Hasslein Blog


Hasslein Blog

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Alien/Predator Comic Strips, Part Three

(For part one of this article series, click here. For part two, click here.)

By Jean-François Boivin

Diamond Comic Distributors is now the main provider for comic shops all around the world. But when the company started in 1982, there was a lot of competition. The company grew and absorbed other distributors, and in 1990 they started publishing a catalog for pre-orders titled Previews (much like their main competitor Capital City Distribution did the year before with their Advance Comics) that was sold to the public through local shops. The magazine includes advance solicitations with description of upcoming releases (in order of publishing company) and an order form that could be filled out by comic shop owners to order for their customers.

Most issues included preview pages of comics and promotional cards and posters. In its third year, Previews started including exclusive comic strips with the January 1993 issue (Vol. III, No. 1). That very first storyline was provided by Dark Horse Comics, and was laid out over 13 two-page installments. The selection was a biggie: John Byrne was given full freedom to write and illustrate his own story set in the Aliens universe, titled "Aliens: Earth Angel." Byrne had a bit of past history with the Alien franchise: in his end notes for the Dark Horse re-publication in July 1992 of one of his early stories, Critical Error[1], Byrne says that he was inspired by a photograph of the movie Alien that he saw in the pages of Heavy Metal. Now he had the chance to write an actual Alien story, and he chose to set it on Earth, in a small American town in the 1950s, and make it play out like an old school sci-fi movie. It'’s got a crashed alien ship, a motorcycle gang, and a town doctor who becomes a hero.

Read more »

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Trek Against Trump: Because the Future Deserves Better

By Rich Handley

I'm not a top-tier Star Trek writer. I've not written any TV episodes or novels (YET), but I have contributed to the official magazines and website, worked on comics projects for IDW and contributed to other branches of the franchise. Therefore, I am throwing my hat into the ring, along with other Star Trek writers, in support of the "Trek Against Trump" movement.

DonaldTrump's white-supremacist views and connections, his profound lack of knowledge, his history of bankruptcies, his tradition of scamming small businesses and not paying those who work for him, his misogynistic and cruel statements about women, his hypocrisy, his bad temper, his hate-mongering, his inability to control himself when speaking in public, his bizarre lack of self-awareness, his unceasing dishonesty, the rumors of his having raped a young girl and mistreated women, his unprepared performance at the first debate, the hordes of violent bigots who flock to his rallies, his rampant tax evasion and bragging about same, and the ignorant bigotry he espouses make him a danger to this country. His practices and views are the very antithesis of what the United States stands for.

He is, at heart, un-American.

I may not be pro-Clinton, but I am definitely anti-Trump, and I stand with my Star Trek colleagues in this matter. Were he elected President, Trump would embarrass America in the eyes of the world's nations, most of which are already laughing at us for even nominating him in the first place. He would badly damage our credibility, provide white supremacists a puppet in the Oval Office, and give exactly zero shits about anyone who doesn't have white skin, a billion dollars in the bank and Trump as a surname. He is the most non-Presidential candidate this country has had in my lifetime.

Star Trek, going back to its infancy, has always taken a strong stance against bigotry, intolerance, bullying, fascism, greed, inequality and power lust, and Trump embodies all of those traits. Hillary Clinton may not be an ideal candidate and may share some of Trump's faults, but he represents a very real danger to our society that goes FAR beyond anything that could be said about her. He is deplorable.

As a Trek fan and franchise contributor, I feel that condemning Trump is the only logical choice.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Hasslein Books Publishes Watchmen Timeline

Written by author Rich Handley, Watching Time: The Unauthorized
Watchmen Chronology breaks down every event of DC Comics' iconic
comic book series and theatrical film, as well as every spinoff story to date.

NEW YORK, Sept. 26, 2016In 1986, the comic-book world experienced a profound paradigm shift, thanks to writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons. Gone were the long-held notions that crime-fighters always did the morally right thing for the intellectually right reason, that heroes and villains were rigidly defined constants, that good always prevailed over evil, and that happy endings were a foregone conclusion. In their place, there was Watchmen.

Since the release of Moore's seminal deconstruction of the superhero genre, others have revisited Watchmen's dystopian setting in the form of a film adaptation, role-playing books, prequel comics, and multiple video games, all built upon the foundation that Moore and Gibbons laid down thirty years ago. With DC Comics soon to bring Watchmen's characters into its mainstream continuity, and with a Watchmen TV show reportedly in the works, it's time to reexamine all that has come before.

