Monday, December 31, 2012

Marvelous Mash-Ups

Here are a couple of great examples of comic book team-ups that never happened but should've, from the cool site Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues.

If this were a movie I would start lining up now.

The Doc-Cap crossover would have had 12-year-old me peeing down both legs. As it stands now, I may need to buy some Depends.

Friday, December 28, 2012

It's a Holiday Tradition Around Here

We call it The Battle for the Box. ESPN, where are the cameras?

New Contract

Read about it in this week's column in the Ashland Beacon, along with my message to the Mayans. It's all on page 2.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Evil Flatwoods Tree Update

On today's walk I captured this image of Evil Flatwoods Tree contemplating the close of another year of evilness.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The True Meaning of Christmas...

...getting cool superhero toys.

And, you know, that peace on Earth stuff, too.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

More Fun With Ancient Mayans

Permuted Press, publisher of the Dead Earth Series, is having a "The Mayans Were Wrong Sale". From now through January 2, 2013, several of their books are $2.99 for Kindle and Nook, and this includes Dead Earth: The Vengeance Road.

You can get more details here.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Rhythm of the Holidays

Because we are a classy outfit here at Ye Olde DoJ, we now delve in to the most sophisticated of the arts. So sit back with your snifter of egg nog and enjoy...

The Charlie Brown School of Dance.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Shop For Holiday Chills

At the request of a few people I’ve put together an easy to access index of some of my books for your online Christmas purchasing pleasure. These would be for the horror lover on your list, although the Dead Earth books certainly have a lot of science fiction elements, too.

Just click the highlighted text to browse or order.

Let’s start with my latest, The Dead Sheriff: Zombie Damnation.

Here’s my collection of stories and novellas (including the long-out-of-print Deadneck Hootenanny), Looking at the World with Broken Glass in My Eye. And the Kindle version is still 99¢. Zoinks!

Dead Earth: The Vengeance Road in print.

And the audio version.

If that person on your list is a reader of ebooks, Dead Earth: The Green Dawn is till free.

Finally, to give you a reason to stay up on a cold winter night, here’s a book of scary holiday stories I edited called Appalachian Winter Hauntings.

Obviously, it’s too close to the holidays to sign books but if you buy one and want it personalized after the Christmas rush, drop me a line.

As always, your support means the world to me. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Haven't We All Been There?

That's a mighty profound philosophy summed up in just a few words.

And it's making me hungry.

If I Ran the Holidays, and Other Festive Thoughts

Hey, bros and bro-ettes!

It's time for my weekly column in the Ashland Beacon, festooned with squishy holiday goodness.

You can check it out in its usual spot on page two of the paper. But take care--whatever is read cannot be unread. At least not without a sizable amount of alcohol

Double Wide Trailer

For your Tuesday viewing pleasure, a twin spin of movie trailers.

First, The Lone Ranger.

And here's the new trailer for Man of Steel.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Callie: Demon Cat or Just Powered By A Thermonuclear Core?

You decide.

Personally, I think it's a little of both. Or she just gets really excited about her toy basket. Either way, I'm keeping my distance. I've seen her toast bread with those eye beams.

Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot

 Here are Carl Sagan's words and voice set to a fitting piece of animation, a tribute that I found very moving. Or maybe I haven't had enough coffee.

Pale Blue Dot from ORDER on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Because Nothing Says Lazy Sunday... water balloons to the face in super slo-mo.

Friday, December 07, 2012

♫ It's the Most Frightening Time of the Year♬

That guy is waiting on you. And he's not very patient. The man in the hat knows when you've been naughty. And, honestly, naughty is all he cares about.

So grab some dark winter scares right here.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Teasing Trek

Here's the first teaser trailer from J. J. Abrams' sequel to Star Trek. I enjoyed Abrams' reboot for the franchise.

 I'm on board with dropping the numbers for the sequel titles, with Star Trek Into Darkness instead of Star Trek 2

As soon as I can find Abrams' email address I'll send him my pitch for the third Trek film. It's the probing story of the Enterprise's encounter with an intergalactic proctologist. I call it... Star Trek Into Your Colon.

(By the way, the villainous narrator is Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the title character in the BBC's Sherlock.)

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Hey, Kids! Comics!

I love me some funny books. That was my mother’s name for comics when I was a kid (and it probably still is, come to think of it), although it wasn’t funny where she burned them all in the trash barrel in the backyard. Nope, not funny at all. If I ever go into therapy that will be topic #1.

I don’t read many comics at all these days, for a couple of reasons. I’ll talk about them later this week. For now, I want to direct you to my new Horror World column. The subject this time is, you guessed it, comic books. Of the scary variety.

