Monday, December 31, 2018

Surviving?

Did Alibi Jones' team survive their ghost hunting? Alibi lost a lot of blood when a parasitic umbilical from a massive, supposedly haunted vessel penetrated his EVA Suit – and his leg! See if Alibi wakes up in Chapter Twenty-Three of Alibi Jones and the Hornet's Nest. This is a perfect time to start listening – writer, host and narrator Mike Luoma sets up the chapter with a short story-so-far so you can enjoy even if you're a new to the podcast. The Adventures of Alibi Jones continue – be sure to go back and check out Episode 500 and a Brand-New Alibi Jones Short Story - Alibi Jones: Christmas Present – on the 500th Episode of Glow-in-the-Dark Radio! 



You can now support Mike and this podcast on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/glowinthedarkradio 

And Listen to YEARS of back episodes @ Podomatic: https://glowinthedarkradio.podomatic.com/   

2018 in Mike: https://glowinthedarkradio.blogspot.com/2018/12/2018-year-in-mike-with-free-samples.html  

Mike is now doing freelance voice work – need a pro voice? Email glowinthedarkradio@gmail.com 

Join the mailing list: http://eepurl.com/0_Z7z  

Promo is for Geek Radio Daily: http://geekradiodaily.com  

Home(s): http://mikeluoma.com - http://glowinthedarkradio.com - http://alibijones.com

2018 – The Year in Mike – with Free Samples!


In which I survive seven hells & somehow still manage to put out some cool stuff...

Pretty happy to see this vicious bastard of a year dead! Trying to recover from a powerful, personal, proverbial gut punch as 2018 opened, I caught a metaphorical kick when down in cruel April, going from suddenly single to unemployed, too. And just before going, the unrelenting Year took another old friend, proving its vile nature. Enough! Nasty F'ing brute, 2018. Get Thee Gone!

Only way I know to counter negativity and fight against darkness and chaos is to keep on doing Amazing Things. Being Creative – making Art, bringing new creative ideas into being, manifesting them as concrete things in our reality – books, podcasts, and comics – these are my counter-spells, and this is my Magic – my Defense Against the Dark Arts!

Through this hellish stretch I still somehow managed to do nearly One Amazing Creative Thing each month, though it wasn't easy. Depression it should have dispelled stayed and got in the way of accomplishments. Struggling through required confidence that drained away in contemplation of the recent past. But... Can't let one's mental wheels spin in those ruts or you never do Amazing Things. And, if anything, we need more Amazing Things in the world! More Creative Counter-Spells Against the Dark Lords of Despair that dominate these days.

I need you to be Amazing, too. I need your help. None of my Things have any power in our world without your belief and support. Unless you're reading my books, listening to my podcasts, and enjoying my comics, it really doesn't matter much that I'm making them. So, please – if something here looks good to you, please, give it a try. Click on the link and download a free sample.

No sugar coating it, "support" means money, too, so if you like the sample, please buy the whole thing, and then talk it up and share it on social media, and get your friends to try, too. Give 'em this page's link and tell 'em to skip down to where it says "2018 Releases" for the Free Samples. Post the link for this on facebook, Twitter, give it to good people. Please help spread the word!

And? Get in touch and tell me if you like it! I won't know you like my stuff, otherwise. I love hearing from people when they connect with my work. Find me by my name on either facebook or Twitter: @MikeLuoma. Instagram, I'm "glowinthedarkradio". I'm a one-man DIY show, aside for art for the comics when I coordinate with an art team and make it happen in collaboration – even then, publication and promotion is all on me. And? Maybe now, you, too, a little bit. If you're willing to help.

I've just set up on Patreon, so you can support me at http://Patreon.com/GlowInTheDarkRadio - with a $2/month Basic tier, $5/month Free Stuff tier & $10 awesomeness tier: Igniters, Illuminators and Radiants. Why would you do that? To help me pay for my podcast and maintain the creative momentum that allows me make all this cool stuff for you... of course. Ahem. Right?
Or? Just buy some books and spread the word. That old fashioned kind of support works just fine, too.

2018 Releases
(Click on the Titles for Free Samples when available. Links lead to Digital Assets stored in Dropbox, or podcast episodes, or articles)

Best to focus on this year's creative accomplishments!

January saw the release of Issue #4 of Vatican Assassin: The Graphic Novel, the final monthly installment telling a tale of BCVatican Assassin Bernard Campion. The entire graphic novel adaptation of my science fiction novel was re-touched and colored by Juan Carlos Quattordio (JCQ) and re-lettered by me (ML), with original art by Cristian Navarro (CN). The collected Graphic Novel would be released in March.

That was because February belonged to Good Samaritan: Unto Dust! Issue #2 and the 2-in-1 Graphic Novella were both released, appropriately enough for a Superhero who turns perps into ash while using the words of the Church's rituals, on Ash Wednesday! I'm very proud of Federico Guillen's (FG) beautiful pencil art, directly and masterfully colored with a watercolor grace by Ken Lateer (KG). I wrote and lettered (ML). Long in the works, it was good to get this book out into the world! And on the perfect day, too.

Did you know that after writing BC's story, I discovered in Winston Churchill's Histories mention of a Jesuit assassin for the Pope in Elizabethan times with the surname of Campion? I love it when reality echoes!  Our Campion kills for the pope and Vatican of the New catholic Church (NcC) in the future – and he's no Jesuit. He's no saint, either, but did you know his graphic novel was released close to Saint Patrick's Day? Which had nothing to do with anything, I suppose, but was a way to get around to mentioning that now beautifully colored and remastered Vatican Assassin: The Graphic Novel came out in March.

April's cruelties didn't allow me to truly enjoy the print release of my Star-Lord and the Guardians of the Galaxy: An Unofficial Comic Book History which finally arrived in paperback that month. A history of Marvel's Cosmic Wild Bunch based on my past columns, research and interviews, greatly expanded by new research and writing, this textual telling of the Guardians comic book history includes insights from Chris Claremont, Dan Abnett, Steve Englehart, Timothy Zahn and more. The sites where my columns appeared are now gone. Seemed like a good idea to put this stuff out in some form.

