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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

FIGHTS: #RIPWarrior

DAYS AFTER WWE HALL OF FAME INDUCTION, WRESTLING ICON PASSES
by
Bowie V. Ibarra

 
When I think of The Ultimate Warrior, I think of what a maniac he was.
 
The guy started out with three other bodybuilders on a stable called 'PowerTeam USA'.  When two of the dudes dropped out, Warrior (known then as Justice) and Sting (yes,that Sting) formed a (really bad) tag team called 'The Blade Runners'.  Sting became Blade Runner Flash, and The Ultimate Warrior was Blade Runner Rock.  The team would later break up and Rock would become The Dingo Warrior.
 
Then, WWE came calling, and he went on to be one of the biggest and most over-the-top figures in WWE history as The Ultimate Warrior.  He even went on to beat Hulk Hogan clean at the SkyDome in one of wrestling's biggest matches.
 
And his promos?  Absurdly hilarious and intense.
 

I'd be a liar if I didn't say I wasn't finally drawn in by his charisma and intensity.  I bought the neon wristbands back in the day.  He was a wild man, but he was fun to watch.

But when I think of the Ultimate Warrior, I think of a friend who walked out of my life several years ago.

See, my friend, who I met in college, was a big fan of The Ultimate Warrior.  He was such a big fan that he got one of the shittiest tattoos of the Ultimate Warrior mask you'd ever see on his arm.  I always gave him a hard time about that.

Hearing the news of the passing of the Ultimate Warrior, I can't help but immediately think of him.

Buddy, wherever you are right now, I offer my condolences to you.  And to all Warriors family, fans, and friends.  Condolences.

#RIP #UltimateWarrior

Here's one of his best matches.


His Hall of Fame speech.

 
His haunting words in his last public appearance.
 
 
#RIP #UltimateWarrior

ZOMBIES: Winner of the 1st Annual #ZBFbooks Award 2014

PERMUTED PRESS AUTHOR HONORED AS FIRST ZBFBOOKS AWARD RECIPIENT
 

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to award the first recipient of the ZBFbooks Award: 

KIRK ALLMOND

Kirk comes out of a publishing house very familiar to me:  Permuted Press.

KIRK ALLMOND started writing the first bestselling What Zombies Fear novel in 2010 as an online story as part of his website The Zombie Preparedness Initiative. When the idea to write a novel struck him, he took his own "Zombie Apocalypse" plan and turned it into a story. That story has now spawned six novels and two short stories, and is showing no sign of letting up.

In addition to books set in the What Zombies Fear 'universe', Kirk is also working on two other (non) zombie novels, and several short stories.

When he's not writing or talking about zombies, the Michigan born writer holds firmly to the southern roots of his family. He grew up in Chicago IL, and Roswell, GA. Kirk has an amazing little boy who was born in 2007, who is the basis for the character Max in his novels. His time growing up in the south with his grandparents taught him the value and skills to live off the land. He is an avid outdoorsman, loves hunting, fishing and backpacking. When he's not honing his survival skills, Allmond is often found sitting at a role-playing game table, either as the GM of his own Zombie Apocalypse role playing game or as a participant in games run by one of the members of Grown as Gamers, the premier podcast for all things geek and pop culture.
Like 'Afraid', 'What Zombies Fear' is a series.  Since no specific book in the series was suggested, we'll use the first book as the marker for Allmond's nomination.

Here's the lowdown on 'What Zombies Fear:  A Father's Quest' from the book's Amazon.com page.

"When Victor Tookes went to work that beautiful spring day, he never expected to see a man eaten alive in the street in front of his office. After convincing himself that they really were zombies, he makes a trip from his house in Pennsylvania to his family home in Virginia, battling zombies all the way. His three and a half year old son was bitten on the leg, but doesn't turn into a zombie. Instead, he turns into something more than human.

Victor quickly discovers that everything he knew about zombies was wrong. Not all of them were mindless, uncoordinated, rotting ghouls; some of them were bigger, faster, stronger or smarter than when they were human.

A small percentage of humans are genetically immune to the parasite. Instead of turning these humans into mindless shamblers, they gain enhanced abilities. These new abilities will be pushed to their limits in their quest to carve out a safe haven to call home.

