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Someone Who Could See The Monsters

Carolyn Watson Dubisch Author Interview

The Dragon in The Closet, Dragon’s Journey follows a dragon as he sets off on an adventure to defeat his family’s curse; along the way there is danger and mysteries to solve. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The first issue of The Dragon in the Closet, The Curse is about a cursed little boy who is constantly attacked by monsters. His Nana is a witch who comes to his rescue. I wrote it during a dark time with my daughter who suffers from suicidal ideation. She was so bad they were recommending she be hospitalized but we couldn’t afford it and our insurance covered almost nothing. The character, his Nana, is what I wish I was. Someone who could see the monsters and had the tools to protect their child.

In the second issue, the dragon, who can see through time and is kept in the family closet to predict monster attacks, finally breaks free of his prison. This issue is a natural progression of the story as Orin, the boy and dragon travel north facing monsters on their own with his Nana there with him.

What were some of the trials that you felt were important to highlight the character’s development?

My goal is to show Dragon as he enters the real world for the first time, While he could always see what the world is like because of his psychic gifts, in this book he not only sees the sky with his own eyes, he flies through it. Navigating the world vs watching from a distance are two very different things and he makes mistakes like when Orin gets attacked by Cave imps.

This is also an important part of the story for Orin as he is away from his Nana and counting on someone else to protect him, feed him and keep him safe. In upcoming stories he needs to learn to keep himself safe, but he’s getting there in stages.

When you first sat down to write this story, did you know where you were going, or did the twists come as you were writing?

The twists have come as I am writing. I write a few issues ahead of the drawing of this book. I work from an outline so I know where it’s going. I create a few pages at a time and post on the webcomic every Saturday.

Will there be an Issue #4 to continue Dragon’s journey, if so when will it be available?

Yes, Issue #4 is in progress now and will be out late next year. At the beginning of 2023 I will also release the first graphic novel for this series that compiles 1,2, 3 and some chapters of 4. In the meantime you can follow the story on the webcomic at TheDragonintheCloset.thecomicseries.com.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Dragon has left the closet and can finally see the sky. Now he’s flying north to help Orin face his monsters and defeat his family curse. A big storm and terrifying monsters like Orin and Dragon have never seen await them both. Will his Nana find them in time to save them from these horrors?
The Dragon in The Closet is a thrilling comic book series for kids full of magic and mystery.
2022 Winner of the Silver Literary Titan Book Award!

Literary Titan Book Awards August 2022

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and writing talent of these brilliant authors.

Silver Award Recipients

Calm Before the Storm by Steven Paul Germanè
The Sting

Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information.

Mystical Force – Book Trailer

All beings radiate a life force, but some have an additional Mystical Force – a force that grants them special gifts, be it magical essence, demonic aura or spiritual power. While some consider these people to be gifted, there are others who feel these powers are unnatural. Mystical Force is a fantasy series, dealing with themes of prejudice and racism.

(Vol.1 Stranger in a Strange Land):
Shi-ria is brought to Earth by a sorceress named Zolida as part of a prophecy. There she meets Mystic, Noonien, Tokijin and Rose and must save a bunch of kidnapped demons from smugglers while the Order wants to destroy them. Meanwhile another sorceress named Scarlet Knightwalker wants to prevent this to ensure a dark future doesn’t come true.

(Vol.2 Angels and Demons):
Sister Rose and Tokijin are attacked by another demon (Jimomaru) and his sorceress ally (Aanjay) as revenge for them being persecuted by humans. Shi-ria, Mystic and Noonien are needed to help when Tokijin is placed under a spell and forced to attack Sister Rose.

(Vol.3 The Kolri and the Koldar):
Shi-ria, along with police detective Shinjo are transported back to Shi-ria’s planet, Thalia. Now Shi-ria must return Shinjo to Earth, while at the same time a dark cult (the Koldar Warriors) learn about this and want this power to magically teleport to any planet across the galaxy so they can spread their dark theocracy and destroy all “infidels”.

