Thursday, September 26, 2013


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Hello, fans! As you’ve often heard me lament, my schedule can be off-the-hook sometimes, and it’s definitely been that way in 2013. It starts with a very demanding day job, and then there’s the side projects which keep me more-than-busy. With Scared Silly still strictly a hobby project (subliminal message to publishers: anyone want to pay me and advance to help move Scared Silly higher up the priority list?) it is the one thing I can only work on in dribs and drabs. As always, I thank you all for your patience.

In fact, I figure I can do more than thank you. I can detail the various projects I’ve been working on lately so you have an idea of what’s been keeping me busy. Hey, it’s the least I can do. Maybe you’ll even want to track down some copies of your own (just click on the titles of each book mentioned below to place your order).

Also, I’m about to embark on a Fall tour of New York and New Jersey again. So details about those personal appearances will follow in Part Two of this post, which I’ll post sometime next week.

Now, let’s begin with “just what Paul Castiglia has been doing in 2013”…

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The year kicked off with this project, With Great Power edited by Rick Phillips. The premise of the book is that the same exact copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 (the famed comic book issue that introduced Spider-Man to the world) gets passed on from owner to owner (think in terms of the same dollar bill trading hands and you’ll get the idea). Each owner has a different story, a different tale of what happens in their life when they possess the comic. These tales were written by all different authors, and I had the privilege to provide the final story which wraps it all up, appropriately titled, “Full Circle.” Proceeds of the book benefited missions work. Read reviews here.

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Archie & Friends Double Digest #27 followed in April. It reprinted a story I co-wrote with my wife Barbara Jarvie, originally appearing in the non-digest Archie & Friends #85. You can read a sneak peek of the first two pages at Brigid Alverson’s excellent “Good Comics for Kids” blog – just click here.

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A few months later, The Best of Archie Comics Book 3 was released. It reprints one of the most popular stories from my Archie’s Weird Mysteries comic series, wherein I lampooned the Scooby Doo gang from tail to snout. Additionally, the book contains new commentaries from me on a couple of classic Golden Age Archie tales. You can read a review of the tale by clicking here.

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Recently released, I am very proud to be a part of the new book Hey Kids, Comics edited by Robert J. Kelly. The book features essays from people who all share one thing in common: they all love to collect and read comic books! Several industry professionals contributed as well as some non-pros. The love of the medium shines through the book and is infectious – everyone did a terrific job. My tale covered growing up in the 1970s where it was nigh-impossible not to become a superhero kid. You can read a review of the book here.

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The just-released Nistar is an important and wonderful graphic novel on which I had the opportunity to help out behind-the-scenes. My specific contribution is not as important as the book itself, which was created to help inspire and empower children facing cancer. Written by Shira Frimer, a widow who lost her husband to a rare pediatric cancer, the tale is one that will stay with you long after you read it. The art is by famous Marvel and DC artist Josef Rubinstein. I urge you to order the book because your purchase goes to a good cause. You can listen to an interview I conducted with Shira for the Kids Comic Con podcast here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).

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Coming in December is this wonderful book of Felix the Cat Paintings by Don Oriolo. I had the honor of being one of the historians invited to provide an introduction for the book. The book was designed by Yoe Books and is being released by IDW. There’s wondrous art to behold on each page… as Felix would say, “Righty-O!”

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My friend Erica Schultz asked me to contribute to an upcoming anthology she’s co-editing called #PosCom (short for “Positive Comics”). The special collection will feature a variety of “anti-bullying” comics tales from famed comics professionals in every spectrum – from mainstream comics to independents. I had an opportunity to re-team with one of my favorite artists, Chris Allan who drew several of the Little Archie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Sonic the Hedgehog comic scripts I wrote. I also snuck in a little horror-comedy aspect, as you’ll note from the above sneak-peek panel. Not to mention the fact that the great comedic character actor Eddie Deezen gave me permission to depict him as a high school principal in the tale. Proceeds from sales will go toward charities with anti-bullying initiatives.

That’s all I can tell you for now – there are another half dozen or so projects either green-lit or pending that I don’t have legal clearance to mention yet – but as soon as I do you’ll be sure to hear about them here.

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Additionally I have open invites from my friends Thomas Hall and Daniel Bradford to write back-up stories for their KING! character as well as from Rusty Gilligan, who’d love to have me pen a graphic novel featuring his time-traveling cats, Mac & Trouble! Hoping to get to those projects at some point.

Last but not least, I’ll have some news to deliver soon on the music front, and perhaps even an announcement about me writing a new series about a certain classic horror-comedy character. Stay “tooned,” and be sure to look for Part Two of this post next week, wherein I detail my Fall New York/New Jersey personal appearance tour!

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