BlackVoid is a superhero whose powers come from an ancient divine curse (The Chronicles of BlackVoid, Book 1: Fate / By James A. Eugene / First Printing: June 2016 / ISBN: 9781534732551). He can create black holes and wield the power of an “imitation star,” but BlackVoid’s genetic code is inextricably linked to a civil war between angels in Heaven. As a result, he must answer to a higher calling than your average Green Lantern Corps recruit. The burden he carries is a burden that predates original sin. Quickie comment: If you can forgive the author’s reoccurring style and grammar gaffes, you might enjoy BlackVoid’s journey from hard luck kid to cosmic avenger. To be continued in Book 2: The Competition, Book 3: Finding Self, and Book 4: Transformation.
A recent article on Tor’s homepage talks about the peculiarities of writing “fictional comics.” Says writer Tobias Carroll: “Over the years, just about every form of media has been translated into prose. Some accurately and deftly channel the artistic discipline at their heart; others come up short, resorting to clichés or revealing a fundamental flaw in the author’s understanding of how the medium in question works. Novels that incorporate comic books into their plotlines are no different.” Read the entire article (here).
Episode 10 of “Throwing the Gun” is available for your listening pleasure. The semi-regular podcast from the Pen and Cape Society is always worth checking out as panelists Drew Hayes, Cheyenne Young, C.B. Wright, and Jim Zoetewey gather to discuss the craft of superhero fiction. This time, the gang talks about superhero violence and writing fight scenes.
Sarah Kuhn talks about her love of superhero fashion on the site GeekDad.com. Says the author: “When I was writing Heroine Complex, which chronicles the adventures of two Asian American superheroines as they fight demons, work through friendships, and fall in love, I was very aware of the characters’ fashion choices because I felt it gave a lot of insight into them as people.” Kuhn’s shopping list includes Supergirl’s cape (“The drama of a cape simply can’t be underestimated,” she says), Marvel Girl’s dress, and Jessica Jones’ jacket. Read more (here).
Author Stephen T. Brophy (The Villain’s Sidekick) ruminates on the current adventures of Spider-Woman (here). At one point, Brophy explains why he enjoys superhero fiction so much. “What I love about superhero books these days,” he says, “is the way they engages with a preposterous reality from a fresh perspective, sneaking humor, humanity and even heart into the dialogue and character interactions.” In our opinion, Spider-Woman may be the best book Marvel is publishing these days. And we agree wholeheartedly with Brophy, it’s a terrific example of superhero fiction.
A couple of years ago, we said a lot of good things about Victoria Schwab’s novel Vicious (read our review here). Now singer/songwriter Arianna Mae has written a song called “When I’m Gone” that’s inspired by the relationship between the two villains in Schwab’s “superhero” novel. Take a peek (here).
Interviews: Bob Proehl, author of A Hundred Thousand Worlds (here and here). Brian Michael Bendis talks about how Jessica Jones and Powers made the transition to television (here). Warren Ellis, author of Normal (here). Kelly Sue DeConnick (Bitch Planet) and Matt Fraction (Sex Criminals) talk about their latest joint ventures (here). Glenn Herdling, author of Piper Houdini: Nightmare on Esopus Island (here).
Reviews: Lois Lane: Double Down by Gwenda Bond (here). Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn (here and here). Supergirl at Super Hero High by Lisa Yee (here). Vigilante by Shelley Harris (here). Tales from the Flip-Side: The Adventures of Big Daddy Cool & The Bombshell Kittens by John Pyka (here). The novels of Lavie Tidhar, including The Violent Century (here). Vicious by V.E. Schwab (here). Peter Arno: The Mad, Mad World of The New Yorker’s Greatest Cartoonist by Michael Maslin (here).
For your reading pleasure: Red Is the Darkest Color: A Pussy Katnip Novel by Brett A. Brooks. Pulp Literature Summer 2016: Issue 11 edited by Melanie Anastasious, Jennifer Landels, and Susan Pieters. Iron Manimal by H. Seitz. M.I.N.D. by Elissa Harris. Greysuits by Nathan Lee Green. Dreadnought by April Daniels. I, Viridian: Supervillain by Derek Parker. “The Wrong Day for a Kill” by Annalisa Conti.
Coda: 75 Years, 75 Wonder Women.