Sunday, July 31, 2016

Albert the Bear from JOE CROSS Series to appear at THE COMIC SIGNAL

Albert, aka Albert PeeWee, is scheduled to appear at THE COMIC SIGNAL, August 6, Saturday, from 12pm to 4pm, with West Michigan author Peter Welmerink. 

The co-star of the Joe Cross: Urban Salvage Engineer adventures, Albert is Joe's on-the-road companion and confidante while Joe adventures in and around the post-apoc landscape of West Michigan 2025-2026 in Peninsulam Publishing's JOE CROSS Series.

Stop by and say hello to Albert. He doesn't bite, but Joe might if you try to take the bear.

Author Peter Welmerink also does not bite, and will be happy to sign any Joe Cross, TRANSPORT and/or Captain Paul Wells/Space Voyager books*

*--Books will be available onsite at THE COMIC SIGNAL the day of the event.
All books suggested for ages 15+.

The Comic Signal
4318 Plainfield Ave. 
Grand Rapids, MI 49525


Joe Cross: Running with the Devil

Kindle Ebook

Cover by: 

Interior Artwork: 
Tim Holtrop

Monday, July 25, 2016

Billet, Joe Cross and Captain Wells to respond to THE COMIC SIGNAL

August 6, 2016, from 12-4, I will be at THE COMIC SIGNAL on Plainfield--4318 Plainfield Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI, to be exact--signing books and talking to people about a POST post-zompoc West Michigan. 

No doom and gloom. It's all about MOVING FORWARD NO MATTER THE ROAD BLOCKS.

Will have copies of my TRANSPORT Series and JOE CROSS, and also my Lake Michigan lakeshore SciFi yarn RETURN TO STRANGE HOME featuring Space Voyager, Captain Paul Wells.

Stop by and say HELLO.

(Plus its a dang cool comic book store...and more.)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Running with the Devil: The first JOE CROSS Novella

Based in the same POST post-zompoc landscape as the TRANSPORT Series, Joe Cross comes to West Michigan in 2025 to work: "salvaging" and finding items for people for trade and survival.
In West Michigan, he only finds TROUBLE.
Welcome to West Michigan, 20205.
Joe Cross, the "Best Salvager in the Midwest," unwittingly falls into the clutches of Reganshire: a small, thriving, but vicious, town on the outskirts of Grand Rapids.
To keep his head from atop the gruesome pikes lining the township's fence line, Joe sets out with two local Urban Salvage Engineers only to find they've been stealing from the very town they serve.
New to the area, Joe has little choice but to assist the thieves. He must act swiftly in order to thwart his captors and survive, although they have the upper hand... and the guns... to put him down in case their mission fails.
Meet Joe Cross, Urban Salvage Engineer. The right man for the job when you need something found.
Cover art: Welmerink/Richardson
Inside Cover Interior Illustration: Tim Holtrop
Paperback (Peninsulam)


Thursday, March 3, 2016



The small fire is warm. I keep it small. No need rousing the neighbors who can sometimes find the light annoying, especially when the dope they are fed starts to run out of their system. They get as agitated as their feral brethren.

I call this third-floor attic my home, my refuge. No roof above me. That caved years ago. But I like the view, able to lay here or stand here, unmolested and without care, for hours looking up at the starlit heavens on a clear night such as this.

Down at the driveway below, encircling the house, wandering aimlessly along the street and sidewalks, the doped undead hiss, and mew, and whine, in their garbled, tortured vocal cord way. I know they are talking to each other, talking to me, talking to others who aren't there. Many of them, those rotting, poor ex-living civilians of the city, are still "living" and "seeing" their former lives as they shamble and teeter about.

I feel for them. That's why, I suppose, I live among them.

I have been cast out like them. Jobless. Homeless. The living city had no place for me, and I was tired of the awful stares and unkind words whispered as I passed: my shopping cart full of my last earthly goods.

I paid a GRCC gate guard an old diamond bauble from my late second or third wife (I forget which now). She, the kindly soldier, let me through the gate, into the UCRA enclosure. She may be the only one who knows I am in here. Bless her soul for keeping me secret. (With the recent fighting in the city, and what I hear from outside the city, I hope she is still alive and well.)

I feel at peace with these citizens around me. We are all the poor, the lost. Cast out and quarantined from the opulence of the Living and Thriving community on the other side of the river, I am at least one with THESE downtrodden people, even if they are somewhat considered not "human" anymore.

The stew is almost done. The can of doped meat, label burned away. The can is red hot. I boil away whatever the chemical slurry is in the processed meat slop. To a still living, breathing goof such as I, ingesting the doped meat is like drinking too much alcohol, followed by a week-long hangover that feels like it will never end. The shit was not meant for LIVING human consumption.

But a dreg like me has to eat. And I've found cooking the piss out of the meat slop makes it almost palatable. Almost. But it's better than starving to I fear is the direction I may go if I let go of my living, breathing, mortal coil.

Old Miss Karo sings her death knell below. She isn't dying. She's already dead. But she knows that I am up here. Her and her "children" are hungry. Even with a rotted brain, she knows me, knows who I am, what I am about. She trills all the louder as I take a moment to finish my own meal.

I dowse my small fire, not wanting to burn my only refuge down, at this old home on Lake Michigan Drive.

I take up some pre-opened cans of uncooked meat slop, make my way down the attic steps, then down the second floor steps to the first floor.

I go to the old enclosed porch. Tall, bulging, overgrown arborvitae trees and bushes block what must have been a nice view of the street from the porch's full sized windows.

Miss Karo is at the porch door, dragging her black, bony stubs weakly against the aluminum porch door.

"I'm comin', girl. Hold your horses," I say, my throat a little numb and scratchy. I must not have cooked the meat thoroughly.

But the cans I slip out to Miss Karo and her small mewing, grumbling children, it's the real deal. The real doped meat slop. The Z-rations as the military call it. She won't have to wait for the next pass-through from the big growling vehicles that come through twice a week, dropping off crates of the stuff for the first-come-first-serve undead denizens of this west side neighborhood.

Miss Karo scratches at my arm. It is her way of saying thanks. The razor sharp index finger, just a bone tip, hurts like hell, but I know it's her way of--perhaps in her own rotted mind--grasping my forearm and thanking me up and down for my generosity.

It is those black, weeping scars along my arms that tell me, at some point, I am not long for the Living world.

True death would be great.

Undeath, well, if I can stay in here, fed and protected...I guess that wouldn't be so bad. The city does watch out for her local undead.

I see Miss Karo off, then lock up and climb, wearily, back up the levels of steps to my attic abode. The night is going to be a cold one. A four-sleeping-bag night.

It's okay though. I get to lay there, alone, free, alive, and stare up at the starlit sky.

It's okay. Really.


The TRANSPORT Series can be purchased here:
Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble

If you are in the Grand Rapids Michigan area, Schuler Books has paperback copies on their shelves (in SciFi/Fantasy section). Store location is:

2660 28th Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49512
Phone: 616.942.2561

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Another Day in the UCRA: St Marys Church Area - Turner & Broadway

By Captain Jacob E. Billet

I sit on the church steps. The hot church steps. The summer sun has warmed them nicely though its punished everything else with its relentless brilliance and heat. The steeple above casts its pointy shadow over myself and my team giving us, at least, some relief.

Stokes, Phelps, Mulholland and an additional trooper load of twenty congregate around the HURON, taking a break, having a bit of luke warm water from canteen or slurping a delicious and nutritious Meal, Ready-to-Eat. I sit next to an old wrought-iron railing which leads up to the massive oaken doors of St. Mary's Catholic Church; the church sealed up tighter than a whorehouse after a VD outbreak. The railing, painted black at one time, stands slightly akimbo, at an angle, base with concrete bolts rusted and ready to pop off the steps.

<<Latest news from WOOD radio correspondent Matt Furley, there's been another small riot on the streets of Grand Rapids as anti-zombie protesters quarreled with pro-zombie civilians.>> The radio squelches from the HURON PA system. <<High tempers exploded on this hot day and a bloody fist fight broke out in front of City Hall.>>

"Damn, can't we all just get along?" Stokes grumbles, steps up to the stairway where I sit. A stump of one of his retched cigars hangs from the corner of his mouth, a crumpled, empty container of MRE "mashed potatoes" in hand.

I wonder how much of the cigar butt the sergeant has swallowed while eating the meal at the same time. Meh.

"The answer is, NO, Sergeant," Loutonia says. She leans against the HURON, rubbing at the side of the armor hide with a dirty rag. "We, as human beings, cannot get along."

"That's a pretty negative statement," Mulholland replies, seated atop the HURON. His M4 rests in his lap.  He watches a pair of shambling locals walk-stagger in our direction.

"Um, you read much history, my friend? One of the earliest records of people getting up in arms and beating the shit out of each other is back in Mesopotamian times 3100 BC," Loutonia returns. "Nothing negative there, other than the many instances of Humankind wreaking havoc upon themselves."

"That's what we're here for, kids," I add my two cents. I wipe my forearm across my forehead. My arm comes down and looks like I've just ran it under a garden hose. It is a sweaty, hot gawddang day. "Keep the peace. Make sure no one gets out of line, living or..."