May's Amazing Thing was attending Balticon! And? I was just invited back to 2019's convention – looking forward to another Amazing Thing! I also attended Arisia in Boston in January, and got great feedback on the Self-Publishing panel I was a part of – but Balticon really helped me get back to being myself again. The New Media/Podcasting track folks who gather there are part of my soul tribe! See a note on the coming Arisia below.

Summer saw me catching up on my audio books – finishing up recording, producing and releasing them... In June the Alibi Jones and the Sunrise of Hur audiobook was released, July saw the Alibi Jones and the Time War of The Devrizium audiobook out, and with August came the audiobook of Alibi Jones and the Hornet's Nest. Three Amazing Things!
(Suddenly, I feel like The Count... Three, three, THREE Amazing Things! Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!)

In September, I marked a dozen years of podcasting, which was sort-of an Amazing Thing! I shared my thoughts on it in a big Article at Medium.com - “What’s A Podcast?” — Looking Back at a Dozen Years of Podcasting.

October and November were both spent working in preparation for December's Really Amazing Thing – my podcast's episode five hundred. I was writing and recording a brand-new Alibi Jones short story. While I don't have major Amazing Things to share released during those months, I can share this Amazing Thing from back in the summer, a Music Extra with Burlington musicians Matt Hutton and Sean Toohey on their career of making music together. It's pretty special!

I did have my first article published at AllAccess.com in NovemberFive Things To Know About Breaking Into (And Sustaining) The Podcast Space – that's almost an Amazing Thing.

So, three audio books, two articles, two graphic novels, two comic book issues, two conventions, one cosmic comic book team's history's paperback, one audio history of two Burlington musical collaborators, AND the big ol' Episode 500 with the brand new Alibi Jones story – not a bad output for a year that I swear was trying to kill me!

So long, 2018!

If you want to get your hands on any of these, please head to Glow-in-the-Dark Radio.com / MikeLuoma.com – thanks for checking out my year's creative output.

Before we get into our encore presentations Live from Robot Dog Studio, we’re going to bring you another encore - our visit with Matt Hutton & Sean Toohey from earlier this summer as they talk about all those years of making music together. That starts right about 2 o’clock this afternoon, on WBKM! #btv #wbkm #yearinmusic #yearinreview #2018


Packed house for Darlingside - such amazing sounds! #btv #yearinreview #livemusic #yearinmusic #2018


Wild Child came through, too. Nice show! #btv #2018 #livemusic #yearinmusic #yearinreview


Real treat to see Ty Segall solo acoustic earlier this month! #livemusic #btv #yearinreview #yearinmusic #2018


I don’t take pictures at every show. Often forget if I’m REALLY into it. But I had to grab one shot at The Record Company - this was all I got! #btv #livemusic #2018 #yearinmusic #yearinreview


Soundcheck pic of Mike Edel - before his early show @ Nectar’s in late summer. I like the space in this one. #btv #nectars #livemusic #yearinreview #yearinmusic #2018


Saw Joe Adler & his band at the final Summervale this year... #btv #livemusic #yearinmusic #yearinreview #2018


Julia Caesar played Summervale - first time I’d been! #btv #livemusic #yearinreview #yearinmusic #2018


Saw Wolfhand a few times this year! #btv #livemusic #yearinreview #yearinmusic #2018


Finally got to see an all time favorite - Joe Jackson! At the Flynn this summer. Loved it! Tho my friend I brought hated it... #btv #livemusic #yearinreview #yearinmusic #btv


The Hutton-Toohey disaster! Playing their tunes from Envy, The Red Telephone & more. Did a great interview too! #livemusic #2018 #btv #yearinreview #yearinmusic


King Tuff aka Kyle Thomas returns to Vermont! Great night at Higher Ground in late spring #livemusic #btv #yearinreview #yearinmusic #2018


Cut Worms had a great opening set before King Tuff in late spring #livemusic #2018 #btv #yearinreview #yearinmusic


Motel Brown reunion! A great part of the year in music! Plus I got to MC ;-) Wish we could’ve elected James Ehlers... #btv #livemusic #2018 #yearinmusic #yearinreview


Kyle Craft played Higher Ground in March - great album & performance this year! #btv #livemusic #2018


Looking back on live music this year - always a treat when Hana Zara comes back to town! This was early in the year. #livemusic #btv #2018 #yearinreview


Sunday, December 30, 2018

Sunday Morning Musings...

Sunday morning musings... of a more fanciful variety this morning. I enjoy entertaining the idea that "humankind" has a far more interesting history - pre-history - than currently allowed for in our modern historical, anthropological and scientific world views. However, even the cold, hard scientists are discovering the ancient past was more interesting than their forerunners once allowed.
We now know homo sapiens were living alongside other forms of humanity, up through the last ice age. We've found "hobbits" - Homo floresiensis ("Flores Man"), "dwarves" - Homo naledi (newest discovery, in 2015!) and possible giants - Homo denisova* (*pending - "Denisovans"). Discovered the previously discovered Neanderthals were more interesting than we knew. And discovered homo sapiens also interbred with at least two of the above, Neanderthals and Denisovans.
All this leads me to believe our "myths" and "tall tales" from the distant past MAY have the echo of real truth behind them, that the stories told by our ancestors could be far more authentic than we smug modern humans have led ourselves to believe. For now, it seems the "folktales" that inspired "The Lord of the Rings" and the like, with humans working alongside - and fighting with - giants, dwarves, elves, hobbits and other races, could have actually taken place!
I hear some of you already, protesting - "to a degree... What about the Magic? That wasn't there." Ah, yes. Now, here's where I'll truly get fanciful... Until very recently, we had no idea how contemporaneous some of these other races were with nascent homo sapiens sapiens, and, at least with Neanderthals, it was KNOWN they were older, and not part of our gene pool: "To suggest the reality of many races alongside each other is nonsense!" But now, it's not. And Magic is still impossible. Right?
Well... Parapsychologists have been studying humankind's latent telepathic abilities for decades, doing provable, repeatable science demonstrating extra-sensory abilities are part of our human makeup. Philosophers studying the nature of consciousness suggest our intentions shape the reality we live in when we use the power of our imaginations. Some Psychologists have suggested our minds may have perceived reality in different ways at different stages of our human development. The concept of Consciousness itself is now gaining ground in the scientific world, where the very idea that there could be more to the mind than the brain and its chemicals and cells is still hard for many scientists to accept. All this adds up, for me, to the possibility we may be capable of more than we know. Perhaps they knew how to harness a power of the human mind and will that we no longer have access to, that we might call "Magic"?
We would not be able to see the magic when we dig up the bones. But we can't hear the songs they would have sung, or know the pre-written-word language they spoke, either - and yet assume they did these things, because that's what we do. We *don't* do "magic", and assume for them the same.
Some things about the ancient past seem ridiculous or impossible, until they are found to be true - like the idea dinosaurs were brightly feathered! Did you know our previous concept of them with just skin is wrong? The discovery of the relationship of birds and dinosaurs has turned all that on its head - and yet, a correct picture of a feathered dinosaur will still look "wrong" to many.
And maybe we CAN see the Magic. Maybe we see proof of its work every day, but discount it, because we don't know it? One last leap, here - we look at megalithic architecture and marvel at the abilities of those in the distant past to move HUGE blocks of stone, and line them up ridiculously close, tight and well. And? We have no evidence of any technology that would have allowed them to do this. Of course, this is where the History Channel mystics step in with "Ah! Must be Ancient Aliens!" I disagree. Sure, it could be. But what if it was all us, and our fellow hominids, using abilities now closed off to us within ourselves? What if it isn't a "visible" technology?
What if we can do magic? I'm sure if we discover how, it will be amusing to look back on this unenlightened era and laugh. That is, if we haven't all turned each other into newts by then...

