Josh Howard Presents: SASQUATCH
This is my first published work. I was invited aboard by Josh Howard and Jessie Garza. Illustrated by Paul Harmon, my friend and fabulous artist, I was very happy to provide a short 5 page look at the question, why do we see Sasquatch when we look in the woods? The result is a story that isn't one, it is more of a commentary. Some loved it, not naming names sorry, some hated it, but the love for it far outweighed the hate. The book was published by Viper
MYSTERIOUS VISIONS: After Hours #3
Dimestore Productions put this comic book anthology. I don't want to go into depth here, except just to say, my work with Earl Gaier was good, as were the works of Josh Brown that I found within the pages. This had a very small print, and I doubt there are any books anywhere for anyone to find. Good luck if you are searching.
FOURTH REICH: Final Strike
Alex Ness Words, Jason Moser Art
In 2005 a very close friend and I had developed an idea for a war game. The concept was one where the Nazis had not died, but rather prepared for an escape, and did so. Then when ready, attacked the world. The game designer/artist friend died of Lung Cancer in 2009, but my story was written. Eventually I shared it with Jason Moser, a very fine artist, and this project is the result. Perhaps some day the war game can still happen. I regret that I didn't proof my work as well as I could have, and Jason was great, but I was unclear and left too much to be clear about both what happened and if it indeed ended the way it seemed. The book looks beautiful, due to Jason alone.
BAM TOO! Big Ass Mini Comic
I was asked if works I had written and others had illustrated could be submitted to this collection. And I was happy to see this book appear under the hand of friend JM Hunter. I will probably not be carrying the book around, it has 400 + pages, but I am proud to be in it. Even if I am not a comic book writer, it is fun to be in the same neighborhood as some of the people I like very much.
BOOKS: POETRY, PROSE, ANTHOLOGIES
A LIFE OF RAVENS
A Life of Ravens was a massive project that featured my words and the art of 27 different artists, including Mike Grell, Peter Bergting, Alex Sheikman, Rich Koslowski, Josh Howard, Paul Harmon, and Bob Giadrosich. Bob Giadrosich did approximately 1/3 of the art, and published the work through his Sharayah Press imprint. It is a lovely work, and one that I am proud of. It is rare at this time. It is out of print and has some value on Amazon, selling for $40 most of the time. These stories and poems and mythic tales are amongst the first where I had the freedom to write as I wished. To some degree they were still modified by the publisher. But I do not regret that, the book is lovely.
Lancelot from Cyberwizard was a mass effort by many artists and a brilliantly talented co-writer G.F. "Geoff" Evrard, who is Breton French, and his side of the project included many fabulous artists. My side of the project had numerous great talents, and numerous people who dropped out, leaving me hanging. Some of those were great, but one was very unprofessional (he comes from Ohio). So, for me it was a troubled work, but, it is a beautiful error free project. It is also out of print, which is a horrible thing because for all the work done on this book, it deserved much better. To the publisher Cyberwizard's credit, she fulfilled a promise of publishing the work in color. This edition remains available on Amazon. It is very expensive, but I promise, it is worth the cost. There are page embellishments by a skilled artist, along with the new color art, it is a beautiful work deserving of collection.
Arthur Rex Eternus was born as a sequel to Lancelot, only the publisher requested my work, but never worked on it for a year. After that time I asked Josh Brown (mentioned above) to edit and format it and write a tale, and we were joined by an artist Trent Westbrook. Of my work, I like these poems, rather more than the Lancelot poems, despite liking the book on the Lancelot more. I think it comes from growth as a writer, of course, but also, having the freedom to work for Josh as an editor instead of someone I do not know.
THE QUEST OF ARTHUR: The Holy Chalice
I had an idea, to write about Arthurian love. It was gold, GOLD I tell you. Some see love as the ultimate quest, but lust interrupts that quest. Some say fulfillment is the ultimate quest. But does the Holy Chalice, the Grail of legend represent fulfillment, or are we fulfillment of the quest, when we love another fully? Arthurian Romance and quests surround the love of others, of service, and of lust. Their quest is to learn what is the Holy Chalice.
