Sean E. Ali’s Been Busy…

From the same folks who brought you the greatest live action hero film adaptation never, Derrick Ferguson’s DILLON AND THE VOICE OF ODIN, comes the six episode animated miniseries that never happened: DILLON AND THE MASK OF AMIRI EZANA.

Here’s some of the dialogue from the first episode: “THE LAIR OF THE GOLDEN LADY”…

“Lady, after everything I went through to get here, there’s not a damned thing you can say that will be any more effective than all those guys downstairs hoping that medical is part of the henchmen health plan.” Dillon’s eyes were pools of molten gold as his gaze fastened on the mask of Amiri Ezana in the slim fingers of the Golden Lady. “You took something that doesn’t belong to you, and I’m here to get it back.”

The Lady seemed to not be terribly concerned over Dillon’s declaration. She continued to focus her attention on the mask. “Mr. Dillon, you say nothing will prevent you from taking the mask back to the museum. Fine. I’m happy to return it once I’m done with it.” She whispered something that even Dillon’s acute hearing could not make out and with her free hand she made a pass over the mask. Dillon thought it was probably a trick of the light, but mask seemed to be… struggling to break free of the Golden Lady’s grasp. Her fingers fell away as if she were releasing a bird and the mask of Amiri Ezana began to glow as it glided above her outstretched palm.

“Tell me something, Mr. Dillon. Have you ever heard of a land called…Shamballah?”

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So Is Dillon’s Real Name Dillon Or What?

This has been a question asked of me for longer than I can remember, actually. It seems as if from his first online appearance way back in the Frontier days where DILLON AND THE VOICE OF ODIN was first serialized, people have been asking me on a regular basis; “Is Dillon his first or last name? Is it an alias? If it is, what’s his real name? And if it isn’t, then why does he only have one name?”

An old online writing pal of mine, Joel McCrory thinks that Dillon won’t reveal his last name because it’s Savage. Gave me a long laugh there (which I seriously needed, considering the summer I’ve had) but no…Dillon is in no way, shape or form related to the Savage clan. Except that the exploits of Dr. Clark Savage, Jr. have most definitely been an influence in the adventures of my creation.

So here’s the straight skinny: Dillon’s never had another name because when I created him that’s the way he presented himself to me; as Dillon. One name and one name only. And here’s one of the main reasons why. As I said many times elsewhere, there’s a lot of the DNA of many characters in Dillon such as James Bond, Derek Flint, James West, Doc Savage. But there’s one character that I think can legitimately claim to have grandfathered, creatively speaking is Paladin, the hero of the classic Western TV series “Have Gun Will Travel”

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No, Dillon doesn’t doesn’t go around passing out business cards proclaiming his stock-in-trade. But like Paladin he is an highly educated man with extensive knowledge in martial arts (there are some episodes of “Have Gun Will Travel” where we see Paladin practicing judo). They both are proficient with weapons and while they both take pay for their services that doesn’t mean they don’t have a sense of honor or what is right. Remember in DILLON AND THE LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN BELL when he forfeits a twenty million dollar payday if Lord Murphy C’jai will blow up The Golden Bell so that nobody else will find it?

And they both go around in well-dressed suits until it comes time for them to go to work and then they both dress in highly distinctive and stylish outfits that proclaim to the world that they mean business. We know right from the start of the show that Paladin resides at the obscenely lavish and expensive Hotel Carlton in San Francisco (which I’ve always believed he secretly owned) but we’ve only just learned in DILLON AND THE PROPHECY OF FIRE that he has an obscenely lavish and expensive private estate in Pennsylvania named Coppereye (in homage to Ian Fleming’s Bahamian Goldeneye estate)

And like Dillon, we went through most of Paladin’s career not knowing much about the man he was before taking up his unusual career until the 6th and final season’s first episode; “Genesis” in which we at last learn the origin of Paladin. I’m not gonna summarize it for you here. Go find it for yourself. It’s one of the best origin stories you’re ever gonna see. Trust me. But I will tell you this: at the end of the episode we still don’t find out what Paladin’s real name is.

