Bob lived in a world of questions. Every answer he got just seemed to lead to more questions. His caregivers never seemed to be interested in supplying answers either. They just put a note in his backpack and directed him to the bus stop. The big number five city bus would take him to the library where, they told him, he would find a whole building full of answers and plenty of people to help him find just the right ones. Bob hoped they were right. His questions were very important.
The first story in this comic is for every guy who has ever been dragged by his spouse to an art gallery to purchase an “important work” for the living room. Art Appreciation (subtitled “How to detect and possibly prevent art”) lays out what to expect from the “experience” and more importantly how to survive it. It’s a must read for every guy.
Next comes “How to Select Art for the Home or Office.” This story is a survival guide to spending as little as possible, while still seeming to really appreciate all important works of art – to your spouse at least. This comic will guide you through all the steps of “choosing the least expensive painting or sculpture while impressing your spouse with your vast knowledge of art.”
The final story focuses on the really tricky art of buying sculptures. You have to take the lead here if you want to avoid spending thousands of dollars. Once again, learn how to direct your spouse’s attention to the cheapest piece of dung in the gallery while making her feel that it’s a real find.
Balzac, Balzac, Balzac! What can I say? What can anyone say? Great novelist, tortured sole. Complete loser, yet immortal winner. This humorous, tongue-in-cheek biography takes an intimate look at the great man while revealing the many dark secrets that were instrumental in pushing him to achieve great things, and a long list of mundane things -- some of them exceptionally gross. Come with us as we journey into the mind and very soul of the great, immortal...Balzac.
Enforcing the terms of a contract seems like a mundane, everyday job. But that really depends on the nature of the contract. Doesn’t it?
Young SFPD detective, Martin Brenner, and his mentor, a schizophrenic, forcibly retired detective, puzzle over the mysterious death of a woman in a dark alley in San Francisco. All the evidence points to an accidental fall in the alley, not an assault or attempted murder, so Brenner is ordered to close the case. But mysterious markings left at the scene and other compelling evidence point to a much broader case than just the accidental death of a young woman.
Dronefire is a novel, yes, but it's also a cautionary tale of a real and immediate danger we all face. It's a danger so widespread in its threat that as a free society, we must take immediate steps to counter it. Dronefire offers a real solution to a real danger.
The first story in this comic chronicles the events of New Year’s Eve in 1967. The evening starts out with our protagonist sitting at home with his parents and nothing to do except watch Guy Lombardo bleat in the New Year with lame and phlegmy saxophone solos. Just in time he gets an invitation to join some guy he met in class and doesn’t really know that well. But the guy has a Corvette, and that’s all it takes to send them off on a madcap night. Okay, if not actually madcap then insane.
The second story, titled “The China Syndrome,” presents and in-depth look at how W.H. Matlack and Don Ramie make their comic books. Go ahead. Read it, but don’t let me hear you yell exploitation. Everyone in the story was free to leave at any time.
In the third story, W.H. Matlack is asked how and where he gets inspiration for his many great story ideas. The answer is as crude and gritty as today’s headlines.
The next two stories feature our good friends, those identical cousins, Scoff Law and Goodie Two-Shoes. First of these is a story about the importance of wearing a tin-foil helmet at all times to protect your delicate brain and to avoid government influence on your thoughts.
Following this story is how Scoff and Goodie keep busy during a rainy day.
Last is a story about our most beloved character, Po-Dunk. Every time he come into the city it’s on a turnip truck that he immediately falls off of. Yes, poor ole’ Po-Dunk is so stupid it’s like he just fell off a turnip truck, which he did. In this tale Po-Dunk has a problem figuring out women’s shoes. Can you figure out why they are so expensive? Po-Dunk learns how to “re-purpose” them.
It’s a story of support and friendship among teenagers, one of whom has been paralyzed by polio.
“The 79 Micro Stories for Busy People began as a single entry of 79 words into Esquire Magazine’s 79th year contest, but I thought the real challenge would be to write 79 stories each 79 words long. Several of these “seed stories” have been worked into full-length short stories and are available here.”
Noir Town is a thrill ride for readers into dark, city canyons festering with sex trafficking. And not just the amateurish sex trade so rampant in the city already, but a highly organized and efficient extension of the Himmler’s old Nazi SS Lebensborn program designed to produce pure, Aryan-blooded children who will thrive in secret nurseries to become the true master race and carry a German Forth Reich to its ordained destiny as masters of the world. What they didn’t count on was the involvement of wise-cracking PI Mike Cannon and his highly trained and extremely dangerous family and friends.
His mom, Suzette (the Slasher), is a former member of the French Underground during World War II. She became legendary for terrorizing Nazis. Her borderline psychopathic personality drives a bloodlust in her that allows her to kill Nazis with a cold, yet gleeful efficiency. Mike’s challenge is to keep her killing urge under control and directed at just the right people.
Rhonda, Mike’s older sister – As vicious as her mom, but without the passion, Rhonda is the NSA’s top assassin. She’s an expert with all weapons. A diagnosed sociopath, she only shows compassion and loyalty to her mom and little brother. And even then it’s best to stay on her good side.
Mike Cannon, PI – Former Navy Seal and CIA operative, Mike has been an active PI for years. He’s the most mentally stable of the family and uses humor to cope with the dangers he faces each day. Many of them from his own family. Along with his sister, Rhonda, he has been trained from infancy by mom in the deadly clandestine arts.
