If classic Creature Feature host Chuck Acri were into comics, he might say this anthology is “Superfantabulistic!” I bet you will, too, once you read it, and to show you I ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie, check out these samples from a few stories (click on any image for larger view) and my introduction!
Vanguard: artwork (from left to right) by Christopher Jones (insert), Dan Jurgens, S. Clarke Hawbaker, and Chris again with inks by C.P. Smith.
Corsair: artwork (from left to right) by Craig McLeod (insert) and Sergio Cariello.
Mighty 1 (Created by David D. Arnold): artwork (from left to right) by Harvey Mercadoocasio (insert), Phil Moy, and Christopher Jones.
Little Dragon: artwork (from left to right) by Christopher Jones (insert), S. Clarke Hawbaker, and Rob Davis.
Bordermen: all artwork by Andrew Chiu.
An Excerpt from the Introduction:
I love writing, and what I love writing about most are heroes and horrors.
Don’t know why.
Heroes and Horrors is dedicated to the late Gary Reed, a good friend and the founder of Caliber Comics.
What I do know is I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was nine years old, and that realization is still one of my most vivid memories, especially the on-the-spot satisfaction that still resonates a half century later. Even before my epiphany, though, I was already writing, telling, and acting out stories. I was born with the spigot on, and the stories that gush out of me stand as mile markers for my life, reflections of how I was at a given time.
* * *
Collecting these stories has been humbling, especially when I remember they were created over the last four decades.
Tempus fugit and how, brother.
Collecting these stories has also been satisfying. Years are going to pass no matter what, and history is what it is, but that hasn’t diminished how good it is to see these stories in print, some for the first time.
All these stories, like the writer who created them, have flaws and strengths, biases and values.
They are optimistic, even when they turn melancholy.
They are familiar, even when they have unique patinas.
They are fantastical, even when nothing magical happens.
They are popular, even when they lean towards the literary.
They are adventures, even when they are prosaic.
This past June, I was working with two friends, Paul Huenemann and Dennis Lynch, on a computer-animated commercial for my books and comics to run on a Creature Feature. The studio is in Paul’s basement, and, like me, he and Dennis are lifelong horror movie fans. While we were working, Dennis pointed out, “Nothing changes. It’s the first day of summer, and where are we? In the basement doing Halloween stuff.” I’m not sure what that means, but I know it’s one of the truest descriptions I’ve heard about myself and the heroes and horrors I love to write about.
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