Crossgen Comics has chiseled out a niche of epic proportions for
itself in the highly competitive world of comics. At the very least, this
new publisher is uninterested in the very least. Crossgen is interested in
Their plots span eons. Settings are interplanetary or
transdimensional. Cities, nations, and planets wage massive wars.
Crossgen's Sojourn Prequel battles for market share.
Exhibit A: plot. Lord Mordath has subjugated five nations to his
will, but a mysterious warrior and 15,000 of his followers now besiege the
walls of Mordath's fortress, challenging his unjust and iron rule. The
clash between man and monster is huge, eating up almost every page of the
first issue of Crossgen's newest title.
Exhibit B: prose. The melodramatic and too grammatically correct
dialog spoken by both lords and grunts actually works. It does not
distract from an otherwise well-crafted "scene one" in this vast
fantasy play yet to unfold. That is no simple task.
This collision of flesh and resolve on a mammoth scale is linear, a
straightforward and exciting depiction of man and demon tottering on the
threshold of death. This expository crash is not meant to reveal or
develop character or establish history, and does no more than hint at
events to come. Sojourn Prequel simply sets the enormous stage.
Exhibit C: art. That stage is better set by the art than the story.
That art, precise and clear in its visual story telling, is reality-based.
But it still flirts with fantasy on every page. Demons and winged humans
share panels with costumes and buildings that are obviously medieval but
not of our earth.
This first issue is a tease, poising more questions than it
answers, and is meant to leave readers sharing a question whispered at its
end by an ominous Sojourn priest, his cowled face hidden in shadows.
"I can't wait to see what happens," he hisses.
Sojourn Prequel/32 pages/words: Ron Marz; pencils: Greg
Land/available at comics shops, by mail, or at www.crossgen.com.
Review by Michael Vance
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”.
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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