destiny that he shouldn’t have.
Author Bio by Glenn Scrimshaw:I’m the writer responsible for the Alienbutt Saga and the Vampire Eloim short stories. Some people have been trying to claim I am an author but don’t be fooled as it’s not true. I’m just a drunken story teller that somehow managed to get a publisher. If you are into serious Sci-Fi and Fantasy stories then your Sat-Nav isn’t working right as you should have turned left at the last junction. If on the other hand you enjoy a bit of stupidity to enter into your life then you may just have ended up in the right place, no promises though.
So about me, well I was born and brought up in the heart of South Yorkshire where i stayed for about the first twenty years of my life. I left there to go to university in Sunderland to study art but that didn’t work out, after a few years of moving around I ended up living in Amber Valley in Derbyshire (For those not from the UK, near Nottingham, just think Robin Hood) After trying various things to make money I ended up writing a story for fun and it went down so well I get to write more. I have no idea where this is going but it’s fun finding out.
Synopsis: “Somewhere in suburban L.A., a freak cosmic event suddenly enables nine-year-old Lakers nut Roger Beaman with the ability to fly… but only for about a foot and a half off the ground. In the old days when those things happened the newly empowered could slink off to arctic fortresses, bat caves or newsroom closets and be “heroic” when and how they chose, or not at all – well not any more! On his maiden flight, Roger is stopped by authorities, removed from his home and forced to play side-kick to an actual super-hero who really doesn’t seem to want him around. Can things get any worse? Oh yeah…they will…”
Author Bio for Hank Tucker: Hank has been in animation for over three decades, both as a story artist (most recently the New Road Runner Theatrical Shorts for Warners and Planes for Disney) and as a Producer/Director, including two of the three seasons of The Tick animated series for Fox.
In honor of the November release of my next novel, The Cestus Contract, I wanted to show off the trailer we had put together for it back in March 2013 when I was still in the very early stages of writing it. The thinking behind this book trailer was that I’d seen a lot of book trailers — a lot of really bad or pointless ones for the most part — and I wanted to do one of my own for the Weir Codex books. However, I didn’t want to do what other authors/publishers had been doing with trailers. No static clip art images, no video of the author, or poorly acted renditions of scenes. That stuff all leaves me cold.
What I decided upon was to do a recreation of one of the scenes from The Cestus Contract as a level of an old-school side-scroller video game. Like something you’d have played from NeoGeo, CapCom or Konami back in the late 80s or early 90s.
So, sit back and enjoy this 16-bit animated look at a scene from chapter 6 of The Cestus Contract.
Fate of the Gods: Black Edition is the fictional noble tale of tantalizingly complex battles in which gods, goddesses and unbelievable mystical creatures clash in fierce combat on and above the world known as Lacertus. Human and other beings mix supernatural war strategy with magic, sorcery and a barrage of paranormal weapons in a life and death struggle for worldly as well as heavenly kingdoms, honour and, most of all, the very the existence of the world.
From the Back Cover: Author K Massop skilfully takes the reader on a rapid paced, electrifying fantasy adventure set in the 14th century. The words which flow from the page spin an incredible story crammed with unexpected twists, astonishing turns and a bombshell ending of epic proportions.
Synopsis:Malcolm Weir returns in the thrilling, high-octane sequel to the Amazon #1 Best Selling Cyberpunk Title, The Cestus Concern.
Following his escape from Project Hardwired, Weir arrives in Manhattan to track down one of the men responsible for stealing his life and turning him into the cyborg killer known as Cestus. Unbeknownst to him. the government isn’t quite ready to let him unravel their plans and are ready to do whatever it takes to stop him.
Read what the critics are saying:“Nastos continues to show why he is the next great voice in sci-fi. —Rob Liefeld, Creator of Deadpool, Cable, Youngblood and X-force, and founder of Image ComicsFull Story →
A starship comes. The first in 500 years. The first since the Fall of Man.
An enemy comes to conquer the refuge world of Nuevo and to subjugate all of humanity.
A mystical order of warrior priestesses has prepared for this day for five hundred years. The Order of Calista has studied the arcane powers of the Void, the cosmic and subatomic forces. They have trained in the combat forms of the ancient Agema, elite shock troops and praetorian guard of the Emperor of Man. Yet now they hesitate.
