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!









George R.R. Martin discusses ‘The Skin Trade’ at 2013 Comic-Con

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As the success of ‘Game of Thrones’ continues to grow, so does the name of George R.R. Martin, the brilliant author behind the series, recently named as one of the top 10 most powerful authors in Hollywood.

So at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego, aside from the usual ‘Game of Thrones’ fanfare, GRRM will be hosting an event about his upcoming books and projects, including the highly anticipated release of Avatar Press’ adaptation of his werewolf novella, ‘The Skin Trade’, to which Mike The Pike Productions currently holds an option on the film/television rights.

I’m really excited about this for obvious reasons.  Here we have the rights to an amazing book in one of the most popular genres by one of Hollywood’s most powerful authors behind one of televisions biggest phenomenons.

And it all started well before Mike The Pike Productions was even formed; when I made it a personal mission to acquire the rights to source material that would make for an excellent adaptation to screen. It was always something I wanted to do, ever since I read an article about the business of optioning material in a summer edition of Premiere magazine when I was 15 years old.  The article was cool- to think that at one time, Schindler’s List was in the hands of Scorsese who traded it with Spielberg for Cape Fear.

The release of the Skin Trade Graphic Novel gives the property and its universe some fresh traction.  Many of us enjoy Game of Thrones religiously and digging into the world GRRM has created here will not disappoint.  I’m partial to books as a whole, but there’s no comparison to a well-made graphic novel and I know that GRRM’s protege, Daniel Abraham, penned the adaptation, so I’m excited to check it out.

Meanwhile, we are actively negotiating with one of the most prominent television studios in the industry ; this, as a result of a shopping agreement we’ve signed with one of television’s most successful Executive Producers. That’s quite a bit to absorb, and exciting for certain, but it’s not a dealbreaker for a film project as negotiations are just that- negotiations- and if it goes our way, it could mean some magnificent things for all involved, but if it doesn’t, it just means the film gods have decided this property belongs in their realm and I’ll gladly oblige as I think this makes for an incredible property to franchise, one way or another.

I’m also excited to submit what our team hopes to be the final round of responses to FINRA. Yes I suppose I’ll use the word excited here because all involved are cautiously optimistic, including the securities attorney working on the due diligence for our Market Maker.  Stay tuned for more updates!

Saint James Films acquires International Rights to Supernatural Thriller, ‘Nightscape’


Nightscape poster


Mike the Pike Productions, Inc. ($MIKP) subsidiary, Saint James Films, LLC (SJF) is pleased to announce that it has secured the International distribution rights to David W. Edwards’ supernatural thriller, ‘Nightscape’ .  The film hits worldwide markets at next week’s Cannes film market (Marché du Film 2013) via our distribution partner TomCat Films, LLC. The deal includes a 50% equity stake in net sales for SJF.

We are thrilled to license this property as part of our offerings at this year’s Cannes. It’s a fast ride filled with visual effects and plot laid out nicely over an energetic electronic score.

SJF will be represented by TomCat at the world’s largest film market this month with Nightscape and 11 other titles including Lizzie Borden’s Revenge, Attack of the Jurassic Shark, Captain Battle, etc.  The Company has also partnered with various producers to ensure increased volume in production on projects for worldwide distribution and an ever-increasing SJF library.  What I’m truly thrilled about is that number.  We only started producing and acquiring films in January of 2012 and just over a year later we’re looking at a dozen titles.  As this number continues to increase, we’ll soon see self-sustaining revenues for the company and inevitable momentum in company growth and brand recognition.

Mike the Pike Productions is a USOTC publicly traded feature film, television and graphic novels production company currently working on titles such as White Space and The Skin Trade, from George R.R. Martin, the world-renown author behind HBO’s Game of Thrones.  It is currently trading in the Grey Market and we’ve secured a market maker in Southern California that has filed a Form 211 with FINRA toward reinstatement to the Pink Sheets. The process hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing, but it’s overall encouraging to see that our market maker is optimistic regarding our potential for reinstatement.  Our last submission to FINRA included LOIs, Contracts, emails, service agreements, letters of explanation and then some, substantiating each and every claim and statement made via press release by the company since early 2010.

