This is mostly a drive-by this week because we are right in the middle of the Emerald City Comic-Con. But I wanted to at least give you a little bit of a column-ette and let you know about a couple of links and things.
…but also the upcoming ones, like the Sinbad story coming probably early next year. Very much in the Harryhausen tradition. But with a slightly more modern sensibility and a more diverse crew.
I also told several stories about my blighted life growing up, the English teacher that went from being my deadly nemesis to a dear friend, and how pulps and comics and trashy adventure stories went from being my hideout to being my profession. We covered a LOT… as I warned the audience, there’s an arc, but it rambles and there are detours. (Sort of like this column does every week.) The whole thing runs, oh, almost an hour and a half. It was a lot of fun and people seemed to enjoy it. If you take the time to check it out, I hope you do too.
Speaking of spinner-rack paperbacks I adored in my youth, I got some great news a few days ago. I don’t normally get excited when publishers send me a press release but this one really made me happy.
Coming soon from Hermes Press: The Phantom The Complete Avon Books Volume 1; 6 x 9 inch; starting in August 2016, every other month; $14.99.
For the first time ever, the Avon edition of The Phantom is back in print! Hermes Press is proud to announce that they will be publishing all fifteen Avon pocket books, starting in August 2016, every other month! Book one starts off with Lee Falk explaining, via the twentieth Phantom, the histories of the Phantoms that came before the current Ghost Who Walks. Famed artist George Wilson (Dr. Solar, Magnus Robot Fighter, The Phantom) painted all of the covers used for the Avon series, and they are reproduced beautifully to keep all of the details from the original books intact for a new generation of Phans to enjoy!
This first exciting book in the series, titled “The Story of The Phantom: The Ghost Who Walks,” tells the story of the childhood and adolescence of the twenty-first Phantom. His father, the twentieth Phantom, regales the reader and young Kit Walker of the men who came before him: the fighter who beat Redbeard the Pirate, while gaining the heart of Queen Natala; the harrowing actions that the twentieth Phantom took to regain the friendship of the Rope People, and many more stories!
In this opening to the series, we also meet Diana Palmer– the love of the Phantom, the woman who always can count on the Phantom to rescue her, even before he becomes The Ghost Who Walks.
This thrilling beginning shows the man behind the mask, as Kit and Guran, his confident and friend, embark on the first of many adventures. Be sure to tune in, because you’d hate to come in late to this tale!
I know I’m kind of an outlier, but these are actually my favorite version of the Ghost Who Walks. I love these books. Lee Falk wrote the first one but by and large it was a Ron Goulart thing, under one of his many pen names. Hunting the originals has been a bookscouting quest of mine for decades and though I have most of them, I’m not a first edition snob about it. I just like them. And as the years passed they’ve been harder and harder to find and now they’re almost out of reach for me because they’ve become dealer rarities and are priced accordingly. So I’m thrilled to see they’re coming back in print and that Hermes is using the George Wilson covers because those are amazing too.
Now if only someone would get to the Flash Gordon paperbacks from that same publisher– those are harder to track down than the Phantom ones.
Although, really, I’d be okay with Hermes just getting their Phantom mini-series from Peter David and Sal Velluto out in a more timely manner. It’s a terrific book and I am enjoying it very much, but it’s been glacially slow in getting to stores.
Those guys are pros so I can’t figure out why it’s taking so long. (In fact, Burgas and I were talking last night about why the hell publishers even schedule a mini before it’s done. Why would you feel any pressure to do that? It’s not a regular monthly, it’s good any time, just get it all in the office before you ever go to press. He had a really magnificent rant about it.)
Anyway. Having a great weekend despite working two shows– I must be crazy– and I should have a full report next week. In the meantime, you can enjoy this shot of me, Greg Burgas, and Katrina and Lindon with their respective spousal others (!! Agh! I’m OLD….!!) all being silly last night.
It was the first time Katrina had brought her new husband to meet the nerds-in-law and be cruelly judged and mocked and put through the wringer, but he took it like a Real Man with good humor, and it turns out he’s a Trekkie, so we ruled in his favor; she can keep him. I was encouraged to hear the girls talking about how they missed doing their own comics and by the time dinner was winding down they were starting to hatch some sort of plot for another anthology project. We’ll see how that goes, but it sure made me proud to watch them doing it. My work is done.
Full con report next week, I hope. See you then.
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