The Heron Dynasty of the West, and the Raven Dynasty of the East uneasily coexist on the planet Avalon.  Annual competitive tournaments, steeped in ceremony, release tensions that would otherwise lead to war between the two factions.  Thus begins Crossgen Comics' first trade paperback collection of their hit comic Scion, in a story entitled "Conflict of Conscience".

            When the young Heron Prince Ethan's tournament sword inflicts a wound upon his opponent that the beings known as "gene splicers" are unable to heal, he is held in contempt of the competition, and is to be imprisoned by the Dynasty to the East for one year. But when a beautiful member of an underground movement, seeking to free the genetically engineered "lesser races" from slavery, frees Ethan, the Raven clan decides it's time for war.  And from there, things get even more interesting.

            Let me say this about Scion: It's worth buying on both aesthetic and literary levels. 

            Penciller Jim Cheung, and Don Hillsman II on inks, treat readers to a bright, vibrant world that may be the most well conceived blend of medieval and science fiction aspects ever done in comics. 

            The artists, however, turn right around and show an underbelly of the world that is as dark and foreboding as the rest is inviting.  In short, with this series, they appear to have nearly mastered their craft.

            Writer Ron Marz weaves a tale of political intrigue that hooks the reader almost from the very beginning.

            The action is there for comic-adrenalin junkies, but there is no danger of overdose, as the spacing of sequences is just right, and it is always

well-motivated.  Most important, however, the writer's characterization shines as Ethan is faced with a moral dilemma, the roots of which are all too real in our world, as well as his.

            The long and short: Scion does not disappoint.  Look for it in comic shops and bookstores.  Call 1-888-comicbook for your nearest local comic shop.

Scion, published by Crossgen Comics, 192 pages, $19.95.

            Mark Allen

Lights End Audio BookLight's End Audio Series

     Michael Vance has teamed with William Windom to present an incredible collection of SF and fantasy stories. Set in the eerie town of Light’s End, Maine, these stories have been called “[a] meshing of myth and reality, [of] stack details of place, an...unromantic vision of horror...” Light’s End is a gathering place for the worst in human nature.

     Mr. Windom's impressive experience has prepared him well for the telling of these scary tales. He is well known for his TV roles on Murder, She Wrote, Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, All In The Family, and Barney Miller. He also won an Emmy for his TV series My World…and Welcome to It. His movie roles in To Kill a Mockingbird and True Crime won him additional acclaim. His stage performances as James Thurber and Ernie Pyle have entertained thousands. He's performed in eighteen Broadway plays, countless radio shows, and several books-on-tape.

     Michael Vance's work is published in numerous magazines. He has appeared as a syndicated columnist and cartoonist in over 500 newspapers. His history book, Forbidden Adventure has been called a "benchmark in comics history”. Vance, best known for his Suspended Animation columns, briefly wrote the comic strip Alley Oop and his own strip for five years, Holiday Out. He also wrote comic books including Straw Men, Angel of Death, The Adventures of Captain Nemo, and Bloodtide. His work has appeared in comics anthologies, and he is listed in the Who's Who of American Comic Books. With novelists Mel Odom and R.A. Jones, he co-wrote Global Star, a world where babies born with bowling balls in their stomachs are common, and the New York Times is “trash journalism”.

Special Offer!

     Suspended Animation readers will be able to order a copy of Lights End Volume 1 personally autographed by both William Windom and Michael Vance. Volume 1 contains the stories "A Change of Heart" and "Cross Purposed."

     What are you waiting for? It's just $19.95 signed or $11.95 not, plus shipping.

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 Questions? Comments? A comic you wish reviewed? 
Write: 1427 S. Delaware Ave., Tulsa, OK, 74104. Or email Michael Vance.