Support Shawn's writng with a donation

Friday, November 17, 2017

E'steem: Ascencion Sample Chapter

Here's a sample chapter of the Upcoming E'steem: Ascencion, the action packed climax to the first E'steem series story arc! You want to pick this one up, it's a MAJOR turning point for the E'steem character! 

E'steem Ascencion will be coming this Black Friday in paperback & e-Reader Pre-order your copy on Kindle and Smashwords today! 

Chapter 7

A flash of light takes Carol and me from the Morris Phillips Tower to the Java Joint. I can’t wait to share my favorite latte with her.
I’m given a friendly smile as I get the door for Carol. As lead her over to my usual table at the bustling coffee house, Claudius rushes from around the counter and greets us both with a smile. “Welcome to the Java Joint.” Claudius greets. “What cup o’ Joe can I get my two favorite ladies today?”
“Claud is that you?” Carol asks giving him a curious look.
“Yes it is, Mrs. Williams.”
“I thought you had a good job over at Lucerne. What are you doing here?”
“Doing the work of The Lord.”
“Why would he have you working here?”
“Claud runs Demons Anonymous, a support group for Demons who left the Legion.”
Carol gives Claud a curious look. “You left?”
“Yeah. A lot of New Breed demons have left the Legion like E’steem and I have.”
“Aren’t you afraid of the Lord’s wrath?”
Before Claud can answer her question we hear the screams of people outside and hear footsteps scrambling up the street. When we look out the picture window to see what’s going on we barely catch a glimpse of a creature with bat wings before it crashes through the pane of glass in the front of the shop. 
“I don’t think you’re gonna have time to hear the specials.” Claud says.
Why do the monsters always come out when I go to lunch? “I’ll go see what it is. Stay with Carol.”
Claud leads Carol to the back as patrons scramble out of the coffee shop. I jump out of my seat and rush over to confront the creature that flew into the Java Joint. When I meet the reptile eyes of the mocha skinned she-demon wearing a pink T-shirt, blue skinny jeans, and pink sneakers I frown. From the looks of her she’s got herself a major power upgrade. I really don’t want to beat up D’lilah in front of her mother. “Haven’t seen you in a long time.” I say.
“I’ve been busy licking my wounds since your sister beat the crap out of me.”
“So why aren’t you picking a fight with her?”
“Because I’m here to kill you.”
I guess the beef has always been between us. And it looks like she’s looking to finally settle the score once and for all. I make a desperate plea I hope doesn’t fall on deaf ears. “D’lilah, don’t do this.” Not in front of your mother-”
“Don’t tell me you’re gonna wimp out on me now you big nerd.” D’lilah snarls. “Mom really needs to see what a loser you truly are.”
D’lilah lets out a growl and swings at me. I duck the blow and D’lliah and slam a fist into her the gut. I let out a gasp and wince in pain as I shake my fingers. What happened to my powers?
Before I can even ponder an answer to that question I’m given a backhanded slap that turns the room into a blur. The force of the blow is so hard it knocks me out of my shoes and sends me crashing into a bookcase in the back of the coffee house.
My body aches from being hit so hard; I hear footsteps rushing towards me and do everything in my power to get to my feet. Get up girl, get up…

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Getting Back to Basic Superhero Stories in Comics

Monday, November 13, 2017


With the Spinsterella Trilogy finished, I’m getting back into the groove of writing SJS DIRECT Universe titles. I’ve got a lot of great ideas for stories featuring the goddess next door and the Aspiring Angel. And I’m hoping to add a John Haynes series to the mix next year.

I used to write stories for the Isis series and the E’steem series and publish them in the same year. But due to my continuing long-term unemployment and financial issues these days I have a bit of a backlog as related to Isis and E’steem series stories. Right now I have three Isis stories edited and uploaded to CreateSpace and Kindle, and all they need is a cover to be ready for publication. The Bill Walko covers have made a tremendous difference in the way my stories are perceived by customers; they’ve left such a powerful first impression on readers and that’s made me want to hold off on releasing books until I have a quality cover to go on them. That’s what led to the numerous delays in the publishing schedule.

Thanks to donations from readers and YouTube Viewers that paid for the Isis: Samurai Goddess and E’steem: Ascension cover, I’m starting to clear up some of the backlog of manuscripts and getting stories out to readers. And I’m starting to make plans for the future of the SJS DIRECT Universe.

With E’steem: Ascension the first E’steem series story arc is finished. And with her character transformation arc complete, I can now focus on Isis’ and John Haynes’ long-term character transformation arcs as well as plotting E’steem’s second overreaching story arc. With each story all the characters in the SJS DIRECT Universe have been growing and changing as people and the SJS DIRECT Universe has been coming together into an action packed fantasy world filled with positive Black heroes having action packed adventures.

