Pearly Stockwell and the Undead Wizard Horde

Pearly6

An ancient curse (because there cannot ever be any other kind) caused the school friends of Henry Half-Prince to become bloodthirsty undead wizards intent on eating their way around the world. In order to get to the bottom of things, or get on top of the same things, Pearly Stockwell had to infiltrate Hogwash College and stop this thing dead in its tracks before the world was eaten alive by a band of bloodthirsty teenage undead wizards.

Pearly sat in the great big dining hall surrounded her new classmates. A decayed hand was shoved into her face.

‘Hi, I’m Reg,’ said a redheaded lad in the early stages of decay. ‘You must be new here. What house are you in?’ Pearly looked up from her gloomy magic supper.

‘Mindyouownbusiness,’ she said. ‘It’s a new one. Have you heard of it?’ Reg smiled his best dim smile.

‘I’m in Brokendoor,’ he said. ‘We’re the best zombies in Hogwash.’

‘Don’t say zombies,’ said a small girl sitting next to Reg. ‘We are undead-wizard-apprentice-sorcerers,’ she said. ‘Zombie sounds so old and obvious-sounding.’ The small girl smiled at Pearly.

‘Hi, my name is Hermetical Rangefinder and I’m in Sparrownose. I’m sure we are going to be the best of friends.’

‘Are you?’ said Pearly with a face like B-movie thunder.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/152015058X

When Toyshops Attack

Welcome everybody to the latest installment in the Pearly Stockwell franchise. I know I keep telling you but I feel that I need to tell you again that this is an excerpt from

Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird versus Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets

If you want to know more then please feel free to click the title. In case you were unsure, the adventures of Pearly Stockwell and the Interesting Twins are a key feature (and franchise) of (in) the Falcon Boy universe. The Pearly Stockwell adventures are currently being developed as a separate series and as I have more news I will give it to you. Until then, here you are …

 

When Toyshops Attack

Much to the delight of everyone, a new toyshop had opened in Fallstown.

‘I can’t wait,’ says Windy to his brothers. ‘I can’t think of anything better than spending some time browsing in a toyshop.’

‘Better than catching a criminal?’ Wes snorts. ‘The only toy I like is a cricket bat and that is only because they are good for whacking crooks.’

‘I once disguised myself as a giant teddy bear and hid in a toyshop for two weeks,’ says Wanderley.

‘We know,’ say Wes and Windy, laughing together. ‘We were the poor fools who had to try and find you.’

‘I’ll think you’ll find it was me who actually found him,’ Pearly corrects the brothers. ‘It was also me who revealed the truth about Blinko the Balloon Magician and his plot to flood the magic accessories market with cheap foreign imports.’

‘We know,’ sigh all three of the Interesting Twins together.

All of this happens, of course, in Pearly Squares the Magic Circle. Blinko turns out to be in the pay of Export International, a nefarious multinational company intent on dominating global markets through skulduggery, lies and blackmail.

One of their shadowy operatives had convinced poor old gullible Worcester Knudsen, a retired civil servant now barely scraping a living as Blinko the Balloon Magician, that his bookings would treble if he used a new brand of super-modelling inflatables.

Needless to say, Pearly eventually gets to the bottom of the goings-on and Worcester receives a four-year prison sentence for his part in the plot. As always happens, in real life and in stories like this, Export International could not be sufficiently implicated in the scandal and is allowed to continue its financial finagling for another day.

On the day of the toyshop opening, Fallstown is stunned to discover that the only things on its shelves are thousands and thousands of tiny toy helicopters.

After some clumsy plot exposition involving a new employee at the Fallstown Telephone Exchange and a pair of open windows, it is eventually revealed that the shop’s proprietors, Kurt and Irena Flue, are a husband and wife spy team, hell-bent on using Fallstown as a launch pad for their hundred-thousand-strong toy helicopter fleet.

During a daring raid on the warehouse at the back of the shop, the Interesting Twins are captured and Pearly has to rely upon her native wit and big city sense to free them and save the country from being destroyed by the fleet of tiny toys.

Pearly Loses the Plot, Or Does She?

For avid fans everywhere here is another thrilling installment from Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird versus Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets – you know, the book you have yet to read but really want to and one day you just might get around to getting around to it. That book; the one with the link always embedded into the title.

Anyhow, plans are currently afoot for a spin-off series to be developed concerning the various adventures of Pearly Stockwell and the Interesting Twins. I am currently in talks and cannot say anymore as there isn’t anymore to say. Had I more to say then I am sure that I would say it. But as I haven’t then I can’t so I won’t.

I am allowed to say that this news is exciting but of course I could say that about any news, even news that isn’t. I am also allowed to say that this spin-off series may not necessarily only be a book, it could quite easily be something quite different.

Once I know more then I am pretty sure that you will too. Until then, sit back and enjoy Pearly Loses the Plot, Or Does She?

IMG_0432

A misguided investigation initiated by Pearly and the Interesting Twins leads to ninety-three employees of the First Fallstown Beneficial & Mutual Bank being mistakenly convicted of embezzling pension funds and imprisoned in the Fallstown Correctional Facility. It takes a lengthy legal campaign to get the convictions overturned and as a result of these hearings, Pearly is banned from ever investigating again.

‘You need to go back to school like every other child your age,’ says the presiding magistrate, the Right Honourable Judge Lambert Johnstone-Drury. ‘Your investigating days are well and truly over.’

And seemingly they are. The Interesting Twins are separated and sent to three different foster homes. Pearly Stockwell becomes the latest and most unwilling boarder at the Fallstown Academy for Troublesome Children.

Everything they had worked so hard to achieve now appears to be over, but as luck would have it or, indeed, as is essential for any story to resolve the issues that it contains, or just so the writers can add excitement to an episode that is seemingly going nowhere, it just so happens that Fallstown suddenly becomes the focus of a visitation from outer space.

Pearly always had her suspicions about Professor Oswald Pipkin and his Space Observation Station, a project funded in perpetuity by the now-defunct University of Fallstown.

‘How do we know that he isn’t spending his days signalling to aliens from outer space and inviting them to colonise our planet?’ she says to the Interesting Twins. ‘I’m not really sure that all those years of scientific study are good for anyone. Besides,’ she continues, ‘there is something about all of those satellite dishes and telescopes that I just don’t like.’

But the banking scandal intervened before she was able to act upon her suspicions and Professor Pipkin was able to go about his business unimpeded. For contacting an alien race and inviting them to take over the world is exactly what the deranged professor was planning, and with Pearly and her meddling friends out of the way, he was close to achieving his dream.

One night, Pearly is woken in her dormitory by the brightest of bright lights filling the sky.

‘Bright lights at night aren’t right,’ she says to herself. ‘I had better look into this.’ And so she does. It was a simple task to rendezvous with the Interesting Twins, who all had similar thoughts about the bright lights and knew they should all be looking into what was happening.

The next morning, Fallstown has fallen captive to a race of extremely cruel, invisible and nameless aliens intent on using Fallstown as the site for something indescribably incomprehensible. Pearly and her detective friends watch from their secret hiding-place as the entire population of Fallstown is herded into the main square by Professor Pipkin.

‘I knew it,’ says Pearly. ‘I just knew that Professor Pipkin had been warped and corrupted by all those years of reading.’

‘Yeah,’ says Wes menacingly. ‘Just you wait until I box his silly scientist’s ears. He won’t know what’s hit him when I whack him three ways backwards.’ Wes punches his fist into his palm.

Once the plot had been revealed, it was a relatively simple task for the writers to allow Pearly to discover that the aliens were, in fact, being controlled by a special transmitter designed by the wicked professor.

‘So this is what the real embezzlement of public funds looks like,’ she says to herself when Wanderley, who had disguised himself as a bicycle courier with an important message for the professor that could only be delivered by hand, shows her the photographs he was able to take of the professor’s Alien Contact and Control Transmitter. ‘That needs smashing straight away,’ she says.

‘I’m on it,’ says Wes, and he was. Wanderley disguises himself as a visiting professor ‘who had heard about Professor Pipkin’s genius and wanted to see for himself what all the fuss was about.’ As ‘Professor’ Wanderley flatters the vain Professor Pipkin, Wes sneaks into the Control Room and takes a sledgehammer to the transmitter.

With the transmitter broken beyond repair, the cruel, invisible, and nameless aliens simply vanish, and it is an easy thing for Windy to race to notify the authorities of Professor’s Pipkin’s wrongdoings. The naughty professor is led away by the police to spend the rest of his days behind bars.

‘There won’t be any books or clever talk where he is going,’ says Pearly to her friends. The following day Pearly Stockwell and the Invisible Twins receive an official apology, and Professor Pipkin’s Space Observation Station is demolished and replaced by light industrial units.

This particular adventure tends to buck the more prosaic trends of all of the other Pearly Stockwell adventures, by ending with a flashback to an event that took place before the adventure began.

The flashback reveals that the Professor Pipkin who almost caused the world to be colonised by aliens was, in fact, a robot created by Professor Pipkin to replace himself.

‘I’m very old now,’ lamented Professor Pipkin, ‘and my head can no longer cope with all this scientific stuff.’ He looked down at the robotic version of himself laying dormant on his operating table.

‘This way,’ thought the warped Professor to himself, ‘I will never get old again, and will be able to read books and do research forever.’

Unfortunately, there was a fault in the central processing unit and the ‘new’ Professor Pipkin considered the human race so inferior that he sold the entire planet to the highest bidder on an intergalactic auction website.

Pearly and the Missing Magic Ring

Here is another extract from Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird versus Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets. Here the reader is introduced to some background material concerning the very early days of the Pearly Stockwell and the Interesting Twins Wonder Detective Comic Book Super Series.

As you will recall from previous posts or indeed from the book itself, Pearly is a six-year-old girl who solves puzzles, saves the day and achieves countless major triumphs that are forever beyond the adults who populate the world of these stories. Wes, Windy, and Wanderley Gordy are the Interesting Twins and the fact that there is actually three of them and that they aren’t twins is apparently what makes them interesting. If you are of that persuasion Pearly Stockwell is now on Twitter.

In each episode, someone is kidnapped or something is stolen or threatened with total destruction, like a school, a train, a town, a livelihood or a way of life. Pearly and her friends always notice something that the police miss, or overhear a conversation on the bus. Other times they might decide that two men standing talking outside the cake shop look suspicious and the adventures begin.

Everything happens in Fallstown, a small place in the middle of nowhere that is somehow a perpetual magnet for all minds and matters criminally oriented.

IMG_0634

‘The Pearly Stockwell adventure series is published by IT Comics and in their early days the company really struggled. Pearly and the Missing Magic Ring was a desperately misguided attempt to reach a wider audience with the Pearly Stockwell series.

Without even the slightest hint of professional shame, Pearly is ‘allowed’ to discover a magical kingdom while clearing out one of her wardrobes. Never one to refuse a challenge, Pearly sets off to see what she can find.

Unsurprisingly, Pearly finds a world gripped by a struggle between the forces of good and evil. Grimdulf Gloompants leads the good guys. He is a long-bearded wizard who rides a giant talking lion. A one-eyed witch called Sharon is in charge of the bad guys.

As the plot thickens, Pearly and the Interesting Twins are asked to deliver an important message to someone important quite far away. On the way, they are captured by a gang of nasty Noblins and imprisoned.

Everyone manages to escape but Pearly gets separated and begins to wander lost in an underground network of caves.

Even loyal readers of the comic book series found it hard not to consider cancelling their subscription at the moment that Pearly stumbles upon a ring and, without thinking, puts it in her pocket.

Unbeknown to her, the ring is the property of a pathetic-looking creature called Gallop who manages to trap Pearly in his dank, dismal, fish-stinking lair.

‘You have something that is very precious to me,’ says the pathetic-looking Gallop to Pearly, without even a faint glimmer of irony. ‘It is mine, it is.’

‘Is it?’ replies Pearly quick-wittedly, stunning the pathetic creature with the authority in her voice. ‘How precious exactly?’

Gallop isn’t sure what to say.

‘Very precious,’ he ventures, ‘very precious, indeed.’

But Pearly has the upper hand now and probes the pathetic creature further with her penetrating questions.

‘Just how precious?’

‘Very!’

‘How precious is very precious?’

‘Very, very!’

‘But is that precious enough?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘Why don’t you know? I thought you said it was precious?’

‘I did!’

‘Then why don’t you know?’

‘I do! I do! I do!’

Gallop gets very angry and it is at this point that Pearly knows she has him.

‘You don’t know, do you?’ she says.

‘No,’ says the pathetic-looking creature pathetically.

‘I’m going now,’ says Pearly firmly. ‘Don’t try and follow me.’

Gallop says nothing. He sits snivelling on a slimy rock. Pearly leaves to find her friends and continue the great adventure.

It was only by sacking the writing team, promising faithfully to never ever do anything like this again (and also offering a year’s free subscription to every reader) that IT Comics survived the fallout from Pearly and the Missing Magic Ring.’

Pearly Stockwell Finally Realizes How Cruel the World of Contemporary Publishing Really Can Be

IMG_1674

By way of further news on progress so far with The Brothers Revoltable Travelling Circus and Other Crazy Fun with Special Guests (Volume II of the Falcon Boy series) I thought I would give you an update on Pearly Stockwell.

As many of you will know Pearly Stockwell is a child detective who makes her debut appearance in Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird versus Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets (Volume I). Together with the Interesting Twins, Pearly manages to solve every case she applies her big city ways to. If you want to catch up with her (e-book) adventures then please feel free to follow the link HERE (US) and HERE (UK).

In any case, as the following excerpt indicates, the world of Pearly Stockwell is as prone to whirls and eddies of public taste as any other contemporary publishing venture.

IMG_0388

The Brothers Revoltable Travelling Circus and Other Crazy Fun with Special Guests excerpt:

 

IT Publishing, the company behind the Pearly Stockwell and the Interesting Twins Wonder Detective Comic Book Super Series which begat the Pearly Stockwell and the Interesting Twins Detective Comic Audiobook Series ceased trading a while ago and everything related to the series is now little more than the occasional question at a very dull public quiz for people who are very dull.

The final ever episode in the series, Pearly Stockwell Finally Realizes How Cruel the World of Contemporary Publishing Really Can Be opens with our eponymous heroine bemoaning the state of contemporary publishing, a subject which, and even despite her big city ways, Pearly had never shown any interest in up until this final episode.

‘Our time has come, boys,’ says Pearly to the Interesting Twins. ‘Even before our time has really come.’

Pearly plants her feet and stares defiantly into space reads the caption.

‘I should think that the people making these short-sighted decisions really don’t know us at all!’ she snorts. ‘In fact, what do they know about anything anyway?’

Wes is really angry.

‘I’m gonna grab them and box them and fight them until they beg me to stop,’ he exclaims forcefully. ‘And even when they do beg me to stop I ain’t gonna stop for nothing or no-one not never!’

Pearly smiles at her loyal friend.

‘You’ve been a loyal friend for all of these adventures,’ she says kindly, ‘and we are all really going to miss your overly aggressive, small-minded and yet sometimes effective ways.’

‘Say the word, Pearly,’ says little Windy with a big tear in his small eye. ‘Say the word and I will run for you like I always do.’

‘But where will you run?’ replies Pearly. ‘The people making these decisions have made it very plain that there is nowhere left for you to run to and no-one would be there even if you ever arrived.’

‘But there must be something we can do,’ says the eviction notice Pearly had thrown angrily onto the desk. ‘We can’t just let them shut us down.’

‘You are right, as always, my fine, wise Wanderley,’ says Pearly sadly, ‘but not even your alarmingly outrageous propensity for disguising yourself in the most unlikely but nevertheless convenient disguises is going to make any difference here.’

Pearly looks directly out the frame.

‘The only thing that can save us all is if someone decided to continue our adventures as a small, independent online venture, perhaps using a free online publishing platform.’

Pearly shakes her head ruefully.

‘But that will take an awful lot of effort to keep writing our adventures, publishing our adventures, promoting our adventures and trying to get people to read our adventures knowing full well that a thankless venture like this will only ever be a tiny digital drop in the vast and thankless virtual ocean.’

Again, Pearly looks straight out of the frame of the comic.

‘Does anyone know how hard it is nowadays to even get someone to visit your site let alone stay long enough to read something?’

THE END FOREVER MORE? reads the final caption.

The Fall and Rise of Pearly Stockwell?

IMG_0408

‘Those sandals are a scandal, sir’, said Pearly to the busker. ‘And there is no call for a live performance this early in the morning without the proper permits and permissions.’

The adventures of a supercilious six-year old child detective who solves crimes with the help of the three Gordy boys, Wanderley, Windy and Wes, (who call themselves the Interesting Twins) first came to my attention via the Pearly Stockwell and the Interesting Twins Wonder Detective Comic Book Super Series, a reasonably unsuccessful series of black and white comics published by the extremely obscure IT Publishing.

As you will know if you have read the series, Pearly moves to Fallstown following a commuter train tragedy that killed her parents. Fallstown is a small place in the middle of nowhere that is somehow a perpetual magnet for all minds and matters criminally oriented. Pearly doesn’t have much to bring to her new home apart from the fortune she inherited from her parents and her big city ways.

Appalled by an unfortunate incident which resulted in her suitcase being mistakenly switched, Pearly takes it upon herself to establish a detective agency by placing an advertisement in the Fallstown Provider looking for like-minded individuals.

‘Experience not essential but you must have a belief in truth, justice and an aching desire to find out things’

Her advertisement is answered by the Interesting Twins and the rest is history.

The comics only ran for a single series before the paying public decided that Pearly’s big city ways were just too much for them. For completists everywhere here is the full list of published titles:

1. Pearly Stockwell and the Letter from the Past

2. The Octopus and His Evil Plans for Pearly Stockwell

3. The Lost Treasure of Fallstown

4. Pearly Saves the Seaside

5. Windy Wins the Deadliest Race of his Little Life

6. Pearly and the Merchant Bankers

7. Pearly and the Missing Magic Ring

8. Here Comes the Interesting Twins to Save the Day

9. Pearly Meets the Ghostly Angler

10. We Really Hope You Can, Pearly Stockwell!

11. Pearly Stockwell and the Letter that Was Hidden But Everyone Could Really See

12. When Toyshops Attack

13. Pearly and the Harvest Moon

14. Pearly Stockwell and the Fate of the Fête

15. Pearly Breaks a Leg

16. The Circus has Lost a Clown

17. Pearly Lose the Plot, Or Does She?

18. Pearly Squares the Magic Circle

The comic book series was turned into an audio book series and if you scour the thrift shops or look online you might still be able to find the recordings somewhere.

There has been a very recent upsurge in interest in Pearly Stockwell and her adventures and I even read a rumour somewhere that there might be plans for reviving the series. There does also seem to be some very recent online activity.

Currently these are only rumours but they do also extend as far as tentative suggestions about a screenplay also being produced. I will look into this and if I hear any more on this topic I will let you know.

Until then, beware The Octopus and his ‘his eight mean legs of greed, theft, evil, selfishness, anger, violence, meanness and insanity’.

Pearly Stockwell and the Interesting Twins Wonder Detective Comic Book Super Series

IMG_0044Pearly Stockwell is a six-year-old girl who solves puzzles, saves the day and achieves countless major triumphs that are forever beyond the adults who populate the world of these stories. Wes, Windy, and Wanderley Gordy are the Interesting Twins and the fact that there is actually three of them and that they aren’t twins is apparently what makes them interesting.
In each episode, someone is kidnapped or something is stolen or threatened with total destruction, like a school, a train, a town, a livelihood or a way of life. Pearly and her friends always notice something that the police miss, or overhear a conversation on the bus. Other times they might decide that two men standing talking outside the cake shop look suspicious and the adventures begin.
Everything happens in Fallstown, a small place in the middle of nowhere that is somehow a perpetual magnet for all minds and matters criminally oriented.

For more about Pearly Stockwell and the Interesting Twins click here. You can also keep up to date with her adventures on Twitter @pearlystockwell.