The pair of UCRA civilians stop in front of us. Stokes picks up a can of "Bram"--the doped and processed meat slop given to the local undead--pops the top, tosses it aside. The can hits the hot asphalt of Turner Avenue, bounces, rolls and spills the red, moist puree in the street. The zombies sniff the air, then hobble-shamble after the nasty food stuff like toddler's-first-time-walking. It would be funny if it wasn't so damn pathetic, and your thoughts weren't wrapped around, "That could be me."

As the dead civilians approach the upturned can of drugged slop, Stokes unholsters his sidearm, and fires in their direction. Our jaws drop as the Sergeant, well known for his shitty marksmanship, hits the can squarely, sending into a gentle, spinning arc. The civilians, unfazed, tattered limbs reaching out, comically pursued it.

"That is," Loutonia screeches, "exactly what I am talking about!" 

With rag still in hand, she makes a fist and slugs Stokes squarely and solidly in the arm.

"Hey!" Stokes bellows, rubs his arm while keeping an eye on the woman in case she reels back to swing again. He holsters his sidearm. Thankfully.

"Kids," I say, getting to my feet. Even that little action makes the sweat dribble down my forehead. "No fighting among each other. We fight against dirt bags and miscreants trying to do us and the city harm, not one another."

It was time to get rolling. Three square miles, on a boiling hot day, trying to avoid mashing shambling civilians into the pavement when they hobble out in front of your 72-ton vehicle... Patrolling the UCRA wasn't what one could call a good time.

"Everyone mount up. We're oscar mike," I say, moving past my crew members and the other troops, and head towards the Huron.

"Dirt bag," Loutonia hisses at Stokes.

"Miscreant," Stokes returns fire.

I roll my eyes. 

Gonna be a long day.    


The TRANSPORT Series can be purchased here:
Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble

If you are in the Grand Rapids Michigan area, Schuler Books has paperback copies on their shelves (in SciFi/Fantasy section). Store location is:

2660 28th Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49512
Phone: 616.942.2561

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Captain Paul Wells, aka Space Voyager, has returned home from ten years in deep space. He finds his beloved state of Michigan, and his home on the shore line of Lake Michigan, not how he had left it.


In my new SciFi Michigan-based series, I drop the main character into his homeland that has become barely the place he recognizes or remembers. 90% of the inhabitants of Michigan (at least the lower peninsula) have vacated the Mitten state after a man-made disaster, disagreements between the government and the mega-corporations who rule the roost, and a incursion of robotic beings, spawned from a rogue AI system in Grand Rapids, change the landscape of the place.

After the robotic Synth-Units, or Sues, attack and destroy his lake shore home and base, and curious about this "strange home" he's returned to, Captain Wells decides to venture deeper inland to the source of the Sues and the massive AI system called RAS. (rass)

His wanderings will get him into a heap of adventure... and trouble.


"From the data I had reviewed upon descent, the Earth was the same as I had left it. The United States was still in turmoil over a power struggle between the government and the megacorporations. I could never keep up with every merger and dissolution of businesses into one huge company. Most big business moved south of the border and overseas, making the Tri-State area an industrial dead zone.

Michigan was still a forest realm, except on the east side of the state in what remained of Lansing and Detroit. West Michigan had returned almost fully to nature, the government keeping the area quarantined ever since a madman bathed it in a lethal cloud of bioagents over a decade ago. Last I’d heard the state was clean, but the government had struggled through innumerable lawsuits over the tragic incident, refusing to let people repopulate the area; which led to more lawsuits. The military kept it free from curious folk who wanted to venture into its reacquired natural state..."

Photo with enhancements by APW Productions copyright 2015

Photo with enhancements by APW Productions copyright 2015


Q&A with Peter Welmerink

Q: Why, in these currents stories and books, do you write Michigan as some sort of post-apoc No Man's land? 

A: Because it's fun. Seriously, ever since I was little and could venture out into the "wilds" of my surrounding neighborhood, in my mind, there was always ADVENTURE there. Fictional and non-fic alike. I simply put my crazy writer's idea hat on, and came up with several challenging "doomsday" scenarios for the city and state I love.
Why should New York City, LA, Tokyo and Atlanta GA have all the fun?

Oh, and really, I am an upbeat, positive person.

Q: When did your Space Voyager character come to life? Are there any differences between the character from back-when to now?

A: Space Voyager came into being roughly 1978-1979. I did over 100 "issues" of a "comic book" drawing him as a stick figure. His ship, The Wild Blue, was part of his storyline even back then. His adventures were mostly cosmic, off-earth and very, very strange. He did have some planet-side adventures, though these meandered into tales with dinosaurs and other oddities. I was 14-15 after all.

The current rendition of Captain Paul Wells/Space Voyager was done by the talented Tim Holtrop. Not a stick figure any more, Captain Wells is a fully fleshed out character. No comics done of him though... for now.

The current Space Voyager tales have the character on Earth, fighting the good fight, trying to right things if possible. And the tone is much more serious.