George R.R. Martin's 'Skin Trade' in the Works at Cinemax

George R. R. Martin - The Skin Trade







As submitted by @werewolfnews  

As the San Diego Comic Con dust finally settles, there’s been some chatter about The Skin Trade, the 1988 werewolf novella by hat & beardsman (and bestselling Game of Thrones author) George R.R. Martin. Here’s what you need to know about the activity surrounding the award-winning werewolf story.

First, the official synopsis:

When a string of grotesque killings begins to strike her small city, private detective Randi Wade becomes suspicious. A serial killer is taking the skin of its victims and the grisly murders remind her all too much of her own father’s death almost twenty years ago. As the police hit a dead end, Randi goes on a search for answers of her own… But when a close friend suddenly becomes a target, he is forced to reveal a startling secret about himself and Randi is quickly pulled into a dark underworld where monsters exist and prey on the living.

The story was originally published in Night Visions 5, a 1988 horror anthology that featured stories by Martin, Stephen King and Dan Simmons. The same anthology has also been published under the titles Dark VisionsDark Love and The Skin Trade. The story won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novella in 1989, and has generally been hailed as the American Werewolf In London of short fiction. To the best of my knowledge,the only way you can read The Skin Trade today is to buy one of these anthologies from a used book seller(unless you’re fluent in French) Correction! Pennington Beast points out that The Skin Trade is included in Werewolves and Shape Shifters: Encounters with the Beasts Within, which is currently available for purchase on Amazon. But don’t despair! Don’t freak out. As mentioned by Martin himself, Avatar Press has just published the first issue of the official Skin Trade comic.  The story was adapted (to Martin’s great satisfaction, apparently) by Daniel Abraham and illustrated with gritty, gruesome aplomb by Mike Wolfer (hold the puns, please). There are a variety of covers, including a Limited SDCC version, a gory version and a wrap-around version. This issue is in stores now, and the second issue comes out next month. It’s not clear how many more issues will follow after that, but I’m hoping for a total of six at the least.

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This first issue was good but exposition-heavy, and it didn’t blow the lid off the werewolf “mystery” – but give it time, baby bird, give it time. This is a horror novella they’re adapting, not a children’s fairy tale, and if you’re at all familiar with Martin’s writing, you know that a slow burn always pays off.

If you like comics but prefer your adaptations to take the form of light, sound and moving images, I have more good news for you: a film version is in the works. The movie rights to The Skin Trade are resting with Mike The Pike Productions, who have the screen adaptation tagged as “in development”. Details on just what that means are scarce – the latest news I can find is from this 2011 post on Shock Till You Drop – but there are recent signs of life: the film’s web site got a recent facelift, and during last week’s Skin Trade SDCC panel (see Collider’s great recap) Martin briefly discussed his ideal casting for the “asthmatic, hypochondriac and not very formidable werewolf” character, saying that Paul Giamatti, William H. Macy or Steve Buscemi would all be great choices. You can follow the film’s development progress onFacebookTwitter and Tumblr.

And that’s the extent of my knowledge regarding The Skin Trade, in any format. I have a copy of Night Visions 5 coming to me in the mail, thanks to a packrat friend, and I’m looking forward to reading what all the fuss is about. If you’ve read the story, tell me and your fellow Werewolf News readers what you thought of it in the comments!


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Werewolf sighted in Los Angeles

Picture 7 Okay, scratch that- it was actually a guy that hasn’t shaved since 2012…just another of the sundry of sights this week in Los Angeles.  But I am here on werewolf-related business. Investors flew me in yesterday to discuss the funding for a feature film version of George R.R. Martin’s The Skin Trade, the award winning-novella I scripted an adaptation for earlier this year.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Ita Nagy, of Cohen/Gardner, in person this morning to get to know each other and discuss some projects.  Cohen/Gardner is repping us on Skin Trade and also helping with an offer we hope to make on another exciting property, which I hope to have news on in the near future.

As shareholders know, we’ve had quite a journey with GRRM’s The Skin Trade, with a much appreciated boost from record-breaking fan demand for ‘Game of Thrones’ and the recently published ‘The Skin Trade’ graphic novel by Avatar Press which GRRM spoke of at this year’s Comic Con.