How will he keep his son safe when the world crumbles around him?"

Congratulations, Kirk.  And here's to continued success to you.
 
Get Kirk's book series HERE.

Monday, April 7, 2014

ZOMBIES: #ZBFbooks @PermutedPress Book of the Week 4/7/14

ZBFBOOKS.COM RECOMMENDS A TITLE FROM ONE OF PERMUTED PRESS' BEST STORYTELLERS
by
Bowie V. Ibarra

This week, ZBFbooks.com would like to recommend a title from one of Permuted Press' brightest storytellers.

CRAIG DiLOUIE wowed me a few years back with his early title Tooth and Nail.  The vivid descriptions and fantastic descriptions of the military personnel trapped in the middle of a big city in a zombie apocalypse seemed so accurate that I thought the dude was in the military.  Or had been.

But no.

That's the kind of disciplined storyteller you get with Craig DiLouie.  The guy does his research to bring his stories to life.

One of his latest titles, The Infection, promises the same storytelling prowess.

Check it out:

A mysterious virus suddenly strikes down millions. Three days later, its victims awake with a single purpose: spread the Infection. As the world lurches toward the apocalypse, some of the Infected continue to change, transforming into horrific monsters.

In one American city, a small group struggles to survive. Sarge, a tank commander hardened by years of fighting in Afghanistan. Wendy, a cop still fighting for law and order in a lawless land. Ethan, a teacher searching for his lost family. Todd, a high school student who sees second chances in the end of the world. Paul, a minister who wonders why God has forsaken his children. And Anne, their mysterious leader, who holds an almost fanatical hatred for the Infected.

Together, they fight their way to a massive refugee camp where thousands have made a stand. There, what's left of the government will ask them to accept a mission that will determine the survival of them all—a dangerous journey back onto the open road and into the very heart of Infection.


Get this title today HERE.

Explore Craig's work and keek up with him at his official website, CraigDiLouie.com.

BOWIE V. IBARRA is the author of the acclaimed 'Down the Road' zombie horror series from Permuted Press.  He earned a BFA in Acting and a MA in Theatre History from Texas State University.  His latest titles explore superhero themes, including 'Codename: La Lechusa', 'Room 26 and the Army of Xulhutdul', and 'Tejano Star and the Vengeance of Chaplain Skull'. 
 
Network with Bowie at his official website, ZBFbooks.com, the leader in Tex-Mexploitation literature.

FIGHTS: In defense of a Disney 'Indiana Jones' reboot

RUMORS PROVED FALSE STILL IGNITE INTEREST IN FANS OF MODERN HERO OF HIGH ADVENTURE
by
Bowie V. Ibarra


Okay, hear me out.

First off, I'm the last person who should be getting behind the rumors of an Indiana Jones reboot.  Indiana Jones was my hero as a child.  He was smart, he was tough, and made me want to get an education.  I wanted to be a doctor like Dr. Jones.  And I wanted to be just as tough as him, too.  When folks would run down my character George Zaragoza from my 'Down the Road' zombie horror series, they would say, 'He's a teacher. He can't fight.'  Folks, I point to Indiana Jones.

Anyway, the rumors, which proved false, allegedly, stated that there's a timetable for Harrison Ford to do one more run as the globetrotting archaeologist.  If that timetable is not met, the rumors stated that the series would continue with the series with the established canon with another star, ala the James Bond series.

Naturally, the folks opposed came out against that idea.  Harrison Ford IS Indiana Jones.  No one else is worthy of taking that title from him.

I feel the same way.  Indiana Jones will always be Harrison Ford.

But just like James Bond would always be Sean Connery to many, many others came along, too, perpetuating the franchise.  And because of that cinematic convention of different actors playing the same character, we've been fortunate to have decades of great films about the super spy.  Some were just okay.  Many were fantastic.  And the new series is even greater than it has been before.

So why not do the same with Indiana Jones?  I don't know about you, but I'd love to watch more of the adventures of Indiana Jones play out on the big screen.  More chases.  More fights.  More treasure.  More fun.

