Russ’s Newsletter: Vol. 3, No. 5 – Comic-Con ’09 Special Edition!

Hi Gang-

I’m just back from the San Diego Comic-Con, and man-oh-man do I have a LOT of news to report. It was another hectic event, so let me get rolling:

* As I did last year, I shared a booth with partner in crime Rich Henn (, who was pimping his one-of-a-kind autobiographical comic, ZOOMIES (I wrote a guest issue special for Comic-Con this year), and our supernatural thriller, TIMESPELL. Also at the booth was James Owen, best-selling, international author of the HERE, THERE BE DRAGONS fantasy series (, with 2.5 million copies in print worldwide. Joining James again was his brother and business partner, Jeremy, who has one wicked sense of humor, let me tell you! And of course, Ray Bonn was on hand to help us work the booth, bring much needed sodas, take action photos and otherwise keep us sane when booth fatigue set in!

(For the full Comic-Con coverage, check out my blogs from last week [] and the PHOTO section for tons o’ pics of on-the-floor, full-costumed action).

* One of the main reasons we head out to Comic-Con is for the Hollywood crowd, which, unfortunately, wasn’t out in the force that we’ve been used to, but FINDERS KEEPERS got at least a little bit of love. I spoke to a few Hollywood agents who liked the premise and took a trailer, so we’ll see where that leads.

* The bigger news is that I’ve got a bunch of publishers who are reallyreallyreally jazzed for FINDERS KEEPERS, and, in fact, will be getting the new and improved manuscript within the next week, as I’m putting on the final touches on it right now.

* Also at Comic-Con I had the chance to hang out with fellow writer and friend Maxwell Alexander Drake, whose own novel FARMERS AND MERCENARIES, like Max himself, was making its Comic-Con debut (it’s the first book in his six-part GENESIS OF OBLIVION saga). So if you like those dragon/fantasy/epic books, you also might want to check out what Max Drake is up to (

* Last but not least, fellow partner-in-crime Rich Koslowski ( was on the other end of the hall in Artists’ Alley, doing really cool Family Guy sketches and pimping his own series, The 3 Geeks, which is absolutely hilarious. A must read for anybody who likes comics. Plus … that dirty dog got a photo with Hurley, from LOST, about 10 seconds after I left the booth! Sonuva!

* Although they weren’t at the show with us (their trailer was), I want to give you the latest on DRAWING WITH CHALK, the really terrific debut movie from long-time pals Todd Giglio and Chris Springer. Well … their film was recently selected to kick-off the Opening Night Gala at the Idaho International Film Festival in late Sept! This is a really great opportunity for them to showcase their film to a huge audience, so keep your eyes peeled (you can check out their fan page at

* And finally … for this issue’s special shout-out, I owe a HUGE HUGE thanks to writer/actor/producer and all around funnyman Michael Wolfe (, who read and reviewed version after version after version of FINDERS KEEPERS and FK 2.0, and, as always, kicked my butt five ways to Sunday until I got it right. As I promised him I would, please consider this his official anointing as the Supreme Mountain Lion of Editorial Godliness.

Also, keep an eye out for Michael, who is now fundraising for his feature film debut, FRIENDSHIP AND TRESSPASSES (, which he co-wrote, is co-producing and will star in.

I told you there was a lot to report!

Okay … that’s all she wrote for this time around. Once I finish off FINDERS KEEPERS 2.0 later this week I’m going to take a short, but much-needed breather and … sleep … make my way down to Baltimore for HennFest 2009, and then go into detox before ramping back up on CROSSLINE, which will be my top priority until that bad boy is done.

Have a great rest of the summer … and check out those Comic-Con blogs and pics on my web site!

Russ’s Newsletter: Vol. 3, Issue 4 – DWC – Award-Winning Movie!

Hey Gang,


I hope everybody is feeling groovy now that summer is almost upon us. As usual I’ve been busy, busy on the writing front, and have oodles of news to report …


* With the San Diego Comic-Con next month, I want to have FINDERS KEEPERS in the best shape possible for pitching to Hollywood. Well … about two months ago good buddy and fellow writer Jim Chambers did me a major solid and read FINDERS KEEPERS, and gave me some much needed feedback that has put this novel over the top!


I’m still working on a few nips and tucks, but thanks to Jim FINDERS KEEPERS is hitting its max excitement potential. So to Jim Chambers … you the man! Couldn’t have done it without you! In fact, we both blogged about the exchange, which I encourage you to read on my web site (see April 28 blog), or Jim’s take on his site (


* Speaking of FINDERS KEEPERS, yet another publisher has asked to read this wacky tale of cosmic lunacy. So you bet your booty they got pages of the newly enhanced version, FINDERS KEEPERS 2.0, if you will. Just goes to show that the longer I keep plugging away the more interest I get …


* And speaking of Comic-Con … holy crow it’s next month! Once again I’ll be heading out to San Diego with partners-in-crime Rich Henn ( and Rich Koslowski (, and will be armed with copies of the FINDERS KEEPERS video trailer, which, if you haven’t seen yet, can be viewed on the home page of my Web site. Just scroll down to the bottom, press the big red button and crank up the volume …


* So … with all this FINDERS KEEPERS activity, what’s up with CROSSLINE? Well … I’m glad you asked. Once FINDERS KEEPERS 2.0 is fully locked and loaded, I’ll be getting back to editing CROSSLINE full time. If all goes as planned, I should have a finished draft to send around to my writer buddy inner sanctum soon enough …


* And for this month’s spotlight … I know you’ve been hearing me talk a lot about this gem of a movie called DRAWING WITH CHALK … well … please join me in giving a HUGE shout-out to Todd Giglio and Chris Springer, who just won the BEST AMERICAN FEATURE award at the Heart of England Film Festival. AMAZING! If you want to know more about the movie, go to


Good gravy that was a lot of info! That’s all for this time around. But stay tuned and I’ll be back soon with all the highlights from the San Diego Comic-Con you can handle! Until then … get away from your darn computers and go outside. It’s almost summer fer cryin’ out loud.




Russ’s Newsletter: Vol. 3, No. 3 – Another Milestone – Is Crossline Complete?

Hey Gang,


Spring is in the air and the activity level is kicking back into overdrive:


* Closer and closer we get. Things slowed down for a while as the economy took a big pinch, but now another publisher has emerged for FINDERS KEEPERS. Is a deal coming? We’ll see. But between this new suitor and three or four others who are reading the manuscript, 2009 is looking brighter every day for FINDERS KEEPERS …


* April has been another major milestone for me. After more than a year in the works, I finally finished the first draft on my second book–CROSSLINE! I’m now in the editing stages, and once I’m finished shaping, rejiggering and applying all the writerly things that us writers do, I’ll pass the manuscript onto my writer dudes inner circle for feedback. After that I’ll work with their comments and make necessary changes, and then off to my agent it goes.


So indeed, this was a VERY big month.


* With the summer not too far off, that can mean only one thing. The San Diego Comic-Con 2009 is coming! I booked my flight last week, and the hotel accommodations are all set. I’ll have more updates as we get closer to the convention, but this is going to be a really big year for pitching FINDERS KEEPERS to the Hollywood crowd. Speaking of comic conventions, if you haven’t already, check out pictures from the 2009 NY Comic-Con in the PHOTOS section of my site, and read my blogs from February to check out all the action.


* I may be a little late to the party on this one, but for you Facebookers out there, be sure to join the FINDERS KEEPERS group on Facebook. It’s just another way to get all your FINDERS KEEPERS and CROSSLINE news that’s fit to print.


* And as part of the ongoing coverage of DRAWING WITH CHALK (, please give a shout out to Todd and Chris, as their movie received nomination in the American Feature category at the Heart of England International Film Festival. Great job guys!


That’s all she wrote for this edition. I’ll be back as June approaches with a new updates on FINDERS KEEPERS and CROSSLINE, and the latest on the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con.




Russ’s Newsletter: Vol. 3, No. 2 – Tales from New York Comic-Con ’09!

Hey Gang,


Well, a lot’s happened since last time. This darn economic swoon clunked me right on the head, landing me on the unemployment line. But I’ve since bounced back with a new job, which I’m starting in a week, so I’m back in action.


As for the really fun stuff, here’s what I’ve been up to along my adventures in publishing:


* Last month was the NY Comic-Con, and a good time was had by all. Partner-in-Crime Rich Koslowski made the trek down from Milwaukee, and between eating our weight in barbecue, borscht and pasta, and drinking ourselves blind, we did manage to squeeze in some Comic-Con time! But seriously (we did get hammered), the convention was great. I pimped out FINDERS KEEPERS all across the board and made some new connections.


To get the full story on the NY Comic-Con, check out my blogs from February 7-12, and go to the PHOTOS section on my site ( for all the costumed crazies, er, I mean, fans, who not only attended the show, but agreed that FINDERS KEEPERS will be the next smash hit once it’s on the shelves.


* Now that I’ve got my employment situation settled and I can focus again, I’m back full throttle on CROSSLINE. I’m in the home stretch, with a first draft nearly complete. Just a little bit more to go and then I can do some serious editing on that bad boy and then send it around for some feedback. If all goes well, I’ll have a clean, completed manuscript by the end of the summer. And once that’s done I’ll get right to work on book No. 3.


* A few issues back I told you about DRAWING WITH CHALK (, the debut film from jack-of-all trades Todd Giglio. After that great screening in Tribeca, DRAWING WITH CHALK has already been accepted into multiple film festivals, both in the U.S. and overseas. This is just the beginning for Todd, so keep an eye out for him and his movie. I suspect you’ll become quite familiar with both before too long.


* And for this issue’s spotlight–and for anyone who wants to see something absolutely hilarious–check out this link ( Lost in the archives for almost two decades, this is a Twilight Zone-type short student film from 1989, entitled LIGHT CHASM written, directed and narrated by high school buddy Don Philbricht, and starring yours truly. If you want to see a good Jewfro, you’re in for a treat! Man, talk about bad hair! But still, LIGHT CHASM won a student film award, so take that Academy!


That’s all she wrote for this edition. I’ll be back in May with some groovy updates and the latest on FINDERS KEEPERS, CROSSLINE, the upcoming 2009 San Diego Comic-Con, a unique creator who may soon become a household name via the wonderful world of cable TV, and any new tricks I might have up my sleeve.




Russ’s Newsletter, Vol. 3, Issue 1 – Drawing with Chalk Movie Premiere!

Hi Gang,


First off I want to wish everybody a happy and healthy new year, and hope that your 2009 is starting off well. I know it’s rough waters out there on the economic and job front, and we’ve pretty much all been affected in one way or another, so just know my best wishes are with you all.


On that note, let’s leave our troubles behind for a while and focus on something fun!


* As you know I launched the Finders Keepers animated video trailer late last year, and I’ve finally gotten that bad boy burned to promotional DVDs. I’ll be sending them out to the various Hollywood types and taking them with me to the San Diego Comic-Con in July. So keep your fingers crossed that this trailer will help the Hollywood folks see what a rollicking great movie Finders Keepers can be, and then pony up a great, big Hollywood check to get this story on the big screen!


* Speaking of conventions … you guessed it. Convention Season 2009 is officially underway! Next week is the NYC Comic-Con, and you bet your boots I’ll be there taking photos, pumping Finders Keepers, and then reporting back on all the news that’s fit to print. Partners-in-Creative Crime Rich Koslowski and Jim Chambers will will be joining me throughout the weekend, so it’s sure to be a heckuva good time. Check back in about two weeks for blogs and photos.


* On the Crossline front, I’ve officially pushed past the two-thirds mark, and have the end of the first draft in my sights. As typically happens, it’s taking me just a wee bit longer than I anticipated to finish, but be rest assured I’m plugging away on the ending, and then will work on refining this baby so its set for maximum adventure!


* And for the first official spotlight of 2009 I want to alert you all to a movie that you will almost certainly be hearing about. Close friend Todd Gilio and his partner-in-crime Chris Springer wrote, directed, starred, produced, as well as wrote and performed all the music, for Drawing with Chalk (, a tale of two guys struggling with 40 as it slams up against their rock-star dreams. I’ve known Todd for almost 20 years, so maybe I’m slightly biased here, but when this movie comes out, run to the theater. They had a screening last week in Tribeca for friends and family, and all I can say is: Wow. It’s really good.


If you want to watch the movie trailer, go to, and click on the Previews tab.


That’s all she wrote for this edition. I’ll be back soon with more updates on my adventures in publishing and give a sneak peak at what 2009 has is store for us.




Russ’s Newsletter: Vol. 2, Issue 3 – What is Crossline?

Hi Gang,


The summer has just about wrapped up, which means the cool autumn breezes are not far behind. And with this changing of the seasons I’ve got tons o’ updates to share. So here goes:


* In about two weeks I will be heading down to the Baltimore Comic-Con for the final convention of the season to shop Finders Keepers. I will be walking around with partners-in-crime Rich Henn, Jim Chambers and Rich Koslowski (surgically repaired feet and all), and as usual, I’ll take plenty of photos and get them up on the Web site upon my return, and blog about the weekend.