Suzette’s Assisted Living Home – At 91 years old, mom lives in a special retirement home designed to house ex-CIA and other retired operatives. It’s administered by the CIA, and all the staff members are Mossad operatives. This allows the CIA to conduct domestic operations with plausible deniability by using Mossad people. The Mossad side is run by Moses, a powerful bear of a man who worships Suzette and takes on even the most dangerous assignments with a childish glee.
Long before the white men came to the Great Lakes area, young Indian warriors coming of age had to hand-make all their weapons and tools to prove their worthiness as young warriors. Nothing was more challenging or important as the canoe.
Sometimes the kindness of a stranger can put everyone in a foul mood - especially when that stranger is your granddaughter's boyfriend.
SWF is filled with car stories, starting with the nostalgic "Buying Cars with Dad," a true tale of how my dad mastered the art of buying used cars. To him (and to the salesman) it was a kind of game they both relished.
Next is "Terror in the Heartland," how the Midwest is full of terrors for a west-coast kid on a car trip with his family. It's the Midwest's version of "Deliverance."
The piece closes out with a graphic version of a short story by W.H. Matlack titled, "What I did with my summer vacation." We follow two high school best friends as they try to cope with, and overcome the oppressive heat and crushing boredom of a summer in Phoenix. A small hint: the heat wins.
Sometimes evil quietly slips in between the sheets when you are fast asleep.
When you're nine, taking a walk down a dirt road with your best friend in late summer may never end
There is an unpredictable nature running like a wild underground river below the steady, responsible nature of farm kids. Sometimes it breaks out in regrettable ways.
Gunfighters of the old west were generally feared and vilified back in their day. After all, they were mostly cold blooded killers. Unlike the rest of the population, they wouldn't hesitate for a moment before firing. That's what gave them their edge.
Those who survived found it increasingly difficult to live down their reputations. Usually some younger, faster and more vicious gunfighter would call them out. This is the tale of one of the few who lived to see another day, Wyatt Earp.
Will Matlack has brilliantly imagined a dark night of the soul for one of our greatest historical icons. By showing us the renegade lawman in combat with one of his unlikeliest, most intractable adversaries—writer's block—he gives us a new perspective on the settling of the West, and westerners.—James Earp
The Last King of California is a peek into that vaunted state's possible future. A dig into the rubble of the ruined palace reveals an important historical journal kept by a scribe in the royal court when, for a very short and insignificant time, California was ruled by a not so majestic king whose greatest and most glorious battles were fought on the 405 right near the Guggenheim.
Hyperthymesia is the condition of possessing an extremely detailed autobiographical memory, and 16 year old Benny Monroe has it – in spades. Not only can Benny remember every minute of his short life, but he can see into the memories of other people, and even enter those memories. And his powers do not stop there.
This gift makes Benny the perfect candidate to help the FBI discover and neutralize a terrorist plot to bring the city of New York to its knees and to paralyze the entire US government. Will a 16 year old boy, no matter how gifted, be able to stop the furious attack?
An eighteen-year-old member of the Greatest Generation was stuffed into the cockpit of a P-38 Lightning fighter plane in 1942 and sent up into the blue Pacific skies to meet the greatest Japanese armada of World War II. What happened shook him to his very core.
Their dreams came true when, back in 1962, two high school nerds got to drive a brand new 1963 Corvette Stingray around for a week. The first Stingray in all of Phoenix, crowds would gather around it and gawk in wonder. But most satisfying were the confused looks on their classmates’ faces. How could two completely despised nerds acquire a car that would bring such status? As the week went on, that status reached immense heights, but what would they say on Monday when the car had to be returned?
The Summer Solstice of 1963 is a tale of ancient times. Times before there were video games, only three channels of TV that went off at midnight, and believe it or not, there was no internet or personal computers. There were typewriters but they usually belonged to your dad, and you weren’t allowed to even touch them. Maybe one of you had a car but no money for gas.
Yes, this is a sad, pathetic tale of two high school students facing a hot, grim summer in Phoenix before their senior year. It was too hot to even move, and beyond that, it was boring. Boring until one of them came up with a brilliant idea…
Finding himself responsible for helping Hewlett Packard plan a Gatsby-style luncheon to introduce a new VP of Sales, a young W.H. Matlack does the only logical thing. He hires a 650-pound Bengal Tiger named Benji to make the actual introduction. Will the new VP survive the event? Will the HP sales guys survive? Will anyone survive? Read this true story about carnage in the early days of fabled Silicon Valley.
With all the stars, black holes and super novas one would think that the Cosmos just doesn't have time for a the simpler parts of existence. Like love for example. It turns out that love is actually the reason for the Cosmos itself.
A mysterious stranger, full of purpose, wanders through a bitterly cold city in search of a higher understanding of God. What he finds, and what he does with that will shock you to your core.
Waiting to Run is a spooky thriller featuring a young (and thoroughly reluctant) witch who must learn her craft well enough to try and save the entire universe from the ghost of Oswald - the Lee Harvey type of Oswald that is. It also features the ghosts of Jack Ruby and Dorothy Kilgallen who help out as best they can, but when dealing with the Holographic Universe, it's a crap shoot for who will come out on top.