Sure, I feel some trepidation as many fans do that Disney will be bankrolling these projects and setting up stories.  I don't want to see an Indiana Jones movie become like 'The Phantom Menace.'  In fact, I want it to be better than 'Crystal Skull'.  I've devoted my life to defending that tur  wonderful film from day one and it hasn't been easy.

But in the end, I want to see more Indiana Jones adventures.  New adventures, not a reboot of past films.

My only bugaboo is this.  The rumors had Bradley Cooper as a top contender for the role.  Please, no.  No.  Not Bradley Cooper.

The pick needs to be Andrew Lincoln of 'Walking Dead' fame.  Nothing against Brad Cooper.  He had a very challenging role in 'Midnight Meat Train.'  But he'll always be 'That guy from The Hangover'.   Andrew Lincoln can bring the proper amount of gravitas and respect the role of Indiana Jones deserves.

So if you're going to do it, Disney, just do it.  But please, no Bradley Cooper.

Readers, please, find it in your heart to support a true Indiana Jones franchise as established by Harrison Ford.  But please make it known that Bradley Cooper is not the right pick.

BOWIE V. IBARRA is the author of the supernatural action adventure story 'Room 26 and the Army of Xulhutdul'.  It's about a young woman charged with protecting mysterious ancient relics blessed with supernatural power under a museum in San Antonio, Texas, and the mayhem that ensues.

You can get it today HERE in paperback and kindle today.

FIGHTS: 3 Pro-Wrestling moves I'd like to see in MMA, 5 I Already Have

ZBFBOOKS.COM IS WAITING FOR THE DAY THESE MOVES APPEAR IN MMA
by
Bowie V. Ibarra

Alright, I know how ridiculous it sounds.  But I believe there are at least three pro-wrestling moves that could be effectively utilized in MMA.  No, seriously.  They can.

Look, we've already seen the influence of pro-wrestling on the MMA scene.  Many of the early Japanese combatants, including Kazushi Sakuraba, have utilized pro-wrestling moves in MMA.  No, I'm serious.  Check it out.

PRO-WRESTLING MOVES WE'VE ALREADY SEEN IN MMA

1.  The Mongolian Chop

Yes, the Mongolian Chop has been used in MMA.  Japanese MMA fighter and pro-wrestler Kazushi Sakuraba used it against Royce Gracie, as well as some other competitors.  You can find it in the link to this highlight reel below at the 2:20 mark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwBW5WiqZLE

2.  The Power Bomb

Okay, so the set up for it has not quite been as ridiculous as Kevin Nash putting some dudes head between his legs, waiting five seconds to pose, before lifting the dude up and dropping them on their head and back.  It's a move I always suspected would work from a guard position.  'Rampage' Jackson did it to a dude with tremendous effect.


3.  The German Suplex

Naturally, a move with such a rich Greco-Roman tradition would find its way into MMA.  Dan Severn delivered one of MMA's first and most devastating German Suplexes against Anthony Macias at UFC IV.  There have been many since then throughout MMA.

But perhaps the most spectacular came when Kevin Randalman fought Fedor Emelianenko.  Check it out.

 
 

4.  The Giant Swing

 
Before Antonio Cesaro brought The Giant Swing to the WWE Universe and into mainstream consciousness, I always thought The Giant Swing would be a great way to get out of the guard.
 
The closest we ever got was when the Wildman Genki Sudo hit one on Craig Oaley.  Truth is, it really is a Giant Swing utilized for a submission maneuver.
 
 
5.  The Dropkick

 

In one of his earliest Pride FC matches, Alexander 'Diet Butcher' Otsuka executed a drop kick against his opponent.  It didn't play out so well.  I guess he needed to bounce the guy off the ropes or something, because he just went for it and the guy moved out of the way.

PRO-WRESTLING MOVES I'D LIKE TO SEE IN MMA

1.  DDT

In the unified rules of MMA, there is a rule that states fighters are prohibited from 'spiking' an adversaries foe against the mat.

Would somebody please do it anyway, Jake 'The Snake' style.


2.  The Super Kick

I've seen dudes do left high kicks, spin kicks, even bouncing off the cage to kick a dude in the face.

But I've yet to see a Chris Adams/Shawn Micheals-style Super Kick.  C'mon, MMA guys.