Friday, December 28, 2018

Kinda proud of my first WBKM poster :-) Be sure to listen in for hours of #live #btv #music! NYE & NYD on #WBKM


Top Tracks of 2018

Told you about my Top Ten favorite ALBUMS of this year a short time back (10-6) (5-1) - BUT as there are loads more EPs and just singles released these days, while I do like to honor the album, highlighting Top Tracks, too, gives a bigger picture of the Year in Music. My usual warning - this is all highly subjective, blah blah blah... this is what I liked!

Why 15 Tracks? Because I had more than 10, and I like nice round numbers. If you were wondering, I am including tracks from my favorite albums in this list - this could be a playlist of my favorite songs of 2018, and I wouldn't want to leave them out. Wait. It IS a playlist! Posted after the list…

15. Dan Wilson "We Ain't Telling" - With a Semisonic reunion underway and new music promised in 2019, leader Dan Wilson has been releasing some solo singles, just putting some music out monthly, not a "formal" album in the works, seems. Another track, "Uncanny Valley", came out recently. Dan released "We Ain't Telling" in late September, a tale of two colliding at times over time, with a certain sweet secretness not to be shared. Wilson writes beautiful pop rock. So good!

14. Gin Wigmore “Girl Gang”  - New Zealander Wigmore has never quite caught fire in the States the way I thought she would. This is one of a few tracks you’ll find on this list that wasn’t released as a single. If it were my call, it would have been. This, to me, sounds like a great pop song — a hit! It’s fun and wry and nervy and cool… Gin kicks ass, and so does this tune.

13. Lord Huron "Vide Noir" -  My favorite track on their 2018 album of the same name. Though the singles released hearkened back to their hit, the album's title track and a couple others possessed more power and mystery. I love the way this track sounds like it could be an old episode of the X-Files…

12. Ty Segall "I'm A Man" - Could have picked his cover of "Every 1's A Winner" from one of his other 2018 albums, Freedom's Goblin, or singles "Alta" or "My Lady's On Fire". But this cover of little Stevie Winwood and The Spencer Davis Group's classic - off Segall's 2018 covers album Fudge Sandwich - kicks a special sort of fuzzy ass.

11. King Tuff "Psycho Star" - Erstwhile Vermonter Kyle Thomas - a.k.a. King Tuff - delivered a lopping, funky psychedelic romp with this track from his The Other. A fun little ditty about chaos and confusion, how we're all mostly made of nothing, and other trippy, heady concepts. Great live at Higher Ground, too!

10. Jonathan Wilson "There Is A Light" - In a year where uplifting music was welcome and helpful, this tune echoing the positivity of George Harrison still makes me smile. Doesn't hurt that it's a little arch in its observations as well. Wilson is certainly mining the Harrison vibe, but he's doing his own thing with it here, too, a bit more sunny California than India-via-Liverpool.

9. Kyle Craft "Heartbreak Junky" - The year I've had? This song just worked! To me, it evokes old Small Faces and the era when Brits were bringing some hony-tonk into Rock'n'Roll. Yet there's a personal raw emotion and a contemporary edge. Another great Higher Ground show this year as well!

8. Lo Moon "All In" - Album-closing track from this California-based trio, from their self-titled debut album out in the first part of the year. The ringing keyboard tone reminds me of So-era Peter Gabriel, and I kind of love that. Lead singer Matt Lowell doesn't sound like Gabriel - his vocals are sometimes favorably compared with Mark Hollis of Talk Talk. Indeed, sometimes sonically Lo Moon mines the eighties, but they ultimately create their own thing.

7. Million Miles "Something Good" - Million Miles might be my favorite new artist. There is something about Sophie Beaudry's voice that just gets to me, melts right through my jaded exterior. Great nuance and sophistication in her delivery, colored by subtle emotions, with her beautiful timbre... Last year's "Ice Cream & Cigarettes" was the first thing I heard from her this year, and "honey" is her EP's lead single, but I love this one just a little bit more.

6. Jealous of the Birds "Marrow" - when she soars into the chorus, Naomi Hamilton takes us with her into the clouds! The lyrics, introspective and thoughtful, still sparkle with an intellectual playfulness and a love for language and words. The bridge becomes hushed and intimate, only to explode into the chorus once again. Majestic tune!

5. The Record Company "I'm Getting Better (And I'm Feeling It Right Now)" - You know what they say - fake it 'til you make it. This tune helped me do just that! Some days I could sing along true, other down days, it perked me up and set me on a better path. Can't ask a song to do much more than that! Kicked ass when they played it live at Higher Ground, too - love this band!

4. Villagers "Trick of the Light" - An ethereal song of hopeful longing and patient faith, of the power of love and will, of signs in the sky and heads in the clouds, and yet, a certain sense of unease... Conor O'Brien - another single artist "band" - creates a haunting vibe on this lead track from his The Art of Pretending to Swim. The video is sort of perfect as well...

