Mean Pete--Head Honcho of Mean Pete Publishing

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

My Pal and Comic Book Writer and Novelist Mike Baron

I hardly write about anyone but myself on this blog. Not only because I'm a narcissist, but because I'm busy as hell--writing, writing, writing. And running my  young Australian shepherd over hill and dale. I'm devoting this post to my pal Mike Baron, a long-time comic book writer who has broken into prose novels of late. Mike's prose work has been slow to catch on, and I hope this blog will help turn that around, because if you've never read Mike Baron, and you like imaginative, mind-blowing, hard-to-categorize fiction, you need to. Mike is a true original. I've loved everything Mike has written including the graphic novel THE ARCHITECT.

Here is a short essay I posted on Facebook some weeks ago.

My pal Mike Baron, creator of the NEXUS and BADGER comic book series, one of the first independent comic book writers back in the 80's, author of the current and mind-blowing BANSHEES, which I just read and has caused me to go on medication. In a good way. Mike and his writing are both unique. Some would say in a good way. Don't ask his wife. If not for Mike, I never would have become interested in comics enough to chase my own gig writing six issues of BAT LASH for DC Comics--penning an origin story for that classic series started in the 60' by Sergio Arogones, who I got to work with on my own series, as well as with the famous and now-deceased John Severin from MAD and HEAVY METAL fame. I owe all of that to Mike, who put me in touch with DC. Mike's a legend in his own time. I mean that literally and not one bit facetiously. He is a true Mid-western original and he deserves a much larger audience today for both his older comic books and his current novels. We used to have great comic book and writerly gatherings in his house in Fort Collins, back when we were (relatively) young and unwashed and full of vim and horse manure. Fun times. Many great, young talents around that table, a couple who went along to the big-time in no small part due to Mike's influence and his getting them early jobs and for which they, like myself, owe him a great deal. Mike always grilled cheap chicken on his little grill, on the floor of his garage, and boiled packaged rice with black beans. That was our staple. With a salad of wilted lettuce and Newman's own vinaigrette salad dressing with a marked down label on it. I wish I was there now, this Friday night, with his dogs leaping around like rabid wolves and esoteric power pop blasting on his boom box, the perfume of Colorado incense mingling with the smell of charcoal and lighter fluid.

Anyway, here are a few of Mike's incredible, mind-blowing books--a combination of fantasy, noir, and comic book action--and I hope you'll take a look and give him a shot.

Notorious for their satanic lyrics, drunken excess and rumors of blood sacrifice, the Banshees shocked the world with their only album Beat the Manshees. Death stalked their concerts--lightning, stabbings, overdoses. The world heaved a sigh of relief when the Banshees all died in a plane crash. Or did they? Forty years later, with no fanfare, they appear in a seedy Prague nightclub. Ian St. James, son of original Banshees drummer Oaian St. James, can't believe his eyes. Ian's attempts to get backstage nearly kill him. In Crowd sends hot young reporter Connie Cosgrove to cover the Banshees along with that old burn-out Ian. Ian falls hard for the stunning Connie who regards him with a mixture of disgust and amusement. As if! The Banshees phenomenon goes viral--are they real or is it all a brilliant publicity stunt? Every time Banshees play someone dies. Is it bad luck or part of some diabolical plan? As Connie and Ian dig into the Banshees' past they find disturbing links to black magic, the Russian mob and an ancient Druidic sect. Death only adds to their mystique as the Banshees steamroll across North America toward a triumphant appearance at LA's Pacific Auditorium. Ian finally grasps the real reason they've returned--to tear a rift between our world and a monstrous evil-- a rift created by an infernal machine built into Pacific Stadium and powered by human flesh.

Check out all of my Mike's work on AMAZON

Sunday, September 4, 2016

New Ben Stillman Novel Now Available!

Sheriff Ben Stillman finds himself in the unenviable position of having to arrest a young man for murder on suspicious evidence.

But the cards are stacked against the young firebrand who calls himself Johnny Nevada. One, Johnny has gotten Judge Hoagland’s daughter pregnant, shaming and enraging Hoagland himself. Two, Johnny warned Dave Bliss he was going to kill him because Bliss ordered Johnny to stay away from Bliss’s daughter, Sarah, whom the young Casanova was also sparking. Johnny made the warning public and two weeks later Bliss was dead.

Now Stillman has Johnny locked up in his jail at the courthouse. The judge wants to try the boy pronto and won’t recuse himself though under the circumstances Stillman knows he should.

The young man’s luck is about to get even worse when unknown men ambush Stillman and try to kill the kid in the courthouse cellblock. Knowing that Johnny Nevada will hang at the very least, or get filled full of lead before he can hang at the very worst, Stillman sees no option but to bust the kid out of his own jail.

With the help of a beautiful and mysterious young woman, Stillman hides Johnny away in a cabin in the Rattlesnake Hills. Now maybe Stillman can get to the bottom of the mystery of who killed Dave Bliss before the hideout is discovered by the enraged judge’s vigilante posse...or the legendary Snake Woman, who supposedly haunts the hills, comes stalking.

Meanwhile, a bank robbery in Clantick interrupts the wedding of Doctor Clyde Evans and Katherine Kemmett, giving the roguish doctor just enough time to reconsider his affection for not only bachelorhood but the pretty young waitress, Evelyn Vincent.

As we've come to expect from Peter Brandvold, king of the fast-action, sexy, hard-hitting western novel, it's all here -- love and death, bullets and blood . . .

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


The second book in my new LONNIE GENTRY series is now available at Amazon and elsewhere as both an ebook and a beautiful hardcover published by Five Star.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

New Lou Prophet Book Now Available!