You can dig into it here.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Now Available For Your Yuletide Reading Pleasure

My latest column for the Ashland Beacon, in which I spray holiday joy everywhere and reveal my loathing for “Dominic, the Italian Christmas Donkey”.

You can read it online here, on page 2.

Great. Now that friggin’ donkey song is stuck in my head again.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Do Not Watch This

This is a video compilation of people falling off treadmills.

Speaking as someone who is so uncoordinated he once broke his foot on a treadmill, I can say with some authority that this is wrong, wrong, wrong.

So do not watch this and do not laugh. That would be, you know,  wrong.


Archeology Made Easy

North Korea just announced the discovery of an ancient unicorn lair.

They discovered this wondrous site because of a nearby sign that said..."Unicorn Lair". It must be a good time to be a North Korean archeologist. Or a North Korean sign maker with a sense of humor.

Oh, if only Indiana Jones had it this easy.

You can get the full story, such as it is, right here.

In case you're planning a relaxing vacation to Pyongyang (I hear it's lovely and totalitarian this time of year), if you meet a unicorn, don't do this:


Sunday, December 02, 2012

So This Was Sunday

I read a lot, watched some football and wrote a short story.

Actually, the story wasn’t planned. I don’t have a market in mind and it’s pretty short. If it survives a couple of re-readings  I may post it here.

So how was your Sunday?

Saturday, December 01, 2012

The Long, Strange Week in Review

This one has been a little different, with a couple of business developments that seem to point to some positive events in the future.

Sheesh. That sounded like a badly written, generic horoscope. I wonder if actual people still make up horoscopes or if the predictions are generated by software now.

On the writing side, I worked mainly on non-fiction stuff that had Looming Deadlines. I hope to be back to fiction writing tomorrow.

The week ended with a Christmas parade, for which I was honored to emcee. Here I am before the parade started with my niece, Scarlett.


Tonight we watched Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, a much more enjoyable movie than I had anticipated. It certainly had a deeper emotional richness than I had anticipated.

I haven’t seen Spielberg’s Lincoln yet. Is Abe a master of Axe Fu in that one, too?

Friday, November 30, 2012

For Fans of The Big Bang Theory

You have to watch the flash mob video, which was choreographed by the sister of Kaley Cuoco.


Is it wrong to suggest that the world would be a better place if we had more videos of Kaley Cuoco jumping around?

If wanting that is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man: A Brief Review

I watched this twice last weekend, once by myself and the second time with Norma. I liked it better the second time, probably because my enjoyment of most things is amplified when I watch them with her. Her mere presence could make Here Comes Honey Boo Boo seem illuminating.

My one gripe about The Amazing Spider-Man centers on the decision to reboot the franchise and retell his origin. Didn’t we just explain how Spidey came to be? What? That was ten years ago? Ah. Now it makes sense. The teens wouldn’t remember Sam Raimi’s excellent and fun-filled Spider-Man. And Hollywood wants to keep the kids happy.

That complaint aside, Andrew Garfield captures Peter Parker’s goofy awkwardness better than Toby Maguire did. Emma Stone is pitch perfect as Gwen Stacy (whose comic book fate is far off in this new film series, I hope). My favorite bit of casting was Josiah Bartlett as Uncle Ben. It was good to see my favorite president on the screen again.

The action sequences are spectacular. The technology has certainly improved since Raimi had Spidey swing through New York. Sure, the science is pretty wonky (“Hey, Gwen, could you take five minutes and whip up a serum to turn giant mutant lizards back into men?”) but who cares? It’s a lot of fun. It’s no The Avengers, but The Amazing Spider-Man has contributed to making 2012 a great year for superhero flicks.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bonehead of the Week

It's a toss up.

It could be this kid.

That's Angus T. Jones, the young man who earns many millions of dollars each year for spending a few hours a week pretending to be someone else, yet has zero appreciation for how lucky he is. 

He could be the Bonehead of the week, but he's not. His problem is he's 19. 19-year-olds are generally stupid. I know I was. If you're honest with yourself, you'll may be inclined to admit that you, too, did some very dumb things around that age. And perhaps well past that age.

I actually think this week's Bonehead Supreme is this guy. But you can judge for yourself and get back to me.

(If we were handing out an award for Most Idiotic Obvious Statement, it would go to the doctor in this story who feels pretty sure nipples don't grow back. If you meet this guy, never, I repeat, never let him tune in Tokyo, if you know what I'm sayin'.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Freakin’ Beacon Update

This week’s Ashland Beacon is out, with my weekly column. This time it’s “Leftovers”.