It’s quite a bit to go through and was initially reviewed by our market maker’s compliance department prior to submission around 3 weeks ago.  My hope is for a timely response there, but there’s no indication as to when they will answer and if that answer will be final or a request for more information.

That said, we will be making regular announcements via blog or press release until that decision and hope that shareholders will follow us on Facebook: for frequent updates as company social media has now been deemed acceptable by the SEC as a dissemination portal for company information.

Waiting is the hardest part.

This is what I feel like waiting for FINRA to decide whether or not to reinstate our public vehicle.


That said, the wait continues….I spoke to our Market Maker today and all is still up in the air however confident they may be.  We don’t know anything until FINRA makes its decision.  In the meantime, I’m writing to let shareholders know that we are following due process and I

hope to hear something very soon given their last round of response.  I can’t say how much longer we are willing to wait before entertaining a plan B that fosters the growth in the public realm we all deserve, but I can say there are options on the table.  Until then, I wanted to update you on some exciting progress in the form of a few short bullets.

1) A trailer for White Space does in fact exist- and it looks terrific.  I am not at liberty to share the trailer publicly as the vote has it that its best to keep the content exclusive until Producers have decided on a buyer/accepted an offer.  That said, there is currently strong interest in the film from reputable distributors and/or sales agents.

2) George R.R. Martin’s The Skin Trade has become quite the sleeping Giant in terms of our assets and inherent potential.  The property is actively courted by a major television production house for series consideration.  Though a feature script is completed for the project, this is something I am heavily considering as, in the end, it is a great opportunity to expand the universe, take advantage of GRRM’s reputation/brand in the TV realm (see: Game of Thrones) and, financially, it can mean more money for the company in the end.   On the feature side, we have a tremendous opportunity (discussions phase) to go direct to a studio for development/production.

3) Saint James Films, LLC has secured VOD and/or DVD deals for Jurassic Shark, Captain Battle: Legacy War, Agent Beetle, Lizzie Borden’s Revenge and pre-sales on future titles as well.  We’re looking to produce anywhere from 6-12 features this year pending available financing.  We’ve recently completed ‘Phantom of the Woods’ via production partner, Open Sign Productions, LLC and the trailer can be seen on  We’ll be gearing up for Cannes on this and other titles as we work development and pre-production on future titles, one of which I’m proud to announce is based on one of my own story concepts ala ‘Leprechaun’ and ‘Candyman’ that we’ll film locally here in Fort Wayne, Indiana aimed for franchise potential.

4) I am meeting with private investors in the coming weeks regarding feature film finance for ‘Children of the Night’ and ‘Fish in a Barrel’ as well as slate financing for our Saint James titles this year.  Obviously, the more private financing we can secure without using the stock as consideration in any way, the better– as it builds our assets, benefits the private investor on the participation side and strengthens shareholder value as a result.   Both ‘Children of the Night’ and ‘Fish in a Barrel’ are owned 100% by Mike The Pike Productions, Inc. and most likely we’d enter into a 50/50 equity split with the private investor.  As well, because MTP controls the rights solely to these pictures, we will not have to worry about other parties and their opinions/concerns when it comes to releasing updates, materials, teasers, trailers, etc. – and we have some killer talent lined up in terms of crew that will give the films exponential production value toward optimal sales.

As for press releases, I understand the need for updates, regardless of what ‘market’ we are trading in.  The last I asked (which was late 2012), the Market Maker suggested we do not issue press releases until we are through the 211 process. After a call today we have agreed that press releases can be issued from here on out, so long as they are approved by our Market Maker’s compliance department before issuing— so though we’ll continue being active on Facebook and here on the blog, I will ensure that material updates are made via Press Release once each is approved by the Market Maker.

I hope this informative for now as this purgatory we’re in is frustrating to say the least; however I can only hope things go our way as we are performing stronger than ever in terms of operations with some amazing people and opportunities on the horizon.  Until then, we’re working hard. Me and Wilson are getting by and I have stocked up on almond butter to ensure I’m fortified until we hear back.