3. A Perfect Circle "So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish" - An upbeat tune about the world ending in grand atomic nuclear annihilation is not usually my thing... but I do love this song! Musically well-constructed, with beautiful tension and release throughout and an almost theatrical, over-the-top glory and grandeur completely at odds with the grim lyrics. The title comes from Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which called to me - they raised and waved the science fiction geek flag. And those mentioned, like Bowie, Gene Wilder, Carrie Fisher and Muhammad Ali - "Willy Wonka, Major Tom, Ali, and Leia have moved on... " - would appreciate the way they've been irreverently memorialized here. Also? It was released the day I was let go without cause by The Point after eight years - BOOM! End of one world, anyway. Timing was perfect.

2. The Moondoggies "Underground (A Love Sleeps Deep)" - "Easy Coming" made me anticipate A Love Sleeps Deep, but it was the almost-title track that truly blew me away. Grandeur. Power. Beauty. So good. Just listen.

1. Frank Turner "Be More Kind" - Man, Frank, talk about hitting the proverbial nail on its proverbial head - how'd you do that? An IMPORTANT message for these times. My favorite song this year, in a year when more people needed to hear this message than ever before. It was - obviously - nowhere near popular enough!

That’s the list! There were a few more tracks considered, some mentioned before, those by artists above where I had to narrow down my choices. Others worth seeking out include S. Carey “More I See”, Stone Foundation “Sweet Forgiveness”, Hozier “Nina Cried Power”, Matt Simons “We Can Do Better (Acoustic)”, and Phosphorescent “New Birth in New England”. You’ll find a Spotify playlist with all 20 tunes Here:


Saturday, December 22, 2018

Back to Hunting Ghosts!

Alibi Jones and his crew are hunting ghosts on a giant ghost ship – but they're hunting back! One team member's dead. One on the bridge of their ship argued with the ghost of her dead fiancĂ©. Alibi's outside, cutting through a parasitic umbilical the massive, supposedly haunted vessel attached to his Cruiser to siphon his ship's power. As he cuts, the ghost on the bridge changes into their dead crewmember – what's going on! Find out in Chapter Twenty-Two of Alibi Jones and the Hornet's Nest!

Mike sets up the chapter with a short story-so-far so you can enjoy even if you're a new listener. The Adventures of Alibi Jones continue! This is Episode #501 – be sure to go back and check out Episode 500 and a Brand-New Alibi Jones Short Story - Alibi Jones: Christmas Present – on the 500th Episode of Glow-in-the-Dark Radio!


You can now support Mike and this podcast on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/glowinthedarkradio 

And Listen to YEARS of back episodes @ Podomatic: https://glowinthedarkradio.podomatic.com/    

Mike is now doing freelance voice work – need a pro voice? Email glowinthedarkradio@gmail.com

Join the mailing list: http://eepurl.com/0_Z7z 

Mike's radio home, WBKM: http://wbkm.org

First Timer! Promo is for The Melting Potcast: https://themeltingpotcast.com/

Home(s): http://mikeluoma.com - http://glowinthedarkradio.com - http://alibijones.com

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Sunday Morning Thoughts...

The great fault in many organized religions lies in separating Human from God, in order that said religion may perform as the necessary "intermediary" between, thus justifying their existence. We are NOT separate from God.The artificial separation created by some theological structures drains both we and God of our power together and transfers it to the organization.

When combined with the rigid scientism of many Western Intellectuals and the "show me" state of sensate reality they maintain, this effectively silences and minimizes the God within - the voice of power that wells up from inside us in the still, small moments, when we allow ourselves to listen. We don't trust that voice. We don't trust ourselves. And we are told we are correct in this - for They Know Better. The insidious intellectual and theological underpinnings of this artificial separation means that the same arguments bolster both "scientific" atheists and desperate-to-cling-to-belief theists, as they both insist, "you cannot hear God within!"

But what was it that ancient prophets listened to? We have relegated their experiences to myth and so marginalized them - taken away their power, too. Far safer to think them "crazy men of the desert" than to acknowledge they may have been responding to the same call for justice rising inside of them as so many STILL feel today. In so many cases the "prophets" of old, like some contemporary protesters, were people who invoked God's name to call out the sins and injustices of their rulers.They did not deny that God could work in and through them, and so embraced the call for justice they felt and dared to speak truth to power.

We do not need intermediaries when it comes to God. Facilitators, perhaps. Sharers in experience, certainly. A community sharing in that experience, definitely. But not those who would Get In The Way, stand between we Human and God. They need to go. Religion has a place, but that place is not In The Way. Those that obstruct are no longer relevant.

God is Love, that Love is inside us, and when we listen to and act out of that Love, we bring God into the world. Let us better hear God's voice in the cries for justice in the world, the modern calls of God's Prophets...

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Brand new Alibi Jones short story on the new Episode 500! #Free #Audio #sciencefiction #adventure Cover art by Blair D Shedd. Over an hour long story! https://ift.tt/1CbPSpp


Episode 500!

Episode 500! For 12+ years, Mike Luoma has been narrating and posting his science fiction adventures, Free to download and subscribe. Today: a milestone. The 500th Episode of Glow-in-the-Dark Radio!

Mike is celebrating with a BIG show - in more ways than one. He has written and narrated a Brand-New Alibi Jones Short Story - just for this episode - which clocks in at over an hour in length!

In Alibi Jones: Christmas Present, Alibi Jones' Aunt Anita has a Christmas "mission" for him - but Time becomes an issue when a package arrives that simply should not exist! Time travel, a surprise visit, family issues and more... a self-contained story EVERYONE can enjoy, whether you've read or heard any of Alibi Jones' adventures before or not. It's PG-13 for language, nearly all-ages aside from a few flung about four-letter friends. The Adventures of Alibi Jones continue on Glow-in-the-Dark Radio.

Mike has news, too. Including that you can now support Mike on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/glowinthedarkradio 

And Listen to YEARS of back episodes @ Podomatic: https://glowinthedarkradio.podomatic.com/     

Mike is now doing freelance voice work – need a pro voice? Email glowinthedarkradio@gmail.com



Join the mailing list: http://eepurl.com/0_Z7z 

Mike's radio home, WBKM: http://wbkm.org

Home(s): http://mikeluoma.com - http://glowinthedarkradio.com - http://alibijones.com

Today is the Day!! #500Episodes #podcast #podcasting #sciencefiction #audiobook #adventure #free #milestone #btv


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Best Albums of 2018 - Part Two - 5 through #1

Welcome back to this list of my Top Ten Albums for 2018! Thank you for reading. If you haven't yet, be sure to check out my choices for Albums 6 - 10 in the previous post.

