We first discovered artist Eric Haven back in the early ’90s. His three-issue series Angryman was an amazing absurdist scramble of Jack Kirby and Werner Herzog (if you can imagine such a thing). Since that time we’ve kept a casual eye on Haven’s erratic output. UR, his latest book (First Printing: October 2014 / ISBN: 9781935233305), is a compilation of previously published work including his “Race Murdock” strips from The Believer. It’s nice to see Haven is still channeling Kirby (along with Steve Ditko, Charles Burns, Chester Brown, and Chris Ware). And it’s also nice to see that he hasn’t lost his zing after all these years. In one strip, Race Murdock replaces his head with a “shiny new robot head.” Now infinitely smarter, he makes his fortune in the stock market, drives fast cars, and enjoys the company of beautiful women. “Race Murdock,” says Haven, “had finally found happiness.” Too bad penis cancer would get him in the end…
Moonstone has just released the latest Green Lama book (Horror in Clay / By Adam Lance Garcia / First Printing: October 2014 / ISBN: 9781936814862]. In this 1938 adventure, the verdant vigilante investigates an attack on the German Consulate in New York City. “The Green Lama discovers a crime far greater than any ever committed by man,” says the author, “and he learns a secret that will define the course of his destiny.” Also new from Moonstone: Domino Lady: Money Shot by Bobby Nash.
Trey Dowell, author of The Protectors, lists his favorite literary superheroes. “It’s not just comic books that provide us with legendary characters,” he says. “Literature provides a superhero fix in many different forms.” Read an interview with Dowell (here) and read a review of his novel (here).
Illusive, a dystopian superhero novel by Emily Lloyd-Jones, made the short list on Booklist’s Top 10 First Novels for Youth in 2014. “Impressive and multifaceted,” says the site, “this thriller sidesteps easy categorization.” We liked it too (read our review here). And we’re looking forward to next year’s sequel, Deceptive.
Rafael Chandler has worked as a story designer and/or scriptwriter for a handful of major videogame companies. To quote Ira Gershwin: “Nice work if you can get it.” More recently, Chandler has been busy writing his first superhero novel (The Astounding Antagonists / First Printing: October 2014 / ISBN: 9781502894540). “Technically,” says the author, “it’s not a superhero novel—it’s a supervillain novel.” We stand corrected. Here’s the blurb: “A cryogenic drug lord, a hell-bound jewel thief, a metallokinetic communist, a church-burning psychopath, and a megalomaniacal inventor: they are the Antagonists, the most dangerous supervillains alive. Pursued by violent superheroes and high-tech billionaire vigilantes, these villains have assembled in order to pull off the perfect crime. There’s just one catch: if they succeed, they might just save the world.”
Back in 2012, Jim Zoetewey published a novel called The Legion of Nothing: Rebirth. At the time it received good reviews and sold well. Now Zoeteway wants to continue publishing his superhero series (in ebook and print format) and is looking for a little Kickstarter help. Visit the author’s website (here) for more information about The Legion of Nothing.
Author Michael Bailey (Action Figures) talks about his love of superhero fiction and shines a spotlight on a few likeminded indie writers. “Superhero fiction as a genre needs some attention,” he says. “Fantasy, horror, sci-fi, they all have very significant presences on Amazon, and you can find websites aplenty dedicated to genre fiction, but there’s not much out there promoting superhero fiction—which, as a genre, is fairly small and for that reason underrepresented.”
Anybody who’s contacted this site about getting his or her book reviewed knows that it takes a long time for us to cycle through our reading list. Just ask Vincent M. Wales and Nick C. Piers. It took us over a year to post reviews of their novels (Reckoning and The City of Smoke and Mirrors). And that’s not all—we’re endlessly embarrassed by all the unread books loaded on our Kindle. Our reading list is long and ever growing. As we see things, the solution to our problem is obvious. We need a minion or a sidekick or an assistant. The Thunderbird Project by Rebecca Harwell is another example of a book we’ve overlooked. It was released last August and the publisher dutifully sent us a copy. And yet after 16 months it still sits on our shelf unread. We apologize to the author for our slow reading habits. Hopefully we’ll pick up her book soon (fingers crossed). In the meantime, check out this positive review of Ms. Harwell’s novel here.
Question: Are superheroes science fiction or fantasy? Answer: It depends.
Beginning as a curiosity and hobby for social outcasts, cosplay is now a global phenomenon that’s been fueled by an explosion in geek fandom. Written by Brian Ashcraft and Luke Plunkett, Cosplay World (First Printing: October 2014 / ISBN: 9783791349251) is an in-depth look at the heroes and history of “costume play.”
Jill Lepore talks to Terry Gross (NPR’s Fresh Air) about her new book, The Secret History of Wonder Woman. More interviews: Frank Byrns, author of Adonis Morgan: Nobody Special. Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.
Reviews: Tigerman by Nick Harkaway (here and here). Sad Wings of Destiny by Thom Brannan (here). Shield and Crocus by Michael R. Underwood (here). Vicious by V.E. Schwab (here). Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (here). Fringe: Sins of the Father by Christa Faust (here). Burn Bright by Bethany Frenette (here). The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney (here). The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore (here). Voltron: From Days of Long Ago by Brian Smith (here).
For your reading pleasure: “Gailsone: Paint the Town Red” by Casey Glanders. Small Town Heroes by Marion G. Harmon. Artificial Intelligence by Vala Kaye. H.E.R.O. – Anarchy by Kevin Rau. Aphrodite’s Delight by Julie Kenner. The Purple Scar edited by Ron Fortier. The Deli Counter of Justice edited by Arlo J. Wiley.