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The Joyous Adventures of Whizzojack

The Joyous Adventures of Whizzojack by [David Bush, Jack Zarb Adami]

The Joyous Adventures of Whizzojack by Jack Zarb Adami and David Bush, is a collection of short stories containing thirty-five unique characters. Each story reflects difficult situations the main characters are caught up in where Whizzojack comes to the rescue and ends up saving the day as best he can, while at the same time helping his town flourish. As stated in the foreword, the characters are meant to represent immigrants trying to find their place in a town, and does this well.

The imagination behind these stories is fantastic and the authors have done wonders in how they divide and tell each story. Written in easy to follow terms, you get a real sense of the creative mind that created this world, and the way the situations are described throughout which were added by the authors, add to the overall appeal and charm of how each story is told.

Immigration is a sensitive theme to have running throughout the short chapters, and I think in the majority of the stories this has been handled well howeveris some stories such as ‘Stiltman’ or ‘The Can Man’ they are portrayed as the villains because they are different. The characterization of the town, which is overall very engaging, is also shown to have corruption as suggested in a few stories such as ‘The Lineman’.

I enjoyed the aspect of recurring secondary characters like ‘Ma Mollie’ who I felt kept tying each story together. Furthermore, the illustrations created to accompany the plots in each chapter were wonderful and really help the reader to visualize the story. I think these stories would do well as a series of children’s books, especially due to the underlying educational tone of how people should be treated, even if they are different.

The Joyous Adventures of Whizzojack is a charming children’s story that teaches life lessons while also using some unique creativity to keep things consistently fun throughout this adventurous collection of entertaining kids stories.

Pages: 169 | ASIN: B09514222J

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Just as Unforgiving

J.R. Dunbar Author Interview

J.R. Dunbar Author Interview

Saint follows a man who’s given his wish to be a superhero but finds that the super hero life is not what he expected. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

To be honest, part of my inspiration comes from a fleeting, and perhaps juvenile, frustration. Every so often I find myself pondering the fact that superheroes don’t exist, yet super villains kind of do, you know? As soon I have this notion of a hero coming out of the woodworks to save humanity, it is quickly checked by the reality that it just wouldn’t work that way in real life. That is where Saint’s flaws come from; he played hero out of passion and it killed him, then he came back as what he had dreamed of, yet life was just as unforgiving.

Jake is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?

Thank you! I liked the idea of a truly altruistic protagonist, yet wanted a character who wasn’t afraid to kill when it was necessary. I enjoyed exploring this concept because it initially seems contradictory, and is intended to make the reader question their assessment of ethics. His journey from a rock-solid, “perfect” character into a flawed, heavily emotional character is also derived from contradiction: “How can I make this character get better in some ways, yet worse in others?” was my mindset. I find it can be boring if characters go in one direction or have too much linear development.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this graphic novel?

An important theme in Saint is self growth while staying true to yourself. Jake stumbles upon his new life as Saint, but ultimately has to revert back to his roots when his back is against the wall. Another theme readers will find is vengeance. I really tried to layer the vengeance and feuds to create a classic cat-and-mouse feel.

Do you have plans to continue this comic series or develop it in other types of media?

Yes! I have plans for two more volumes of equal length, as well as two short novels that will fill in the gaps between. I may explore other media in the future, but for now I am just writing away!

Author Links: Instagram | Website

Jake Barker always wanted to be a superhero. Acting as a vigilante for years, one day he finally got his wish…too bad he had to die for it. As the world’s first superhero, he’s finding that his new life is not all that it’s cracked up to be. Now out for vengeance, will his abilities be enough, or will vengeance find him first?

This contains the full compilation of all 5 chapters, plus an epilogue and bonus art!

Saint: A Graphic Novel

Saint: Full by [J.R. Dunbar]

Saint a graphic novel by J.R. Dunbar is a compelling and kinetic action adventure comic that is a strong addition to anyone’s graphic novel collection. At its heart, Saint is the story of a child who is consumed by the superhero genre. He dreams of the day that he’ll become a crime fighter like his favorite characters. This becomes an obsession that sets his his life on  a singular course.