One thing you may not know? I write this list effectively backwards - start with the entry on #1, and work my way back down to #10. So what you're about to read was written before what you read already. If you already read part one. Written after this part two. Alrighty? Do you read me? Right-o! Ahem.

Let's get back into my personal choices for Best Albums of 2018, counting down the Top 10...

5. The Record Company - All of This Life. Week to week, this album and Number Six, Kyle Craft's Full Circle Nightmare, traded spots on my personal playlist. List position was a toss-up between the two. I guess The Record Company wins for a couple of reasons. Saw them live more recently, so I still kind of have a show afterglow. And because "I'm Getting Better (And I'm Feeling It Right Now)" has become an anthem for me - one of my favorite songs this year! It just kicks ass:




I'm about the furthest thing from a blues purist. Know the chords, know the progressions, but the basic blues pretty much bores me. Sorry. I need you to do more with it. The Record Company plays pretty straight-ahead blues rock. And yet? They do something else with it - that I can't define! How cool is that? And, whatever that something is? Makes me excited. I wanna jump up and sing and dance and scream along! Even when it is something as traditional as "Roll Bones" - go figure.





4. Lo Moon - Lo Moon. This self-titled debut from the Los Angeles-based trio was a long time in coming. I'd been looking forward to its release since the first "single" - the 7-minute plus "Loveless" - appeared - in September 2016! This is finely-crafted art-pop with ethereal overtones and occasional wanderings into Prog Rock spaces, though I hesitate to mention that because of some people's Anti-Prog biases. Lo Moon owes something to the mid 80's sound of Peter Gabriel, Tears for Fears, Talk Talk and artists of their ilk, as you can hear on the album closer, a favorite, "All In":





Feel a little guilty including "Loveless" as the second representative track, I think because it's probably been in my lists 3 times, now! But it is that good. It hooked me and made me anticipate this album's release for almost a year-and-a-half!






3. Darlingside - Extralife. At the end of last year, when Don and Harris from Darlingside were driving up to deliver the first single "Eschaton" from this new album to radio, back when I was still with The Point, their GPS mis-led them to the station's transmitter site, on top of a mountain. Harris still tells that story live, as I discovered when I saw them this past Friday night! Great show, and for the first time in the larger room, the ballroom, at Higher Ground. It looked close to sold out! They invited me to the show and put me on their guest list, very cool. It's nice to be remembered personally, apart from my former radio station and employer.

So great to see their ever-growing crowds. Also great? They truly value the help I gave them along the way when I was with The Point, and acknowledge that support - it is nice to be embraced that way by a band. Does that bias me towards them? Yeah, probably. So what? They make amazing music. Listen to their amazing, tight and intricate 4-part harmonies on "Futures":




They demonstrate a playful intelligence in their lyrics, aptly demonstrated on the aforementioned "Eschaton" - which, though it recalled for me Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus Trilogy, they explained took it's name from the game in David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. So there!  And, curiously, given my earlier remark on A Perfect Circle's "So Long...", the word "eschaton" itself refers to the end of the world or God's apocalypse. Simply synchronicity, I assure you:




It's also a damn fine song, a piece of work that demonstrates the strong sense of harmony and melody possessed by Darlingside, while also showing off their quirky, experimental nature and their hybrid blending of the traditional and the futuristic. A fitting snapshot of both the band and this particular album.


We finish with a struggle! At least, an internal one - decisions, decisions... Can my Number One Album be a TIE? No. There are rules here, even if they are arbitrary and I'm imposing them on myself. That said? My Top Two albums are so close they're like those giant multi-ton stones in ancient megalithic rock walls where you can't even slide a slip of paper between them. So close.

2. The Moondoggies - A Love Sleeps Deep. Almost my album of the year. I've been watching this band since hearing the promise in their 2nd album, 2010's Tidelands. A Love Sleeps Deep fulfills that promise, and then some! Instantly loved the lead track "Easy Coming", our first taste of the album to come.






The Moondoggies have a powerful, traditional rock sound, their harmony vocals, organ, guitar, bass and drum driven mix occasionally echoing (heh) pre-Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd, and even the majestic sounds of Cream or Leslie West's Mountain (so much more than "Mississippi Queen" - listen to "Theme for An Imaginary Western"! But I digress...).

I don't mean that the band sounds "retro". The Moondoggies sound is their own, however much I use those older bands as referential shortcuts. The mood they create is evocative, reminds me of walking through the forest after a rainstorm, the smell of woodsmoke in the air - maybe that's their native Pacific Northwest coming through, I don't know.

When I put on the album, as "Easy Coming" - also the album's opening track - led into "Cinders", which directly and beautifully segued into "Match", I knew we had an album here. There's a creativity and an ingenuity in their work, as we find in the unexpected fever dream in the middle of "Sick in Bed". They rock, too, as proven on "Soviet Barn Fire" and "My Mother".

The stunning album closer and nearly-title track "Underground (A Love Sleeps Deep)" manages to bring all of the above together into an amazing and powerful eight-and-a-half minute sonic voyage the like of which I've not heard in quite some time. You need to know bands still make music like this:





Some years, A Love Sleeps Deep would have easily earned the top spot on my list. It almost did this year. But then, Frank Turner came back with a strong return to form musically that also showed remarkable personal insight and growth on his part. Sorry, Moondoogies.

1. Frank Turner - Be More Kind. My album of the year. The title track came before the album, back in February, and never left my mental jukebox headspace. I'll give this away, since you've read this far - it's my favorite song of the year as well. Just listen to it:




With such a powerful title track, when  the official first single "Blackout" came out it seemed a weaker choice. Didn't know what to expect from the album at that point. I'm a long-time fan of Frank's, and while I appreciate his glossier commercial songs, I love his more raw, more personal, less detached tunes. Sure, there's a value in those more universal, open, poppier songs, in that they're doorways that draw folks into Frank's world and music. But it's when we hear his heart in a melody and lyric that he really connects with us, as above. Or when he has a bit of fun, as in "Make America Great Again":




Luckily, as a whole, Be More Kind - the album - is a nice blend of FT's different styles - sometimes sincere, often playful, here somewhat punky, there verging on pop-y, and always, as ever, somewhat wry and cynical with a hint of optimism. And hope. That's the beauty, here - there is hope. There's a rather basic message behind the entire album: if things seem shitty, how's about doing your best not to make them shittier? And? Maybe, just maybe? Even try to do some good.