I’m thrilled with the progress the last few months that has led to our meeting tonight.  I am also trying to match schedules with our form 211 sponsoring market maker, BMA Securities so I can meet them tomorrow and check on progress with our submission which I hope will go out this week as the aim was to have it submitted by end of last week.  I’m told by the MM they are working diligently to complete their answers on the form for delivery to FINRA this week. I’ll remain optimistic as I’m grateful for all they have done for the company thus far.  Thanks for following and I hope to be updating again soon!



Unlike solving crimes, the LAST 48 hours may be the most crucial in any kickstarter campaign.  And our campaign is no exception.  We can still use your help and hope that you’ll lucid dream your way over to Kickstarter and get your copy of R.E.M. today!

For those of you that have already taken advantage of the rewards in our campaign- congratulations and thank you!

It’s amazing to think that since my last post we’ve nearly doubled our support in dollars- getting ever closer to the $20,000 we need to cover total book costs!

I’m thrilled to have this book mark Mike The Pike’s entry into the world of graphic novels.  Moreso, I’m thrilled for the team behind R.E.M.

There is nothing quite as gratifying as a creative success (except maybe a creative success with potential for financial success) and with R.E.M., Ryan Colucci and Zsombor Huska have achieved both.

And we couldn’t have done it without you- for this we will be ever grateful.  It’s truly amazing what the Kickstarter community can achieve.  If you aren’t an active part of this, check it out– its quickly become a platform for reciprocal giving as our own campaign has inspired me to take a look at other campaigns and help them out with my own support.

Either way– whether you’re an active member of kickstarter, a shareholder of Mike The Pike Productions or just a big fan of one-of-a-kind graphic novels– this is your chance to reap some truly striking rewards for your support!   #kickstarter #REM #mikethepike #graphicnovels

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Pinch me!

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I am thrilled to announce we’ve reached our stated goal on Kickstarter, in only the 1st week of our campaign.  This, of course, was made possible by you!  You that shared, You that cared, You, so many, that made others aware.

We thank you so much for taking us this far, so far!  This finally takes the book to print, and I’m thrilled to see that we are strong and growing in our monies raised because, as its creator, Ryan Colucci, best puts it in the campaign itself , surpassing our goal would be amazing… as a decent % will end up going to Kickstarter fees, taxes and shipping (and fulfilling rewards).

Over and above that, it brings us that much closer to covering the total costs of the book (pencils, inks, lettering, desk-top-publishing), which is roughly $20,000. It also means STRETCH GOALS are unlocked!  According to KickTraq today, if we can continue at the rate we have, we will reach $20,910 by the end of the campaign.

So THANK YOU, and PLEASE, one of the best ways to support us right now, aside from the much appreciated monetary support (in exchange for some awesome rewards including the sublime book itself), is to SHARE THIS CAMPAIGN on your facebook timeline, twitter feed and/or mention it on your blog.

Last but not least– in thanks to and honor of those that have supported us, I am committing to supporting at LEAST 1 Kickstarter campaign per week from YOU!  (I’ve already supported 5 in the first week).

Simply tag me, Mark B. Newbauer and/or Mike The Pike Productions in a Facebook post featuring your campaign, and I will become a supporter of you!


You’re not dreaming!

R.E.M. kickstarterI am thrilled to announce that we have completed R.E.M., our first book in a partnership with Spoke Lane Entertainment.  R.E.M. is an edge of your seat, mind-bending thriller with a tragic love story at its core.

And now, we’ve launched our Kickstarter campaign ,which includes some amazing rewards, to raise the money necessary to bring this book to print.

Nearly 3 years ago, Ryan Colucci came to me with a slate of graphic novels proposing we partner on creating compelling content with solid prospects for film adaptation.  Most of those that follow me know Colucci as my oft-time collaborator (White Space ,George R.R. Martin’s The Skin Trade) with a background in film and graphic novels that speaks for itself.

R.E.M. was of the first books we agreed to make, including Bulderlyns, a family-themed story about a boy and his bond with a mystical creature which may be the only hope against an onslaught led by the creature’s evil sibling,  and Chasing Rabbits, in which the relentless pursuit of a serial killer takes place in a macabre take on the universe of Alice in Wonderland.  We are near complete on the entire slate with R.E.M. hitting the finish line first.

A graphic novel done right, for me, is the perfect marriage of book and film, using visuals to drive the story alongside the prose and inner monologues we don’t often see in a film.  Ryan Colucci, Zsombor Huszka and Karol Wisniewski have done just that with R.E.M., and in a sprawling story brought to life in gorgeous, haunting black and white.  It is nearly the antithesis of the explosive bursts of color in Colucci’s debut novel, Harbor Moon.