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Over the years I have been revealing Dillon’s background little by little and I think that those of you who have been following the character like it that way. But on the subject of his name content yourself with knowing him as Dillon.

And quite honestly…would you want to know him as anything else?

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Where I Make Good On A Promise

One of the things I promised you guys was insight as to how I come up with these stories, ideas for these stories and how I determine the length of how long the serials will run. Consider this (really long) post my delivery on that promise.

First of all: how long to I determine a serial will run? Simple answer: I don’t. The story goes on as long as the story goes on. When I run out of story, it stops. I wish I could be more technical than that but I just can’t. I would find it extremely constraining to say that the next Dillon serial would run twelve chapters and that’s it. But then when I get to Chapter Three or Chapter Six and there’s a character or plot twist I want to explore and/or expand upon I allow myself the freedom to do so and I just trust that you trust me enough to go along with where I’m going and that the story will end up in a satisfactory resolution.

Take DILLON AND THE CITY OF STONE co-written by myself and Erik Fromme. I had absolutely no idea where that story was going to go once Dillon, Abelinda and Guillermo descended into the gaping hole in the Earth that would eventually take them to Yuatlacohuaca. But it was a helluva lot of fun finding out. And judging by the feedback I’ve gotten, you had a fun time as well.

But I do like to have a new serial in mind and planned out so that there will only be a gap of maybe a month or two between when one Dillon serial ends and the new one begins. I figure that the current serial; DILLON AND THE PROPHECY OF FIRE will wind up around September so it’s not too soon to start planning the next one. You know how fast time flies. But here’s the problem: I didn’t have anything planned.

Let’s jump back a couple of years. Remember when the SyFy Channel was doing all those weird monster movies with outlandish creatures fighting each other? Like “Dinocroc Vs. Supergator”? “Piranaconda Vs. Frankenfish”? “MegaPhython Vs. OctoShark”? Don’t front. You know you watched them. And if I can fess up to watching them, you can. Anyway, I’m watching one of these movies one night with my wife and as I often do, I say; “I could write a better movie than that” And Patricia responded as she always does; “So why don’t you?”

And so I did plan on doing one. I even had a title for it; “Flying Great White Shark Vs. Albino Amphibian White Tiger.” But outside of jotting down notes and characters sketches, I never got past the planning stages. One thing I did know that I wanted to have in the story was a mad scientist. And I wanted him to be black. I absolutely love mad scientists and since there were no great black mad scientists in popular fiction, I decided to create one in the grand tradition of Dr. Frankenstein (Peter Cushing version, natch) and Dr. Fu Manchu. I would model his physical appearance, demeanor and voice on the Great, Great Man, William Marshall and in further tribute, name my mad scientist Dr. William Mamuwalde (students, fans and scholars of Blaxploitation will know where the Mamuwalde name comes from) Clear so far? Okay. We move on.

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The idea for “Flying Great White Shark Vs. Albino Amphibian White Tiger” stayed in my notebooks and subconscious for an obscenely long time, lemme tell you. The concept of Dr. Mamuwalde was one that wouldn’t go away and in my development of the character he gained a son who was a master of over 1000 Martial Arts (he’s a homage to Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu in case you hadn’t guessed) and a nagging,shrewish, alcoholic wife always scheming behind her husband’s back to sell his inventions on the black market simply because the idea of a mad scientist with a nagging wife tickled the hell outta me.

But still, I just could not find the right story for Dr. Mamuwalde to make his debut. The problem was I was not happy with none of the protagonists for the story I had in mind. None of them were formidable enough to present a challenge to the character I conceived and I definitely wanted to have Dr. Mamuwalde to have a worthy challenge to his intellect and his talents. I knew I wanted to have a film crew stumble upon his island (in homage/tribute to 1933’s “King Kong”) but the characters that presented themselves to me didn’t turn my crank. They weren’t alive. They weren’t vital.