Malaran, a young acolyte in the Order, yearns to stand against the invader, but ancient secrets and hidden agendas threaten to engulf her. She must balance her own ambitions with her duty to her royal family, to the Order of Calista, and to all of humanity. All of her training, all of her mystical powers, may not be enough to prevent another catastrophe to fall once again upon mankind.
I’ve been dying to show this off for a while now. Above you’ll see the rough design/layout for the cover to my next novel, an urban fantasy/action-adventure piece set in the early 1940s called “Man With The Iron Heart.” The book is due out in December and has been a ton of fun to work on. If you’re a fan of things like Hellboy, Supernatural, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Dresden Files, Angel, or Highlander, then I think you’re going to love “Man With The Iron Heart.” I’ll be posting the first few chapters up on Wattpad over the next few months as we head for the book’s release.
The book will be available in both print and digital forms through Amazon.com and retailers with good taste.
Hot off the presses! This is my new print that will be making the rounds at my upcoming appearances. It is an 11×17, full-color print featuring a Star Wars / Phineas & Ferb mash-up commemorating the upcoming Phineas & Ferb Star Wars special for 2014! The print is also available for purchase online for a very limited time. You can pick it up right here in my online store for ONLY $20!
(Today I’ve got a guest post by one of my favorite indy fantasy authors, Christopher Kellen. He’s an amazing storyteller and has created an incredibly rich, detailed, and fun world in his tales of Eisengoth. -Mat N.)
Sorcery 101 by Christopher Kellen
The Elements of Sorcery stars Edar Moncrief, a sorcerer and scholar. He’s not a hero—he’s a tinkerer, a researcher, endlessly fascinated by problems and permutations. When Sorcerer’s Code shoves him together with an Arbiter, his whole life goes topsy-turvy and forces him to start growing out of his comfort zone.
So, as part of the run up to the release of the next installment of his unwilling adventures, I thought I’d give a breakdown about how he wields the power of the elements! Full Story →
This month, as an absolutely blatant attempt to promote the release of my first full-length sci-fi/action novel, THE CESTUS CONCERN, I’m holding a contest for my fans. As part of the contest, I’ve got a couple of really cool prizes.
First off is a free piece of artwork by Mat Nastos (that’s me!). The piece will be in black-and-white at 6″ x 6″ and can be whatever you want. I’ll be giving away two of these, picked randomly from those who participate in the contest. Full Story →
It has been a crazy-busy month for me. At the end of December 2013, I released my first full length sci-fi novel, THE CESTUS CONCERN, and it has been an incredibly interesting experience for me. The book has been incredibly well-received by readers and critics alike, and has been selling very well.
As it stands, while I write this post, THE CESTUS CONCERN has been out for one month. I’m in the Top 10 on Amazon’s Best Seller list for Men’s Adventure and in the Top 20 for Science Fiction Adventure – my highest position was #5 on the list. I’ve sold a few thousand copies of the book in e-format and under a hundred in print online (with another fifty at my two live appearances this month).
So, now that it is a month after the release, I wanted to try and put together some of the things I’ve learned – go through the whats and whys of what I’ve seen and experienced. Hopefully in a way that will allow other new writers/publishers to pick up some practical tips they can apply to their own releases. Full Story →
I woke up this morning with some cool news that came through in the middle of the night. The news was that my first sci-fi/action novel, THE CESTUS CONCERN, had reached #11 on Amazon’s BEST SELLER list for Men’s Adventure. What popped up into my email box less than an hour was even more excited: THE CESTUS CONCERN had broken into Amazon’s Top 10! Below you will see a photo of my reaction to the news:
That’s right, in just over 3 weeks since its release, THE CESTUS CONCERN, an independently released novel by a first time author (that’s me!) had broken into the world’s largest online retailer’s BEST SELLER list!
The news left me excited, flabbergasted, humbled, and just a tad queasy all at once (I was going to add “aroused,” but my wife made me take that part out). I’d like to thank everyone who has picked up a copy of THE CESTUS CONCERN, either digitally or in print. If you haven’t picked it up yet: What the Heck are you waiting for?! Go get it right now!!