Be More Kind is a great musical response to the madness of the world circa 2018. If you love rock n' roll and you've not heard Frank Turner yet, do yourself a favor and pick this up. And then get his England Keep My Bones (2011) because it's a masterpiece. Just sayin'.

Thanks for reading through my Best Albums of 2018! I hope I've turned you on to some new music you might not have heard otherwise. As promised last time, here's a Spotify playlist with a bunch of songs from the Best Albums of 2018:



A reminder - I'm still on the radio! Internet radio, streaming radio, on WBKM!  WBKM.org. You can go there and click twice on the player to listen, or just grab the App for iOs: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wbkm/id1408550221?mt=8.

And? My Glow-in-the-Dark Radio science fiction podcast is about to hit its 500th Episode! That happens Saturday - check it out at http://glowinthedarkradio.podomatic.com and join me Saturday for the Big Show!

Monday, December 10, 2018

2018 Albums! Been writing up my “Best Of” - on the blog https://ift.tt/1CbPSpp #bestof2018 #bestalbums #music #adultalternative #btv #wbkm #2018music


The Best Albums of 2018 - Part One - 10 through 6

Always feel a bit arrogant writing "The Best..." when it's just, like, my opinion, man... And yet, the Dude Abiding aside, folks seem to like my choices. Some even asked when I'd be doing my list, so... here we go. My Top Ten Albums for 2018 - stuff I thought was real good this year...

In the past, putting my album list together, I've lamented the "demise" of the album. There is a single-track mentality amongst the general public that can be overwhelming. In fact, the first year-end "Best of" album list I came across this year, at PASTE magazine, began with that same sort of lamentation. But? For some reason, I'm not so worried anymore. Don't feel the same threat to the album as a form of musical, artistic expression that I have previously - like the album is now more appreciated, somehow.

It's instinctual, don't have hard data. Maybe I've just finally come to be at peace with the idea that albums, singles, even EPs, can all coexist in harmony, simultaneously. Or maybe albums have finally come to be appreciated on such a scale and to such a degree that their existence is no longer "threatened". Either way, these year-end album columns no longer need be dissertations on the worth and definition of the album as "art form". So let's just get to the good stuff!

After a year personally that occasionally would have made old Job cringe, music continues to be my great, soothing constant, a steady source of joy, encouragement, solace and inspiration in my life when so many other aspects of my world have crashed and burned. Speaking of... do you suppose there's a reason one of my favorite songs this year has been the gleeful celebration of nuclear apocalypse and annihilation from A Perfect Circle, "So Long, And Thanks for All the Fish"? Hmmm.

But that's favorite songs, and another list for later - the band's album Eat the Elephant as a whole didn't quite make my Top Ten album list. What did? Glad you asked! With the usual caveats about nothing being absolute and fixed...

10. Circles Around the Sun - Let It Wander - Was not familiar with this project of guitarist Neil Casal's. The disc came my way because they were scheduled for a local Higher Ground show - that was postponed, unfortunately. Would have liked to have seen them live, especially after digging this double CD, the second release for the band. Casal is joined on here by keyboardist Adam MacDougall, one of his bandmates in the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, as well as bassist Dan Horne, and drummer Mark Levy.

There are two almost-twenty minute long "songs" on the album, "Halicarnassus" and "Ticket to Helix NGC 7293" - and they're my kinda Space Rock! There and back again, more excursions than tunes, really. And, yes, worth the trip!

"Electric Chair (Don't Sit There)" is a great - and more manageable sized - sample of the band. It still clocks in at a meaty 7:41, but they don't waste your time. It's a treat hearing Casal and MacDougall weave and trade musical phrases around and through each other, while Horne and Levy keep a solid groove on this one that doesn't get boring.




Cool story behind this "band" - they originally came together just to record Grateful Dead-influenced instrumentals for set break music during The Dead's "Fare Thee Well" concerts. Positive feedback - and the fact CATS enjoyed jamming together - led to them keeping it going. The music is still occasionally Dead-influenced, but the band has definitely developed its own personality. These jams owe as much to Tangerine Dream & the Dregs as they do the Dead, to my ears. And? Weirder still? There's a Chuck D cameo! He was at the same studio and heard and loved a tune they were doing, so they got him to record an intro for it and dedicated "One For Chuck" to him.


9. Villagers - The Art of Pretending to Swim. A song made me love this album. "A Trick of the Light" was just, somehow, perfect, when it arrived this summer. The wistful longing of Conor O'Brien's voice and lyrics float along on a gentle sea of guitar, easy percolating bass, jazzy drums and surging keys. Speaking of floating, check out the short film/video for the song:




The rest of the album operates in a similar vibe. Villagers is mostly a solo effort, so this is all O'Brien - it's his vibe, which is pretty chill, though he's singing about intense topics like belief and love and truth. "Fool" is another stand-out track, and makes sense as the second single to be released from the project. And "Love Came With All It Brings" doesn't sound exactly like, but for some reason reminds me of, Mercury Rev's Deserter's Songs. Much of this album does, but not in a direct way. Like Deserter's Songs, there's a dreamlike quality to much of The Art of Pretending to Swim, both the warm, fuzzy good kind and the mysterious, dangerous kind, and listening draws you into that dream. And like Jonathan from Mercury Rev, O'Brien isn't afraid to expose fragility and vulnerability in his voice and lyrics, which sometimes gives it all a gossamer, ethereal lightness. It's jarring to reach album's end and reawaken to cold reality.


8. Paul Weller - True Meanings. Speaking of vibes... this is my favorite Weller vibe. I know he wants to remain vital, and sometimes likes getting noisy with new young collaborators, and old noisy ones as well. But I love his music in his more folksy mode, where he picks up the English pastoral folk rock tradition mined by Steve Winwood and Traffic and some of the Canterbury Prog bands - Weller's Wild Wood is an all-time favorite of mine. I think his work with the band Stone Foundation has influenced him on True Meanings (their 2018 album deserves an honorable mention - Weller produced and appears on Stone Foundation's Everybody, Anyone), as their jazz-influenced rock approach is apparently in evidence here.

