Live! In the Link Age 02.13.18

RollFor InitiativeAfter smashing the machinations of the H.I.V.E. Five, the Teen Titans liked to relax on the couch and play video games. Like their Jump City colleagues, the Indestructibles (including Jane, Kate, Billy, Titus, and Entropy Emily) also enjoyed gaming. Instead of playing Injustice 2 or Marvel vs. Capcom, however, the Indestructible kids preferred old-skool tabletop RPG (“Roll for Initiative” / By Matthew Phillion / First Printing: December 2017). It’s too bad the game they decided to play this time was “borrowed” from a sorcerer’s sanctum sanctorum. One thing leads to another and the Indestructibles find themselves teleported into a role-playing campaign filled to the brim with every sort of high fantasy stereotype you can imagine. Talk about “immersive game play.” Goblins, giant spiders, Ray Harryhausen-like skeleton armies, floating eyeballs, cubes of evil jelly, harpies, ogres, dragons, eagleboars, wyverns, flesh golems, and wizards – this one’s got it all. If you like superhero RPG prose fiction, this Indestructibles novella is for you. Get your metagame on.

Throwing the Gun, Episode 14, is now available for your listening pleasure. The semi-regular podcast from the Pen and Cape Society is hosted by Drew Hayes, C.B. Wright, Cheyanne Young, and Jim Zoetewey and always features an interesting discussion about superhero prose fiction. In this episode the group discuss writer’s block and how to end a long-running series. It also features an interview with writer and publisher Ian Thomas Healy. Recommended as always.

We enjoy sitting down and watching Black Lightning every Tuesday night. It’s a gritty show, with a compelling cast, and an awesome soundtrack. We also enjoy watching the Black Lightning after-show gabfest on AfterBuzzTV. The four hosts (Drew Jones, Chaé Jones, Joelle Monique, and Porchia Carter) do a reasonably good job of recapping the most current episode. But what we like most about the show is how the discussion invariably veers toward bigger and more personal topics. The four young ladies are surprisingly candid about all sorts of things. For example, Shaé Jones drops a big bomb in the third episode. Most after-shows covet a small niche viewership. This one is slightly different. Even if you’re not an “Alternative Black Girl,” we think you’ll like it.

Author Nick Ahlhelm talks about George R.R. Martin’s ongoing and influential Wild Cards series (here). “It was the first major work to put original superheroes into prose format,” he says. Two new Wild Cards books will be released later this year: Low Chicago (available 06.12.18) and Texas Hold ‘Em (available 10.23.18).

For those of you who want a little more love with your crimefighting exploits, author Kristen Brand has compiled a handy list of superhero romance novels. “Get ready to save the world and fall in love,” she says.

A lot of interesting authors have signed up for DC Zoom and DC Ink assignments. Marie Lu, in particular, is working on a graphic novel based on her recent novel, Batman: Nightwalker. More info about upcoming releases (here).

GhoulEddie Skelson is an author whose catalog is filled with horror and humor novels. Last year, however, he decided to tackle a new genre (Superhero City: Ghouls / First Printing: July 2017 / ISBN: 9781542965514). We asked Skelson to give us a little background info about his “dark and brutal” superhero novel. His response below.

“When I began writing Superhero City it was my plan to write a short story from a villain’s point of view, one who had aspirations to make it as a supervillain. Not a bad idea, I thought. However, I was very quickly overtaken with an idea concerning my villain – he was part of a duo, caught up in toxic friendship with a narcissistic bully. The villain, Trey Storno, became the centre of my story of three groups who had no idea they were about to be brought together.

“The trio, Trey and Ricky, my wannabe villains, Rod Raynes (aka Captain Courage) and his corporate sponsored superhero team, the Wild Five, and deep in a government research facility, Professor Wulf Nils and Commander Carver (plus a mysterious captive), each move inexorably toward a very violent clash that would reveal a terrible, evil force.

“Yeah, Superhero City gets messy. It’s fun, but it’s dark, brutal fun. The story is populated with characters who – despite their powers – are depressingly human. While I wrote it with my own vision of what a world with superheroes might be like, I wanted to make sure that I recognised the tropes that have brought the genre to where it is today – where Deadpool can quip and comment on popular culture as he breaks the fourth wall at the same time that Batman broods as a psychologically damaged vigilante.” (Follow the author on Twitter @scaryskels.)

Interviews: Jesse J. Holland, author of Who Is the Black Panther (here). Marie Lu, author of Batman: Nightwalker (here). Bobby Nash, co-author of Sanderson of Metro (here). Trina Robbins talks about Wimmen’s Comix (here).

Reviews: Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu (here, here, here, and here. Also, check out YouTube for a bunch of additional reviews). Renegades by Marissa Meyer (here and here). The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon (here). Almost Invincible by Kristen Brand (here). Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger (here).

For your reading pleasure: Legacy of Light by Sarah Raughley. Ant-Man and the Wasp: The Heroes Journey (author TBD). Seaview: In the Post War Years by Beeper Jones. The Con Artist by Fred Van Lente. The Silver Hood by Justin Richman. Strange Birth by Mark S.R. Peterson. Super For You, Bad For Me by Asta Idonea. Firefly: Big Damn Hero by Nancy Holder. A Trio that will Take You Back by Matt Kratz. The League of Regrettable Sidekicks: Heroic Helpers from Comic Book History! by Jon Morris. Super Weird Heroes: Preposterous but True! edited by Craig Yoe. Michael Allred: Conversations edited by Christopher Irving. James Warren, Empire of Monsters: The Man Behind Creepy, Vampirella, and Famous Monsters by Billy Schelly. Wonder Woman: Forgotten Legends by Kurt Busiek and Trina Robbins.

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