 
 
3.  The Heart Punch
 
It could be done.  Think about it.  A dude has a guy up against the cage, he could grab that dude's wrist, pull it up, and strike.
 

 
I think what this has demonstrated, above all else is this one fact:  Pro-Wrestling is more dangerous than MMA.
 
So, did I miss any?  Comment below, leave me a Tweet @wingback20, or connect at the official website below.
 
BOWIE V. IBARRA is the author of the combat sport series 'Pit Fighters' from ZBFbooks.com.  It's the adventures of several fighters from around the world who form a stable to compete in the early days of MMA competition.  You can pick them up today in paperback or Kindle HERE.
 
Network with Bowie and check out all his other cool books featuring zombies, blood, and fights at his official website, ZBFbooks.com today.
 

 
 

FIGHTS: Brock breaks Undertaker's Wrestlemania unbeaten streak

BULLY BROCK KICKS AMERICA IN THE BALLS AT WRESTLEMANIA XXX WITH BIG WIN
By
Bowie V. Ibarra


No one saw it coming.

Noted wrestling pundit Brandon Stroud had predicted that Undertaker takes the win, extending the ridiculous WrestleMania win streak of one of WWE's biggest legends.  His thinking that he mentioned in the 'Best of Undertaker Streak Matches' piece was that the best time to end the streak was with Randy Orton.  Hell, I think it should have happened against Shawn Micheals the second time.  I did not want it to happen against HHH.  Now that would have sucked.

So in walks Brock Lesnar to face Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX.  Everybody kind of laughed it off because Brock is a 'part-timer' and if the streak was going to be broken, the thinking among fans was it should be for an up-and-comer.

And then it happened.

Brock F-5's one of the biggest legends in WWE.  Everyone thinks 'taker's kicking out.  No one really cares.  We're all expecting Undertaker to pull it out of his ass and take the win.

But the three count hits, and Undertaker is done, just laying on the mat.  Tired.  Old.  Beat.  Finished.

And then the WWE Universe takes a collective shit in their pants.  It was hilarious.

I contend Brock was one of the last few people who should take this win.  Brock has always had Undertaker's number.  Look at their 'Hell in a Cell' match from a few years back. 

 
You can find other instances of this understated rivalry from the history books and see that Brock has had Undertaker's number.  We forgot that.
 
This is the match Undertaker wanted anyway.  He asked for it years ago, confronting Brock after one of Brock's wins in the UFC pit.
 
 
Well, careful what you ask for, because you just might get it.
 
The time was ripe.  After 21 solid wars at 'mania, with the last few being the toughest competition he's ever faced, 'taker was on his last legs.  With his youth a thing of the past, the younger, stronger, and crueler Lesnar was ready to take the Undertaker, who was ripe for the picking.  Sure, the match wasn't the greatest Hoss-Style matchup, and it did not have all of the elements of Micheals/Taker I or II.  It was just a cruel beatdown of a legend before millions of fans across the globe.  Reality check.
 
And the reactions from the world?  Real.  Twenty-One years in the making, and no one saw it coming.
 
Good pro-wrestling always has a foundation as a metaphor for life, for society.  It should remind us about ourselves, our world.  People we love and idolize get old.  Sure, they remain those young and spirited youths we remember in our mind.  But if Death is the most patient of competitors, then Time is the cruelest.  Time keeps passing by, and with every second that ticks away, makes you older, marks your remaining time alive.  Only death knows the time of the final countdown, when the bells toll. 
 
21 years is a long time to be a dominant figure in anything.  No one will ever come close to that accomplishment.  For that, we should still revere the Undertaker for that amazing accomplishment.
 
But another life lesson that we all know is real is that someone always has your number.  My dad used to always tell me, no matter how big or bad a dude is, there's always, always someone out there who's just as big and just as bad, someone that can always put you in check.  Someone that, no matter how hard you try, you just can't beat them.
 
Look at Sakuraba/Silva.  They fought four different times and Sak could not beat him.  In fact, he got beat worse every time, it seemed.
 
Look at Shawn Micheals vs. Undertaker.  Shawn had two shots at it and couldn't do it.
 
