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  1. #31
    Modus omnibus in rebus Roquefort Raider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan bailey View Post
    Oh, lord -- I misspelled "Cthulhu."

    Nyarlothotep strike me down.
    Oh, he's grown more sedate in his old age. He even teaches here at the university.
    People in white coats (science cartoons, updated daily) | Art Blog

  2. #32
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly Mon View Post
    The iPad is a servant of Cthulhu? Oh-oh....
    That would be the Pad model, I presume.
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
    Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.

    -- Reptisaurus!

  3. #33
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roquefort Raider View Post
    Oh, he's grown more sedate in his old age. He even teaches here at the university.
    And presumably helps coach the swim team, a/k/a the Deep Ones.
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
    Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.

    -- Reptisaurus!

  4. #34
    Modus omnibus in rebus Roquefort Raider's Avatar
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    and the cheerleaders go... "TEKELI !!! TEKELI - LI !!!"
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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roquefort Raider View Post
    I'm sure they intended to go the way Dark Horse went a few years later, respecting the Howard properties (or their adaptation, as in the case of Sonja). Didn't they publish (or intend to publish) a colored version of Worms of the Earth?

    *Edit* I checked the GCD... not only did Cross Plains publish it, they even gave it a Mark Shultz cover! (*faints*)
    I'm torn: I love Mark Schultz, but I hate it when the cover doesn't match the interior artist, especially in things like this. And perhaps even more important, I love the black and white artwork by Windsor-Smith and by Conrad in this adaptation of Worms so much I'm not sure I'd want to see it coloured.

    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    The title of the thread is a nod to one Gary Gygax, co-creator of one of the most influential and popular rpgs that embraced the sword and sorcery ethos, and a man I had the rare privilege of working with shortly before his passing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Slam_Bradley View Post
    Now I have severe jealousy. Gygax is one of those people I always wanted to meet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shellhead View Post
    Great thread idea. I hope somebody will review the Wonder Woman team-up with Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, as my mind still reels at the thought of it. The huge success of Marvel's monthly Conan series spurred DC to some interesting experiments, but the whole fantasy comic thing faded considerably by the '80s.

    Slam, I was lucky to meet both Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. I met Gygax at my very first trip to GenCon, in 1982. I was just a teenager, and GenCon was still a small convention at the time, so with minimal effort, I managed to meet a number of famous game designers and artists of the day. Gygax hosted a 1-hour talk about AD&D, and answered a question of mine about the unarmed D&D combat systems in the Dungeon Master's Guide. Afterwards, he autographed my con booklet, "Best wishes, Gary Gygax." I met Arneson five years ago. He was at the local game shop for a D&D Day event, but sitting by himself off to the side. The store manager introduced me to him as a fellow game designer, which was generous since I only have one published game to my credit. I sat and talked to Arneson for about 45 minutes, mostly listening to him talk about a vampire larp that he attended years earlier in the Balkans. Anyway, both Gygax and Arneson were pleasant, talkative and intelligent guys. I wish you could have met them both, and only share my brief experiences as a poor substitute.
    I never got into RPGs, so I don't know that side of his work, but didn't Gygax also write fantasy and/or science fiction novels? Were any of those worth checking out at all?

  6. #36
    Senior Member foxley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    Review #2...

    Attachment 107196

    Title: Red Sonja: Death in Scarlet (one-shot)
    Written by: Roy Thomas and Steve Lightle
    Art and cover by: Steve Lightle
    Letters: Dave Sharpe; Colors: Tayreza
    Edited by: Richard Ashford
    Publication date: 1999
    Publisher: Cross Plains Comics

    "Death in Scarlet"
    20 story pages, color, plus gallery and Roy Thomas essay

    Story: 8/10
    Art: 8/10
    Overall Impression: 8/10

    Synopsis: A young Sonja is working as a thief in the Hykranian city of Khorusun with her Kushite partner TíShika. Posing as women of the street, the pair waylay a rich fat merchant, and rob him blind.

    Celebrating their score in a tavern, the two discuss plans for the future and Sonja reveals her lust for revenge on her parents killers. They are interrupted by a group of the merchantís guardsmen tracking them down and a bloody fight ensues. Sonja is a fierce but poorly trained swordswoman, but prevails because they underestimate a woman.

