July 7, 2011


In the past couple of days I have found some of my fighting spirit again, and I found it in the most unlikely places, in South Africa. And while that is really none of anybody's business, it explains why I have started to work again, or rather, found the way back into those places inside my mind that unlock the writing, which has been increasingly difficult for me over the past few months as the weight of the world seemed to be crushing me.

I told you earlier in the blog that I have been working on a series of pulp fiction short novels, and I am quite far with the first series, in that I have over 50,000 words now, and it is back on track, running smoothly so far.

However, one of the things that I am thinking about is that I want to create a universe. Since I have divine delusions, I think, heck, creating a universe is the right thing to do. Now, that sounds rather arrogant, but really isn't. I have had the various parts in my head for a long time, but I was trying to get them made as TV shows or a movie series, but in the end, why the hell should one do that? Give up your creative control to the machine of Hollywood hustling morons who will Jerry Siegel and Jack Kirby you. Who will Ditko the Steve out of you, because just as the comic book industry was founded by criminals, thieves and cocksucking mobsters, Hollywood has not been any better.

And so all of my ideas will form a bigger picture one day, and as opposed to George Lucas I can tell you right now that there is a plan, that I know what is going to happen 10, 15, 20 books from now, and while they all will occupy a different space in the big "Ultimate Hart Universe" (or UHU, yes, I did that on purpose, look it up), they also all going to allow me to play with a wide range of genres, mix and match, the way good pop pulp should be.

And so, with my inspiritation back, I sat down and created two cover designs for two of the first series. Because one thing that annoys me as a reader is how very often publishers treat each book by an author, like a one-shot (and it often is, hell, be happy you get one publishing contract, motherfucker, what, you have an idea for a series? We don't do series. Unless you are a fraud like James Frey. Unless you are a thief like Steven Spielberg, and yes, you can bet your ass that if I ever do get famous, I will not shake either men's hands)....

...and if you have numerous books by an author, it's like chaos on your bookshelf. Unless you are lucky (and I wasn't) and got a masterworks edition at some point like e.g. Michael Moorcock once did, of which I have only been able to gather three books of. I get all "wow" every time I see them on my bookshelf, then I see all the different variations of Elric, Corum, Hawkmoon and the others next to those three and inside me, something dies. By the by, just an aside - somebody get me a cheap version of the Cornelius Quartet! Something I always wanted to read, but never could actually find in print.

What I am going to do is to write pulp. I am unashamed of it. It is Pop Pulp. It is what I grew up with and what I have always loved, even when my tastes expanded to include literary works. I will write series. And I want them to be immediately identifiable on the bookshelf in that moment when they might make the leap from eBook to "Special Hardcover Edition".

Whic means they must match up. Not on the cover per se, but the spine design must be the same, the size and specs must be the same, and you have to think about these things very early on in the process, because otherwise... well, whoever has read of my dealings with logo and cover designs for my two graphic novels knows how "professionals" do it. By not thinking about it.

Until it is too late.

I am too much of a control freak for that.

And so, even though there is only a rough draft of e.g. The Lizard Princess in notes on my computer, some of it having come from a wonderful and completely rejected Wonder Woman pitch my friend Edo Fuijkschot and I did ways back for DC, I wanted, no, needed to have these images in my mind before progressing in any way. I am weird like that. I often think of the cover image and look before the story. Kids, don't try that at home. I am crazy. You're not. Okay?

Right. I shall briefly show the two covers, and in a later post (I am doing this just briefly to show people who don't follow Twitter that I am indeed not dead) I will tell you how they came to be. Before I go, the artworks for those two images were not done by me. I chose them from a wonderful panting by Gabriel D'Otto and Chris bachalo, respectively, to give me something to work around, to do what I have earlier on this blog called the "MacGuyvering"

And so, quite confidently, I shall show you how those books will look like.

Kind of.