Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Alex Schomburg and the fire it lit in Roy Thomas

The world went to war in the late 1930s, and early to mid 1940s.  The comic book world reflected that.  Artist Alex Schomburg was a comic book artist utilized on comic covers for his ability to use the assembled featured characters in a scene on the cover, regardless of whether they'd be together inside the pages.  All Winners comics provided the prototype eventually for the comic book team of the Invaders, in issue 19 and 21.  However, Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema, and later Frank Robbins created a team composed of the characters featured, usually, by Alex Schomburg.

The Invaders fought in WW II in Roy Thomas's Marvel Universe, and later, he committed the same love and attention in the DC Comics universe.  The Justice Society and All Star Squadron played a similar role as the Invaders.  Without the covers stirring the imagination of Roy Thomas, who knows how vital a role the Invaders would play in the eventual Marvel Universe?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Renaissance Man Clark Ashton Smith, Poet, Artist, Writer, Cthulhuist

It may never occur to you to read anyone other than HP Lovecraft when reading Cthulhu tales.  And it might never occur to you to read Cthulhu at all.  But if you do read Cthulhu Clark Ashton Smith is a writer who you will want to add to your list.  He was skilled more as a poet and some say as a sculptor than as a long form prose writer, but this is not to say he was at all anything but great as a prose writer.  His work was creepy, dark, evocative of horror, and made other writers of Cthulhu tales pale in comparison.

Smith's work was considered by his peers to be superlative.  His critics, however, were often unrelenting in their criticism with issues of taste and issues of what should and should not be in a horror tale.  Despite the fact that his work was not prurient or lurid, the language use was so vivid and powerful, people suggested that Smith was in love with rotting flesh, and the corrupted corpse.  His work was more popular during his lifetime, and pursuing it now is expensive.  But the pursuit of it is well worth the cost.

His poetry, for me, is even more worthy, and has power to evoke in ways no one presently can imagine.  So be open minded, expand your search, and inhale Clark Ashton Smith's work.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Buying REHoward books

If you collect Robert E. Howard there are numerous levels at which to collect.  You can pursue reader copies, and find it rather easy to complete the reading library for under 100 dollars, and you might supplement that with Project Gutenberg.

If you like good quality but avoid the signed and numbered books, avoid the expensive rare books, expect to spend 300 dollars or so.  The recent fall into public domain of much of RE Howard work has seen a proliferation of oodles of books, some beautiful, some ugly, some edited and well considered, others not worth reading.  So, buying new, and picking your particular preference, you can find a beautiful collection, without breaking a bank.

Buying everything, in rare, or perfect condition, as well as new and signed and numbered, you will spend thousands.  And with every new collection you will be forced to unload more money. Good luck.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sad news.

I was blessed to work with Ed.  He inspired me, and made me work harder and reach farther than I ever would have.  He was also loyal, and after I had cancer, he made sure to work with me to get me back into the writing groove.  I am forever grateful, and will miss him, forever.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Natural born Enemies

In history, in politics, in fiction, in every epic tale, there are born enemies, two people meant to go to war against the other.  In November 2016 America will see the result of Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton.