This new edition, if I do say so myself, looks much nicer than the original 2003 version. The paper alone is much brighter and, as I mentioned in the previous post, you get to see the full images of each page, something which was mildly cut in the 2003 version.
However, if you’ve given up on print editions of books and are interested in the Kindle/Digital edition, that’s also been updated and is available here for the even cheaper price of $3.99:
The book remains a great source of pride to me and if you’ve enjoyed the Corrosive Knights books (which continue to do quite well in this new year!), I think you’ll find this work to be highly enjoyable as well!
It’s been another spectacular month -at least for me!- with regard to people either buying or reading, via Kindle Unlimited, my novels.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
I’ve been doing some backbreaking work these past few days getting a certain book ready for paperback printing…
Yep, though a digital/Kindle version of this graphic novel is available, I didn’t create a new paperback version since the original 2003 release.
That’s about to change.
In the past few days I’ve been putting together a new PDF file for this graphic novel and, as of yesterday, entered the relevent files to create a Amazon.com TPB which everyone can order.
Unlike the original paperback, the paper and print should be far, far nicer than the original version. Cleaner, brighter paper, and images that aren’t cut off.
A dirty little secret: When the original 2003 version of The Dark Fringe was printed and unbeknownst to me, the files I created of the pages wound up being a little bigger than they should have been. The person who set up the printing told me, after the fact, that he put as much of each page as he could in the trade paperback printing job but… some things were cut off. Minor elements quite literally at the edges, granted, but irritating nonetheless.
Here’s the thing: I fixed this with the digital/Kindle version but there is no actual paperback version of The Dark Fringe out there that looks the way it should.
That will change.
The new version I sent in has all the art elements as they should be and, as stated, the paper quality should be far better than the original.
I’ve already ordered proof copies of the new paperback version of The Dark Fringe and will likely get it early next week.
If all looks good, the book will be available for purchase at US $6.99 each copy. This is actually $3 less than the book was originally sold for back in 2003! Seems printing costs are coming down!
Today, I went over there just to see how things were going (always am on the lookout for reviews… whether good or bad), and I find the listing for the physical copy of my graphic novel The Dark Fringe (it is available for digital download for a mere $4.99, free with kindle unlimited), is being sold by someone for… $619.13.
That’s right: Six hundred nineteen dollars and thirteen cents.
Here’s the proof:
Now, as I said at the start of this post, I have nothing at all to do with this. Indeed, at this point in time I have nothing at all to do with the physical copy sales of this graphic novel. The books being sold are copies originally released some 10 years ago and are still circulating within comic book stores and/or used bookstores.
Anyway, once I picked my jaw back up from the floor, I investigated who exactly was selling my book for that much. Here’s what I found:
As you can see, there are four listings from which one can buy a physical copy of The Dark Fringe. However, if you look closer, you see that despite the four listing, the book is being sold through two companies. One listing, the very reasonable $10.00 one (the book originally sold new for $9.95 when it was initially released), is from Comics4Less and they ship from Illinois. The other three listings are for a company called Red Rhino which ships from North Carolina.
Frankly, all three of their prices, from $69.73 to the outrageous $619.17 (which, strangely, is different from the $619.13 listed in the first graphic) are… well… outrageous. Especially considering the fact that the “cheapest” copy on that list, for $69.73, is the one that’s listed as “like new” and the subsequent copies are “very good” ($74.52) and “acceptable” (Big Bertha at $619.17).
I… don’t get it.
Again, I have no affiliation with Red Rhino. I have no idea what type of company they are, though the nearly 7500 reviews do paint them in a very positive 91% approval light.
Perhaps this is some kind of typo?
Given there are three prices, I somehow think not.
Regardless, I’m posting this because I don’t want anyone to think I’m somehow behind the pricing of these books through this company.
Mind you, I’m well aware of the collector market and I know older publications can become “hot” and command high prices, especially if they’re rare (and given the limited print fun, physical copies The Dark Fringe TPB are indeed fairly rare).
I personally would love to think my older works are worth that much but… I don’t think so. At least not quite yet.
Earlier this morning -at 10:17 A.M. to be precise- I posted the following blog entry regarding zeppelins (you can read the post here). The upshot of my entry was that I was turned on, via reddit, to a great photograph from 1931 of a zeppelin flying over a pyramid at Giza and that, in turn, made me wax nostalgic for my love of zeppelins in general, which had me noting how I used them extensively in my first published work, the retro-futuristic noir mystery graphic novel The Dark Fringe.
Not 45 minutes later and posted on i09 I find the following article by Katharine Trendacosta:
Although it wasn’t presented among Ms. Trendacosta’s top 10, I wasn’t terribly surprised to find the Fringe second season episode Brown Betty listed among the comments as another example of a show using a different genre within its run. For those unfamiliar with the episode, here’s the trailer to Brown Betty:
Interesting stuff, no?
So what the heck does that have to do with my similarly titled The Dark Fringe?
I strongly suspect my book, originally released in 1996 (Fringe first aired in 2008 and some ten plus years after my book’s original release and Brown Betty in particular first aired on April 29, 2010), was at least a partial inspiration for that particular episode.
Now, before you think I’m one of those creative types who screams “they ripped me off!” every time some work comes with some vague similarity to my own, take that thought from your head. I don’t and I’m not making this claim regarding Brown Betty.
As I said, I strongly suspect my book INSPIRED that particular episode. Not in its story, however, but in the setting/visuals they used.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
As I said before, I published the four issues of The Dark Fringe in the mid-1990’s and collected and published a Trade paperback (TPB) of the run in 2003. The TPB caught the eye of one Scott Rosenburg at Platinum Studios. He had brought the Men In Black comic book to the big screen (I believe he originally had a hand in its creation as a comic book) and founded Platinum Studios to promote other comic book stories/concepts for the movies.