As well, for the company, this book will mark the first completed in our slate under Spokefish, the graphic novel partnership between Mike The Pike Productions and Spoke Lane Entertainment.

R.E.M. does not disappoint, and I write this in hopes that you will help us complete the dream with whatever support you can offer toward our publishing costs.  The book is finished, but now we need to print it.  I ask humbly if you will please support this project and the great talents behind it.  The final product is a result of a lot of blood, sweat and tears; and even when there was no way, we found a way, to finish it.

I’m really proud of the work that went in to making this a reality and hope that you will take the time to give $5, $20, $100, whatever you can spare to make this a reality as the first book of three on our slate.  If everyone following this blog were to give even the smallest amount, we will have reached in excess of our goal, allowing us to expedite distribution and finish work on additional books.  Thank you so much!

Also, I’ll be posting about this until we reach our goal, so if there’s no other reason to give– do it to shut me up about R.E.M.!    Thank you, Sincerely!









White Space

 Sci-Fi Thrillerpost production

ws_logo_web2150 A.D. The Essex, a deep space fishing vessel for industry giant, AmberCorp, is ready to make its final harvest of the season. The ship brushes with a rare creature, mammoth in size and highly territorial. Could this be the same leviathan that killed Richard and Owen’s father? To make matters worse, a vicious band of scavengers intercept the transmission and infiltrate the Essex, leaving them with nothing. With no cargo and few supplies, the captain makes a daring decision, they will venture into uncharted territory, playing for keeps, to capture the creature for a large black market take. White Space on IMDB

Enter White Space Here

tiff and holt controls

George R.R. Martin's The Skin Trade

Suspense / Horrorin development

skin-trade-portraitFrom George R.R. Martin, the New York Times Best Selling author behind HBO’s mega-series, “Game of Thrones,” comes this chilling story of a killer out for more than blood. When a string of grotesque killings begins to strike her small city, private detective Randi Wade becomes suspicious. A serial killer is taking the skin of its victims and the grisly murders remind her all too much of her own father’s death almost twenty years ago. As the police hit a dead end, Randi goes on a search for answers of her own… But when a close friend suddenly becomes a target, he is forced to reveal a startling secret about himself and Randi is quickly pulled into a dark underworld where monsters exist and prey on the living.  Can you solve the mystery beneath the skin?


“My werewolf novella, “The Skin Trade”, originally published way back when in ‘Night Visions 5, has been optioned for film by Mike The Pike Productions…And about time. I’ve always thought there was a terrific movie in “The Skin Trade”, but somehow no one has ever optioned it till now. The novella is a horror/mystery cross set in a decaying rustbelt city and featuring a hot young female private eye and a hypochondriac lycanthrope, how’s that for high concept? Randi and Willie are still favorites of mine. The novella won the World Fantasy Award too, which is how I got that head of H.P. Lovecraft that looks down over my living room. I hope that Mike The Pike Productions does a kickass job with it.”

–  George R.R. Martin,  winner, 2012 World Fantasy Award  for Life Achievement

Fish In A Barrel

Comedy – in development

Alan Fiske, a 30-something still living at home with his grandfather, gets dumped by 
the town hottie, Linda Hart.  Worse yet, she dumped him for his archenemy, Rick Worthington, 
whose dad owns everything in their small lake town and then some. Rick, a 30-something man-boy, also living at home, likes his cake and eats it too as he carries on in 
a long-distance affair with Summer Andrews, unbeknownst to Linda.  And when Summer comes 
to town for a surprise visit,  Alan falls for her, Linda wants her dead, and Rick wants it all.

One night, in a bait delivery gone bad, Alan and his best friend, Charles, are forced to play 
Rick and  his buddies in a game of high stakes poker.  In a battle of the egos, Rick bets his 
father’s yacht against Alan’s entire savings and loses. Rick does not go quietly into that 
good night. His dad threatens to relinquish his car, privileges and entire estate inheritance.
Rick suggests a re-match and offers to throw in his girlfriend, Summer, to sweeten the pot.

Alan complies at a chance to win her heart. In order to avoid any chance of cheating, 
the boys settle on a fishing contest: To catch the legend of their lake, Mike the Pike, a 30 lb Muskie whose head has a not-so-handsome price on it from the town loon, Freddy Bannister. 
He is hell-bent on avenging a recent, very ‘personal’ loss to Mike the Pike, the JAWS of their lake, notorious for leaving his prey running for shore…