Chasing Death – a New Poem

I fear you none.

For though you give chase across time, across ages,

through valleys blackened by pain

and pastures greened with hope,

the labor is solely yours.

You know my name, but yours will go unsaid,


unlooked for

until the moment of leaving, at whose gates I will no longer care.

For though I might gaze across years, across oceans,

toward a horizon whose distance I will know only once,

you cannot touch me until then.

And so I fear you none.

Strip away the leaves of others, take them as you must.

Peel dry the orchard in which I live, whether summer sapling or wintered oak,

whether friend or foe, whether loved or despised.

I care not.

For they are mine forever, and yours but once.

And whence they come to you, wordless and unchangeable,

they are immortal to me.

In spirit indomitable.

In memory indestructible.

So take them. I care not.

Once the forest falls and I am the only one left,

you may cast your shadow upon me.

Victory, you may claim, fleshless, arid, and everlasting.

And you may laugh to see me kneel in the dirt, under grey skies,

under columns of black clouds in which no heaven awaits.

But nameless, I will hold you.

And bittersweet, your conquest.

For the dark line, drawn in the sand at the time of your choosing,

is no loss to me, no more than a whisper in the eon of my soul.

And I shall fear you none.

Whether sharp and sudden or a slow carrion crawl,

my burdens will be shed,

my thousand aches mended,

and sleep again I shall until the ending of all ages.

But you, my friend,

you must toil on.

For whether here or there or a in place yet unnamed,

your work is never done.






J Edward Neill

Steampunk Fridays – Kickstart the Comic – The Death Defying #1


One of my loves has always been stage magic. I’m the guy that those tv shows about real life illusionists and every David Copperfield is for. I’ll stop what I’m doing to watch that stuff. And it wasn’t long before I discovered who Harry Houdini was. I’m not sure what it is about him – the fact that he brought a mixture of escapism to his tricks or that he was around during the height of Vaudeville or what, but I know I’ve written at least one school paper on the man.

So a comic with him (and Arthur Conan Doyle) is something that piques my interest.


The Death Defying #1

Christopher Sebela – Writer

Gavin Guidry – Artist

Marissa Louise – Colors

Micah Meyers – Letters

Kickstarter campaign ends on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 6:33 PM EST.


The Pitch:

Arthur Conan Doyle & Harry Houdini.

The writer and the magician.

They were once the best of Friends.

When their friendship went to hell, 

The world wasn’t very far behind.

The Story:

Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle used to be fast friends, visiting one another and writing letters back and forth, until their differing views on the afterlife set them against one another on stages and newspapers across the globe. Years after their breakup, the two continue to battle about spiritualism, the belief that the living can communicate with the dead. Doyle, creator of the great detective Sherlock Holmes, believes in ghosts, mediums, even photos of fairies. Houdini spends his time debunking the seances and the frauds who run them. The two are at war, two ideological armies whose battle of words is about to become a battle to the death for the very fate of humankind.

This Kickstarter is to fund production and printing of The Death Defying #1, the first in a series of four 30-page issues.

John’s Thoughts:

In real life Doyle and Houdini were friends, but this divide of ideologies proved to be too much. Doyle needed to believe, and I sometimes think Houdini wanted to find someone he couldn’t disprove (he never did). This feels like very ripe territory to construct a story. How does a skeptic deal with some coming supernatural apocalypse? How does a believer deal with the idea that he will be the downfall of his former friend?

Like I said, ripe territory for a story (the first 6 pages are previewed on the Kickstarter Page).

The Rewards:

This is the first issue, so there are the standard pdf only or print versions of the comic. But a couple of things jumped out at me. At the $12 level, you can get a print copy with the variant cover by Tyler Crook (of Petrograd, Harrow County, Bad Blood, and The Dark and Bloody).

For those script-writers who would like a little bit of help with their craft, Christopher Sebela will consult on your single issue script. For those of us who might not have an editor readily available, I can see this as being a relatively cheap way to get a non-biased second opinion on your story ($75 level).

And for the slightly deeper pockets you can appear in the comic you’re buying ($100 level), an always cool option.

The Verdict: 

Time is running low on this particular Kickstarter with less than a week to go. I’d love to see this one make its mark and provide us all with the opening chapter of a very cool story idea.


For more information on Christopher Sebela, find it here on his website.



John McGuire

The Gilded Age Kickstarter is still going on. Check it out on Kickstarter here.

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His prose appears in The Dark That FollowsTheft & TherapyThere’s Something About MacHollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at