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A New Pip and Flinx Adventure!
Dark Horse is out with the Third Volume of the Creepy Archives
By Tim Janson
May 17, 2009
Dark Horse’s Third Volume of Creepy Magazine Reprints
© Dark Horse
Bit of an abridged column this week due to there not being much in the way of news and also I spent the weekend covering Detroit’s 20th annual Motor City Comic Con. You can see some of the reports on our homepage this weekend.
Two great but very different art books are being reviewed this week so read on and enjoy!
New In Fantasy
Norse Code Greg Van Eekhout (Spectra)
The NorseCODE genome project was designed to identify descendants of Odin. What it found was Kathy Castillo, a murdered MBA student brought back from the dead to serve as a valkyrie in the Norse god’s army. Given a sword and a new name, Mist’s job is to recruit soldiers for the war between the gods at the end of the world—and to kill those who refuse to fight.
But as the twilight of the gods descends, Mist makes other plans…Journeying across a chaotic American landscape already degenerating into violence and madness, Mist hopes to find her way to Helheim, the land of the dead, to rescue her murdered sister from death’s clutches. To do so, she’ll need the help of Hermod, a Norse god bumming around Los Angeles with troubles of his own. Together they find themselves drafted into a higher cause, trying to do what fate long ago deemed could not be done: save the world of man. For even if myths aren’t made to be broken, it can’t hurt to go down fighting…can it?
Tamarisk: A Novel Lou Aronica (Volt Press Hardcover)
In this heartfelt fantasy of love and loss, a young girl's tragic illness leads her on a journey to a mystical dreamland, revealing truths that force her family to make the most difficult choice of their lives.
New in Science Fiction
No Prisoners (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) Karen Traviss (Del Rey)
The Clone Wars rage on. As insurgent Separatists fight furiously to wrest control of the galaxy from the Republic, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine cunningly manipulates both sides for his own sinister purposes.
Torrent Company’s Captain Rex agrees to temporarily relieve Anakin Skywalker of Ahsoka, his ubiquitous–and insatiably curious–Padawan, by bringing her along on a routine three-day shakedown cruise aboard Captain Gilad Pellaeon’s newly refitted assault ship. But the training run becomes an active–and dangerous–rescue mission when Republic undercover agent Hallena Devis goes missing in the middle of a Separatist invasion.
Dispatched to a distant world to aid a local dictator facing a revolution, Hallena finds herself surrounded by angry freedom fighters and questioning the Republic’s methods–and motives. Summoned to rescue the missing operative who is also his secret love, Pellaeon–sworn to protect the Republic over all–is torn between duty and desire. And Ahsoka, sent in with Rex and six untested clone troopers to extract Hallena, encounters a new and different Jedi philosophy, which shakes the foundation of her upbringing to the core. As danger and intrigue intensify, the loyalties and convictions of all involved will be tested. . . .
Order 66 (Star Wars: Republic Commando) Karen Traviss (Del Rey)
The Clone Wars rage to their bloody climax. Treachery reigns. Treason takes courage. Commandos, Jedi, and the entire Galactic Republic must face the end of life as they know it . . . and the dreaded dawn of a new empire.
Even as the Clone Wars are about to reach an explosive climax, no one knows whether victory will favor the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) or the Separatists. But no matter who wins, the stakes are highest for elite Special Ops clones like the Republic Commandos in Omega and Delta squads–and the notorious renegade Advance Recon Commando troopers known as Null ARCs. And now even the deadliest weapon may not be powerful enough to defeat the real menace: the apocalyptic horror to be unleashed when Palpatine utters the chilling words The time has come. Execute Order 66. Translation: The Jedi have tried to stage a coup, and all must be shot on sight.
With their faith in the Republic and their loyalty to their Jedi allies put to the ultimate test, how will the men of Omega and Delta squads react to the most infamous command in galactic history?
G.I. Joe: Above & Beyond Max Allan Collins (Del Rey)
Part of an elite covert military team, Lieutenant Duke Hauser and his buddy Ripcord Weems are dispatched to the small oil-rich South American country of San Sebastiao to help quell a revolution. The multinational peacekeeping force known as G.I. JOE has secretly sent special ops to support Duke’s unit. Their other mission: Find out who’s playing both sides of the conflict by supplying each with the same advanced lethal weaponry. But it turns out the devious culprit has raised the stakes–promising to deliver an army of super soldiers in the near future. If Duke’s squad and the G.I. JOE team can’t stop the revolution, halt the proliferation of weapons, and eliminate the threat of laboratory-produced warriors, a dark plot toward world domination will soon be launched.
Flinx Transcendent: A Pip & Flinx Adventure Alan Dean Foster (Del Rey Hardcover)
Flinx is the only one with even the tiniest chance of stopping the evil colossus barreling in to destroy the Humanx Commonwealth (and everything else in the Milky Way). With time running out, Flinx is a man in search of a solution and in search of himself. His efforts take him to the land of his mortal enemies, the bloodthirsty AAnn, where chances are excellent that Flinx’s discovery–and summary execution–will eliminate all his demons and doubts in one masterstroke.
The way Flinx is feeling, that might not be the worst imaginable end. After years of searching for his father, he finally has–and must bear–the truth. And now he must also seek out an ancient sentient weapons platform wandering around somewhere in the galaxy and then communicate with it, a powwow that could very well fry his already frazzled brain. Then there are the oblivion-craving assassins determined to stop Flinx before he can prevent total annihilation.