Ok, enough slacking off…it’s time to get back to finishing up the sequel, a little thing I like to call THE CESTUS CONCTRACT.
In just over two weeks since its release, THE CESTUS CONCERN has hit Amazon’s Bestseller list on the Kindle!
I have been completely blown away by everyone’s response to my first full-length novel. The reviews have been amazing and so has the support of my fans. It’s been an fantastic experience so far. Now, don’t think I’m going to get lazy because of those. Nope, not at all. You see, I’m already hard at work on the sequel to THE CESTUS CONCERN. Coming this summer (July 2013), I’ll be releasing the second book in the WEIR CODEX, a little thing I like to call THE CESTUS CONCTRACT. And if you thought the action was insane and over-the-top in book one, just wait until you see what I have in store for you next time. It’ll melt your brain!
For those of you who haven’t checked out THE CESTUS CONCERN yet, you can still get it in print and ebook formats all over the web. Here are some direct links for you:
My novel, THE CESTUS CONCERN, has been out right at two weeks now and I’ve been blown away by the overwhelmingly positive response I’ve gotten about it. Fans of insane, over-the-top, Hollywood Blockbuster-style action and hardcore science fiction/cyberpunk fans seem to enjoy the hell out of it. That makes me smile because those are the people — people like me — that I wrote the book for.
I woke up this morning to find a nice surprise in my email, where I found notice of a brand new 5-star review from a reader over on Amazon. Here is quote from what DAVID Z had to say about THE CESTUS CONCERN:
“Now this is how to kick off a series! Nastos’ prose is fast, funny and the action is furious and Nissan Cube Flingingly Frantic at one turn, yet he doesn’t skimp on character development and human drama.
Human Drama with GIANT FREAKING FINGERBLADES RENDING SHADOWY CYBERAGENTS OF A GOVERNMENT GONE BERSERK!
You can’t beat that.”
Thanks, D! You can check out the rest of David’s review at Amazon on their page for THE CESTUS CONCERN. And don’t forget, THE CESTUS CONCERN is now available in ebook and print formats at all the finer literary establishments online. Go pick up a copy now!
Title: Go Figure Author: Dennis Young Genre: kids book
Synopsis: The book was created by Dennis Young from the Legendary ’80s band Liquid Liquid.
There is a strong relationship between the music and the art that Dennis Young creates. Both rely heavily on spontaneity and rhythm. His work draws inspiration from a
“Go Figure” is the first in a series of Children’s E-books. The unique characters on all 20 pages invite kids to use their imagination to create a storyline each time they look thru the pages. Grown-ups are encouraged to join in the fun.
Last night the guys over at Express News and Reviews posted a fantastic review of THE CESTUS CONCERN, giving it a score of 10 out of 10. Check out some of what they said:
“From the opening of The Cestus Concern, Nastos sets the pace and keeps going. Imagine, if you will, starting at the middle of an action movie without any of the build up. This in itself is an awesome tactic to take because the reader sets about the journey of discovery alongside the main protagonist, Malcolm Weir.”
“Nastos has crafted a novel that is crying out for a comic book or movie adaptation. Just when you thought you’d seen everything cyborgs had to offer – from Robocop to Wolverine – Nastos plants one firmly on your jaw with this!”
A reader named “Meddie” posted a great review for THE CESTUS CONCERN over on the BN.Com site. Here’s what they said:
“I am a huge fan of Wolverine and the X Men so the idea behind this book really caught my eye, not to mention the great cover art. Malcolm Weir is an awesome character. He is of course the required bad ass but he is more than that. Nastos has written a super hero guy that is more than just smash and boom. The story line is exciting. The plot is not cookie cutter predictable. I am looking forward to book 2 in the series.”
Thanks for the kind words and I’m glad you enjoyed the book, Meddie!
If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to strap on a six-gun in the real Old West and have a face-off-in-the-street gunfight where only the fastest gunslinger walks away – - then this recently discovered memoir by one of the Old West’s most feared (but virtually unknown today) gunfighter’s and lawmen immerses you in what it was like to live and die in the real Old West.