Currently I’m working on outlining the second stage of the SJS DIRECT Universe and setting a course for the characters in it. Right now I’m planning new stories featuring the return of some older villains like The Cybergoddess and creating some new ones like Avarisk, The Tormentor. And I’m outlining E’steem’s first Fantasy Flashback story, one set in Ancient Egypt! I’ve got a lot of great ideas for stories, now I just have to take the time to get to the keyboard to write them.

Back in 2002 when I published the first Isis I never thought I’d get this far. But with God’s help fifteen years later I’m publishing books with covers by professional comic artists and books with quality on the level of any trade publishing house.

I’m still not on the next level yet. But I think I’m making great progress.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Shawn Reviews Dynamite’s Hack/Slash Vs. Vampirella #2

I was looking forward to buying Hack/Slash Vs. Vampirella on Wendesday. Unfortunately I had an ordeal getting a digital copy.

When I went over to the Dynamite’s website to get an official copy, Issue #1 was up at a reduced price, but Issue #2…just wasn’t there. Now I got Issue #1 there on the day of release on Dynamite’s website. But Issue #2 was a chore to find on a digital platform. I had to go all the way over to Comixology .com to pick up a digital copy. With the DRM attached to the comic I’m stuck with a comic I can’t download to a laptop as a .PDF. This is why I wanted to buy my comics at Dynamite’s website!

A note to Dynamite’s Editorial Team:
If people buy the first issue at your website, they want to pick up the second one there as well. I like your comics, and I want to buy more of them. Please don’t make it hard for me to spend my money!

If my customers can buy an SJS DIRECT paperback and digital edition of Legendary Mad Matilda at online booksellers on the day of sale, I should be able to do the same at Dynamite’s website when a new comic comes out too! 

Issue #2 picks up where issue #1 left off, with Cassie and Vlad facing off against the demon the Blood Red Queen of Hearts left them with. The demon has Cassie and Vlad on the ropes. Cassie has a plan to stab the demon in the nuts but demons have no nuts. Thankfully Vampirella comes along to save the day.

With the demon dispatched, our heroes head down to Vampi’s room and we learn more about this Blood Red Queen of Hearts. While she explains the history of the Blood Red Queen to Cassie and Vlad, and their connection to her, Vampi quickly changes out of the dowdy street clothes she wore in the first issue into the CLASSIC and ICONIC red one piece everyone knows. Vlad’s first reaction to it is to…faint.

I guess he was dumbfounded by her beauty.

After Cassie, Vlad and Vampirella get in the van and head down to an abandoned warehouse. There they run into a few more demons that they dispatch of easily. But the Blood Red Queen of Hearts has a surprise for Cassie that leads into a plot twist that sets up the big showdown between Cassie and Vampi everyone’s been waiting for. I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE NEXT ISSUE!

The Second issue of Hack/Slash Vs. Vampirella was rock solid in its buildup of the story from the first issue. The action and the pacing of the story were well done, and the character interactions were FUN. I really enjoyed the chemistry between Vlad and Vampirella, and the banter between Cassie and Vlad had some humorous moments. Writer Shawn Aldridge does a great job with the story on Hack/Slash Vs. Vampirella and Rapha Lobosco’s art is top notch. This comic was just as much fun as many of the comics I used to buy in the late 1980s from the newsstand in Times Square. The plot twist at the end sets up the showdown of showdowns and I’m definitely buying the next issue in 30 days!

You definitely have to pick up the second issue of Hack/Slash Vs. Vampirella. This is the miniseries you definitely DO NOT WANT TO MISS!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Street Clothes Isis model sheet sketch

I had to draw up a model sheet for 2018’s Isis series books Isis: House of Isis and Isis: Escape From Transylvania. In both those stories Isis is featured in street clothes, not her usual New Heliopolitan Kilt and cropped top. With the next four books set in the fall, it’s time for a change of clothes.

When Isis is on the streets of Harlem she usually walks around in blue jeans, a white blouse and a black leather jacket and black leather high heeled Chelsea boots. Her ankh pendant usually sticks out of her open shirt. As the goddess next door this outfit expresses her tomboyishness and allows her to blend in at the same time. Plus, the jeans allow her to be able to use her marital arts skills and move around quickly in a fight.

Decided to play with the hair a bit with this sketch to better convey Isis’ regular hairstyle. Isis’ hair is a mix of straight Egyptian styled bangs in the front and a big head filled with bushy curls in the back. Business in the front, party in the back.  

Also decided to do a quick head sketch to show how her hair is filled with big bushy bouncy curls. Yeah, the Ankh pendant is a mess, but what I was trying to do with this sketch is show how her hair is big and bouncy.

Right now I’m outlining new Isis series stories and working on a new Isis series adventure. I’m hoping to feature this design on the covers of Isis: Escape From Transylvania and Isis: House of Isis later this year. But all that depends on me getting enough donations to pay for the covers! You can help with a donation to PayPal or Patreon!