Until I happened to re-read “Dillon and The Bad Ass Belt Buckle.” One of the major characters in the story is Jenise Casile, an actress who has won an Academy Award and when Dillon meets her is in the middle of filming an epic science fiction trilogy directed by the eccentric director/producer Rigoberto Orr. Dillon and his partner Eli Creed have been hired to rescue Jenise from kidnappers and that’s all I’ll tell you about the story. You wanna know more, go read it.

Anyway, switches clicked in my brain and I realized that I could marry Jenise, Rigoberto and their current film project with my Dr. Mamuwalde character. In addition, by throwing Dillon in the mix I could satisfy my desire to have Dr. Mamuwalde go up against a foe worthy of him. And what better way for a character in my universe to make his debut by going toe-to-toe with Dillon?

There’s some other things thrown into the mix of the story such as Dr. Mamuwalde experimenting with African Cryptids which came out of when I had planned on doing “The Island of Dr. Mamuwalde” as an “Island of Dr. Moreau” homage for the “Cryptid Clash” project my good buddy Josh Reynolds is associated with and briefly talked me into it. And yes…that most definitely is a whole other story.

But once I got Dr. Mamuwalde, Dillon, Jenise and Rigoberto and the whole idea of Dillon rescuing a film crew from a war zone where they were trying to shoot authentic footage and then finding themselves the captives in a “Dr. Moreau” like situation in my brain…everything just sorta fell into place. Which is my long winded way of telling you that once DILLON AND THE PROPHECY OF FIRE is finished, expect DILLON AND THE ISLAND OF DR. MAMUWALDE.

And come back next month and I’ll tell you how Joel Jenkins without even meaning to gave me the idea/plot for the sequel to DILLON AND THE PIRATES OF XONIRA….

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From the “Dillon and The Change of Address Affair”…courtesy of Mr. Sean E. Ali..

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So…

Let’s talk about what I couldn’t talk about which is now okay to talk about…

Derrick Ferguson‘s signature adventurer, the international instigator himself, DILLON is making a move to Pro Se helmed by his truly, Tommy Dollar…

I mean, Hancock, Tommy Hancock.

Oh there’s origin stories and inside baseball and hurrying up to wait behind this…

…and hey, someday we may get around to that “Behind the Music” episode…

…dibs on disgruntled bassist who went on to form a Steely Dan tribute cover band…

But here’s the thing, I finally get two great tastes that go great together…

…screw the peanut butter and chocolate candy cup thing…

…unless you have some to give away, then it’s gimme, gimme, gimme…

The fact that DILLON is now running out of Pro Se allows the firm of Ferguson and Ali to continue practically undisturbed on sprucing up Dillon tales of old, plus (if I’m lucky enough to pass muster on my audition tape six years running) I will probably be on board for the duration…

Which is good, Pro Se has been where I’ve done some of my best work like Barry Reese‘s LAZARUS GRAY and BLACK PULP (hey they are the things I point to with pride often), so it’s gratifying to know some of my even better work will be appearing there as well.

For me at least, when I got the gig for DILLON from Derrick, who had kindly referred to a fan related image as good, I knew that despite his obvious blindness leading him to a hack like me, this was the best luck I’ve ever gotten from the visually challenged.

And Tommy, bless him, has a similar affliction, so if I’m lucky I won’t be found out any time soon.

Plus you folks get the biggest win out of all this, because we’re all here to deliver something special to you…

You can’t go wrong with Derrick doing what he loves with a character he’s fully invested in…

…and Pro Se backing that up is pretty much the best team up you’re going to find between here and Xonira.

So, to sum up, DILLON comes to Pro Se…

…and I hope you folks are ready, because together, they’re about to give you a damn fun ride.

Be good to yourselves and each other.

Toldja Things Were Going to Change

 

18920482_683176755217651_3693298313430778809_nFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PIONEERING NEW PULP CHARACTER JOINS PRO SE-
DERRICK FERGUSON’S DILLON IMPRINT DEBUTS IN 2017

A handful of characters make every ‘best of’ list when characters considered part of the New Pulp Movement are discussed. The New Pulp Movement is a community of writers, artists, and publishers associated because the work they produce is written/created in the Pulp style that grew out of the classic Pulp magazines of the early 20th Century. Author Derrick Ferguson’s extremely popular ‘global instigator’ and adventurer, Dillon, is one such character. And now Dillon and the entire, ever expanding universe he lives in is a part of Pro Se Productions. DERRICK FERGUSON’S DILLON is a new author/character centered imprint from Pro Se to debut later this year.