Expect a fishing joke, every turkey recipe my wife knows, and a brief appearance by Elvis.

You can read it online. It’s on page 2.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Free! Free, I Tells Ya!

Right now you can get Dead Earth: The Green Dawn for your Kindle for the low, low price of nothing.  

If you haven't sampled our world of aliens and zombies and desperate human survivors, then this is a way to do so that's pretty safe on the risk-o-meter.

Plus, it's a great way to catch up on the series before the new book Dead Earth: Sanctuary comes out in 2013.

Here's the reading order:

Dead Earth: The Green Dawn (which is a novella, by the way)

Dead Earth: The Vengeance Road (a novel, now also conveniently available as an audiobook)

Dead Earth: Sanctuary (another novel, coming soon)

The apocalypse starts for free right here.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Last Chance...

...To grab my collection Looking at the World with Broken Glass in My Eye for 99¢. The sale will wrap up tonight (which, in real word terms, means Amazon will probably change it sometime tomorrow).

Why should you grab it now? Here are a few reasons:

1) The two stories that make up my sold-out book Deadneck Hootenanny are included. As a Facebook fan recently said, “Deadneck Hootenanny is both funnier and more appalling than Honey Boo-Boo. Have some today!” This is horror with a big dollop of humor, and it amazes me that I still get feedback on the stories after all this time (including as recently as this weekend from a guest who remarked on the less savory aspects of the tales while chowing down on Thanksgiving leftovers).

2) Around 100.000 words of fiction. That includes a bunch of short stories and two previously unpublished novellas. One of them is threatening to expand itself into a novel in the not-too-distant future.

3) A cool cover by the talented Billy Tackett, based on the novella “Dead Town”. Read the novella, then examine all those tiny figures moving toward that obelisk on the cover. Great work by Mr. Tackett.

And it’s all for under a buck for a few more hours. That’s a pretty good deal.

If you do pick up a book, please consider leaving a brief review and clicking that Amazon “Lke” button. Thanks!

The Morning Bends

What a week! It was filled with accomplishments of herculean proportions. Let me list them for you now.

1) Sleeping at least 11 hours a night.

2) Eating at least 13 hours a day.

Now I have to prepare myself to go back to work tomorrow. This is rougher than it sounds. After a week off, my body has adjusted to my new 11/13 schedule listed above, so the transition to waking up at a time I like to call The Middle Of the &$#%ing Night and having to actually use my brain can be painful. To help you understand my plight,  the closest analogy I can make is that of a diver returning to the surface so quickly that she or he develops the bends.

I get the Morning Bends. This is like the regular bends, except that instead of nitrogen forming in my blood (which, in my case is difficult, since my blood in currently 90% gravy), my will to live is replaced with a will to whine and an inability to do simple arithmetic or make coherent words (Note: the inability to do math thing has a tendency to last 365 days). Going through a grueling work day with the morning bends is a hardship akin to sitting for hours on a hard plastic chair in the waiting room of a dentist’s office where the TV is permanently tuned to Fox News or discovering your wife bought Hydrox instead of Oreos.

There is only one cure for the morning bends, and that is the afternoon nap, which I plan to deploy approximately 38 seconds after getting home tomorrow. Fortunately, I have a wife who understands that a man suffering from the morning bends cannot possibly hope to cover his normal daily responsibilities. So for tomorrow she will be on Cleaning the Litter Boxes duty.

And Taking Out the Garbage duty.

And Removing Spiders duty.

Thanks, honey. And try to keep it down, will you?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Pod of Horror # 69: Patricia Cornwell

Pod of Horror is back with a scary feast fit for Thanksgiving, including bestseller Patricia Cornwell,  horror’s funny man Jeff Strand, the original rocket boy Homer Hickam, Writer and ninja Jon F. Merz, movie reviewer and novelist L. L. Soares, along with the Call of Kalanta, Scary Words and the Tomb of Trivia. It’s all on Pod of Horror #69, produced and hosted by Mark Justice.

Download it at iTunes or listen here.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Black Friday Sale!

The Kindle edition of my collection Looking at the World with Broken Glass in My Eye is only 99¢ through this holiday weekend. 

Turn Black Friday into Spooky Dark Friday Including Redneck Zombies Sitting Around Drinking Beer and Eating People.