Yes, yes, I admit it. I’ve been neglecting this site a bit for the past month. BUT, I swear I have a really good excuse. You see, I had pretty major stomach surgery at the beginning of December and spent most of the month recuperating from it. On top of that, my first full-length solo novel, THE CESTUS CONCERN, was being prepped for release. Between those two things, I had a full plate.
Now I’m back and ready to kick butt again!
THE CESTUS CONCERN was released on December 28 — mainly due to an error on my part. Originally it was going to come out in conjunction with my annual signing and sketching appearance at the Amazing Arizona Comic Con at the end of January, but I went braindead and had everything up and out a month early. All that means for those of you who have been waiting is that you can purchase it now in both ebook and print formats! I’ve even got signed print copies available for sale direct on my site for the same price as an unsigned copy at other retailers. How cool is that?
As packed with work as last year was, 2013 is looking to be even busier. This year I’ll have the second volume of the WEIR CODEX, THE CESTUS CONTRACT, along with another action/adventure novel, coming out through Nifty Entertainment.
Outside of Nifty Entertainment, I’ve got a few short stories that will appear in a number of anthologies. I’ll have pieces appearing in “Star Pulp” and “Heroes of the Night” from Metahuman Press/Pulp Empire, and a couple of others that haven’t been announced yet.
Finally, the first issue of Elfsong (interrupted by my health issues and surgery) will be coming out before the summer. Getting back to drawing elves has me really pumped and the pages I have done are easily the best things I’ve ever drawn. I cannot wait for the new book to come out!
Like I said, it’s going to be a busy year and I couldn’t be happier!
Launched with a book tour last summer at Comic-Con, Christian Bale’s only biography happens to be a unique book, penned by Bale’s former publicist and personal assistant of almost a decade! Garnering strong industry reviews, for those looking for a hatchet job, look elsewhere. This book is a straightforward biography of the Dark Knight Rises star, focusing on his career – from former British child actor to struggling L.A. teen to Bale’s historical launch as the Internet’s biggest star which led him to the juicy role of Bruce Wayne himself.
This book explores the challenges of forging a career in Hollywood and provides some unique insights about Bale’s notorious temper and his unusual family upbringing. Full Story →
Synopsis: Sanctuary follows billionaire vampire Alexander Graves, head of the powerful Medai Clan and Ruler of the Elder Council as he falls for Natalia, the exiled heir of the once powerful Forsaken, now clanless vampires who roam the fringes of the vampire world. Their union threatens to shake the very foundations of vampire society and expose a secret so deadly that the fate of Earth itself hangs in the balance.
Author Bio: Acclaimed author of the international bestseller “Sanctuary” (book one of the Forsaken Realms Trilogy), Lillian Sage’s work has been sold in over forty countries and translated into nine diferent languages. She currently lives in downtown Chicago, IL and can be contacted at LillianSage.com.
For the past 20 years, Disney TV veteran Mat Nastos has been writing, directing, and illustrating for television, motion pictures, comic books, and video games. Mat has just released his first full-length novel, a science fiction action tale called “The Cestus Concern.”
WHO IS MALCOLM WEIR?
Waking up in an operating room, much to the surprise of the attending surgeons, Malcolm Weir frantically fights his way out of a secret government installation, located in downtown Los Angeles. Battling through a mass of armed guards and meta-gene operatives, the cyborg warrior realizes he has no memory of how he got there.
The past 11 months are gone.
With a hole in his mind, Weir must retrace his steps for the past year, fighting his way through the nearly endless horde of super powered mercenaries and assassins the government sends after him.
Travel along with Weir, facing some of the most intense action ever put to paper, along with a body count of ridiculous proportions, as he tracks down the secrets trapped in his head.
In the end, Weir must stand alone against a former friend and a squad of the deadliest killers ever created, all to learn the terrifying truth behind Project: Hardwired.
Fans of films like “Bourne Identity” or “Smoking Aces,” or the comics of Deadpool and Wolverine, will love the over-the-top science fiction action of “The Cestus Concern” by Mat Nastos.