KING OF AGES
Editor Josh Brown
The concept of the book was new. Arthur and Merlyn are ever existing. They appear in different forms throughout history, and the future. The tales of King Arthur have appealed to me since my earliest memories. When Josh Brown presented his theme/concept for the book I immediately turned to the primal templates of Arthur and Merlyn. Arthur lived with the blood of a brave but iniquitous man, Uther Pendragon in his veins, and was born of a rape of the mother. Arthur was an innocent, despite the perverse origins, and the one to counsel him, and announce him was Merlyn. Understanding them then from Josh's direction, I saw Arthur as King and Merlyn his seer as the iconic theme of John the Baptist, and Christ the King. However, I also saw them in the future, with Christ returning to earth, in the form of Arthur. But wherever there is Arthur, there is Merlyn, and wherever Christ appears, he is foretold and announced by John.
BOOKS: ANCIENT MYTHS, HISTORICAL EVENTS AND ADVENTURES
AMONGST THE RUINS
This was published by Diminuendo publishing and is a book about fantasy and ancient events from the perspective of battle and adventure. It was purely text, and some people thought that it would be a chance to focus upon my poems rather than the art and poems. I enjoyed the work I did, and despite a snafu that marred the first print, (the printer's proof was different than the final product and it was left with two pretty obvious and frustrating errors in product) I am proud of my words. It is now out of print. But Amazon has copies. You could also find the books, along with many others of my works at The Source. If you are local, or, if you email them, perhaps they would do postal orders.
The publisher of Mythic Memories is the person who was responsible for finding my project Lancelot and getting it in the publishing stream. Jason Waltz of Rogue Blades Entertainment was great, remains a friend, and he did a magnificent job on this book. I wrote this immediately after A Life of Ravens and thought of it, initially as A Life of Ravens II. But it became a more focused work upon myth and is illustrated with public domain work and images from the great works of sculpture and history.
EMPIRE OF STONE
This book was originally written for a certain artist from a concept I had that I thought he'd be perfect for illustrating. But since writing it, its been with various artists and now, it is probably being self published. As such, the work is a shared beast with lots of people doing the work and I have no idea when it will be for sure published, other than soon. The concept is a world where wars have left few living, and Dwarves living in the lonely mountain ridge are beset in final combat by hordes of evil beings... It is bloody and it is epic. The cover is by Jason Moser, the interior art is by Trent Westbrook, additional story telling is by Josh Brown, and Dara Syrkin kicked my ass with the edits, thank you.
HUNT THE WINTERLANDS
This collection of stories came about as a result of brainstorming, collective ideas, and some pretty damn hard work by the editor Josh Brown. Michael May, my oft co-writer and I had a concept, we had some works that came in as a result of our creation of the series bible, but, it was Josh who sewed the pieces together of this tapestry. I am proud of my short story, as it was hard to complete but, when finished and after Josh's helpful edits, it is a story I am rather proud of. As a book by many this is a creation I am proud of, and am happy to say, it is done. Thanks to Josh, and everyone aboard.
EYE OF THE DAGGER
Friend Josh Brown and I had both submitted our works for a project and while both made it to the final round, we didn't succeed. However, we both disagreed with the decisions. So Josh suggested that we do a book. I said, of course, huh? and he said, I'll do it. Eye of the Dagger is the first show of his genius in formatting and edits, he did some stories, as I did, and so did my friend Marc Kleinhenz. As a result we wrote stories about assassinations and dark acts of subterfuge. I think it is a lovely work.
SAVAGE PAST: Lift High the Raven Banner
When an artist who took on many projects and then quit on all of them after two years, accomplishing 1 page and not a good one, even, I was steamed. I went to a convention that I'd been guaranteed to have product to sell at, and in fact had very little. Across from me was an artist who was spectacularly talented, and quiet. He looked at my stuff, asked questions. He asked me if it was easy getting the things I had into print. Since all my work then was through publishers, I said no, but supposedly there are print on demand printers and publishers who should make that easier. By the end of the convention we had traded lots of things, and made big plans. Daniel Mann is a great artist, and I like him very much, so I am sad that we didn't do more than this, but I will say, I am glad we did do, SAVAGE PAST: Lift High the Raven Banner. It is a single poem, illustrated, with a color cover, in comic book size, but with only a single tale inside. Both Daniel and I have been told the story and art were great. So, it was a good happenstance that happened.
AUTUMN PAINTED RED
Poems, Illustrations and Essays
A series of events occurred leading me to write a series of poems, from the personae of the killer Jack the Ripper. His acts were and remain vile, by any measure, and were more so in the past due to spectacular events media attention, the relatively new kind of crime spree, and, the letters used by the killer, possibly, and a vast number of hoaxers, to flame the intensity of the emotions regarding the events. Never before had the media played such a role in a series of murders, and, since the time of the murders, all crimes of a sensational nature can point to this one as their influential source. So I wrote from the perspective of a participant, and provided a long essay, along with Joseph Hilliard and Nichole Porter, and there is a special cover from friend Daniel Mann. Others participants include Kurt Wilcken and Robert Wilson. The writing on it is intensely dark, and I would say that the accompanying images from Public Domain sources makes the work a very stunning one.