Here's what legendary horror scribe Gary Braunbeck said about it:

“With Looking at the World with Broken Glass in My Eye, Mark Justice has given us a genuine gift; by turns funny, horrifying, heartbreaking, and just plain weird, this is a real showcase collection, and a feast for readers. You never know from one tale to the next what he’s going to hit you with, and it’s that very unpredictability that makes this book so much more than the mere sum of its often-brilliant parts. Justice has a keen and unflinching eye for the telling details of human (and un-human) behavior, and a poet’s economy with words. There is not a wasted syllable to be found between these covers, and at times I felt as if I were being given a writing lesson. I cannot imagine anyone reading powerhouse stories such as “Black Wings” and the hands-down masterpiece “Father’s Day” without feeling envious that they didn’t write them. I expected this collection to be good; I didn’t expect it to knock my socks off and leave me so wrung out. This is what short fiction should be but too often isn’t. If you don’t get this collection, your life is going to be all the poorer for it — and I’ve never said that about a book before.”

Click here for the deal.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dead Sheriff Reviewed and Other Stuff

There's a nice review of The Dead Sheriff: Zombie Damnation up at Vintage Horror.

One of my other books is going on sale for Thanksgiving weekend. Watch this space for details.

As mentioned earlier, Dead Earth: The Vengeance Road is now an audio book.

You can find my latest humor column for the Ashland Beacon over here on page 2. This week I become the Anti-Oprah with My Least Favorite Things.

Finally, the new Pod of Horror is finished. It's showing up now on iTunes. It should be live on Horror World later today.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

At House of Justice...

...the Squirrel and Bird Theater comes with stadium seating.

Dead Earth in Your Ear

Dead Earth: The Vengeance Road is now an audiobook from

For over eight hours of zombie-killing, alien-fighting and crazy biker gang action, download it here.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Who For You

How about a little holiday cheer from across the pond (no, not that Pond; the other big, wet pond)?

First, the new Doctor Who "minisode", a prequel to the Christmas special, including a cameo appearance by the Doctor's new companion:

And here's the trailer for the Christmas episode:

Now go have a hot buttered rum and think about that Christmas goose. Cheerio.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Best Summation of the 2012 Election

And she's right. For the country to move forward, the extreme right wing of the Republican party has to stop writing their own version of reality. This is no longer a country ruled by rich white guys or poor white guys who want to be rich white guys or women who want to marry rich white guys.

And they must stop acting like little kids sitting around a camp fire, terrifying each other by making up scary stories about the president, then believing their own fiction about the president's religion, birthplace, plans to hand over the country to foreign nations, etc, ad nauseam

One more thing: much of the anti-Obama hatred (particularly for many individuals of my acquaintance) uses those fears and threats and outright lies to mask the true reason they dislike and fear him.

He's not white.

His race doesn't seem likely to change, so it's probably best for the Republicans to accept reality, deal with their damaged brand and try to become relevant for the 21st Century. 

Thursday, November 08, 2012

A Couple of Plugs

The Greenup County News-Times, a local weekly, had a nice article on The Dead Sheriff: Zombie Damnation this week. The Huntington (WV) Herald Dispatch ran a piece today. 

The latter is online and you can read it here.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Spreading the Word on The Dead Sheriff

I spent part of today sending out press releases, mostly to regional media outlets. The publisher is handling review copies.

If you represent a publication, web site, podcast, etc, and would like to do a story on The Dead Sheriff or interview the author, drop me a line in the comments section.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Reminder

The Dead Sheriff Volume One: Zombie Damnation is available now in trade paperback for just $13.95 or for the Kindle at only $4.49.

You can pick up both or either right here.

As Bartles & Jaymes were fond of saying, thank you for your support.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Dead Sheriff Between the Covers

The paperback edition of the first book in my supernatural western series The Dead Sheriff is finally here.

The Dead Sheriff: Zombie Damnation just hit Amazon this weekend. I had quite a few inquiries asking about the availability of the “actual” book (as opposed to the e-book) and I’m am incredibly psyched to be able to tell you it’s here.

Kudos to Evileye Books on the incredible design of this gorgeous book.

The legend said a murdered lawman clawed his way from the grave to avenge the deaths of his family. The legend is only telling half the tale. If you like magic, monsters, hot lead, horror, hard-drinking, cussin’, non-stop action and the lure of adventure on the dusty trail, then follow this link to saddle up with The Dead Sheriff.

And as we all know, stories about rotting, reanimated cowboys make wonderful holiday gifts, right?


Seriously, if you’re a horror fan I think you’ll really like it. But whether you love it or loathe it, please do me a favor. Leave a review at Amazon, if you don’t mind. Thanks.

Now I have to get back to writing book 2.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Dead Sheriff Between the Covers

Here's the cover to the trade paperback edition of the first Dead Sheriff book, due out in a few weeks.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

It's So-o-o-o-o-o-o Stressful Here

Nothing to say here This picture just makes me feel good.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

The Last Thing Ray Bradbury Ever Wrote

 It's an essay on his love for books, and you can read it here.