* More than a few of you have asked if there are ever going to be any new character illustrations on the Finders Keepersweb site. Well, the answer is: You betcha! Because up on the site now are 3 brand, shiny new character illustrations thanks to Finders Keepers illustrator Michael Lunsford. He has brought to life a biker gang, a transvestite and a secret agent of sorts (those are three different characters, by the way), all from the pages of Finders Keepers. So go to the CHARACTER ILLUSTRATIONS tab on the site, and check those babies out!


* Now, while we’re on the subject of Michael Lunsford, he has gotten himself a good ol’ fashion comic book illustrating gig, so congrats, Mike. He is now working on issues #2 of Horsemen, which is about four jackasses from New Jersey (I won’t even touch that one; too easy) who turn out to be the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. So if you’re interested in checking out his new comic, and I know that you are, here are the links to the Web site, a review and where to buy it.


Horsemen Blog:




Where to buy:


* Okay. Now for something totally new and juicy. I know I’ve dropped a few hints about a top secret project I’ve been working on (oooooh, mysterious ….), but otherwise have been rather quiet about it. But now that I’m in full writing swing, I want to share a little about what I’ve been up to these last many months. While I’ve been out there promoting Finders Keepers as it circulates through the publishing world, I’ve been hard at work on Book No. 2.


Tentatively titled Crossline, my current project is a Buck Rogers/Flash Gordon-type of adventure with my usual time-bending, philosophical goofiness that is so near and dear to my heart. It started out almost 10 years ago as a comic book project from the nutty brains of long-time friend Tom Peters and yours truly. We had some pretty ambitious plans for the comic book, but life kinda got in the way, and then it sat on my shelf for years.


Well, a while back I decided to give it another go, and combining some of the space adventure elements of the comic book with another group of short stories I wrote way back in my earliest days as a writer, Crossline the novel is well on its way.


Without getting into any plot points just yet, I will say that Crossline is full of fun, humor and adventure, and takes some trippy twists I don’t think you’ll be expecting. I’m almost half way done with a first draft, and if all goes well, I’ll have it finished and ready for some writer-dude comments in the first quarter of 2009.


Whew! I told you there was a lot to report!


Well, that’s all she wrote for this edition, so stay tuned as the leaves start to change colors and Finders Keepers gets ever close to finding a publisher. And if all goes as planned, I will be unveiling something super duper groovy cool the next time around …




Russ’s Newsletter Vol. 2, Issue 1 – Alex – A Fond Fairwell

Hi Gang,


I hope everybody is getting into the summer groove. The handy dandy thermostat has passed 90 a few times in here in New York City (although mercifully has dropped the last few days), but it’s margarita time for sure!  And with summer brings lots of writing and publishing action, so without further ado, here’s the latest on my travels with Finders Keepers …


* There has been a tons ‘o publisher interest so far regarding Finders Keepers, with some new leads that came in just last week. So stay tuned for updates, as the buzz continues to circulate throughout the industry. The manuscript is in the hands of yet another publisher just waiting to get behind the most fun book ever!


As part of the overall marketing process, there’s a database system–Publisher’s Marketplace–that is well-known in the industry. Well, Finders Keepers is on there, too. If you want to check it out, go to:


* Picking up from where the NYC Comic-Con left off in the Spring, the biggest gig of the year is coming up next month. You got it. The San Diego Comic-Con!


As with last year, I will be attending the show with partners in crime Rich Henn, Rich Koslowski, Ray Bonn and Finders Keepers Web master Ron Benchetrit. I’ll be shopping Finders Keepers to the Hollywood producer types, with some convention special issues of Finders Keepers printed up just for the occassion.


As always, I will report back with numerous blogs and pictures to boot! So check back in late July for an insider’s view from the showroom floor.


* And last, but certainly, not least, this newsletter is dedicated to Alex (a.k.a. The Buddy), the greatest–and coolest–cat a guy could ever ask for. He died last week at the ripe old age of 17 (that’s about 85 to you and me), and it hasn’t been any kind of fun without him.  But he had a truly remarkable life, and certainly enriched mine in ways I never had any right to expect. Liz and I still look around the apartment as if he’s going to come strutting in any moment …


If you want to read more about Alex and his many adventures, you can check out my blogs from June 4, and I’ve uploaded lots of pictures of him to the PHOTOS section of the Finders Keepers Web site.


Well, that’s all she wrote for this edition. As always, I’ll keep you posted on my progress with Finders Keepers … and a few other surprises coming soon … and report all the news that’s fit to print.




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