WARBIRDS OF MARS
I was invited to take part in this illustrated prose anthology utilizing prose to expand the world of webcomic ongoing series. Since I tend to not work from the same page as others, both for good and ill, I tried to think about how to tell stories that fit, without stepping on ground that had been stepped on before. The result are two small stories that were fit into this anthology. Thanks to Scott Vaughn and Kane Gilmour for the invitation.
Alex Ness, Simon Huelsbeck & Mark Orluck
I wrote this work as a personal journey, both a fictionalized autobiography, as well as a commentary upon the world. It was made amazing by the images, first by Simon Huelsbeck, a fine artist who kicked major ass. And then with a hopeful gallery by Mark Orluck, a beloved cousin of mine. This was written mostly during my mother's hospice stay, and finished right before her passing. It is a work meant to be beautiful, and it is marred by 4 typos that happened, due to my negligence of sorts. Please forgive those, but read the work, and understand, it is me, poured upon a page. Mark and Simon were wonderful partners to work with, and if I do ever work with people again collaboratively, I'd love to work with partners so kind and so talented.
WORKS with Artist Ed Quinby
My friend Ed Quinby did some excellent work with me. His art was beautiful and enriched the quality of my words. We did three books together, and I am very much his fan. He passed away in 2016, and I am still grieving his loss.
Both of my Cthulhu books are written as a means to express within the stylistic walls of the previous builders. HP Lovecraft and his circle created a world of horror. I intended to approach it first in a found document sort of way, with journal entries, prose, and verse, along with images to add to a mood. Cthulhu: Catastrophic Discoveries was written with a theme, that of human first contact with the horror of Cthulhu, exploration and discovery of something terrible. I was assisted by Josh Brown in the endeavor.
SORROW OF THE CTHULHU SPAWN
CTHULHU: CATASTROPHIC DISCOVERIES
SAMURAI: CHERRY BLOSSOMS FALL
Short prose stories, Haiku/poems, quotes and images
From the world of the Samurai warriors of Japan.
Josh and I wrote from our interest area here. We both adore ancient and medieval Japan, and the Samurai embodies that deeply. The Samurai commonly describes a warrior in Japan who serves a lord, using combat skills and living by the code of Bushido. But not everyone followed the code so directly, nor was every samurai so bold and courageous. So while the truth is somewhere between the idealized icon of fidelity and bravery, and bullies with swords, this work features the samurai who lived by their code. Inspired by the great and legendary samurai themselves, this work of short stories, poems, and quotes is meant to evoke, however briefly, life from the viewpoint of the samurai.
Visitations into Sídhe and Tír na nÓg
These poems were written a long, long time before the book came out. And thankfully, having Josh Brown as an editor & publisher, he put the shine on the old words and they came out nice. I wrote poems about how normal human life takes place in a world very unlike Sídhe and Tír na nÓg. This magical place is where faeries dwell, the Wild Hunt goes on, and bodies never age. Go into The Gray with poems about life and death, and love.
BIRTH TO DEATH
My life's observation following the loss of my mother in 2012, my getting lymphoma (cancer) in 2013 and the loss of one of my very best friends Cathy, in 2014.
Life and death is our primary experience. Birth to Death is a collection of poems that explore the joys and pitfalls of the human life cycle from beginning to end. Drawing on the personal experiences of his mother's death, contracting cancer, and the death of a very close friend, all in the span of three years, Alex Ness poetically lays down the cycle of birth to death into words.
DEATH STALKS US ALL
In my previous work, Birth to Death I dealt with losing my mom, my good friend and then having cancer in there as well. It is not the end. There is more to life than birth, eat, sleep and die. A life lived without purpose and direction when lost to death, is a tragic waste of existence. But a life that has been focused upon helping others, doing good works, having a family that has good positive values is one where the death will be sad, but the life had been used well. How can we complain if we do not allow our flame to be wasted?
I suffer and have helped those who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. My life has worth, as with those who I have helped, but due to the damage we've suffered, our lives play out differently. We are alive, we are worthy of love, but due to our scars others treat us differently. This is my story in verse, essay and images.