Warning: if you're a book lover and a lifelong Bradbury fan, you may want to grab a tissue first.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I'm 53, Whee!

Birthdays make me a little reflective. They didn’t used to. Mostly, I noted the birthday and carried on. Since hitting 50, though, I feel like I should take some time to, well, ponder.

For the most part, I feel pretty good these days. I walk as often as possible and will do more now, since fall is here and it’s not 300 frakkin’ degrees, and also since a busy work summer is over. I try to eat well (and when I succeed, it’s all due to Norma).

My writing has slowed considerably, mostly because of the events of the last 18 months (which comes with a huge tradeoff: my wife is still here and she’s doing great and nothing–NOTHING–means more to me than that), but I also think my writing is better than it’s ever been. I know, I know. Some of you believe it had nowhere to go but up. Who am I to argue?

In a few weeks I will mark 36 years in the radio business. Incredibly, I still love it.  Or most of it, anyway. Specifically, I love the part I got into the business for: I still dig going to work early, putting the show together. Writing funny scripts and doing funny voices and finding out what stupid things celebrities got up to overnight and what boneheads in little towns did when they drank too much.

53 was also the last birthday my father ever had. Not surprisingly, that’s an age that been in my head for a while. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t obsess over it. But the idea will surface now and again this year.

Mostly, my hopes for the next year are simple, ‘cause I’m a simple guy.

I want to spend more quality time with my wife.

I want to watch my niece grow another year and hear her describe lunch as “chicken with a handle”.

I want to talk more walks and write more books.

And I hope the Bengals finally figure out this football thing.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Why I'm Always Thirsty

So Anyway

I've been remiss in reminding you of my weekly newspaper column in the Ashland (KY) Beacon.

This week's edition chronicles a recent visit to The Possum Ranch, the best gentleman's club in Argillite, KY.

You can read it here on page 2.

Monday, September 03, 2012

More on The Dead Sheriff

Thanks to all who've downloaded the Kindle book. For those who haven't gone the e-book route or who have a different device, the trade paperback will be out in a few weeks. You can bet I'll keep you informed.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of pieces on the book. First, the story of that gorgeous cover.

Then, my essay on the story's inspiration.

And, as always, if you read the book I would really appreciate it if you posted a review on Amazon.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Dead Sheriff Finally Rides Into Town

The Kindle version was released today. Other formats will follow, with a trade paperback later this year, for those who like to hold a real book while you read.

Here's the link at Amazon. If you have a Kindle, you can saddle up in a few seconds.

In lieu of a plot description, the site uses my afterword from the book, a short essay on the beginnings of the notion of The Dead Sheriff. It's a pretty good introduction to what I hope to accomplish with the series.

I'm so pleased the book is finally out there. It seems I've been talking about it for years (and it's been a great lesson for me: shut up until the release date is near).

The Dead Sheriff: Zombie Damnation is a pulpish brew of action, magic and mayhem which kicks off what I hope is several books.

I have big plans for my decomposing lawman. I hope you'll hitch up for the long haul.

As always, your feedback is appreciated.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Writing, Etc.

I haven’t provided a writing update for a while. That’s because August is basically my busiest month at work, and my time at the keyboard has been limited.

Work continues on the new novel. Right now I’m working on a scene in a diner in which two of my characters toss witty one-liners at each other. Yes, it’s my writing kryptonite. Like a hamster on a wheel, I could keep this scene going for 100 pages. But this weekend I have to find my way out of the diner and to the creepy house where all the remaining action takes place.

I also abandoned the idea of posting regular word counts here and on Facebook. When I reached or surpassed my goal, I felt like I was bragging. When I missed the goal, I got depressed. Blame my blue-collar upbringing.


My latest newspaper column in called “Freakin’ Personal Assistant” and can be read online right here.


I recently finished James Lee Burke’s Creole Belle. I liked it quite a bit, which does not come as a surprise. If I can get the time I’ll review it here. On the other hand, I do plenty of reviews on a regular basis for my podcast, so I may skip it.

I also enjoyed “A Face in the Crowd”, the new baseball horror story from Stephen King and Stewart O’Nan. Your enjoyment may depend upon whether you think two bucks is too much to pay for a short story.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I Almost Forgot

My new column in this week's Ashland Beacon is online. It's an adventure of the Argillite Secret Service. You can read it here on page 2.

That's it. You can go back to slowly and loudly riding your motorcycle in front of my house.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Elvis Lives! least in my column in this week's freakin' Ashland Beacon. It's on page 2. Thank ya. Thank ya very much.