Ken Shamrock/Tito Ortiz.  Ken couldn't do it.
 
No one thought Tyson was going to lose to the no-name James 'Buster' Douglas.  But he did.  Talk about an undefeated streak ending that no one saw coming.  Tyson was 37-0 at the time.  Buster had his number.
 
Take peace in knowing that the Undertaker never dodged a fight and always challenged himself against high-levels of competition for 21 years.  Undertaker put it all on the line year after year and won. 
 
Time just ran out.  That's all.
 
ZBFbooks.com salutes The Undertaker.  That was one hell of a run.  And to Brock Lesner.  You beat him clean.  Well done.
 
 
BOWIE V. IBARRA is the author of the 'Pit Fighters' series from ZBFbooks.com.  The book features fighters from around the world competing in the pits of MMA.  You can get the book today in paperback and kindle HERE.

Network with Bowie at his official website, ZBFbooks.com.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

ZOMBIES: 6 Concepts #TheWalkingDead ripped off from Permuted Press books

COMMON THEMES IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE FOUND BETWEEN 1ST WAVE Z-DAY PUBLISHING HOUSE AND 2ND WAVE Z-DAY TV SERIES
by
Bowie V. Ibarra


Alright, alright.  I know it's a bold statement.  'The Walking Dead' did not necessarily rip off themes from Permuted Press titles.

Or did they?

Seriously, though, when you're dealing with the zombie apocalypse and describing the stories in your own peculiar way, there's going to be overlapping themes.  A wiser writer than myself named Scott A. Johnson once said you can narrow storytelling down to two core concepts:  A stranger comes to town, or a protagonist goes on a journey.

There's nothing new under the sun, and when it comes to storytelling, there's always going to be themes that overlap.  Here are 5 concepts The Walking Dead ripped off overlapped with Permuted Press books, in no particular order.

1.  THE HANZO SWORD/KATANA IN THE ZPOC
Travis Adkins' 'Twilight of the Dead'

One of my first blog entries over two years ago now involved the idea that the katana is the best weapon to be used in the zombie apocalypse.  Using the ultimate katana as seen in the Tarantino flicks, 'Kill Bill', I demonstrated waaaaaaaaay before 'The Walking Dead' hit TV screens that the 1st wave title 'Twilight of the Dead' (2008) by Permuted author Travis Adkins had set that precedent.

In 'Twilight of the Dead', a group of elite soldiers are recruited and trained to use the katana as a weapon against the undead.  They are trained and become elite warriors with the katana.

In 'The Walking Dead' (2012), we get a chance to meet one of the comic book's mysterious heroes, Michonne.  Michonne walks with the dead with a katana, clearly showing training with the weapon, dispensing foes with the quickness and elegance the weapon requires.

Pretty cool shared idea, isn't it?

2.  THE FLU
Jackie Druga's 'The Flu'

Before I start with Jackie Druga's 'The Flu', I want to draw another example of how overlapping themes will always be prevalent in the storytelling of the zombie apocalypse.  Like vampires or werewolves, the storyteller typically has to find a logical reason for why the events are occurring.  An airborne sickness like the flu is a common theme.

The first book I seem to remember using common sickness as a sign of infection was the brilliant 'Flu' by WAYNE SIMMONS.  The book is outstanding and a great example of the author's work as a storyteller.

That brings us to Jackie Druga's Permuted Press title, 'The Flu'.  In it, a strain of the flu breaks out with deadly results.  Here's the synopsis: 

"Throughout history there have been several thousand different strains of influenza. Each year hundreds are active. Chances are, this year, you will catch one of those strains. You will cough, sneeze, and your body will ache. Without a second thought, you’ll take a double dose of green liquid, go to bed, and swear you’ll feel better in the morning.

Not this time.

In 1918 forty million people succumbed to a particular strain of swine flu. It appeared out of nowhere, and just as quickly as it surfaced, the Spanish Flu vanished. Gone for good. Or so we thought. Though mankind has anticipated its resurfacing for some time, mankind is ill prepared. Mutated and with a vengeance, the Spanish Flu returns.

In a world blackened with plague, a glimmer of light exists in the small town of Lodi, Ohio. They shine as a sanctuary because they are ‘flu-free.’ In the wake of the reality that they are spared, the spirit and strength of Lodi is tested. It becomes a fight against what is morally right or wrong in an increasingly difficult battle to stay healthy and alive until the flu has run its course."

That brings us to 'The Walking Dead' episode where the folks made it to the prison, but everyone got sick due to some flu-like illness in prison.

Overlap.

3.  BEEVILLE, TEXAS/WOODBURY, GEORGIA
Bowie Ibarra's 'Down the Road: On the Last Day'

In the ZBFbooks.com Permuted Press title, 'Down the Road: On the Last Day', a mayor named Hickland has rallied his south Texas town together to exterminate the living dead within its city limits and barricaded the roads leading into town.

In 'The Walking Dead', a man named The Governor has rallied his town together to exterminate the living dead within its city limits and barricaded the roads leading into town.

Pretty cool coincidence, huh?

4.  BURNED BODIES

Featured near the finish of the book (which you can purchase HERE), and without giving away any spoilers, a group of burned corpses attacks.

In one of the most recent 'The Walking Dead' episodes, a mysterious fire burning near a railroad track seems to have created a group of burning and still smoking walking corpses who stumble on to Daryl and his young friend near a railroad track near Terminus.

Burned corpses walking first seen in 'Down the Road: On the Last Day'.

5.  SMEARING THE ROT FROM A CORPSE ONTO YOUR BODY AS CAMOFLAUGE AGAINST THE DEAD
Bowie Ibarra's 'Down the Road:  The Fall of Austin

In the Permtued Press classic 'Down the Road: The Fall of Austin', a Native American character named Talltree breaks away from his cruel squad on the hunt for deserters, he neutralizes one of the living dead before cutting it open and rubbing its entrails all over him.  Following the Native American tradition of 'Spirit Walkers', the tactic proves effective and the military man walks without threat among the dead, disguised by the scent.

In one of the earliest episodes of 'The Walking Dead', the characters believe they can disguise themselves with the scent of the dead.  Neutralizing one of the living dead before cutting it open and rubbing its entrails all over themselves, the tactic proves effective and they walk without threat among the dead, disguised by the scent.

Unfortunately for them, a rainstorm hits, and the scent is quickly washed off of them, revealing their living selves to the walking dead.

That didn't happen to Talltree.  Something immensely cooler happened to him.  But you're going to have to pick up the book HERE to see how he makes his presence known at the finish.

6.  RULE CHANGE

And one of the biggest themes of 'The Fall of Austin' and, ultimately, 'The Walking Dead', and every other work devoted to zombie horror, the 'Rule Change' is at the heart of the predicament of the end of the world.  The desperation and lengths that people will go to survive is completely unpredictable.  Hence all the great fun and social dynamics of the zpoc.

Ironically enough, 'The Fall of Austin' ends with the real solution not only to the Zpoc, but life on earth in general.  What is that, you ask?  Pick up the book HERE to find out.

Look, I understand that 'The Walking Dead' did not necessarily rip-off these themes from these Permuted Press books or others on the market.  It's clear similar elements will always find their ways into not only zpoc stories, but every other story out there as well.  It's just interesting to note that pieces that were released well before 'The Walking Dead' debuted were first playing with the themes we see today.

That's why if you're enjoying 'The Walking Dead', you need to not only pick up the aformentioned books, but visit Permuted Press and explore their zombie apocalypse library of books.  The publishing house has grown by leaps and bounds, and some of the best new authors on the zombie horror scene will be found at the website.  So go check it out today.

Have you read a Permuted Press book and found a common theme/similarity with an episode of 'The Walking Dead'?  Leave a comment below and let us know.

BOWIE V. IBARRA is the author of the acclaimed 'Down the Road' zombie horror series from Permuted Press.  He earned a BFA in Acting and a MA in Theatre History from Texas State University.  His latest titles explore superhero themes, including 'Codename: La Lechusa', 'Room 26 and the Army of Xulhutdul', and 'Tejano Star and the Vengeance of Chaplain Skull'. 
 
Network with Bowie at his official website, ZBFbooks.com, the leader in Tex-Mexploitation literature.