NEW JERSEY - With a punch to the gut and a sock to the jaw, Episodes from the Zero Hour! is proud to announce the publication of its first volume, featuring Knuckles, Tough Guy for Hire, which is available now on their electronic print storefront, http://www.lulu.com/zerohour
The print debut marks a milestone for collaborators Anthony Schiavino and Jason Butkowski, who began Episodes from the Zero Hour! as a Web-based forum for serialized fiction. Volume One contains five short stories, penned by Butkowski, featuring the film-noir world of Federal City, and its most colorful resident, former boxer turned hired muscle, Tommy "Knuckles" McNichols.
From the book jacket: Tommy "Knuckles" McNichols is a man who's lost it all - a once-promising prizefighter turned to a life of desperation, working as a TOUGH GUY FOR HIRE to make ends meet on the gritty streets of FEDERAL CITY. He lives on the edge of darkness, going by his own modified code of ethics in a town where reality is a punch to the gut, a bullet in the chamber of a .38, or a fifth of Jack. In a city of smoke and fog, where moral ambiguity is the norm and danger lurks around every corner, will this worn-out former boxer be able to sleep at night, knowing what he's become? And more importantly, will he be able to make the rent payment by the end of the month?
The volume showcases Schiavino's book design and production, a beautiful cover by award-winning pulp illustrator Douglas Klauba, and fantastic interior illustrations from veteran comic artist Rob Davis and newcomer Jared Araujo. The Zero Hour! crew's freshman efforts are already garnering them praise from some of the established professionals in the pulp revival and comic book industries:
"Man, I love these 'KNUCKLES' McNichols stories!" said Ron Fortier, author of Captain Hazzard and the Python Men of the Lost City and founder of Airship 27 Productions. "Jason Butkowski has created a true down and out original pulp character that is easy to cotton to. The stories bounce between down and out dirty street life, ala classic Noir, to humorous anecdotes that resonate with true street savvy. This is an amazing collection and if you really like pulp, you are going to love 'KNUCKLES'. All I can say, Butkowski, is more, please. Lots more!"
"'KNUCKLES' will dazzle you with some humorous fancy footwork; put you on the canvas with a one-two combo of characters that are tough as nails but as human as you or me; and just when you think you've got it all figured out, deliver a couple delicious sucker punches," said Sean Ellis, author of Magic Mirror. "'KNUCKLES' is a knockout!"
"In a town where life slips you a mickey and opportunity is best found at the end of a gun, Tommy 'KNUCKLES' McNichols delivers a sense of gritty, two-fisted common sense to the mean streets of Federal City. This is PULP NOIR at its BEST!" said Wayne Skiver, author of The Prof. Stone Adventures. "Butkowski has created a world to rival Miller's Sin City and a character that would be right at home downing a fifth of Jack with Spillane."
"Finally! Pulp the way Pulp is supposed to be!" said comic writer Steve Niles, writer and creator of 30 Days of Night.
A BLINDING FORCE PRODUCTIONS SERIALIZED FEATURE EPISODES FROM THE ZERO HOUR! VOLUME ONE
Written by Jason Butkowski
Cover by Douglas C. Klauba
Illustration by Jared Araujo and Rob Davis
Production and design by Anthony Schiavino
116 Pages with Ads
$20.00 limited edition hardcover