Rich Handley's Watching Time: The Unauthorized Watchmen Chronology, now available from Hasslein Books (hassleinbooks.com/pages/book_watchmen.php), offers:

• A detailed history encapsulating every recorded event from all corners of the franchise—not only the comics, games, film, and RPG books, but also viral videos and websites, trading cards, unproduced scripts, and other ancillary sources, some quite obscure.

• A mini-"crimeline" summarizing the careers of masked crime-fighters and supervillains throughout Watchmen history.

• A foreword by noted comic guru Brian Cronin of "Comic Book Legends Revealed" fame, whose thousands of meticulously researched articles have enthralled comics fans for years.

• A nostalgic essay by Duy Tano, creator of the popular blog The Comics Cube, explaining why Watchmen is simultaneously dated and timeless.

• And a gallery showcasing more than 250 covers from the Watchmen comics, trade-paperback collections, DVDs, Blu-rays, reference books, and video games.

Designed both for long-time and new fans alike, Watching Time tells you everything you need to know about Alan Moore's highly influential and Hugo Award-winning epic and its spinoffs. The book is now available at Amazon, CreateSpace, and Barnes & Noble. For more information or to place an order, visit hassleinbooks.com/pages/book_watchmen.php.

Media Requests: To obtain a review copy or arrange for an author interview, please email info@hassleinbooks.com.

About the Author
Rich Handley's previous works include Planet of the Apes: Tales From the Forbidden Zone for Titan Books; Timeline of the Planet of the Apes, Lexicon of the Planet of the Apes, The Back to the Future Chronology, and The Back to the Future Lexicon for Hasslein Books; The Sacred Scrolls: Comics on the Planet of the Apes, Bright Eyes, Ape City: Examining the Planet of the Apes Mythos, A Long Time Ago: Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic Universe, A Galaxy Far, Far Away: Exploring Star Wars Comics, A More Civilized Age: Exploring the Star Wars Expanded Universe, and New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics for Sequart; and IDW's five Star Trek comic strip hardcover reprint books.

About Hasslein Books
Hasslein Books (hassleinbooks.com) is a New York-based independent publisher of reference guides by geeks, for geeks. In addition to Watching Time, its lineup includes unauthorized genre-based reference books based on Planet of the Apes, Back to the Future, Red Dwarf, and Doctor Who, with future volumes slated to feature G.I. Joe, Alien vs. Predator, James Bond, and more. To stay informed regarding the company's projects, follow Hasslein Books online at facebook.com/hassleinbooks, twitter.com/hassleinbooks, and hassleinbooks.blogspot.com.

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Now Available for Sale: Watching Time—The Unauthorized Watchmen Chronology

Hasslein Books is proud to announce the availability of its latest volume, Watching Time: The Unauthorized Watchmen Chronology. Written by Rich Handley, with a foreword by Brian Cronin and an essay by Duy Tano, Watching Time examines the entire history of the Watchmen franchise, from the comics and the film to video games, unused scripts, and more. The book features a cover gallery of more than 300 images, as well as beautiful interior and cover designs by Paul C. Giachetti. You can order your copy here, and find out more about the book here.

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Red Dwarf: Beyond the Shows

by Paul Giachetti

The British sci-fi comedy series Red Dwarf has aired a total of 61 episodes throughout the past 25-plus years, with twelve more on the way as of this writing. Casual fans, however, may not be aware of the vast body of additional material, most of it available online. In an effort to keep fans up-to-date with all things Dwarf-related, I have compiled this list of books, websites, videos and other materials outside of the televised episodes. Some of these can be found on the show's DVDs, though not all of the DVD bonus materials are listed here—only the more popular ones.


Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers
Better Than Life
Last Human
Red Dwarf Omnibus

Red Dwarf Log No. 1996
Red Dwarf Space Corps Survival Manual
The Log: A Dwarfer's Guide to Everything

Primordial Soup: The Least Worst Scripts
Son of Soup: A Second Serving of the Least Worst Scripts
Scenes from the Dwarf
Red Dwarf VIII

Red Dwarf Quiz Book
A Question of Smeg: 2nd Red Dwarf Quiz Book

The Official Red Dwarf Companion
The Making of Red Dwarf
Red Dwarf Programme Guide (Third Revised Edition)

Total Immersion: The Comprehensive Unauthorized Red Dwarf Encyclopedia
Ganymede & Titan Presents: The Garbage Pod
Stasis Leaked Complete: The Unofficial Behind the Scenes Guide to Red Dwarf

Random Abstract Memory
The Man in the Rubber Mask

Red Dwarf—The Roleplaying Game
Red Dwarf—The Roleplaying Game: AI Screen with Extra Bits
Red Dwarf—The Roleplaying Game: Series Sourcebook

Smegazines: March 1992 to January 1994
The Official Red Dwarf Fan Club magazine

The Story of Red Dwarf
Red Dwarf mobisodes
Kryten's YouTube Geek Week intros
Red Dwarf Mars April Fool's Day spoof
Bill Pearson's Red Dwarf Xmas pitch video
Can't Smeg, Won't Smeg cooking show
Red Dwarf Universe Challenge
Red Dwarf USA pilot #1
Red Dwarf USA pilot #2
Children in Need Red Dwarf sketch
Comic Relief Red Nose Day promo
Comic Relief Red Nose Day: Bohemian Rhapsody—brief appearance
Amnesty 30th—brief appearance
Tongue Tied—full video, plus making-of special
BBC2 skutter idents
The Best Ever Red Dwarf—introduction by Craig Charles
Red Dwarf: A-Z

• "Identity Within"
• "Bodysnatcher"
• "Dad"
• "Infinity Patrol"
• "Lister's Dad"
• "Rimmer's Dummy"
Bill Pearson's Red Dwarf Xmas—full script
Bill Pearson's Red Dwarf Xmas—pitch video

Prelude to Nanarchy

The Official Website
The Official Red Dwarf Fan Club
Ganymede & Titan
Gazpacho Soup
Red Dwarf Collectibles

Beat the Geek

• Androids (www.androids.tv)
• Diva-Droid (www.divadroid.info)
• Duane Dibbley (www.duanedibbley.co.uk)
• Crapola (www.crapola.biz)
• Geneticon (www.geneticon.info)
• Leisure World International (www.leisureworldint.com)
• Jupiter Mining Corporation (www.jupiterminingcorporation.com)
• A.I. Today (www.aitoday.co.uk)
• HoloPoint (www.holopoint.biz)

• "Homecoming"

For more details on these materials, visit Ganymede and Titan's Complete Guide to Almost Everything.

UPDATE: July 30, 2016 – Included Red Dwarf Collectibles website
UPDATE: October 26, 2016 – Added link to Smegazines



Friday, July 22, 2016

Red Dwarf: Homecoming—Fan Fiction by Paul C. Giachetti

By Paul C. Giachetti

Throughout the years, the British science-fiction comedy Red Dwarf, like any long-running series, has produced a fair number of inconsistencies, plot holes and unanswered questions. Some of these instances were masterfully resolved within the pages of the four novels written by Rob Grant and/or Doug Naylor, but many remain unexplained to this day. One of my pet hobbies has been to take these conflicts and questions and concoct explanations to fill in the gaps for other fans. Sometimes, the answer is simple ("Light bees are programmed to 'age'."), while other times, it requires a bit more explanation.

>Among the most prevalent questions asked within fan circles these days are: What happened after Series VIII? How did Red Dwarf survive the chameleonic microbe? And which Rimmer has been with the crew since Back to Earth? After seeing these questions posted several times in the various online forums and groups I frequent, I finally decided to offer my own account of the events directly following the Series VIII finale, "Only the Good…"

The end result is a novellette titled Red Dwarf: Homecoming, which you can read here.

"It says here it's a short story by some smeghead named Paul Giachetti.
I think he played an orangutan in Planet of the Apes, didn't he?"

This story assumes readers have watched "Only the Good…," as well as the Series VII episode "Stoke Me a Clipper," and have a general familiarity with the TV series overall. It is written more in the style of the novels than of the show itself, though I have nonetheless tried to capture the voice and tone of the series and its characters.

My goal was to have readers walk away from the story feeling as though they had just watched a lost episode. Hopefully, I've at least come close.


