Saturday, May 24, 2008

Back Soon!

Sorry for the long absence, folks! We're moving into a new house and haven't had an Internet connection for several days. Scary!!! But things are coming together now, and I'll be posting more updates and art previews and the like very soon.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Jameson vs .... ???

Here's Chris Kohler's pencil sketch of what will be the first illustration in SENTINELS (vol. 3): APOCALYPSE RISING.

Jameson, the shadowy US Government official who heads up paranormal agent ops, is confronted at his desk by two exo-skeleton-clad... people...??

Who are they?? How did they get into the Pentagon??

Read APOCALYPSE RISING! Coming in August from Swarm Press!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Full cover for WARLORD posted!

Swarm Press has posted the full cover to SENTINELS: WHEN STRIKES THE WARLORD on their Message Board:

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Francisco (and the Warlord) from the SENTINELS

It's Francisco and his boss (??), the Warlord, from the first SENTINELS story arc, The Grand Design.

This is one of the sketches Rob Davis created for me at Windy City Con in Chicago.

I think he absolutely nailed Francisco. A sort of "Zathras meets the (old-school) Toad" look.

And check out what he's carrying...

Ravenor Reviewed

First in a series of posts/links of my articles and reviews from around the Web--
THE RAVENOR TRILOGY from Dan Abnett, reviewed for

  • Ravenor Rogue finds Inquisitor Gideon Ravenor still hot on the trail of the heretic Zygmund Molotch, who trafficks with demons and aliens and whatever else the kids are doing today. Molotch has escaped Ravenor so many times, one might think him a former member of the A-Team. So now the Empire has ordered Ravenor to pack it in, fold up his tent, and call off the dogs (surely alien, telepathic mutant cyborg dogs, this being the Warhammer 40K universe).
Read the review here.

Monday, May 05, 2008

SENTINELS Press Release from Swarm Press

Just saw this for the first time today, so I thought I'd repost it here and elsewhere.

From: Permuted Press
Date: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 8:07 PM
Subject: SENTINELS superhero novel series now available for pre-order!

Pre-order the exciting small press reissue of Van Allen Plexico's highly praised superhero novels SENTINELS (Vols. 1 - 3)!

Sentinels: When Strikes the Warlord
Ultraa... Pulsar... Vanadium... Esro Brachis... Who are the Sentinels?
From the moment Lyn Li foils an attempt to kidnap her from her own college campus, she is plunged into a new world, and a new life. Working--and battling--alongside a brilliant inventor, a famous super hero, and an enigmatic alien powerhouse, Lyn will confront the monstrous menace of the Warlord and his minions. When at last they clash atop his vast, floating city, can the world itself survive? Equal parts old-fashioned pulp adventure, comics-style super hero action, and science fiction wonderment, SENTINELS: WHEN STRIKES THE WARLORD has something for everyone who enjoys a brisk, fast-paced journey into excitement.
($14.95 - Available June 2008)

Sentinels: A Distant Star
After helping to save the world, all Esro Brachis wanted was a little peace and quiet. Then the giant robot attacked. And the alien warships landed in his back yard. And then things got really crazy. At least he has a beautiful alien warrior woman at his side--if only she didn't want to kill him! SENTINELS: A DISTANT STAR continues the journey and the excitement in a bigger, bolder adventure, with all your favorite heroes and villains back for more... and with many new wonders to encounter!
($14.95 - Available July 2008)

Sentinels: Apocalypse Rising
Menaced by no fewer than three alien invasion forces, the Earth cries out for its heroes. But the Sentinels have vanished! And now Pulsar stands alone, down but not defeated, and determined to rescue her teammates... and her world. APOCALYPSE RISING is a dynamic and gripping novel in its own right--and the climactic chapter in the Sentinels saga!
($14.95 - Available August 2008)

Pre-order all 3 novels with free shipping from Swarm Press now!


About Van Allen Plexico:
Van is a political science professor and a freelance writer/editor. He has lived in Atlanta, Singapore, Alabama, and Washington, DC, and now resides in the St. Louis area. In addition to the SENTINELS series, he created the long-running and popular AvengersAssemble! Web site (located at and edited two volumes of ASSEMBLED!, an Avengers retrospective to benefit the HERO Initiative charity. A member of the Pulp Factory, he also chronicles the adventures of Mars McCoy and other pulp adventure characters. Van can be reached at for questions, comments, or interviews.

About Swarm Press:
Swarm Press, a newly formed imprint of Permuted Press, is an independent publisher of genre fiction. Swarm is hard at work on an amazing multi-genre lineup for 2008 including several superhero and comic book-ish novels. Please contact Jacob Kier at with questions or comments.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Free Comic Book Day

The four of us hit the comic shop in Belleville, IL, around noon for Free Comic Book Day. They had tons of folks in there, and two local artists doing sketches for the little kids. (I spoke with one briefly about doing some work in the future with me...)