There’s a small war brewing in Carson’s Wash. On one side is the beautiful widow of the man Butters is accused of murdering. On the other side is the brutal saloon and mercantile owner, George Hill, who, Prophet is astonished to learn, is the widow’s own father! Phoebe Dahlstrom believes her father hired Charlie Butters to murder her rich husband, and she’ll stop at nothing to see both Butters and George Hill stretching hemp from the same tree.

There are so many factions at cross odds in Carson’s Wash, that Prophet doesn’t know which end is up, much less who’s trying to fill him so full of lead he’ll rattle when he walks!

From the book:

Standing naked in his tub now, Prophet aimed carefully and shot the third assailant through the man’s right temple. The man’s head jerked back sharply. Prophet heard his neck snap. The man plopped onto his ass and then onto his back and lay jerking near a dusty mesquite.
Prophet stood in the tub, dripping.
His own powder smoke wafted around him.
He looked around, gun still raised, listening for more assailants.
Footsteps rose beyond the front of the cabin. Turning around in the tub, Prophet exchanged his empty Colt for his twelve gauge Richards coach gun, and clicked both hammers back as he squared his shoulders at the front door.
Someone was approaching, walking now.
The footsteps stopped. Louisa edged a look around the door’s right side, peering into the bathhouse. She held a pretty, silver-chased Colt up high near her shoulder, hammer cocked.
Prophet depressed his shotgun’s hammers.
Louisa looked at the dead man lying near her, outside the front door. She looked at the dead man lying half in and half out of his bloody tub beside Prophet. She looked past Prophet toward the third dead assailant lying just beyond the washhouse’s back door.
She looked Prophet’s naked body up and down, glanced at the black water at his ankles, curled one half of her upper lip, lowered her Colt, and said, “You clean up right well, Lou.”
Prophet turned to the man who’d tried to give him a haircut. “I thought that hombre was sleepin’ just a little too sound!”

Take a look at AMAZON

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mean Pete's New Pal, Buddy

I'm going to write a complete essay about this fella soon. He came from Minnesota Aussie Rescue. He's had a tough first year, abandoned in the rural fields of Iowa. He doesn't like people much, but he does like cats and other dogs...and long walks in the country and swims in the lake. A good ole northern redneck, just like Mean Pete. We don't mind people, we just like them better when they're not around. I think of my last dog, also another rescue, Miss Sydney, every day. I lost her on May 9th to a stroke. I'm hoping Buddy and I will have a lot of good years together.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Pages from My Memoir in Progress--NORTHERN BOY

(I'm working on a memoir, NORTHERN BOY. I suspect I'll be working on it for a long time, as it takes shape in my mind and on the page. It's frankly pretty sprawling and really needs shaping. Anyway, I think I'm going to publish snippets from time to time here. These opening pages of the chapter "Young Vagabond" seem to have gotten taken over by my mother, which is fitting. She was a very strong personality and a person who loomed very large in my life, and still does. For good as well as for bad. While she's been gone nearly twenty years, I find myself thinking about her all the time.)

Young Vagabond

I was born during a late-February snowstorm in St. Ansgar Hospital in Moorhead, Minnesota, just across the meandering, north-running Red River from Fargo, North Dakota. My parents, Orbin and Yvonne Brandvold, were living in a forty-foot mobile home in a court devoted to married student housing at North Dakota State University. My father was getting his undergraduate degree in agronomy.
It has always amazed me that I was born in a Catholic hospital, because my mother hated Catholics. Or, at least hated the Catholic-ness of many of the people she knew. She hated that Catholic-ness despite her father having been a Catholic until her mother had made him convert to Methodist. She hated that Catholic-ness despite her twin sister marrying a Catholic, a guy she otherwise loved and admired, at age eighteen. She hated Catholic-ness despite many of her cronies being Catholic themselves though she always tried and often managed to get an anti-Catholic dig into their conversations now and then, which never failed to make her happy.
I’ve never really understood what she hated so much about the Catholic faith. I asked her on many occasions, because I really wanted to understand, but my mother wasn’t always good at articulating her prejudices, of which she had many. I think a large component of her Catholic prejudice was the Pope. She saw him as mere a flesh-and-blood jake acting all “high and mighty.” Flouncing around in silk robes and carrying a big fancy stick and having folks kneel down to kiss his ring. She also didn’t like what she saw as all the pretentious hoopla of the Catholic service, though I can’t remember her ever attending a Catholic service outside of maybe a wedding or a funeral now and then. Throughout her entire life, my mother hated people who put on airs, who saw themselves, or who she perceived as seeing themselves, better than she, the daughter of an itinerant farmer and coal miner who grew up “barefoot poor” on the far northwestern prairie of North Dakota.
I think another reason she hated Catholics was because it got under her skin that, unlike she, who had converted to my father’s Lutheran Church, Catholics could attend church on Saturday night and then hit the bars all night long without having to worry about getting up to attend services with a hangover the next day.
The more I think about it, the latter reason is probably as real a reason as any that my mother hated Catholics. She loved partying in the bars of the North Dakota small towns we lived in during the 1970s. She’d grown up in a big, boisterous family in a tiny town, and I think the small town bar was an extension of that familial atmosphere. She loved to tell, over and over, about how a judge got so drunk one winter Saturday night in Napoleon, North Dakota, that he and a barmaid passed out together behind a propane stove. She far preferred people getting drunk and passing out and being “real” than people swaddled in expensive furs driving around town in big cars, their noses in the air.

My mother was extremely extroverted and social to an almost pathological degree.  She would have hated the idea of having to cut out of the party early because she had to get up for church the next morning. Right there was another rub against the Catholics. But, then, who knows why my mother hated one thing and loved another? More and more over the years after her death, I realize that there was very little about my mother that I fully or even partway understand, try as I seem obsessed with doing.