    Escaping, they plan a bigger score against the fence Quianlang, and steal into his fortress to loot it. It turns out the merchant they waylaid is in fact Quianlang, and Sonja is aided by a captive sorceress and confronts and kills Quianlang when she finds her motherís amulet among the treasures in his hoard.

    Commentary: It seems more Sonja stories were intended from Ashfordís Cross Plains comics, but never materialized as far as I know. They intended to focus on Sonjaís early years, and this tale is set between the death of her family and most of her earliest chronological appearances in the Marvel stories.

    It is within the fenceís treasure vaults that she finds the distinctive chain mail bikini she would wear in her Marvel stories, though she first dons a gold rather than silver version in this tale.

    Among the thieves gathered at the fenceís fortress for a business dinner are a large bearded read-headed barbarian and his small, black-haired mousey partner-never named, they are surely nods to Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser.

    The story itself is typical Roy Thomas sword and sorcery fare, capturing all the spirit of his Marvel Hyborian work. Lightleís art is beautiful and stylistic rather than realistic. If you like the Marvel sword and sorcery books of the Thomas era, this book is definitely worth checking out.

    Roy has an essay on the genesis of the Sonja character here, and I am not sure if it is reprinted in the first Adventures of Red Sonja trade from Dynamite (which collects the Marvel Feature stories) but the account given in the two is the same (I had just read the trade as part of the prep for the 12 Days of Classic Comics Christmas thread, so it was fresh in my mind).

    -M
    I really liked this take on Sonja and was disappointed that this title was never continued. It showed real promise.

  7. #37
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    I never got into RPGs, so I don't know that side of his work, but didn't Gygax also write fantasy and/or science fiction novels? Were any of those worth checking out at all?

    He wrote a few fantasy novels about "Gord the Rogue." The first two were published by TSR. When Gygax was forced out, Gord was one of the characters he retained and the rest were published...by someone else.

    I read the first couple when they came out when I was in high school. They seemed OK at the time. My guess is that if I re-read them they'd struggle to be better than competent.

  8. #38
    Senior Member Polar Bear's Avatar
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    As mentioned on two Classic Comics Christmas games, don't forget Hudnall/Ridgway's The Age of Heroes 1-5, published by Halloween Press (1-2) and Image (3-5). Hard to find, but worth it!
    Anyway, it is cool for you to acquire acrimony of crumbling time on blast this website.
    --best spam ever

  9. #39
    Welcome to Bleeker Street MRP's Avatar
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    Review #3

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    Title: Marvel Premiere #33 (Part one of 2 part trial feature)
    Written by: Roy Thomas, adapted from story by Robert E. Howard
    Art and cover: by Howard Chaykin (Klaus Janson inks the cover, but Chaykin does full art on interiors)
    Letters: Jim Novak; Colors: Howard Chaykin
    Edited by: Roy Thomas
    Publication date: December 1976 (cover date)
    Publisher: Marvel Comics

    The Mark of Kane (an adaptation of Red Shadows)
    17 story pages, color, and Fred Blosser essay introducing Solomon Kane on letters page

    Story: (adaptation) 9/10
    Art: 9/10
    Overall Impression: 9/10

    Synopsis: In his wanderings, the Puritan Solomon Kane stumbles upon a dying girl, the victim of bandits, and pursues a path of vengeance upon those who perpetrated the raids. He hunts down the bandit band. Among them a illusion wielding Spaniard whose spells evoke figments of beast-men that hound Kane, and others Kane lures into a trap with tales of gold. He tracks them to their lair and confronts their leader, Le Loup, who is a master swordsman and manages to escape Kane’s grasp. Kane vows to pursue this bandit.

    Commentary: For those unfamiliar with the character, Solomon Kane was the first recurring character written by Robert E. Howard, predating both Kull and Conan. To some, this makes Kane the first sword and sorcery protagonist.

    Howard’s Red Shadows was his first Solomon Kane story, and the first Solomon Kane prose work I ever read. It is also one of my favorites. Thomas and Chaykin’s adaptation is a solid version of the story.

