James R. Tramontana

Bob Ross Is My Spirit Animal

Posted 06 Nov 2017

Last month I released the season finale Ace Tucker Space Trucker Season One. It was a bittersweet moment when I finalized the MP3 and hit upload. I had spent roughly 500 hours of the past several months recording myself talking in silly voices, editing, scoring, more editing, etc. to create the greatest feat of audio creation I had ever done. Before that, I had spent more than a year writing a novel that would later become the scripts for season one. So, long story, short, I had devoted a huge chunk of my time and energy to make this wild show and it was now over. At least temporarily. Ace Tucker will live again in Season Two. But first I need a little break because making this stuff is @$&#^% HARD.

You might be asking, “If it’s so goddamn hard, why do it?”

Well, Chachi, I do it BECAUSE it is hard. Making cool stuff is hard (see my previous post about how I went around a giant tree for 20 years to get to where I am today). I do it because I get to use almost every color in my creative spectrum. Writing, acting, editing, audio engineering, songwriting, scoring... I smear it all on a digital palette and use it to PAINT with sound.

As made famous by Bob Ross, I live and die by the “happy little accident.” I take hundreds (some sometime thousands) of individual snippets of sound and combine them to make a logical, (hopefully) entertaining and immersive story.

When I decided to tell this story as an audio drama, complete with sound effects, music, scoring and multiple characters all performed by myself, I decided to do it 17 individual episodes. It takes me anywhere between 20 to 40 hours to create each episode of Ace Tucker Space Trucker. I might do another post or maybe *gasp* a podcast in the future where I break down my process from start to finish but for now, just know I do it little by little, layering things on top of each other one by one until it sounds “right.” It’s almost all educated guesses and happy little accidents. I have to experiment with everything at almost every point in the process. Since this project (Season One) is so massive, I have to move FAST.

You might think 20 - 40 hours per episode is far from moving fast but let me tell you, if I succumbed to my inner critic at every step of the way, I’d STILL be working on episode one! I have to get things to where I assume they make sense and sound good, then move on. End of story. There is too much to do to allow for second-guessing.

I am fortunate in that I do have a bit of a safety net if my manic decisions send me over a ledge. I make my wife listen to every episode, to make sure everything sounds right and makes sense. She has a great ear and is a casual sci-fi fan (far from the super dork I am). She’s made critical suggestions along the way to make things more understandable for listeners. She also lets me know when I have the music too damn loud. I tend to mix it way up because, ya know, I like to ROCK.

Speaking of music, here’s a little fun fact about Ace Tucker Space Trucker: both the first and the last episodes of Season One featured a cover of the classic Ramones song “Rockaway Beach” recorded by my band, Red Hot Rebellion.

Our version is a little rawer than the original, as we tried to inject our signature rawk n roar style in the song. Ivan Chimpanov, the Ramones-loving Russian cyborg chimp, would approve of our version, I think.

Right now, the only place on the planet to get the song is on The Music of Ace Tucker Space Trucker.

But check it out. I am running a special now, where you can get the entire first season of Ace Tucker Space Trucker AND The Music of Ace Tucker Space Trucker for over 30% off.


Happy Halloween! Here's 21 FREE Comics!

Posted 31 Oct 2017

Today is Halloween. For kids, it's one of the most important days of the year. For some adults, it's a time to do black magic, dress slutty and/or work on their Type 2 diabeetus. When I was a young adult, it was time to get loaded and wear a dress. DON'T JUDGE ME!

OK. I only wore this costume once, but it was one of the most magnificent costumes I ever wore, and my mom has a picture of me wearing it on her wall.

Yeah, I know it's a little blurry. But, hey, it's a pic of a pic...And it's glorious.

Anyway, Halloween is a time for tricks and treats and boy, do I have a treat for you. I've teamed up with 18 comic creators to bundle together a collection of FREE eComics to feast your eyeballs and your soul!

Follow this link and feast upon its majesty.

Ace Tucker Space Trucker Novel!

Posted 24 Oct 2017

That's right kids. The Ace Tucker Space Trucker novel lives! We are still several months away from publication but you can be the first on your block to get a little taste-a-roo!

Head over to InstaFreebie and feast your eyes on Chapter 1 of Ace Tucker Space Trucker.

Keep your eyes and ears out for more Ace Tucker Space Trucker goodness coming down the pike!

Interview with Gem City Podcast

Posted 24 Oct 2017

Check out my interview with the Gem City Podcast where I discuss music, comic books, Ace Tucker Space Trucker and more!

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