Monday, August 29, 2011

Lance Star: Sky Ranger Volume 3 Launch Interview: Sean Taylor

With the release of the third volume of Lance Star: Sky Ranger from Airship 27 Productions and Cornerstone Books, we here at Sky Ranger Central talked to the creators, writers, artists, and publishers involved with the latest installment in the Lance Star: Sky Ranger series.

Next up is Lance Star: Sky Ranger writer, Sean Taylor.

LSSR: Tell us a little about yourself and where readers can find out more about you and your work?

ST: I was born in a small outpost on the edge of the planet Xanthum Gumm Major, but quickly transported to earth to begin my people’s takeover of your tiny, backwater world. But until that day is realized, I bide my time as a humble, God-fearing writer of comics and pulp and horror and anything else publishers are willing to pay me to create.

I maintain a not-so-secret outpost in cyberspace that Google and I like to call There you can find out all kind of cool stuff like where I’ll be appearing at conventions, read samples of my work, and my top-secret plans for world domination. Or you can go to places like anything that ends in a .com and look for seanhtaylor. Chances are, you’ll find evidence of my global takeover there.

Or just go to Barnes & Noble. You’ll find me on the shelves there. Well, not me exactly, but the part of me that lives on in my words.

LSSR: How did you become involved with the Lance Star: Sky Ranger series?

ST: Series owner Bobby Nash and I go back quite a few years, and for some reason he still actually thinks I’m an okay guy. In between all our traveling to and from conventions as the buy-one-get-one-free duo, I guess I finally wore him down and he agreed to let me write for Lance Star just to shut me up.

And that’s the God honest truth, except for the paragraph above.

Actually, Bobby and I had wondered why we hadn’t put our hat in some of the same rings, and when an opportunity to write a Lance Star story came up, the timing seemed right to cross the streams (thank you Ghostbusters).

LSSR: Who is Lance Star? What makes pulp characters like Lance and the Sky Rangers appeal to you as a writer and a reader?

ST: To me, Lance Star is part Blackhawk, part Indiana Jones, part James Bond, part Robin Hood, part Sam Spade, and part Allan Quartermain. I know that sounds convoluted, but when you put all those adventurers in a blender and hit the mix button, you get what I think of when I think of Lance.

Adventure? Check. Good guy? Check. Fights injustice? Check. Get’s the girl? No, but only because he’s already got the one he wants.

Telling a pulp tale with Lance is a way of letting the fun writer inside come out and play without trying so hard to write “Literature” with a capital ‘L.’ It’s the freedom to explore the tropes of fast action, unbelievable situations, dangerous dames, knuckles-to-the-jaw fights, bullets blazing escapism. And personally for me, it’s a way to write characters who just leap from the page and write themselves. The dialog for Lance and his co-stars just flew to the page, and I found myself missing them as friends when the work was done and the story was finished. I’m really looking forward to getting the band back together for a future volume.

LSSR: Your Lance Star: Sky Ranger story in Volume 3 is called “Dance With The Devil.” What can you tell us about this story?

ST: It’s the first appearance in Lance’s world of a true femme fatale, Monique San Diablo, who could be a spy, a thief, a double agent, a potential lover, a confidante or any number of things. I think Lance needed a character who could challenge his notions of good and evil and who could blur the lines in between them and get his motor running in a way that actually makes him consider—even for a mere moment—cheating on Betty. We all know he’s too virtuous to actually do it (Or is he?) but every hero needs that person who tempts him to walk at least a little on the wild side. From there the story gets dangerous fast, with Nazis, stolen paintings from the Louvre, the French police, and even a chase through the catacombs beneath Paris. Beyond that, well, that would spoil the fun of reading it for yourself.

LSSR: Any upcoming projects you would like to plug?

ST: No.

Okay. Yes. I lied.

If you haven’t read the comic book I wrote for the Oxygen Network and IDW THE BAD GIRLS CLUB, with the fantastic artist Martheus Wade, rush over to IDW and take a peek. I’m really proud of that one. I’ll be working with Martheus on the new TURRA: GUN ANGEL series as well, featuring the martial arts cutie who prefers guns to knuckles.

Also, be on the lookout for the new volume of DREAMS OF STEAM, called BRASS AND BOLTS, which features my first steampunk horror tale of serial killers and the dark arts in Victorian England.

Over at Pro Se Productions, there’s PRO SE PRESENTS #1, a re-launch of the magazine, which features my tales “Art Imitates Death,” a horror tale about art, marriage and zombies.

Upcoming stuff I’m looking forward to sharing includes tales of the 1930s gumshoe Rick Ruby for Airship 27, more zombie stories for IDW, some 1950s sci-fi fun with THE DANGER PEOPLE (another partnership between Bobby Nash and me) for New Babel Books, a pulp comic episode with the amazingly talented Jim Ritchey III featuring the all-but-forgotten Golden Age good girl The Blue Lady for Airship 27, and an original sequel to several of H.G. Wells’ stories that I call A STITCH IN TIME: THE RETURN OF THE INVISIBLE MAN for IDW.

And above all else, don’t miss my collection of superhero fiction from New Babel Books, SHOW ME A HERO. It contains every tale I ever wrote for Cyber Age Adventures and iHero Entertainment. It’s a huge volume of original costumed fun and tragedy.

LSSR: Thanks for agreeing to the interview, Sean.

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