I picked up free issues of HELLBOY, Steve Rude's THE MOTH, and ALL STAR SUPERMAN #1. Maddie got OWLY and TINY TITANS and something else. I tried to convince Ami to get a couple for me (the limit was 3 per person), but she got more for Maddie instead. Oh well! The benefits of being nine!

Later I picked up Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War computer game. Not that I will ever have any time at all to play it, but I love the WH40K universe and this lets you be the Tau! They're an alien race of soldiers who all wear armor that's sort of a cross between Stormtroopers and Iron Man. How could I resist that? Now to see if I ever actually play it...

(The way Dan Abnett portrays the WH40K universe has had a lot of influence on the way I'm writing Mars McCoy. I intend it to read like a vintage pulp revival book, but some of the mood and ideas I'm carrying over from what I've absorbed from Abnett-- whose work I tremendously enjoy and respect.)

Sentinels: When Strikes the Warlord cover

Here's the cover to the Swarm Press edition of SENTINELS (vol. 1): When Strikes the Warlord. It should be out sometime in June and can be preordered here with free shipping.

More Mars McCoy today

At some point today, I will be turning my attention to MARS McCOY AND THE CHAOS HORDE.

The book is pretty much plotted out. I've written the first six chapters or so. I understand the main villain and his motivations. Things are rolling right along.

I'm very excited to have created a nemesis for Mars. And I think he's one who works perfectly as Mars's opposite and protagonist, in every way. I hope so!

Here's a hint: His name is Deimos. Except when it's not... Heh.

Gosh, I'd have loved to have this book done and with me at Windy City. Folks there would have eaten it up.

More news soon about the changes we've made in its upcoming publication. Plus news on cover artist, interior artist, etc. Lots to talk about with Mars!

The obligatory Iron Man movie post

Amazing, fantastic, etc etc.

I'd love to write a review of this movie, especially considering he's my all-time favorite comics character. But.... I know I could never be anything other than totally subjective about it. I have no perspective on the subject. I am seeing it through red-and-gold-colored lenses, so to speak.

So suffice to say I absolutely adored it and am going to see it again in a few hours, this afternoon.

And I can't wait for #2, when maybe he'll fight a villain that isn't essentially just like him.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

SENTINELS: A DISTANT STAR Interior Art preview!

Here's a tiny little teaser preview of the great art coming in from Chris Kohler for the Swarm Press edition of SENTINELS (vol. 2): A DISTANT STAR.


SENTINELS volume 4 teaser tidbits

If you're looking forward to SENTINELS: THE SHIVA ADVENT (due later this year from Swarm Press), here are a couple of tidbits to get you interested (I hope)-- four important new characters who will make their debuts in those pages:

Anna Maldini

Stephen McClaren



Who are these people? And for that matter, are they all actually "people?" And if not...?!

More to come!

I also hope to have another Sentinels short story that bridges the gap between books 3 and 4 in A THOUSAND FACES magazine soon. The story "Spearhead of Invasion" appeared in their third issue, earlier this year, and you can read it here:

Note that it, too, introduces at least one new supporting character to the Sentinels universe...

Windy City Con

Ron Fortier has posted some pics and such from this past weekend's WIND CITY PULP AND PAPERBACK CONVENTION over at the Pulp Factory blog:

I was there, networking and selling books and enjoying the great company-- Ron Fortier, Rob Davis, Doug Klauba, Wayne Reinagel, and more.

That's me in the Chelsea jersey.

What I'm working on now

At present, I am:

* Editing ASSEMBLED! 2 for White Rocket Books

* Writing MARS McCOY AND THE CHAOS HORDE for Ron Fortier and Airship 27 Productions

* Plotting SENTINELS (vol. 4): THE SHIVA ADVENT for Swarm Press

* Revising the interiors and receiving interior art (from Chris Kohler) for all three existing SENTINELS novels for Swarm Press

* Re-writing LUCIAN: DARK GOD'S HOMECOMING (no publisher attached as of yet) (more info coming soon!)

* Re-plotting (?!) and re-writing ALPHA/OMEGA (no publisher attached as of yet) (ditto)

* Plotting the HAND OF THE MACHINE series (double ditto)

There's what I think to be some exciting stuff here. Can't wait to say more about it. Soon...

Recent books I've read

I plan to post a much longer list soon, listing all the books I've read over the past five years. I'm curious to see what folks think of them.

But, for now, here are a few quick listings-- favorite books I've read in the past few months, all of which have been in some way influential upon my writing:

The RAVENOR trilogy by Dan Abnett

THE NUTMEG OF CONSOLATION by Patrick O'Brian (#14 in the amazing, 20-book series)

CELL by Stephen King
(An interesting zombie novel, but not one of my favorite works by King. I gave this one away at OmegaCon in March after I finished it.)

NAPOLEON'S PYRAMIDS by William Dietrich
(Very influential for what I'm planning to do with SENTINELS vol. 4: THE SHIVA ADVENT!)

Many more coming soon...

Plexico Blog 2.0

So clearly I haven't updated this blog since I first created it. But that's all about to change. I have lots of news to share with my growing base of readers and this is the place I plan to post it first. More coming very soon!