Showing posts with label Kickstarter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kickstarter. Show all posts

Friday, May 13, 2016

Weird Fiction Journal Skelos - Ready for Backing

I just backed Skelos - Journal of Weird Fiction

You can too!
Skelos Press is proud to announce the launch of its new flagship journal with a Kickstarter campaign that will begin on Tuesday May 10th. The first issue of SKELOS: THE JOURNAL OF WEIRD FICTION AND DARK FANTASY will feature a never-before-published fantasy piece by Robert E. Howard (Conan, Kull, Solomon Kane) illustrated by the legendary Mark Schultz (Xenozoic Tales, Coming of Conan, Prince Valiant). Also featured is a new sword and sorcery novelette by Keith Taylor (Bard series, Cormac Mac Art), a long-awaited sequel to his classic tale "Men from the Plain of Lir" originally published in WEIRD TALES. This story will be illustrated by the fantastic Tomás Giorello (Dark Horse King Conan). Another highlight of the issue will be a tale of dark fantasy from World Fantasy Award nominee and John W. Campbell Award nominee Scott A. Cupp,

SKELOS is edited by Mark Finn, author of the World Fantasy Award-nominated BLOOD AND THUNDER; Chris Gruber, editor of Robert E. Howard's BOXING STORIES from the University of Nebraska Press; and Jeffrey Shanks, co-editor of the Bram Stoker Award-nominated UNIQUE LEGACY OF WEIRD TALES.
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Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Sinner's Prayer is a Beautiful Intro to a Dark Asunda - S.E. Review

Untamed-GNThe Untamed: A Sinner's Prayer by Sebastian A. Jones
S.E. rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fantastic Introduction to Asunda’s Beautiful-Dark World: I learned about Stranger Comic’s The Untamed: Sinner’s Prayer while browsing Kickstarter. The art and story were captivating and the campaign organized well, so I backed a reward that was essentially a pre-order. This served as my introduction to the World of Asunda and Stranger Comics (led in part by Sebastian A. Jones). In short, the hardcover exceeded my expectations: for $30USD we get 260pages of great story telling and art. This work serves as an outstanding introduction to deep, fantastic world that will appeal to dark fantasy fans (from Spawn to Conan to all those Grimdark folk).

Contents: The Untamed: A Sinner's Prayer is an omnibus that contains all seven comic book issues of the Stranger’s journey back from Hell (one issue for each day the Stranger has to complete his tasks)…plus tons of bonus content on “the making-of” in the appendix.
The Untamed: A Sinner's Prayer #1
The Untamed: A Sinner's Prayer #2
The Untamed: A Sinner's Prayer #3
The Untamed: A Sinner's Prayer #4
The Untamed: A Sinner's Prayer #5
The Untamed: A Sinner's Prayer #6
The Untamed: A Sinner's Prayer #7

Premise and Milieu : This is for mature readers. The publisher’s summary is concise and true:
A cloaked Stranger slips into the rustic Town of Oasis, changing things forever. Ten years it has been since he ran this town with malice and harshness. Even then, there was hope for his soul. His wife and daughter were on the verge of turning him from wickedness. But they were murdered, and so was he. Now he has returned, hell-bent on killing. Written by Sebastian A. Jones; Art by Peter Bergting; Layouts by Darrell May
Without spoiling, readers should know that this work focuses on the titular character (the sinner/stranger) but has abundant background for Niobe (a female heroine with her own set of comics). The unnamed stranger starts his journey leaving Hell to complete a deal: 7 days to return 7 souls and redeem himself. On the surface, the town of Oasis in Asunda presents many fantasy tropes (elves, humans, dwarves) with a fresh spin (unique names and twists in culture… i.e., it is not as European-Medieval centric as one may expect) and beautifully presented art that is both angelic and brutal. The attention to detail as in the cover (red had embracing the stranger) is presented throughout. The covers of the series represent the art within:
Untamed-GNuntamed-1untamed-2 untamed-3 untamed-4 untamed-5 untamed-6 untamed-7
The Untamed A Sinner's Prayer #1 by Sebastian A. Jones The Untamed A Sinner's Prayer #2 by Sebastian A. Jones The Untamed A Sinner's Prayer #3 by Sebastian A. Jones The Untamed A Sinner's Prayer #4 by Sebastian A. Jones The Untamed A Sinner's Prayer #5 by Sebastian A. Jones The Untamed A Sinner's Prayer #6 by Sebastian A. Jones The Untamed A Sinner's Prayer #7 by Sebastian A. Jones

Other World of Asunda Works: As this moment (Spring 2016) the other Asunda works are not compiled in an omnibus yet. There are novellas and more comics that promise to be equally compelling, such as NIOBE: She is Life, Issue One; Niobe: She Is Life #2 and Dusu: Path of the Ancient #1.




