THE DARK MAN, STEPHEN KING, ILLUSTRATED BY GLENN CHADBOURNE, CEMETERY DANCE, 88 PAGES, TRADE, $25, ISBN: 9781587674211, SLIPCASED, $49.95, ISBN: 9781587674259, REVIEWED BY BARRY HUNTER.
THE DARK MAN is the origin of Randall Flagg who figures prominently in King’s later works began life in this poem, written by King while he was still in college. It appears here in the world’s first publication with brilliant illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne.
While the publication of a new work by King is quite a coup by Cemetery Dance, I am more impressed with the work of Chadbourne. Each time I look over the pages, I find something new and enticing.
This is a unique volume that ties the art to the words and gives a unique vision of two masters: King showing a glimpse of the beginnings of this unique talent that has entertained us for years; and, Chadbourne showing his mastery at understanding the written word and turning it into a not to be forgotten picture that enhances the experience.
King, Chadbourne, and Cemetery Dance are a trio to contend with and this volume is a triumph in the trio of poetry, painting, and publishing. Don’t miss this one of a kind work.
THE GRAPHIC HISTORY OF GETTYSBURG, WAYNE VANSANT, WRITER AND ILLUSTRATER, ZENITH PRESS, $19.99, 96 PAGES, ISBN: 9780760344064, REVIEWED BY BARRY HUNTER.
July, 1863, the middle of the Civil War, was one of the major turning points of the war when the Confederate and Union forces met in a small town in Pennsylvania called Gettysburg. So here we are 150 years later and Wayne Vansant is giving us a graphic novel with his representation of the events that transpired there.
Wayne shows the events from the planning stages to the final battle and ends with Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. He shows the preparations from both sides according to the historic notes and writings of those who actually took place in the battle.
This is not a volume to be missed as it is historically accurate and can be used as a teaching tool to help us understand our history and a war that pitted brother against brother.
Wayne is well known for his accurate portrayal of war that range from World War II from the American, German and Russian viewpoints to a graphic history of Vietnam. His recent volume NORMANDY is available from Zenith Press. He is also at work on the second volume of KATHUSKA, a story of the Russian Front as told by a female combatant, a graphic history of the Battle of the Bulge, and GRANT AND LEE, forthcoming from Zenith Press. //Disclaimer: Wayne and I have been friends for over thirty years and I really like his art and value his friendship, but that does not enter into my reviews of his work. It stands on its own as I am sure you will see when you see the books for yourselves.//
DOC WILDE AND THE FROGS OF DOOM, TIM BYRD, OUTLAW MOON BOOKS, 186 PAGES, ISBN: 9780989443302, EBOOK AVAILABLE NOW, TRADE PAPER TO COME, REVIEWED BY BARRY HUNTER.
When this was first released by Putnam’s in 2009, I said “A true delight…Tim Byrd has taken Doc Savage, added in a pinch of Robert E. Howard, a liberal dose of H. P. Lovecraft, and mixed it all together in a well done, enchanting pastiche of the pulps that will appeal to the adult audience as well as young adult readers.”
I still stand by those words and have even more enthusiasm for this new volume feature the writers preferred version as well as magnificent illustrations of Gary Chaloner. Tim was able to obtain his rights back from Putnam’s, put together a Kickstarter project, and fulfill his dream of putting out his vision of his creation.
He has succeeded extremely well and together with Chaloner has created a volume that cries for a place on the shelf between Doc Savage and Tarzan. There are plans for four more volumes in the series (hopefully more than that) and an excerpt of DOC WILDE AND THE MAD SKULL is included.
There are a lot of folk doing the self-publishing routine, but Tim Byrd has found the right formula to do it in a magnificent way. I wish him much success in his future offerings and I am ready to see them. If you are a fan of the pulps or just good old fun reading, this is a volume and a series for you. Check out the web site, www.docwilde.com, for more details and news on forthcoming wolumes.