Unlike many reluctant heroes, he undertakes the hero’s journey out of the desire to do good. To make a difference. Helping others is a principle factor in his development, which is refreshing to see in an overcrowded superhero market where so many main characters have tragic backstories, or are conceited, self-centered people forced to change, even Clark Kent in the new Superman movies is being bent in this new direction of dark hero’s. J.R. Dunbar has created a hero who aspires to do good, reminiscent of the classic comics of the genre, but he’s able to do it with a gritty contemporary feel that never feels out of place with today’s comics.

The artwork has a unique sketched art style with lots of bright colors that contrasts with the darker shading throughout the story. Some scenes are very detailed, even gory, but other scenes have a flat color that I would have liked to have seen given some texture. One scene I really enjoyed is the one where one character is crushed and the blood spatter comes out of the cell; very fun, unique and vivid.

Saint has plenty of profanity and graphic violence, if that’s what you’re into, but we’re also given a great action packed story that puts our hero to the tests in some very creative ways against some bad guys that are interesting and well crafted. This is a graphic novel, as it combines several of J.R. Dunbar’s comics, so readers get a more well rounded story arc then what’s found in a regular comic. If you enjoy a backstory that’s detailed and provides ample time in fleshing it out then you will definitely like this graphic novel. This is all the character development we get as we’re only given a bit more pieces throughout the novel as Saint fights crime in a uniquely Saint type of way.

Saint is an interesting take on the super hero genre. A great addition to anyone’s graphic novel collection. This is an imaginative story that will hook readers with a well-conceived story line and a likeable hero.

Pages: 155 | ASIN:  B08P3NS2F8

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Captain Fantastic and the Chocolate Planet

Captain Fantastic and the Chocolate Planet by Tommy Balaam is an imaginative and educational children’s adventure story of a spaceship captain and his dog Winston. When Winston is hungry and they find that there’s no food in their fridge, Captain Fantastic gets an idea. They travel to a Chocolate Planet full of sweets and treats for them to devour. They roam around, eating nearly everything in sight. When they return to their ship they’re so stuffed that they can’t fit through the door and don’t feel well. How will they ever get home?

Tommy Balaam’s has fun story full of vivid imagery, and it’s use of onomatopoeia and rhymes just makes the book much more engaging an interesting. The art in the book reminds me of a comic book style, with bright colors, clear pictures with some depth to them along with floating text boxes. The detailed artwork is visually appealing and will easily capture any child’s attention. This book does a fantastic job of delivering a message on health, eating, and exercise. It is certainly one of the more creative ways that I’ve seen to educate children on these topics. 

I am giving Captain Fantastic and the Chocolate Planet, by Tommy Balaam 5 out of 5 stars. Filled with incredible artwork, a sweet story, and fantastic characters, this a perfect gift for young readers. 

Pages: 32 | ASIN: B08PJPWJ18

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I’ve Got You (Captain Fantastic Book 1)

I've Got You (Captain Fantastic Book 1) by [Tommy Balaam]

I’ve Got You is a fun space adventure for young readers. Captain Fantastic and his best friend Winston sail through the galaxy when they encounter a scary looking galaxy. When Winston gets frightened Captain Fantastic’s mission is to reassure his best friend and let him know that he’ll never be alone. Together, they can face anything.

Tommy Balaam has created a charming children’s story that is filled with colorful images that give life to this simple but effective story. I don’t often come across children’s picture books that fall within the science fiction genre. This is a welcome surprise as the story embraces it with a unique charisma that is reminiscent of early science fiction TV shows like Flash Gordon.

The story begins with the duo departing on an adventure. Before long we’re given a peek into their various exciting adventures on diverse planets and against many cute monsters. All relayed through rhyme. I loved the story but what I enjoyed most about this book, much like a comic book, was the fantastic art and imagery throughout the story. A fantastic start to what promises to be an amazing intergalactic children’s series.

Pages: 32 | ASIN: B08BKSBHSN

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