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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Blackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues is Highly Recommended Dark Fantasy - Review by S.E.

Blackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and RoguesBlackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues by J.M. Martin
S.E. Lindberg rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues is Highly Recommended Dark Fantasy: This collection is largely Dark Fantasy. As the subtitle says, this not just about Assassins--there are plenty similar lawbreakers featured: Thieves, Smugglers, and Mercenaries. As J.M. Martin clarifies in his introduction:
"Blackguard, by the way, is actually pronounced ‘blaggard,’ as in haggard. The term seemingly originated from scullions and kitchen-knaves, in particular those in courtly caravans who were in charge of the pots, pans, utensils, and the conveyance of coal … one could extrapolate that a ‘blaggard’—also ‘blagger’ in some texts—is a ‘rag-tag deceiver with grandiloquent habits.’"
Crowdfunded Gateway: Anthologies often function as a way to speed-date authors. Want to get acquainted with those who write about a theme you crave? Then find a thematic anthology and shop around! The Sword & Sorcery genre spawned from short stories; for many decades anthologies needed no classification. But in the last few decades, within the dark fantasy genre associated with S&S, there has been a move toward themes—which is great (i.e., Rogue Blade Entertainment’s Rage of the Behemoth and Heroika 1: Dragon Eaters come to mind). Blackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues provides a whopping 27 stories—24 of which are linked to established series. The “Roll-Credits” section in the end is designed to link readers to the authors they just liked. Classy. This book was launched via Kickstarter and Ragnarok Publications delivered a solid product. Me? I was just a Bung Nippers level supporter, but am still part of the band wagon and proud to be acknowledge in the contributor section.

Variety: A menu of 27 entries starts off with ~4 female protagonists, which was unexpected and enjoyable. The range of characters and milieu is truly broad. There is surprisingly little redundancy. As mentioned above, the Sword & Sorcery genre was influential: Michael J. Sullivan and Paul Kemp offer duos reminiscent of Fritz Leiber’s Lankhmar “Fafred and Mouser”; and Jon Sprunk seemed to write a pastiche/fan-fiction of Glen Cook’s The Black Company.
Many are tales of betrayal and grim situations; the most impactful was Peter Orullian ’s "A Length of Cherrywood" which was uber-dark, but very well written--this story is one you’ll enjoy reading once, and then never again. Not all these are grim. There are several comedic entries, the funniest for me was Richard Lee Byers’s "Troll Trouble" which had me laughing out loud. There are several others that have the protagonist as savior/hero, or the target of blackguards; Kenny Soward’s "Jancy's Justice” was one such which also offered a bit of steampunk/gnome technology. The last several entries really cast the net: James Enge casts Odysseus as a blackguard, Lian Hearn provides some Japanese inspired darkness, Snorri Kristjansson offers Viking flare, and Anton Strout brings a psychic- sorcery into contemporary art crime.

Personal Favorites: S.R. Cambridge’s "The Betyár and the Magus" blends magic into western-European history—great characters and setting. Equally entertaining & well written was Shawn Speakman’s dose of druidic/Celtic lore; his "The White Rose Thief" made me aware of “Rosenwyn Whyte” a musician with a dark past which I am anxious to read more about. Tim Marquitz ’s "A Taste of Agony" got me intrigued about the “outlaw, eunuch assassin Gryl”, even though the story’s mission was obscure. Anthony Ryan’s "The Lord Collector" offered it all—an intriguing world of assassins, dark magic, and interesting characters.