Read what the critics are saying:
“With The Cestus Concern, Mat Nastos crafts his most daring and imaginative work to date. Thrilling and action-packed, Cestus moves at a breakneck pace. Nastos continues to show why he is the next great voice in sci-fi.” –Rob Liefeld, Creator of Deadpool, Cable, Youngblood and X-force, and founder of Image Comics
“Nastos has crafted a novel that is crying out for a comic book or movie adaptation. Just when you thought you’d seen everything cyborgs had to offer – from Robocop to Wolverine – Nastos plants one firmly on your jaw with this!” — Express News & Reviews
“The Cestus Concern kicks off in a bold fashion the refuses to relent. Weaving between The Six Million Dollar Man and Universal Soldier, Mat Nastos sculpts a story of high-tech science fiction that rivals masters of the genre and adds yet another successful story to his already impressive body of work.” –James Ninness, writer of Dust: Withered Earth and Macabre Rising
“Nastos delivers visceral sci-fi action from the very first page, and never lets up.” –Tyler James, writer of Red Ten and co-creator of ComixTribe.com.
“Equal parts Terminator, Frankenstein and Universal Soldier, Nastos reinvents the classic motifs, creating something truly exciting.” –Adam Lance Garcia, author of Green Lama: Unbound.
One of the things I’ve never really done is fan-fiction of any sort. Generally, anytime I’ve sat down to write a property owned by someone else, it has always been for a job I’ve been hired to do. Even growing up, outside of dabbling in an ElfQuest fanclub back in high school, it wasn’t something I was interested in. For me, creating my own characters and my own world always took precedence.
With that being said, my one major venture into the realm of fan faction came in the form of a property I just couldn’t resist — a character and setting I’ve been a fan of since the late 70s. That character is the Doctor. Yes, I’m a fan of Doctor Who and have been for 35 years or so now, starting first with the old magazine I scrounged up as child in Hawaii through to my first introduction to the television series and Tom Baker.
An interesting aside (to me, at least): I came to know the Doctor as a character in the comic strips way before I ever saw an episode of the TV series. In fact, the first time I saw an episode of Doctor Who, my first thought was “How the heck did they find a guy that looks just like the comic?!” Full Story →
At the beginning of my career, I worked on a lot of what are almost universally referred to as “B-Movies.” Hmmm…now that I think about it, they filled the middle of my career, as well. And also the “now” of it. Ok, so low-budget films have pretty much been my bread-and-butter for more than twenty years (by my last count, I’ve worked on closing in on 75 of them in various roles – mainly as a storyboard artist, but also as a writer, director and even producer).
One of the most important things I ever learned came early on while working on a number of things for New Concorde and Roger Corman’s group. It was a lesson that taught me a lot about moviemaking, storytelling in general, and, even though I didn’t realize it at the time, marketing.
I learned what I liked to call:
The Rule of 7 Iconic Moments in Storytelling
The rule goes like this: for a movie to be successful, a filmmaker’s goal (and this applies to storytellers in any medium) is to control two things when it comes to their audience: Full Story →
(only those of my readers who are active in the comic book industry will fully appreciate this…and probably not even them.)
There is no point to the following post. It is just the kind of brain fart that pops into my head while I should be focused on writing something else…in this case, finishing my upcoming novel, which is due next week. Needless to say, I’ve got a quite a few sleepless nights in my immediate future.
This will come as a shock and outrage to some of my film friends, but I loved the movie “Tropic Thunder.” Part of that movie has become a pretty common part of “Hollywood” speak. You’ll hear people talk about never going “full retard” in terms of career choices and so on. It’s inappropriate and would have been completely acceptable in the 70s or 80s — which means, of course, it makes me smile. Full Story →
More Doctor Who goodness! This time around, it’s the various incarnations of the Doctor posing in my version of the very iconic (and often imitated) cover to Justice League #1 by Kevin Maguire. The fantastically talented Blake Wilkie colored this piece for me. I’ll have this piece available for sale online in the next month or so, and you’ll be able to pick it up in personal starting at the Amazing Arizona Comic Con in Phoenix, Arizona, January 2013!
Over on Facebook, I saw an indy comic publisher friend post a bit of a rant on how retailers are foolish for only ordering books from Marvel/DC. About how buying comics (or “over-buying” as the poster puts it) from the Big Two just because they sell is a bad idea. He also goes on to complain a bit about the problem with tons of variant covers (although the publisher himself is one whose business is very much based on selling variants and exclusives). Somehow he links the variant cover “problem” with the “Before Watchmen” titles selling for very cheap at some shops…although, I’m not sure what one has to do with the other.
He goes on in a follow-up post to say something to the effect that digital sales are starting to steal print sales and so retailers should be smarter and buy more indy books.
As a guy who was a retailer in the 90s (and has run comic conventions, published and worked as a freelancer), I have to heartily disagree with his statements.
I had planned to post the below in a comment to the Facebook status update, but thought it might be better to just toss it here on my site to see if I could get some conversation going. Full Story →
Release Date: January 2013 Cover By: Mat Nastos and Thomas “Orc Girl” Boatwright
Synopsis:The most dangerous man on the planet must get a secret out of his head…before they remove it.
With a hole in his mind, Malcolm Weir must retrace his steps for the past year–fighting his way through a nearly endless horde of super powered mercenaries and assassins sent by the government to reclaim the secrets locked in his head.
Review: “With The Cestus Concern, Mat Nastos crafts his most daring and imaginative work to date. Thrilling and action-packed, Cestus moves at a breakneck pace. Nastos continues to show why he is the next great voice in sci-fi. —Rob Liefeld, Creator of Deadpool, Cable, Youngblood and X-force, and founder of Image ComicsFull Story →
New posting from Duotrope’s weekly newsletter. If you’re a writer looking for markets to submit your work to, you have to make sure to sign up for their weekly emailing. It’s a fantastic tool…and it’s free for writers! Full Story →
One of the problems with giving advice online is that readers often fail to see that one piece of advice is meant to lead to a broader understanding of things and are never there as the end-all be-all final answers to everything. You should be learning from the experience and developing your own next steps.
One of the biggest offenders has been my “find your niche” statements – or anytime I talk about the power of niche marketing/sales. While I still believe in niche marketing, and practice it every single day, it is just meant to be a stepping stone. The first step on a road to growth.
Let me explain.
If you’re just starting out, or if you’re looking for a way to grow a base for your business – be it comic books, novels, affiliate sales, or any other product – identifying a niche market that has a need your product or service can fill is key. What it does is give you an identifiable group of potential buyers. In addition to basic market demographic information, niche markets often come with their own preset distribution and retail outlets, pre-established ways of contacting the end user, and a group of often rabid, hardcore buyers already pre-disposed to spending cash on what you’ve got to sell.
For a business looking to build a foothold or for one who has been unable to find enough sales to the “mainstream,” a properly researched niche market can be a life and business saver.
The problem comes when you as a business (again, comic publisher, new pulp author, or anyone else) have maxed out the niche. At some point, unless you’re a terrible business person or are producing a product no one really wants, you’re going to gain the maximum exposure and maximum number of sales possible from your niche. There may be 50 or 5000 or 5,000,000 potential buyers in the market and, if you’ve done your job, they’ll all have been fully exposed to and (hopefully) have purchased your product. At some point your sales will level off and then begin to drop (unless, of course, you’ve got a disposable style product that needs to be re-purchased periodically – candy bars, dish soap, pasta, whatever…those products have different maintenance needs beyond the scope of what I’m discussing here). Full Story →
Check out this week’s updated Writer Markets List from Duotrope.com. If this stuff interests you, then you need to head over to the Duotrope site to check out their amazing (and FREE) resource for writers. It’s invaluable to anyone looking to get their work published. You can even sign up to get an expanded version of the list below emailed to you with new and updated information every week. It’s completely worth the two minutes it takes to sign up.
An anthology deadline I wish I had the time to try for is “New Orleans by Gaslight.” Writing something based in a steampunk free city of New Orleans during the Civil War just sounds like a who buttload of fun! Full Story →
I get a lot of e-mail every day – 750+ pieces or more that aren’t spam. The majority of them I read but don’t respond to – fan emails, submissions, ads from Pizza Hut. You know, the important stuff that should be read but doesn’t need a response.