“People may ask “Why bring Dillon to Pro Se now?” says Ferguson. “The question could be more properly phrased as “Why did it take so long?” After all, I’ve had a long and harmonious relationship with Tommy Hancock for twenty years now and Dillon would have seemed from the beginning to be an excellent fit for Pro Se Productions as they have a reputation for innovation and showcasing remarkably vital characters. Everybody has to choose their own path and mine led me down a long and interesting road. But now it’s time to expand Dillon and his universe to a wider audience and Pro Se Productions can help me do just that.”

“I don’t have words,” says Tommy Hancock, Pro Se Productions Partner and Editor in Chief, “for what Dillon coming to Pro Se means to me, both professionally and personally. When it comes to action adventure storytelling with both shades of classic Pulp and modern relevance, no one does it better than Derrick Ferguson. And Dillon is a character that not only embodies multiple traits and concepts that make him leap off the page. He is the seed from which an entire universe of fantastic characters, awesome storylines, and the epitome of excitement grow from. DERRICK FERGUSON’S DILLON is going to be a helluva lot of fun for all involved.”

DERRICK FERGUSON’S DILLON will debut in late 2017 with DILLON ANNUAL ONE, a collection of Dillon short stories. This will be a recurring title in the imprint each year. Ferguson will also explore Dillon’s universe in various ways under the imprint.

Sean E. Ali will format and design all books in the imprint, including creating the covers. The imprint logo is also designed and created by Ali.

For more information on this title, interviews with the author, or digital copies to review this book, contact Pro Se Productions’ Director of Corporate Operations, Kristi King-Morgan at directorofcorporateoperations@prose-press.com.

To learn more about Pro Se Productions, go to www.prose-press.com. Like Pro Se on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.

And Now Here’s Something We Hope You’ll Really Like…

courtesy of my esteemed colleague and collaborator Sean E. Ali. Mr. Ali? The floor is yours, sir.

So I’ve finally sat down to work on a DILLON book from your pal and mine, Derrick Ferguson…
He calls it THE DILLON ANNUAL – VOLUME 1, in my mind it’s more DILLON THE LOST ADVENTURES- VOLUME 1…
Because, really you know and I know “Annual” books tend to be whatever whenever but “Lost Adventures”…
…well hey, they must be special, right?
You bet.
This won’t be a redress of FOUR BULLETS FOR DILLON, though there is a certain belt buckle present and accounted for, for those of you who did pick that one up, as well as other Dillon rarities that were scattered about in collections and novelettes which are finally getting a home in the book formerly known as FOUR BULLETS…
My current assignment has left me with free time and it’s been a bit since I’ve laid out a book…
Dillon books have a set style I pulled together, so I’ll be sticking with that…
But the challenge will be the cover…
I have ideas but nothing concrete yet…
But it’s early days so why bring it up while it’s still a few miles down the road?
Because I’ve read a few things lately about how the print book is a waste of time. You don’t move that many and, truth be told ebooks are supposed to be where it’s at now.
So after this, I think I’ll learn how to lay out ebooks…
…then I think I’ll see how close I can get to setting up those things as close as I can to my idea of a print book.
And maybe I’ll wax nostalgic just a bit on what motivates me to go all out on a print book like DILLON or Barry Reese’s LAZARUS GRAY series over at Pro Se and why it may be a headache…
…but if I’m putting together the product, I’m trying to make your print dollars worth it.
When you pick up something where I’m in the credits, then trust me, every design decision was made with reader’s experience in mind.
If you got an ebook, you’re only getting half the story.
Now let me get back to work, I’m kind of hoping this cover idea will gel as I go on the book layout…

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