    This was the first color Solomon Kane comic, and the first time he was the lead in a comic, having had back up features in a handful of Marvel’s b&w mags previously. Because it was a color book, Chaykin decided to reinterpret Kane visually, departing form the depiction in those B&W mags. Overall, I really like his look for Kane with one exception-his clothes are not plain enough for a Puritan adventurer, as they feature stripes and colors. The physical depiction of Kane, tall, lithe and lanky with sharp angular features is spot on. The way he depicts Kane in action has a style and grace that evokes the power and ferocity of Kane, and his layouts and coloring of the book with the exception of Kane’s garb really do a lot to set the mood and tone of the story, capturing the Howardian feel. But the colors and stripes in Kane’s outfit really bother me and kind of grate when reading this somber Puritan adventurer’s tales.

    I think my favorite single panel of the book is the bottom panel of page 26 (story page 14). Kane duels Le Loup and in the foreground we have a table with a flickering lamp, in the midground Kane and La Loup with crossed swords, and behind them playing out on the wall their shadows loom large locked in a duel. Then there is an insert panel of a close up of Kane scowling in fury and concentration as his blade is locked with La Loup’s. This one panel with insert is a microcosm that captures the essence of Kane’s adventures and what the mood and tone of a good sword and sorcery tale should be. It was the Bronze Age, and Roy of course added caption boxes to it, but there was nothing said in those captions that the art did not tell even better.

    Thomas script, as with his Conan work, evokes the feel and fury of a Howard story. His Kane is sufficiently grim and dour, a man of action rather than words. La Loup comes across as smarmy and treacherous, a most appropriate villain for a Kane tale. Most of Le Loups minions get the short shrift but Da Costa the illusionist and Raton get a little spotlight and Thomas manages to give them enough seeming depth and character to make them credible and interesting foils to both Kane and Le Loupe.

    And just a quick note-I have to mention how much I like Jim Novak’s lettering. He did a lot of books I read as a kid and his style is clean, clear, and eminently readable.

    The story itself is continued in the next issue of Marvel Premiere, which is up next for review…

    -M
    Last edited by MRP; 01-26-2013 at 09:52 PM.
    A lunatic is easily recognized...You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense...and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.
    -Umberto Eco

  10. #40
    Welcome to Bleeker Street MRP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slam_Bradley View Post
    He wrote a few fantasy novels about "Gord the Rogue." The first two were published by TSR. When Gygax was forced out, Gord was one of the characters he retained and the rest were published...by someone else.

    I read the first couple when they came out when I was in high school. They seemed OK at the time. My guess is that if I re-read them they'd struggle to be better than competent.
    The Gord the Rogue books are really only interesting if you want to see Gary expand the world of Greyhawk, the setting he created for the game.

    He did a few other novels, two of which were part of Paizo Publishing's Planet stories line. Both were nominally byproducts of Gary's Lejendary Earth (misspelling intentional that;s the games' name) and Lejendary Adventures game. One is the Anubis Murders and the other is the Infernal Sorceress. I have both but have yet to get around to reading either. (checks the Planet story page) There is now a third, Death in Delhi, but I do not have this one.

    As an aside, the Paizo Planetary adventures line is worth checking out for fans of the Planetary Romance genre. It represents classic work by Howard (Almuric), CL Moore, Michael Moorcock, Leigh Brackett, Henry Kuttner and a host of others, in a nice little package. Plus Erik Mona, the publisher is a hella nice guy.

    http://paizo.com/planetStories

    -M
    A lunatic is easily recognized...You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense...and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.
    -Umberto Eco

  11. #41
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    The Gord the Rogue books are really only interesting if you want to see Gary expand the world of Greyhawk, the setting he created for the game.

    He did a few other novels, two of which were part of Paizo Publishing's Planet stories line. Both were nominally byproducts of Gary's Lejendary Earth (misspelling intentional that;s the games' name) and Lejendary Adventures game. One is the Anubis Murders and the other is the Infernal Sorceress. I have both but have yet to get around to reading either. (checks the Planet story page) There is now a third, Death in Delhi, but I do not have this one.

    As an aside, the Paizo Planetary adventures line is worth checking out for fans of the Planetary Romance genre. It represents classic work by Howard (Almuric), CL Moore, Michael Moorcock, Leigh Brackett, Henry Kuttner and a host of others, in a nice little package. Plus Erik Mona, the publisher is a hella nice guy.

    http://paizo.com/planetStories

    -M

    Now that you mention Anubis Murders I remember it.

    I see that Paizo has what purports to be a Complete Silver John. I'll have to look in to that.