Anyway, he found and read The Dark Fringe at the time the TPB was released and offered to present the book to the movie studios. I agreed and he did. During that time, he also managed to get another of his properties, Cowboys and Aliens, off the ground and made into a feature film and I know he presented my book to the people behind that movie. And among that movie’s creative staff were some of the same people behind a little TV series which would soon appeared entitled, you guessed it, Fringe.
Was the Fringe inspired, at least by its title, by my The Dark Fringe? I don’t know and it is irrelevant. As it originally appeared, the Fringe TV show was clearly inspired by The X-Files rather than anything remotely similar to what was in my series.
However, when Brown Betty appeared in season 2 and my wife and I watched it, I distinctly recall turning to her not ten minutes into the episode and after seeing its film noir setting along with zeppelins and old-fashioned radio/computer hybrids, and saying: “Looks like someone on the show’s read The Dark Fringe!”
My wife was incensed. “How could they rip you off like this?!” she said.
I wasn’t as bothered. As I’ve already noted, the story presented in Brown Betty was nothing remotely like what I wrote for The Dark Fringe. However, back in 2010 and to the best of my memory there wasn’t anything quite like the Zeppelin heavy retrofuturistic film noir setting that I presented in my book and which I now saw in that episode.
So while Brown Betty had nothing like my story within it, I to this day believe someone on the show’s staff (perhaps several someones) were at the very least inspired by my book’s “look” and emulated it for this episode.
This was not an unusual thing, either. Several episodes in that second season of Fringe were clearly inspired by other comic books, including the season’s two part conclusion which liberally used DC’s multiverse concept.
So there you have it, for what its worth. Whether inspired by my work or not, I enjoyed Fringe and I enjoyed Brown Betty. Maybe moreso because they maybe, possibly, could have, might’ve drawn some inspiration by one of my own humble works.
Waaaaaaay back in 1984 there appeared a “new” and, at that time, most restored version of Fritz Lang’s classic 1927 movie Metropolis. While some didn’t like the use of then popular music to accompany the colorized film, I was blown away…
So much so that I started working on what would be my first complete and eventually published (though nearly ten years later and in graphic novel form) story The Dark Fringe.
When I first produced this book, steampunk didn’t exist except in the works of Jules Verne and when he wrote his science fiction, it was just that. Along with my head-spinning amazement at Metropolis, I was also intrigued with the original Tim Burton directed Batman movie. It came out a few years later and introduced what would eventually be termed “retrofuturistic” fiction.
Not to toot my own horn, but when The Dark Fringe was finally released back in the mid-1990’s, it was among the first books to combine the 1940’s look of a film noir mystery with a retrofuturistic ideal (1982’s Blade Runner clearly merged sci-fi with film noir, but it wasn’t “retrofuturistic” in nature). In effect, I was trying to create a work that melded The Big Sleep or The Maltese Falcon or Kiss Me Deadly with a setting that shared technologies like those found in the forward thinking of 1927’s Metropolis. And one of the instructions I kept giving John Kissee, the incredibly talented penciller of that series, was to always show a zeppelin or two in the sky. I was -and remain- crazy about zeppelins and this was, along with the clunky computers and villains with metal hands, a short-hand way of telling people this setting, while clearly looking old and featuring technologies that were for the most part older (I did have him design computers for the book as if they were second cousins to the old radios of the 1940’s) was a reality divorced from any “real” past.
While I haven’t pursued the world of The Dark Fringe for a while now (who knows, I may circle back to it eventually), I remain intrigued with zeppelins.
Which is why when I was on reddit this morning I was delighted to find this photograph:
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that’s a zeppelin flying over one of the Pyramids at Giza, circa 1931. Seeing the picture intrigued me and reminded me there are a wealth of fascinating photographs of zeppelins out there. A quick google search revealed the following beauties:
First, the Graf Zeppelin over Montevideo, circa 1930…
Over Buenos Aires…
A few others:
And of course there’s this one, perhaps the most iconic photograph(s) involving the best known -and for all the wrong reasons- zeppelin ever. In 1937 the German airship The Hindenburg was on its way to land in New York…
It horrifically exploded while attempting to dock. This tragedy ended the era of the zeppelins…
This photograph, which shows the Hindenburg already hitting the ground and half gone, is also quite iconic:
What was intriguing was finding some other photographs of this tragedy which I hadn’t seen. Such as this one, which takes place seconds before the first, most iconic image above:
And, the end…
A Hindenburg movie was made in 1975 (I don’t recommend it) and the legend of the Hindenburg, and questions about what exactly happened to it, remain to this day although many feel the glue used to put the airship’s out shell together was the likely chief culprit in this tragedy.
Anyway, nothing much to add to this. Zeppelins were a fascinating part of a fascinating era. The idea of lazily flying on a zeppelin across the ocean has, to me anyway, a romantic appeal. Perhaps one day we may again see something like them in the air and used for actual tourism instead of for sporting events.
Of my works, the one that remained unavailable via the Kindle was my first one, the graphic novel The Dark Fringe.
As of yesterday, The Dark Fringe is now available via Amazon.com for immediate download to your Kindle devices (be they tablets or computers). And, to celebrate this fact, the book can be downloaded FOR ABSOLUTELY FREE through the weekend. This offer expires on Sunday, June the 2nd, so please take advantage!
You can find the e-graphic novel at the link below: