As anyone who gets behind the wheel of car can tell you, Los Angeles is going to hell in a hand basket. In Justin Robinson's The Dark Price of Ahriman, this is literally true. Of course, in Robinson's world, hell is the Dark Planet of Ahriman, and the hand basket is a group of brave, but ill-fated, humans who have chosen to try to interact with and control it.
This simple, children’s picture book wasn’t at all what I was expecting. Taking place in San Dimas, CA, in the 1920s, we follow the adventures of Betty and the various animals in her life.
Last year marked the 125th anniversary commemorating the birth of horror writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft, and, as a result, renewed interest in his writing has inspired a higher number of anthologies collecting short stories inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. Scott Gable and C. Dombrowski, who co-edited By Faerie Light and Ghost in the Cogs, have once again collaborated on a Broken Eye Books title, Tomorrow's Cthulhu: Stories at the Dawn of Posthumanity. In this edition, the editors collected together 29 stories inspired directly by Lovecraft's Cthulhu and Dream Cycle (Dreamlands) mythos while incorporating scientific tones and interests. All channeled the inexplicable call of the characters to the hidden and unknown.
Gabriel and Wendy’s lives felt extraordinarily blessed when they were able to reverse the effects of hypno-touch and cure their myriad of life-threatening cancers. On top of this blessing, Wendy somehow became pregnant during the worst of her illness, and the promise of a child together should bring them closer together than before; however, Wendy’s healing came at a painful cost: complete loss of her special abilities including the emodar that has been part of her being as long as she can remember. As she struggles to learn how to interact with her husband and family without the crutch of reading their emotions, Wendy spirals into anger and depression that gets fueled further by bad news about her infant son; however, there are people who still value her abilities over her health and safety, and they will stop at nothing to get her help. Could the unexpected trials help Wendy rebuild herself as a stronger woman who will stop at nothing to protect those she loves?
Jonathan Maberry is back as editor and co-author of V-Wars: Night Terrors (IDW), the third installment of vampire and werewolf stories that began with V-Wars: A Chronicle of the Vampire Wars in 2013. In the original volume, Maberry commenced with the premise that a dormant bacteria was unleashed with global ramifications. And, as with the first and second volumes, Maberry is joined again by leading authors of horror and science fiction, creating an ongoing and ever-expanding tapestry of stories about the Beats (humans) and Bloods (vampires).
The resources available to creators in the indie comic scene have, at times, been extremely scarce, but the impact of the internet, social media, and the increasingly inclusive and generous mood among industry professionals has de-mystified much of the comic industry’s in and outs over the last decade or so. That said, indie comic creators should never be the types to turn down additional assistance navigating the often “treacherous” waters of the various legal issues and situations surrounding their creations and businesses. The Law for Comic Book Creators, written by Joe Sergi and published by McFarland, offers the type of comic book legal knowledge that is both informative and easily digestible, earning it a well-deserved place on this comic creator’s bookshelf.
Quin Kincaid’s world was shattered by the final events in Seeker, but she’s ready to try to right the wrongs the Seekers have done to the world with her cousin and newly beloved Shinobu by her side. The Young Dread, Maud, gifted the young woman with the Athame of the Dreads, and Catherine Renart’s old journal contains hints of what John’s mother searched for before her disruption by Quin’s father Briac. The truth is more dangerous than any of the young Seekers can imagine, though, and John, Quin, and Shinobu will all be tested as they dig into an ancient secret that could tear their world even further apart.
If I were able to craft my own degree in Geek Studies, I would load up on graduate-level classes about Hobbits and vampire slayers and post-apocalyptic survival. I’d study superheroes and villains, monsters and robots, old worlds and new technologies. Thankfully, there’s not much need to be hypothetical about the opportunity to study these topics. There are legions of curious geeks just like me out there crafting opinions, analyzing themes, and bringing scholarly criticism to the wide universe that is popular culture media.
There are two types of stories that I absolutely love: superhero stories and fairy tales. Tales of Superhuman Powers combines them both by putting folktales from all around the world in the context of today’s comic book heroes, from the Justice League to the Avengers.