One of those “important stuff” e-mails is the one I get once a week from Duotrope. For those of you not familiar with Duotrope, the site is a list of markets for writers. A “market” being a publication or publishing house (or anyone else) that buys or uses writers. Duotrope has an amazing, searchable database a writer can freely use to see who is buying the sort of work they are interested in and get more details on those buyers – pay rates, website, deadlines, etc. It’s a fantastic site.
In addition to the material on their site, Duotrope also allows those interested to sign-up for their “Weekly Wire,” which gives a list of newly open markets, newly closed ones, and, best of all, a list of fast-approaching deadlines for publishers (upcoming anthology deadlines, for example). It’s excellent material for writers looking for places to submit work and get published. No more searching blindly on the web. Full Story →
I’m pretty anal when it comes to my artwork, so showing off my roughs/thumbnails for the new upcoming first issue to ElfSong (premiering at the Amazing Arizona Comic Con, January 25-27, 2013 in Phoenix, AZ) is tough for me. As an artist who does most of his work in brush & ink right on the final board, I don’t spend a whole heck of a lot of time detailing at this stage because I no longer do “tight” pencil work – or any real pencil work at all. In fact, my roughs are all done digitally on my computer, where I spend anywhere from an hour to two working out the important storytelling and “acting” bits for my characters, making sure the page design works as a whole and is directing my readers’ eyes where I need them to go, and do the very important foundation for each and every piece.
Once I’m done with my roughs, I’ll print out the pages onto my art board in a light blue tone (what used to be called “non-repro blue”) and set to work making everything look finished and pretty.
What I’ve got for you here is 3 pages pulled from the story at random to give you a glimpse at what goes into the art production for each story. I’ll post finished inked pages in the next few weeks so you can compare the before and after shots of each one.
I’d love to hear what you guys think of the new work. I’m putting my everything into the pages and have found that love I had for drawing elves back when I was younger – drawing Elfquest as a fan and then as a young artist working on the official comics for Warp Graphics. It’s like reconnecting with an old friend and discovering you can pick up your relationship precisely where you left off, and the feeling is fantastic!
Make sure to check back here for more updates on the comic, and don’t miss out on ElfSong #1 (story by me and Shawn Granger, with art by me, too!) coming in Jan 2013!
I just came back from a screening of the new “Judge Dredd” movie, “Dredd 3D.” While I was sitting in the theater, I went back and forth between enjoying the flick and giggling hysterically to myself. The film was fun and can best be described as the Hollywood version of “The Raid” lite.
Now, that’s not the reason that tickled my funny bone over and over during the film. The reason was because I had written a treatment for almost the exact same film for the company that held the film rights to Judge Dredd almost exactly 10 years ago now.
But, let me start at the beginning and set the stage with some background on the situation, as well as introduce some of the players in our comedy.
It was 2002 and I had just moved to Los Angeles. My first wife and I were separating, and I was a bit lost with what I was going to do with my life. I was still actively storyboarding for film and TV back then and had just finished directing my first indy film, “Bite Me, Fanboy.” When I landed in LA, I hooked up with a company called Shoreline Entertainment and a gentleman named Morris Ruskin. Full Story →
I probably shouldn’t be showing this off quite yet, but it’s got me excited! What you’re looking at is the colored cover to the soon-to-be-released ElfSong #1. This will be the standard cover – there will also be an Amazing Arizona Comic Con Exclusive “Sexy Moon” cover and a blank sketchcover. The line work is by your’s truly, with coloring by the supremely talented, Blake Wilkie. Blake agreed to help me out and I couldn’t have been happier about his work. Everyone should hire him right now…well, maybe not “everyone” because then he wouldn’t have time to make my stuff look so pretty.
Mat Nastos has been a film/tv artist, director and writer since the early 1990s. His work has been published by Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Warp Graphics, Playboy and Highlights for Kids, and has been seen everywhere from the SyFy Channel to Cinemax to the Disney Channel.
He is the author of the Amazon.com Best Selling Cyberpunk novel, THE CESTUS CONCERN.
All material on this site is copyright 2013 by Mat Nastos, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.