"Coyote Cal" @ The Red Penny Papers
– Hannibal (A-Team)
For my weird western hero Coyote Cal and his loyal sidekick Big Yap, the plan has taken about twenty years to get to this point. But at long last, they're making their world debut today, and if you're so inclined, you can read their first published adventure here.
Back in the early '90's amidst Desert Storm and grunge music, when I wasn't practicing free-throws for a team that granted me two minutes of playtime per game, I was writing. No big surprise there, I know. But I was also listening ravenously to golden-aged radio programs like Hopalong Cassidy and The Lone Ranger, and I'd gotten seriously into serials, courtesy of the Kmart VHS clearance bin. These influences couldn't help but come through loud and clear in my writing.
When family friends moved from San Diego to Little Rock, I decided to send them a snail-mail serial of sorts: "Trouble on the Range" starring the "famous" storybook heroes Coyote Cal and Big Yap. At the time, however, Cal and Yap had never appeared in anything else I'd written. But they did their darnedest to right wrongs, fight villains, and keep Ted Turner from colorizing all the old black & white westerns.
All this to say, last year I decided to write a new adventure for these characters who'd seen me through a decade of Clearasil. KV Taylor at The Red Penny Papers liked the story right off, and working with her has been a great experience. I can honestly say that this tale is my absolute favorite of everything I've written lately.
But this won't be the last we see of Coyote Cal and Big Yap. Pulp Empire is going to publish another of their weird westerns in August: "Fool's Gold."