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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Hasslein Books Needs Your Help With 2009's Watchmen: The Mobile Game

By Rich Handley

If you're a fan of Watchmen, DC Comics' iconic 12-issue 1986 comic book miniseries by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (and, really, how could you not be?), then chances are you've watched the 2009 film adaptation directed by Zack Snyder. You're probably also well aware of DC's controversial 2012 prequel line Before Watchmen, which spanned 37 issues and divided the comics industry regarding whether or not additional Watchmen stories should even be told without Moore's involvement. (I refuse to take a stance here on that debate.)

More recently, you're no doubt aware that the Watchmen characters are being ported over into mainstream continuity, as part of (indeed, at the crux of) this year's company-wide Rebirth reboot concept. Chances are, you've read more than one scandalized rant on that very subject. You may even have written one yourself. (Again, I'm avoiding that debate as well.)

What you might not be aware of is that there has actually been a good deal more. There have been a number of viral videos, a trio of Watchmen-themed role-playing game books published as part of Mayfair Games' DC Heroes Role-Playing Game, in-universe websites, promotional newspapers, four different Watchmen video games, and other odds and ends.

Wait. Four video games?


Read more »

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

EternalCon 2016: And a Good Time Was Had By All...

By Rich Handley

The weekend's done now and we've all gone back to our usual routines, but we at Hasslein Books had a funtastic time at EternalCon 2016, which was held at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, N.Y. We met a lot of fellow fans and talented individuals, sold and signed some books, and had many conversations with enthusiastic con-goers.

We shared a booth on Sunday with cosplayer Sofia Sivan, who signed photos of herself in costume and drew more people to the booth than our books did; laughed frequently with neighboring vendor Erica Lin, who kept us up to our elbows in free potato chips, and who we will miss now that she's on her way back to Taiwan; and met other talented cosplayers, such as the hilarious Robert Franzese (the Real Life Peter Griffin, though he was dressed as Sergeant Slaughter this time out), Scarlet SpyderQueen (Sofia's assistant and a great cosplayer in her own right), and EmmaPool, who sported a fantastic costume and a wonderfully punny name.

Best of all, we got to see several friends from last year's convention, including photographer David Schlaich and Big Apple Conventions' Zorikh Lequidre, and I was excited to reunite with an old college buddy, Hart Sastrowardoyo (or Ben, as I have always known him), and finally meet his adorable daughter.

Read more »

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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Cosplayer Sofia Sivan Joining the Hasslein Booth Team on Sunday

Hasslein Books is pleased to announce that the lovely and talented cosplayer Sofia Sivan will be sharing our booth with us on Sunday at EternalCon 2016, taking place this weekend at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, N.Y. Come on down and meet us all.

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Hasslein Books Geeks Out in Garden City—Come Meet Us at EternalCon

And so it begins...

Come on down to EternalCon, where you can see Hasslein Books' Paul Giachetti and Rich Handley epitomizing the term "nerds." In fact... we're giving out Nerds, as you can see near the front of the table.

EternalCon 2016
Cradle of Aviation Museum
Garden City, N.Y.
June 10-12


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Friday, May 27, 2016

Come Meet Hasslein Books at Eternal Con—June 10-12 in Garden City, N.Y.

If you're located in or near the New York City area and plan to attend Eternal Con (Garden City, June 10-12), be sure to stop by the Hasslein Books booth and say hi. We'd love to meet any of you we've not yet met in person, and to see those of you whom we already have. We hope to see you there.

The guest list will include Brent Spiner (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Independence Day), Chase Masterson (Deep Space Nine), Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Guardians of the Galaxy), Elizabeth Henstridge (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), William Kircher (The Hobbit), and a nice selection of cosplayers (such as the stunning Sofia Sivan) and popular comic book artists (such as legends Bob Larkin and Jim Shooter). Plus, it will be held at the Cradle of Aviation Museum, which is simply a great place to visit, even without a sci-fi convention.

(The event will also include reality TV and professional wrestling celebrities for some unfathomable reason, but you can always ignore their presence entirely, just as we plan to... unless that's your thing, of course, in which case enjoy.)


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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Who Watches Hasslein Books?

Our next project, you ask? Why, here's a hint.

Stay tuned for more news.




Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Price of Integrity

By Rich Handley

Today, I received an e-mail from someone calling himself "Tim Glasow, Marketing Assistant" at a Raleigh, N.C., company called "Total Marketing." I thought I'd share the exchange, in case there were other bloggers out there who have received similar correspondence. Tim's initial e-mail said the following:

We are interested in producing editorial content for your site, hassleinbooks.com.
The content will be professionally written in line with your site's theme and voice.
A $120 administrative fee will be provided to you for your time spent reviewing and publishing our content. Payments are made daily via PayPal or check via FedEx (US & Canada only for check).
Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

Now, I'm not a stupid person. I recognize a potential scam when I see one. It's something we at Hasslein Books know something about. But I was genuinely curious what the catch was. So I wrote back to him, asking a simple question:

Hi, Tim. What's the catch?

His answer actually intrigued me:

Hi Rich,
Thanks so much for your reply. Let me provide some further clarification. Our client is casino.betfair.com, however, our article would like to highlight news within the geek world (perhaps something surrounding star trek or star wars, or another relevant theme of your choice). The link to betfair will appear organically within the body of the article, and in no way will it detract from the article's overall theme.
You can see a few of our previous articles below:
Here are the details to get us started: One of our writers will supply you with a professionally written article that is relevant to your site's theme and we will pay you $120 via PayPal for your time spent reviewing and publishing the content. We would expect the content to appear on your site like a regular post until newer content pushes it off. It should then remain accessible in your site's archives for a total of 12 months from the original publishing date.
Our goal is to write an editorial that you and your readers enjoy. If you have any guest post requirements or topic ideas for this article, please let me know.
I am here to answer any questions and I look forward to working with you.

Now, I have to admit, this made me curious. The three articles he supplied as samples were surprisingly well written and relevant, and the link in question was unobtrusive. So I asked my partner at Hasslein Books what he thought of it, and then I did some research. And what did I find? Well, do some Google searches for "Betfair fraud," "Betfair scam" and "Betfair refuses to pay," and you'll see for yourself. Let's just say that Hasslein Books wants no part of it. So here's what I wrote back:

Wait... so you want us to shill for a casino site well known for defrauding people out of thousands of dollars? You want us to give up our integrity by pretending to be presenting journalistic pieces when, in fact, we'd just be posting thinly veiled ads for thieves? And you want us to do this for an extremely low dollar amount? Sorry, Tim. No thank you.

If you receive an e-mail from anyone at Total Marketing, offering to pay you to post their content on your site, my advice is this: delete it. Our parents' wisdom from our childhood still holds validity: if it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true.

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Monday, January 18, 2016

The Pandorica in Beacon, N.Y.: The Best Eats This Side of Gallifrey

By Rich Handley

If you're a Doctor Who fan and are looking for a fun place to eat while watching Who episodes from recent years, then The Pandorica might be just the place for you. Located in Beacon, N.Y. (in Dutchess County, right off Route 84), The Pandorica (visit its Facebook page) features a menu offering Who-worthy appetizers such as Fish Fingers and Custard, mini-corndogs appropriately known as K-9s, and stuffed potato heads called the Sontaran Brigade; entrees such as Are You My Mummy Bacon Bound Meatloaf and Thymey Wimey Beef Cottage Pie; sandwiches like the Madame Vastra Po Boy; and sweets like the Madame de Pompadour Cake.

This past weekend, Paul Giachetti and I took the opportunity to visit The Pandorica, view its décor and sample its culinary treats. We met owner Shirley Hot, a warm and friendly Who fan, and dropped off a few copies of Hasslein Books' two Who titles (Lost in Time and Space: An Unofficial Guide to the Uncharted Journeys of Doctor Who, by Matthew J. Elliott, and Who Beyond 50: Celebrating Five Decades of Doctor Who, by Brian J. Robb and Paul Simpson) for Shirley to share with her Whovian diners. While we were there, we enjoyed a meal and made sure to snap some photos of the restaurant.

The food was delicious and well worth the price. I ordered the Gallifreyed Potato Pancakes with apple sauce, while Paul tried the Sontaran Brigade (hilariously enough, it turns out that potatoes sitting in small cups look just like Sontarans). My son, who came along for the ride, feasted on the dessert version of Fish Fingers and Custard (battered French toast strips—the appetizer version is actual fish), and they were fantastic. Meanwhile, David Tennant episodes played on a wall-mounted TV, perfectly setting the mood.

Photo: The Pandorica

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