We’re talking up 456 pages, including 35 illustrations by international comic book artists, that’s an homage to silver and golden age comics as well as noir, pulp and sci-fi/dystopia… partially based in the same last-city-in-the-world Melbourne as Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat.
It also takes up four years later from the action in Bullet Gal.
I grew up on an old stash of Marvel’s fun-if-humanized superhero trope from the 1960s with Fantastic Four and Avengers, plus the return of Captain America, as conjured up by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and the rest of the Bullpen — but equally was smitten with Frank Miller’s melancholic work with Daredevil and Batman in the 1980s, along with Chris Claremont and John Byrne on X-Men that same decade.
The lead character in Heropa is one Stan Lee in fact has once seen and approved of — really. Long, true story that’s also in the book.
Throw in unmitigated love for Raymond Chandler, Philip K. Dick and Dashiell Hammett, and you might vaguely know what to expect. Then again, p’raps not — which is always a good thing.
The book has an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars (from 27 reviews) at Amazon.com so it’s hopefully worth the gratis grab!
Plus for those thus inclined, there’re a million and one hidden — and not so hidden — references in there to Australian and international comic book characters, creators, dodgy publishers, censors and history.
Other news? Well, there’s always my current baby — BULLET GAL.
We’re currently running a Kickstarter campaign for a collected edition of the first 12 issues: think hardboiled noir, pulp, crime, sci-fi and superheroes sandwiched together.
As I mentioned last entry here, I’m working with North American publisher Under Belly Comics to pull together this 300+ page tome of the individual issues currently being printed in Australia by IF? Commix.
Regardless of the outcome, yea or nay, I’d like here to thank every single one of the 52 people who have pledged for the project, along with those others who have shown amazing support via media, networking with mates on Twitter, Facebook, or shouting out loud — whatever.
Over at Bleeding Cool this week I penned a quickie article about my debt with the Bullet Gal journey to Dadaists like Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray, along with successors Terry Gilliam, Brion Gysin and William Burroughs — not to mention comic book creators Lee, Kirby, Ditko, Jim Steranko and, later, Ed Brubaker, David Lloyd, Frank Miller, Michael Lark, David Aja, Matt Fraction, Sean Phillips, Walter Geovani and Steve Epting.
And I wrote a piece for The Next Best Book Blog.
There’re more in-depth interviews happening at ComicBuzz, with Part 1 here, and with Laurence @ Dark Media (ta, mates). And I chatted to Jesse @ 8th Wonder Press and caroused with Tony Black @ Pulp Pusher about the book.
We also got sensational support for the Bullet Gal campaign from Elizabeth A. White and Barbra @ Fanboy Comics, as well as from the cool, rather suave cats at the Australian Comics Journal, Solarcide, NoirCon, Comics Related, authors Patricia Abbott, Lori Holuta, Fiona McDroll, Phil Jourdan, and artists Maarten Bouw and Walter Geovani.
I think the above links will give you a better idea of artwork, frame of thinking, influences, and whether or not the project is worth supporting, so I’m not going to haggle more here. But if you do get a whim to show support and you hate to see me wear out the knees of my pants, head on over to the Bullet Gal Kickstarter here.
The video there alone is worth the (free) price of admission. Do check it out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/underbelly/bullet-gal/widget/video.html
Anyway, more waffling soon, and happy trails — whatever that actually means.