  12. #42
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    Review #4

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    Title: Marvel Premiere #34 (Part two of 2 part trial feature)
    Written by: Roy Thomas, adapted from story by Robert E. Howard
    Art and cover by: Howard Chaykin (with inks by Giacoia and laterations by John Romita according to GCD)
    Letters: Jim Novak (with pages 14-17 by Irving Watanbe, uncredited according to GCD); Colors: Don Warfield
    Edited by: Roy Thomas
    Publication date: February 1977 (cover date)
    Publisher: Marvel Comics

    Fangs of the Gorilla God! (an adaptation of Red Shadows)
    17 story pages, color

    Story: (adaptation) 7/10
    Art: 7/10
    Overall Impression: 7/10

    Synopsis: Kane has trailed Le Loupe to darkest Africa, but is ambushed by tribesman allied with the bandit. The tribe’s witch doctor, N’Longa offers to help Kane to increase his own position in the tribe, but Le Loupe overhears their conversation and entraps N’Longa. A towering ginat named Gulka is the foremost ally of Le Loupe and he demonstrates his prowess, slaying a tribesman as an offering to the gorilla god and captures N’Longa, binding him to a stake alongside Kane.

    N’Longa uses his powerful ju ju to animate a corpse and kill the chieftain, cowing the tribe and causing Le Loupe to flee into the jungle. Kane pursues and has his final reckoning. Gulka tracks down Kane and confronts him when he is weak from wounds from the final battle with the bandit, but fate intercedes, as a gorilla, presumably an avatar of the gorilla god, appears and slays Gulka but leaves Kane in peace to lick his wounds and depart back to the ship that awaits him.

    Commentary: The second half of the adaptation is not as strong as the first. Chaykin’s art seems a bit more rushed, with less vivid backgrounds and less overall detail than the previous issue. The colors by Warfield take their cue form Chaykin’s work the previous issue but are not as effective in setting mood or tone.

    N’Longa is a great character in the Howard tales, but he is given short shrift here by Thomas, and seems superficial and shallow, more one note than he was in Howard’s original. As a whole this installment feels a bit rushed, yet the final duel between Kane and Le Loupe stretches over several pages, pages in which Chaykin does not effectively convey visually the frantic pace one expects out of such a clash of blades.

    Because of this, the pacing is uneven and the story feels oddly rushed everywhere except the duel, which drags on a little too long. Combined with the dues ex machine feel of the ending with the gorilla and Gulka, which is not played well by either Thomas or Chaykin (some of Chaykin’s drawings here are excellent but the overall layout of the sequence feels off), this story feels like a step down form the first part.

    So overall, still an entertaining and enjoyable comic, it just pales compared to the promise of the first part of the adaptation.

    -M
    Last edited by MRP; 01-26-2013 at 09:50 PM.
    A lunatic is easily recognized...You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense...and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.
    -Umberto Eco

  13. #43
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    I think I read those Chaykin issues back in the day - are those the ones where Solomon Kane had stripes on his sleeves? I remember those stripes bugging me, for some reason, but otherwise the artwork was great, as Chaykin's stuff usually was back then - and maybe is now, I just haven't read much of his the last several years. Don't recall anything about the stories except that I enjoyed them at the time.

  14. #44
    Welcome to Bleeker Street MRP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    I think I read those Chaykin issues back in the day - are those the ones where Solomon Kane had stripes on his sleeves? I remember those stripes bugging me, for some reason, but otherwise the artwork was great, as Chaykin's stuff usually was back then - and maybe is now, I just haven't read much of his the last several years. Don't recall anything about the stories except that I enjoyed them at the time.
    Yeah it's the one with Solomon Kane having striped sleeves, Kane, a Puritan, who by the dictates of their faith wore plain unadorned clothing. That's why it bothered me, aside from the fact that the stripes were hideous, which may have been why it bothered you.

    -M
    A lunatic is easily recognized...You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense...and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.
    -Umberto Eco

  15. #45
    Senior Member foxley's Avatar
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    This was a pretty good Solomon Kane adaptation, but not as good as the adaption of the same story that appeared in Marvel's later Sword of Solomon Kane.

    I usually love Chaykin's artwork but somehow his depiction of Kane did not jell with me. (Maybe it was the stripes on the sleeves )
    Last edited by foxley; 01-17-2013 at 04:08 AM.

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