Weller gets a little too orchestrated and smarmy for my taste at a couple of points on True Meanings, which is why this album isn't higher on my list. I like my Weller music on the mellow side, but not too mellow. Feel a bit like Goldilocks - too hard! too mellow! But I don't mean to complain. Weller hits a few sweets spots on this one - "Wishing Well", "Aspects" and "The Soul Searchers" all stand out - but I still find the lead track to be the most compelling here - "Moving On":





7. Ty Segall - Freedom's Goblin. I didn't know who Ty Segall was. And then, I did. I'm sure I crossed that don't know/know line at some point, but... I can't really pinpoint it. A couple of years ago? Suddenly, it seemed like I'd already known of him. Maybe that's because there's a quality to Segall's work that is, dare I say, Timeless? When you hear some of his tunes, you do feel like you've always kind of known them. It's odd. And very cool. Check out "My Lady's On Fire"




He's a unique talent, the kind that, when you stumble across them, you're caught by something, a "wait a sec, what was that?" like you've spotted something familiar out of the corner of your eye, but you turn, and it's gone, and what seemed familiar is something new, a personal expression that is tapping into universals that have been mined before, but that is somehow, different, and yet true.

Had a chance to see him do a solo acoustic show last month, great experience! Seeing someone perform with just their acoustic guitar lets you know how real they are. He's for real. Will be fun to see him with his full band - and I plan to. The guy is incredibly prolific - Freedom's Goblin was only his first solo album this year. He also released Fudge Sandwich, a covers album. And a couple other albums and an EP with his other bands, too, for god measure.




"Alta" showcases some of Segall's electric guitar genius. His work on Freedom's Goblin ranges all over the place with the tunes themselves, from shredding metallic riffs to gentle folk strumming - he's not restrained nor encumbered by preconceived notions of genre, he plays each song the way it demands to be played, from searing power to great gentleness. The unifying factor here? Simply, Ty Segall.


6. Kyle Craft - Full Circle Nightmare. This could have been Number Five. This album, and the next, are pretty equal in my listening and love this past year. Decided this should be Six and I'm already not sure, it might be Five... gotta pull the trigger, so to speak, so, Kyle Craft gets Number Six. Saw him at the end of March at Higher Ground. Small crowd - gotta turn you on to his music so you'll go out and see him live!

Craft's music reminds me of that era when British bands were coming out of the boogie-woogie blues era and experimenting with fusing that with their English and cabaret show tune traditions, like Humble Pie or Small Faces, or Rolling Stones in that era. Not that he sounds like them, it just feels like a similar fusion is happening here on Full Circle Nightmare, as I think you can hear on "Heartbreak Junky":




You can hear the Pacific Northwest in here a bit, too, I believe. He's from Portland, Oregon. Maybe there's something in the water up there that somehow roots you, plants you in the fertile soil of rock's past, gives you an authenticity with which to approach the riffs and progressions employed previously by so many in the service of what some now call "classic rock". I hear that in one of my favorite current bands, Blitzen Trapper, also from Portland. And in one of my new favorites, too, The Moondoggies, from north of Seattle (their 2018 album is a bit higher on this list).




Alright, there's half of 'em. I'll have the other half tomorrow morning, I promise. I can promise because it's already written, mostly. Have to kind of get the top of the list together first, you see.

This year, there are a few Honorable Mentions as well. Clicking the Album Title will take you to a YouTube link of a favorite song on the album, unless a whole album link is available.

Already mentioned Stone Foundation - Everybody, Anyone, with Paul Weller guesting and producing. And there were actually two great instrumental rock albums this year. TAUK's - Shapeshifter II was just slightly edged out of the Top Ten by CATS. More on the jazz side of instrumental, Robert Walter's 20th Congress' Spacesuit was also extremely space-tasty. Sometimes Vermonters The Essex Green returned from a long hiatus with the awesome Hardly Electronic. decker. embodied his home of Sedona, Arizona in song on his Born to Wake Up. In a similar way, S. Carey's Hundred Acres, with its ethereal washes, sounds like the windswept north of Wisconsin, and not just thanks to the tune "True North" - almost in my Top Ten. King Tuff's The Other is uneven, but when there are flashes of brilliance, you'll sometimes have that. Same could be said of Phosphorescent's return, C'est La Vie, which is good, but a little shallow, almost as if he's too happy to delve as deep as we're accustomed.

I'm only just starting to get into Mark Knopfler's latest, Down the Road Wherever, and Roine Stolt's The Flower King - Manifesto of An Alchemist, which both seem good, but it's early.

Alright - #5 thru #1 coming tomorrow (Tuesday 12/11) morning... along with a Spotify Playlist of songs from the Top Ten Albums!

Did you know I'm still on the radio? Now, you can listen to me EVERYWHERE - I'm on internet radio, streaming radio, on WBKM!  WBKM.org. You can go there and click twice on the player to listen, or just grab the App for iOs: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wbkm/id1408550221?mt=8.

And? My Glow-in-the-Dark Radio science fiction podcast is about to hit its 500th Episode! That happens Saturday - check it out at http://glowinthedarkradio.podomatic.com and join me Saturday for the Big Show!

Hitting a milestone this coming weekend... 500th #podcast episode!! #btv #podcasting #sciencefiction #audiobooks


Saturday, December 08, 2018

There's A Ghost on the Starship Bridge...

Episode 499! – One week to Episode 500!

For over twelve years, host Mike Luoma has brought you his Free Science Fiction Audio Adventure, almost every week on Glow-in-the-Dark Radio. Last week, a Ghost appeared on the bridge of Alibi Jones' starship – and it knew one of his covert-ops team members! What the hell is going on? See if they can find out in Chapter Twenty-One of Alibi Jones and the Hornet's Nest! Mike sets up the chapter with a short story-so-far so you can enjoy even if you're a new listener. The Adventures of Alibi Jones on Glow-in-the-Dark Radio!



Call Mike and Leave a Message for Episode 500 – Get the phone number on the show!

Mike's eBooks are on sale everywhere all month - most for just 99 cents!

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Promo is for The Flash Pulp podcast. You should listen: http://flashpulp.com       

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Saturday, December 01, 2018

A Suddenly Silenced Psychic

Episode 498 – Two weeks to Episode 500! And The Adventures of Alibi Jones continue on Glow-in-the-Dark Radio... Somewhere in deep space, Alibi Jones' team investigates a supposed "ghost ship". A power drain just hit their ship, while over on board the alien vessel their psychic Lenora Schwald screamed and went silent... find out what happens in Chapter Twenty of Alibi Jones and the Hornet's Nest, written and narrated by host Mike Luoma. Mike sets up the chapter with a short story-so-far so you can enjoy even if you're a new listener. Free Science Fiction Audio Adventure each week on Glow-in-the-Dark Radio!   

Call Mike and Leave a Message for Episode 500 – Get the phone number on the show!



Mike writes about Podcasting at AllAccess.com: https://www.allaccess.com/consultant-tips/archive/29177/five-things-to-know-about-breaking-into-and  

Mike talks True Shit with Annie Altman on her podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/true-s-t/id1428943256?mt=2 

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Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Psychic's Suggestion

Alibi Jones and his covert-ops team, along with psychic Lenora Schwald and scientist Devon Humphries, investigate a mysterious, ancient "ghost ship".  Alibi didn't think the scientist's idea of trying to power up the alien ship was wise, given past erratic behavior by the vessel. Now, the psychic has something she wants to try... Free Science Fiction Audio Adventure each week with host Mike Luoma – listen in for a short story-so-far to get you up-to-speed, then dive into Chapter Nineteen of Alibi Jones and the Hornet's Nest!  This is Episode 497 – less than a month to 500! The Adventures of Alibi Jones continue on Glow-in-the-Dark Radio. 

Call Mike and Leave a Message for Episode 500! Get the phone number on the show. 




I talk True Shit with Annie Altman on her podcast this week: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/true-s-t/id1428943256?mt=2 

Mike's Books are Half Price at comiXology's Indie Sci-Fi Sale through the 29th: https://www.comixology.com/Glow-in-the-Dark-Radio/comics-publisher/521-0  

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Hunting Ghosts with a Psychic and a Scientist

When we left Alibi Jones, he'd just looked up to see a frozen, screaming face flying down at his! Get a little bit more of the story-so-far and then join the ghost hunt as Alibi, his team, a psychic, and a scientist, investigate the giant, mysterious, apparently ancient vessel some say is haunted! Join host Mike Luoma for his free Science Fiction Audio Adventure as he reads you Chapter Seventeen of Alibi Jones and the Hornet's Nest – A Science Fiction Ghost Story! Celebrating 12+ years of science fiction podcasting as The Adventures of Alibi Jones continue on Glow-in-the-Dark Radio!   
Also: Call Mike's Number and Leave a Message for Episode 500! Get the phone number on the show.   



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Saturday, November 03, 2018

Boarding the Ghost Ship

Alibi Jones and his team investigate a giant, ancient craft some call a Ghost Ship! Get the "story-so-far" from author, narrator and host Mike Luoma before he reads you Chapter Seventeen of Alibi Jones and the Hornet's Nest. Free Science Fiction Audio Adventure every week – and a great spot to join the podcast this week. A Science Fiction Ghost Story? Listen and find out! Celebrating 12 years of science fiction podcasting – The Adventures of Alibi Jones continue on Glow-in-the-Dark Radio!   

Also: Call Mike's Number & Leave a Message for Episode 500! Listen for the phone number to call.



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Home(s): http://mikeluoma.com - http://glowinthedarkradio.com - http://alibijones.com

Sunday, October 28, 2018

A Science Fiction Ghost Story For Halloween!

A Science Fiction Ghost Story for Halloween! Alibi Jones and his covert-ops team are on a new mission investigating an ancient, unknown craft some call a Ghost Ship! Author, narrator and host Mike Luoma sets up the action with a "story-so-far" so you can jump right in – and this is a perfect spot for new listeners to join the podcast. The ghost hunting begins in Chapter Sixteen of Alibi Jones and the Hornet's Nest. Free Science Fiction Audio Adventure every week – and now celebrating 12 years of science fiction podcasting – The Adventures of Alibi Jones continue on Glow-in-the-Dark Radio!!     



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Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Alibi Meets The Godfather...

Free Science Fiction Audio Adventure every week! Alibi Jones just came face to face with the man some call the Godfather of the Depot Fringe, Billy Gentry. What could he possibly want with Alibi and his crew? We'll find out in Chapter Fifteen of Alibi Jones and the Hornet's Nest! Author, narrator and host Mike Luoma sets up the action with a "story-so-far" so you can jump right in. The Adventures of Alibi Jones continue – celebrating 12 years of free science fiction podcasting on Glow-in-the-Dark Radio!   



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Promo is for Geek Radio Daily: http://geekradiodaily.com  

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

On The Planet of the Cat People...

We check in on the cat-like Dakhur – and Alibi Jones' ex-girlfriend Katie Ramsey – as we travel to the Dakhur homeworld of Hur to begin Chapter Fourteen of Alibi Jones and the Hornet's Nest! Celebrating 12 years of free science fiction podcasting on Glow-in-the-Dark Radio! Author, narrator and host Mike Luoma gives you a brief "story-so-far" introduction so you can jump right into his free, independent science fiction – The Adventures of Alibi Jones continue!     



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Promo is for Words for Granted: http://wordsforgranted.com     

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Good Samaritan On Sale At comiXology!

Boston - 1965 - Masked hero Good Samaritan - Roman Catholic Priest Bill Sullivan - fights both for better relations with the new Cardinal and against a vampiric molester and its demonic, shapeshifting familiar! Good Samaritan's challenge? Fight the big fight, and still take care of the little things he needs to as Father Sullivan, priest...


Good Samaritan: Unto Dust - On Sale at comiXology during their INDIE HORROR SALE!

Check out this Superhero Noir Adventure Tale - Written and Lettered by Mike Luoma, with Art by Federico Guillen, and Color and Logo by Ken Lateer. Get the 2-in-1 Good Samaritan: Unto Dust Graphic Novella for only $1.99, and Issue #2 for just 99 cents, now through the end of October.