The Burning Skies David J. Williams (Spectra)
Life as U.S. counterintelligence agent Claire Haskell once knew it is in tatters—her mission betrayed, her lover dead, and her memories of the past suspect. Worse, the defeat of the mysterious insurgent group known as Autumn Rain was not as complete as many believed. It is quickly becoming clear that the group’s ultimate goal is not simply to destroy the tenuous global alliances of the 22nd century—but to rule all of humanity. And they’re starting with the violent destruction of the Net and the assassination of the U.S. president. Now it’s up to Claire, with her ability to jack her brain into the systems of the enemy, to win this impossible war.
Battling ferociously across the Earth-Moon system, and navigating a complex world filled with both steadfast loyalists and ruthless traitors, Claire must be ready for the Rain’s next move. But the true enemy may already be one step ahead of her.
The Walking Dead Compendium Volume 1 (Image Comics Archive Edition)
1088 PAGES, AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
The first eight volumes of this fan-favorite series collected into one massive paperback collection. Collects THE WALKING DEAD comic series issues #1-48.
Creepy Archives Volume 3 (Dark Horse Comics Archive Edition)
Fans of horror comics and jaw-dropping artwork, rejoice! Dark Horse Comics continues to showcase their dedication to bringing you the highest quality horror comics ever made with this third blood-curdling collection of Warren Publishing's groundbreaking horror magazine Creepy. This landmark archive series brings readers, for the first time ever, each and every eerie story from Creepy magazine's original run, featuring work from many of the best artists ever to work in the medium of comics. Frank Frazetta, Gray Morrow, Alex Toth, Joe Orlando, and Angelo Torres are just a sampling of the artists whose work bring horror to life in startling and gorgeously gruesome detail in this third huge collected volume.
Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery Vol. 1 (Dark Horse Comics Archive Edition)
A circus performer terrorized by mysterious powers from beyond. A jade idol of a monkey that carries a curse on a South Pacific island drives a man to the brink of madness. An art gallery haunted by paintings that come to life at night. A dictator who sees enemies around every corner, but who can't see the threat right before his eyes. For nearly twenty years, the comic-book series Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery wove stories of intrigue, suspense, and macabre drama. Hosted by renowned actor Boris Karloff, the comic featured contributions from some of comics history's most well-known creators: Alex Toth, Joe Orlando (EC Comics artist and editor), Mike Sekowsky (Justice League of America artist), Frank Thorne, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Arnold Drake, Len Wein (co-creator of Swamp Thing and Wolverine), Al Williamson, Jerry Robinson (creator of the Joker), Dan Spiegle, and many others.
New in Non-Fiction
Zombie Holocaust: How the Living Dead Devoured Pop Culture David Flint (Plexus Publishing)
Zombie Holocaust is a lively history of one of the most enduring fictional archetypes: the shambling, stalking, lethal living dead. From mentally enslaved cane field workers in Haiti, first described in early-20th-century travelogues, to the mindless hordes of soulless killers that regularly destroy our civilization onscreen and on the printed page, the zombie has undergone an eye-popping transformation. With wry humor and unflinching attention to detail, this colorful book celebrates these creatures in all their fetid glory. Author David Flint excavates early accounts of how voodoo was believed to reanimate the dead, unearths horror movie incarnations from Bela Lugosi’s White Zombie to George Romero’s cult classics to recent Eurotrash zombies, showcases graphic novel and comic book versions like EC’s putrefying nasties and Marvel’s Tales of the Zombie, and much more. The book is both a fun pop culture survey and a deeper study of what underlies the undiminished popularity of these terrifying, tragic figures in an anxious, post-9/11 world.
The Art of Terminator Salvation Tara Bennett (Titan Books)
Well you know a big budget Hollywood film like Terminator: Salvation is going to have a huge design process. Tara Bennett breaks it all down in her book The Art of Terminator: Salvation. The scope of pre-production neverceases to amaze me on films like this. Bennett takes the reader through the production process from beginning to end. Costume designer Michael Wilkinson went through several different looks for the soldiers and the adult John Connor. These various designs are shown side-by-side so you can compare them yourself.
The book is loaded with sketches, paintings, storyboards, models, molds, mock-ups…virtually every scene in the film was designed in great detail in advance before shooting ever took place. Animatronics Supervisor John Rosengrant discusses the design and physical distinctions of the new killer T-600 Terminators and the differences between this model, and the familiar T-800. These hunter-killers have been left on their own in the field and are now worn and battered but still dispatching their prey in brutal fashion. You’ll get to see the pre-production and finished designs of all the Terminator models as well as the various air, sea, and land craft used in the film including Skynet’s most terrifying weapon the gigantic Harvester.
This is one of the best film “Art” books I’ve seen because it is so complete in its coverage. With 240 pages, the book features hundreds of color photos and illustrations. Terminator fans will have to have this one! Grade A
Nestler Girls Vol. 1 Dave Nestler (SQP Inc.)
When it comes to photo-realistic pin-up/glamour art, the discussion pretty much as to begin and end with Dave Nestler. Nestler’s name belongs right up there with the greats of the field like Rolf Armstrong, Gil Elvgren, and Alberto Vargas. Nestler’s latest collection, courtesy of SQP Inc., is Dave’s unique take on the All-American girl.
Dave’s work here ranges from the bubblegum nostalgia of a bad girl resting on the hood of a 1949 Mercury Eight to a young lady warming the hearts of our servicemen overseas.
Speaking of nostalgia what’s more nostalgia than Bazooka bubblegum, as advertised by one of Dave’s models (and where was this when I was a kid!) or mixing sexuality with classic horror in Nestler’s take on the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
These are OUR girls…playful, sometimes silly, but always sexy and seductive All-American Girls done as only Dave Nestler can do them. This collection is 48 pages in large format in full color! Grade A