I love history, so when I was approached to read the ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of an anthology of historical fiction about the interaction of Viking voyagers with Islamic emissaries in the 10th century, I had to say yes. I mean, who doesn’t love Vikings mixing it up with the dynamic and powerful Islamic kingdoms of that time period? I do admit that having a Master’s degree in Arabic and the Cultural History of the Arabs did influence me a bit. But then again, it has Vikings.
A fun and fast-paced comic, The House of the Lost Horizons is a mash-up of Agatha Christie, Miss Fisher, and the board game Clue. It is a classic who-done-it where a murder mystery takes place on an island cut off by a storm set in what appears to be the 1920s.
Do you love cats? Detective stories? Space operas? Then, Pet Noir has all that and more. This all-ages comic based on the novel by Pati Nagle follows the adventures of the genetically engineered feline Leon.
In this fantasy/alternate history series, we find ourselves in a Mesoamerica that consists of elves, orcs, sorcery, and the warrior Helm Greycastle. The Aztecs hold dominion over Central America, and the gods bow to none other than Montezuma III. It is a brutal world, and Greycastle and his team are on a mission to rescue the young dragon prince kidnapped by the Aztecs. But the mission is made even more difficult with the shifting Aztec political alliances, leaving Greycastle and his team not knowing who to trust.
I bet you’ve heard the name of Jack the Ripper, right? But have you ever heard the names of his victims: Polly, Annie, Elisabeth, Catherine, and Mary Jane? I’m sure most would answer no, myself included, until I read The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper. As with many crimes against women, the male perpetrator grabs the headlines while the women are lost to obscurity. Ms. Hallie Rubenhold aims to do something about that in this well-researched book.
In this adult fantasy, millionaire racecar driver Curtiss Hill is not only a fierce competitor, but an excellent driver. The world looks upon him as a generous philanthropist and all-around good guy, but Curtiss has a dark side where he’s much willing to do anything to win, even cheat. His chief competitor is Rowlf Zeichner, an equally gifted driver, but the two have one major difference: Dino, Curtiss’ mechanic. Dino is a genius whom Curtiss takes for granted until the war that has been quietly playing in the background becomes personal and Dino disappears. Did I mention that all of these characters are dogs?
Set in Peru some time in the near future, Puno picks up where Manu ends with Canela (a.k.a. Lila) making a deal with a local thug in order to leave the country. The last of her gang that may have had something to do with the destruction of Lima, known as Lima Roja, she may be the key to finding an old friend (Limón) who is now known as Marco Poma. In this world where bio-technology is the norm, there are hints that Marco may have become more than the sum of his parts. His mere existence threatens the military and the government who will stop at nothing to track him down - even the violent and horrific assault on a village of indigenous people. But to do what she needs to do, Canela has some tough choices to make.
Ever want to hang out in a dirigible floating over New York City, sipping a Whiskey Sour on the rocks? Well, here’s your chance. In this fun alternate history of New York City during the 1920s Prohibition Era, the rum-runners established speakeasies in hot air balloons and dirigibles. But that doesn’t mean it’s legal, as Feds and the New York police try to take down the gangsters in the sky.
David F. Walker (Bitter Root, The Life of Frederick Douglass, Power Man and the Iron Fist) brings us another fascinating story in The Hated. The story is set in an alternate history, when President Lincoln and Jefferson Davis agreed to a truce to end the Civil War that devastated the nation. Under the terms of the agreement, the Confederate States would remain autonomous with slavery intact, though it would be illegal in the northern states. These laws have little meaning to the Confederate raiders who cross state lines to kidnap free Blacks and sell them into slavery; however, in North Kansas, there is an ex-slave by the name of Araminta who takes exception to this. Using her skill, wits, and sheer doggedness to hunt down them down, she discovers the raiders are venturing farther north, and she will risk everything to stop them.
If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I not only run Kickstarters for my own comic, but back many, as well. So, I was delighted when I ran across an all-ages comic called Bird with Stick, a fantastical story featuring birds, magic, and the fear of the unknown.