The third issue of Moonstone’s Kolchak: The Night Stalker Files went on sale last week. This is my final issue, and it’s by my own choice. Recurring health issues simply made it unfeasible for me to maintain a regular schedule. While the publishers were inhumanly patient, I finally decided that it wasn’t fair to them or the readers, and regretfully chose to leave the book.

I am proud of what work I did on the title – and the Kolchak: Night Stalker Of The Living Dead miniseries – and am grateful to Moonstone for the opportunity to write the character. I hope I did Jeff Rice‘s creation justice.

I know that Moonstone has plenty more Kolchak on the way by a variety of talented creators, and I expect to continue to do the occasional project with the company. I have agreed to write a short Captain Midnight novel for them, for example, and still hope to get some more Captain Midnight comics off the ground… eventually.

The atmospheric cover above was painted by Woodrow Hinton III.

Design: THE DEAD BEAR WITNESS by James Chambers

The first volume in my pal James ChambersCorpse Fauna cycle, The Dead Bear Witness, is now on sale from Dullahan Press, an imprint of Dark Quest Books.

Jim is a terrific horror writer. He and I were both editors and writers for Tekno*Comix back in the 90s, and collaborated together on several projects, including our Shadow House comic book series/co-publishing venture. The Dead Bear Witness is a fantastic, terrifyingly fresh take on the zombie genre, and highly recommended.

By the way, I designed the cover above, which features an illustration by the great Glen Ostrander. The plan is for me to layout and design the covers for the remaining three volumes as well.

Design: MILES JACOBY Mysteries For Perfect Crime

I recently completed these six cover designs for Perfect Crime’s upcoming re-issues of author Robert J. Randisi’s “Miles Jacoby” private eye novels. As with the covers I put together for Max Allan Collins’ “Nolan” books, the idea was to give them a uniform trade dress, while incorporating visual elements on each cover specific to that novel. These new Perfect Crime trade paperback editions will be available in June.

As with the Collins assignment, this one was a personal as well as professional pleasure. I’ve been a fan of Randisi’s books since the mid-80s, and specifically, I always really enjoyed the “Jacoby” novels. They are steeped in affection for the genre and its history, and include plenty of nods toward other authors and characters from private eye fiction, as well as being terrific mysteries in their own right. Of course, I already own copies of all of the books (three in paperback, three in hardcover), but it will be nice to finally have all six available in uniform editions.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Bob Randisi a couple of times, and it was an honor getting to work on his books. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get an opportunity to do so again.

Design: Max Allan Collins’ NOLAN Returns

Max Allan Collins has been one of my favorite crime fiction authors since I first discovered his work around 1983. I was a fan of his comic book series Ms. Tree (with artist Terry Beatty), and, once I stumbled across a paperback copy of his novel Blood Money in a Dover, New Jersey thrift store, I was a die-hard fan of his novels as well.

Around 1991, I finally had the opportunity to work with him – first when he contributed stories to comics and magazines that I edited for a small company called Alpha Productions, and then again a couple years later, when I went to work for Tekno*Comix in Boca Raton, Florida. It was there that I had the great privilege of working with both Max and Mickey Spillane as editor of their Mickey Spillane’s Mike Danger comic book series.

Over the ensuing years, Max and I have stayed in touch off and on, and about a month or so ago, he contacted me to see if I would be interested in designing some covers for new editions of his out of print “Nolan” crime novels, scheduled to be published by Perfect Crime Books. These books, which chronicle the exploits of an aging professional thief and his youthful, comic-fan sidekick, are among my favorites of Max’s many works, so I was thrilled by the offer.

I’ve just sent off the final print files to publisher John Boland, and, with his kind permission, thought I’d share them here. Presumably, these books will be available for purchase sometime in 2012.