Art: The cover art by Arman Akopian is nicely done and representative on the book’s contents (yes, there are plenty of female protagonists). Interior art for each of the stories is bonus flare, well done by artists Orion Zangara and Oksana Dmitrienko

Contents:
Foreword by Glen Cook
Introduction by J.M. Martin
JEAN RABE, "Mainon" (Original tale) *
BRADLEY P. BEAULIEU, "Irindai" (Shattered Sands) *
CAT RAMBO, "The Subtler Art" (Serendib)
CAROL BERG, "Seeds" (Lighthouse Duet)
KENNY SOWARD, "Jancy's Justice" (GnomeSaga)
MICHAEL J. SULLIVAN, "Professional Integrity" (Riyria)
RICHARD LEE BYERS, "Troll Trouble" (Plague Knight)
PAUL S. KEMP, "A Better Man" (Egil and Nix) *
DJANGO WEXLER, "First Kill" (Shadow Campaigns)
MARK SMYLIE, "Manhunt" (The Known World)
JOHN GWYNNE, "Better to Live than to Die" (Faithful Fallen)
MARK LAWRENCE, "The Secret" (Broken Empire)
LAURA RESNICK, "Friendship" (Silerian Chronicles)
CLAY SANGER, "The First Kiss" **
SHAWN SPEAKMAN, "The White Rose Thief" (The Dark Thorn)
PETER ORULLIAN, "A Length of Cherrywood" (Aeshau Vaal)
TIM MARQUITZ, "A Taste of Agony" (Prodigy series)
JAMES A. MOORE, "What Gods Demand" (Seven Forges)
DAVID DALGLISH, "Take You Home" (Shadowdance)
JOSEPH R. LALLO, "Seeking the Shadow" (Book of Deacon)
JON SPRUNK, "Sun and Steel" (Shadow Saga)
S.R. CAMBRIDGE, "The Betyár and the Magus" **
SNORRI KRISTJANSSON, "A Kingdom and a Horse" (Valhalla Saga)
JAMES ENGE, "Thieves at the Gate" (Morlock)
LIAN HEARN, "His Kikuta Hands" (Tales of the Otori)
ANTHONY RYAN, "The Lord Collector" (Raven's Shadow novella)*
ANTON STROUT, "Scream" (Simon Canderous Chronicles)
* stretch goal achieved
** open submissions winners (


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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Untamed - Graphic Sword and Sorcery - 2015 Kickstarter


I just backed a the UNTAMED - Print Hardcover Kickstarter campaign  (started Feb-17...last until March something). A hardcover rendition of Stranger Comic's Untamed series. Very grim, artsy, Sword & Sorcery. The book will retail at $29.99, but as a Kickstarter Special, you can get it signed and shipped for $25. 

This combines the eBooks of Sebastian A. Jones Untamed series under one hardcover book:The Untamed: A Sinner's Prayer #1The Untamed: A Sinner's Prayer #2The Untamed #3,Dusu: Path of the Ancient #4The Untamed #5...more I think...there should be 7 total

The first one was made into a Motion Graphic, on Youtube: ~11min (see embedded video). Watch it!

The Untamed  A Sinner's Prayer #1 by Sebastian A. Jones The Untamed  A Sinner's Prayer #2 by Sebastian A. Jones The Untamed #3 by Sebastian A. Jones Dusu  Path of the Ancient #4 by Sebastian A. Jones The Untamed #5 by Sebastian A. Jones 

Stranger Comics  /    UNTAMED on Facebook

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Jonathan Green seeks support for Fighting Fantasy


Just participated in my first Kickstarter project. This is a great tool/resource to fund independent moves, games, books, etc.


My gateway into the Sword & Sorcery genre was most likely the Fighting Fantasy books (choose-your-own-adventures + dice) created by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone in the early 1980's (these two would then co-found Warhammer). Before personal computers could satiate the need for solo adventuring on the go, these books rocked. They were full of disturbing illustrations that still haunt me to this day (see blogpost on evolving Fighting Fantasy books). Interestingly, select ones (like Warlock of Firetop Mountain) are now available on Kindle and iTunes (the Kindle versions are less sexy but work better, having provided a more robust game mechanic that includes superior mapping and dice roller systems).

Jonathan Green, author of many novels including those under the Warhammer and Fighting Fantasy brands, is now on a mission to create a history book detailing how the adventure books evolved.  See the video below (embedded here). Or go to Kickstarter directly and consider donating to the cause: You Are The Hero Kickstarter Page ... donate ~$16 and you will get a PDF of the book.