Tag Archive for wizard world

A Dark and Stormy Night Arrives

A Dark and Stormy Night, the debut anthology from Kaleidoscope Entertainment, launches next weekend at Wizard’s Chicago Comic Con!

A Dark and Stormy Night

Featuring my short story “Pig Money” with art by Jorge Fornés

This will actually be a flipbook, with A Dark and Story Night showcasing crime and thriller stories and then the flip side, Pandemonium, including horror and supernatural tales.

The guys from Kaleidoscope Entertainment will be located at booths 4051 & 4053 for the convention. Stop by and pick up a copy! If I can make it, I’ll be there Saturday and will spend some time at the booth. At the very least, though, I hope you’ll drop by and talk to Greg Kishbaugh and Rafael Nieves, the two main talents behind Kaleidoscope.

Won’t be at Chicago Comic Con? No problem! As soon as the completed book is available, I’ll have links and purchasing information. I’m looking forward to the final product myself!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

To Rosemont!

While Peoria endures some hot and wet weather this weekend, I’ll be enduring the crowd of hot and sweaty comics fans.

Wizard World Chicago starts tomorrow night, and I will of course be there. Unfortunately I once again don’t have a table or a convenient way for folks to find me, but I have every confidence this year will be the last time I have that problem so I’m going to take advantage by wandering artists alley and prowling the dealers tables for good deals. I also hope to catch up with a few people and of course grab a meal and a margarita at the Mexican joint down the street.

Do try to track me down, though, as I’ll have something cool to show off.

I’ll be riding in with Cullen Bunn on Friday morning, and we’ll be shooting out of there early Sunday. I’ll be armed with my brand new man purse (ooh ahh) which I plan to stuff with art samples and quarter comics for the Midget and the Squirt.

Hmm. I best brave the crowd at Giordano’s for pizza, too. Chicago-style stuffed pizza is another impossibility out here, so I’ll need to get my fix and hope it holds me until Windy City in September or C2E2 in April.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Wiz World's Number One Question, Unanswered

As I wandered the con floor talking to people, by far the most often asked question was “What are you working on?” Looking back, I’m not sure I gave any of them the same answer.

Just how do I answer that when my productivity is in the shitter?

On the up side, the publisher meeting on Friday went well. On the down side, I’m still sans artiste and don’t see that changing any time soon unless I am able to cough up a page rate (which, sadly, I am not). I did get two pitches to the publisher in time, but with the artist situation being what it is, at least one of those pitches may become a prose project.

Then it’s a matter of cramming that prose project into my others. I’ve got a book sold to a good small press publisher, but he’s dealing with some family matters and there’s no telling when the book will be out. Top Secret Novella is also slated to go his way, but I’ve struck it several times and have yet to report any real progress on it.

Das Tödliche Geschlecht has been released on an unsuspecting German market, and I’ve been interviewed for a major German horror magazine called Virus. The publisher has already asked to see my next novel, and based on my present experience with them, I intend to deliver. (If only the English-speaking world were so interested in my work…) This bumps Powerless up a notch on the priority list.

Not to mention I could also sell Powerless to the aforementioned small press publisher. He’s called the upcoming book the first of many we’ll be doing together, which would make me very happy. The artwork on the first book is terrific, and I know he puts out a solid package that could later help lead to a mass market sale.

And oh yes, I still have Muy Mal hanging in the breeze, The Malice Engine outline to turn into either a graphic novel or novel, and two novels that I’m convinced are pieces of shit but could possibly be hammered into something useful.

So, what am I working on? Good question. I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Wandering Karateka

I had a good time at Wizard World, but man did I miss karate class.

I walked into the dojo for the first time in a week tonight, and I hadn’t done so much as a punching exercise or push-up in the meantime. A week may not sound long, but I felt out of touch. I found myself reviewing my kata, Naihanchi Sho, in my head while I stood in line. Lucky for me muscle memory kicked in as I bowed in and I made it through my kata and its interpretation without difficulty.

It’s going to get worse, though. I’ll miss three consecutive classes visiting family and attending a wedding this month, and then I’ll miss three consecutive classes again in early August on a family vacation. That also includes a review week, which may cause me to miss an opportunity to advance a stripe (and thus throw off my goal of achieving sankyu, or 3rd degree brown belt, by the New Year). In order to help keep things sharp, or to at least get a workout on the road, I started looking for karate schools in the areas I’ll be visiting.

As with many things martial arts, there are those for and against the idea.

The main problem is a question of style. Attending a kung fu or tae kwon do class probably wouldn’t do me much good, but there are Shotokan karate clubs not far from where I’ll be. I study Shuri-ryu, and both styles have their roots in Shuri, Okinawa. They each have a signature style, but they share a large part of their lineage.

In a recent blog entry, Sensei Charles Goodin says he doesn’t take students from other styles. He has several reasons for the policy, but in general he compares it to mixing gasoline and diesel fuel in a car: it just doesn’t work. The visitor will not gain anything from the visit, and their presence may only be a distraction to the dojo’s regular students. He describes it further:

“There is a saying that ‘you can’t catch two rabbits.’ The rabbits tend to run off in different directions. For this reason, if a student wants to join our dojo, I would expect him to only practice our style of Karate. Practicing two styles at the same time is very difficult. You have to empty the bucket before you can fill it.”

On the other side of the coin, Sensei Stephen Irwin compares karate to driving lessons: no matter your style, you’re learning the basics and it’s up to you to apply them. To pull a quote from his blog entry:

“Regardless of the vehicle driving is driving. Regardless of the art fighting is still just fighting. The presentation of driving/fighting skills might vary, but the underlying principles are the same regardless.”

Sensei Irwin’s post does not address the issue of visiting students, but I would guess from this post that he isn’t opposed to the idea. Which one is right? Both, I suppose. They each follow what works for them in their respective dojos, and I understand both points of view.

Personally, I think I would enjoy working out with another school. My school also teaches Haganah and Judo, and it’s always fun to get a glimpse of those arts. I like seeing how other karate styles interpret their kata, and it would be interesting to get a taste of their kumite or self defense methods.

From a student point of view, however, would it be a good idea? My sensei once said he would welcome students from other styles, and they would run their kata their way so we could discuss the differences. However, would other sensei tell a student his style is wrong? It hardly does me any good to show up at a Shotokan school if the sensei in question were to just turn his nose up at the way I’ve been taught. Even if I get a good physical workout, it wouldn’t be any fun to walk out of that dojo hurt or angry. In that case I’d have been better off skipping a week.

So what’s a rookie karateka to do? Two things:

  1. Work harder to get off my butt and get those personal workouts in. It’s not like I’ll be facing a con schedule during the next two trips.
  2. Call those dojos, talk to their instructors, and hope for the best.

Some of our school’s black belts travel frequently for their jobs, and they tell me they have attended classes with other dojos and it’s gone well for them. With luck it will be the same for me.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Live from Wizard World

Wizard World starts today. I most likely will not have email or Internet access through the con, but I will be able to post Twitter updates from my cell phone. Because I’d like to give you all a flavor of what I’m up to this weekend, I’ve activated the blog post digests of my Twitter feed. If you have a Twitter account, surf over to my feed and click Follow. If not, just keep tuning in here and you’ll get a taste of my Wiz World experience (you MySpacers should see the updates on my profile page, not in the blog).

Unfortunately Twitter will largely be one-way as well. I don’t have a smartphone yet (cursed cell contracts!) so I don’t have a mobile Twitter client. I only have a few people followed with SMS updates, and even then I can’t read @ replies on this phone. If you Tweet a reply at me and I don’t respond, that’s why.

For those of you who will be at the con, I don’t have a set schedule. I will probably stop by and visit the Moonstone folks at some point and hopefully sign some books, but for the most part I’ll be floating around looking at art and browsing stuff I can’t afford in the dealers section.

If you spot my ugly mug, feel free to say hi. I don’t bite. Though I may be itching for some karate practice…

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Buy My Shtuff

Ready for a Michael Oliveri fix? Excellent. Here’s a couple easy ways to get your fix.

Jack Haringa Must Die!
Available here and on Amazon. Features a piece of flash fiction by yours truly. Plus it benefits the Shirley Jackson Awards.

Restore From Backup
Plenty of copies still available directly from Bad Moon Books. This collaborative novella with JF Gonzalez is a blend of supernatural horror and dark sci-fi. If you like The Outer Limits, we’re confident you’ll like our novella.

The Phantom Chronicles
An anthology of short stories featuring the Ghost Who Walks, published by Moonstone Books. Mine pits The Phantom against snake cultists bent on human sacrifice. You can buy it from Amazon or, if you’ll be at Wizard World Chicago next week, you can pick it up from Moonstone at exhibitor booth 950 in the main exhibitor hall. Track me down on the show floor or at the Moonstone booth and I’ll be happy to sign it for you (as well as anything else you may have brought along).

Werewolves: Call of the Wild
If you’ll be at Wizard World next week, chances are Moonstone will have all three issues bundled cheap! As with The Phantom Chronicles, I’ll be more than happy to sign your copies.

Das Todliche Geschlecht
The book is now officially available through Amazon.de. This is the German-language edition of Deadliest of the Species.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Con Season Approaches

It may not feel like it, but spring is about to do its thing and convention season will be upon us before we know it. I’ve just updated my Appearances page with the two conventions I know for certain I’ll be attending, Wizard World Chicago and Archon 32.

I’ll be missing yet another World Horror Convention, which a number of my friends will be hitting at the end of the month. This is five years straight that I’ve missed WHC following five years straight attending. Which makes me realize I’ve been at this writing crap for 10 years already. Yikes.

I’ve got a few friends asking me to come back to Hypericon this summer. Unfortunately it conflicts with Wizard World Chicago this year, so I’m not going to be able to make it. That kind of bums me out because Joe R. Lansdale is their guest of honor and I like his work. It might have been cool to chat him up about his Shen Chuan martial science, too.

Necon 2008 sold out, so that’s out of the picture. Next year I’ll have to buy my tickets early if I really want to go. The Cape Girardeau Comic Con was pretty cool last year, but with nothing new to sell I may have already saturated their audience.

Beyond that, I’m not sure. I’m still trying to get a handle on what is and isn’t coming out this year, and then I’ll be able to make a better decision on where to travel. I’m always open to recommendations.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.