Deep Discount Right Now on Mongoose and Meerkat + Mongoose and Meerkat Audiobook Coming Soon!

Amazon is currently liquidating it’s remaining stock of Tales of the Mongoose and Meerkat Volume I: Pursuit Without Asking.

Right now, it’s going for as low as $5.75!

We’ve also been spending the last couple of months working with Erin Michele Gabbard to bring these exciting adventures to life in an all-new audiobook edition of Pursuit Without Asking. She has done an excellent job on these stories and we can’t wait to share it with everyone!

Don’t forget, the next installment of the adventures of Mongoose and Meerkat, The Grain Merchant of Alomar, is appearing in the Spring issue out in three weeks!

We’ll have some more exciting Jim Breyfogle news soon! We’ve just signed Jim for another book deal, and we plan on having something out later this summer or early fall! Stay tuned!

Reminder On Big Savings On Cirsova Back Issues

We have some enormous stuff just on the horizon that we can’t wait to share with you, but until then, let me vamp by reminding everyone that MANY Cirsova back issues are available from our Aerio store for under $7. If you need to fill gaps in your collection, the best way is to visit our Aerio store!

Short Reviews – The Golden Fleece: A Romance, by Julian Hawthorne

The Golden Fleece: A Romance, by Julian Hawthorne, was originally published in the May 1892 issue of Lippincott’s Magazine. It can be read here.

When you go into a book with a title like “The Golden Fleece,” you don’t expect a modern adventure in the American Southwest [California, particularly], but here we are!

The titular Golden Fleece, in this case, is a mysterious wool garment with strange symbols woven into it. Is it under an enchantment? Is it a map to lost Mesoamerica treasure? Who knows! It has been passed down matrilineally and ended up in the hands of the mixed-race daughter of a general who fought in the Mexican American war.

The setting and much of the background are revealed through an airy and whimsical dialog between an old professor and his friend, an old general who fought in the war with Mexico. After the war, the general settled down with a beautiful Mesoamerind woman and now has an alluring daughter who is her spitting image. The daughter has an old Indian servant who had been something of a oathman to her mother, but more on that in a minute… The general and the professor discuss the possibility of treasure in the California desert–the greatest treasure would be fresh water that would make the land arable and instantly much much more valuable to investors who had purchased it cheaply. On his way to possibly assist in the endeavor is a young civil engineer who was once a student of the professor.

The old Indian manservant is actually a witch priest in service to the last princess of an Aztec city; he’s been kept immortal by the gods so the treasures of the city could be restored to the rightful owner. He’s able to bring the spirit of the dead princess into the host body of the general’s daughter. Both the princess and the girl she’s possessing fall in love with the young civil engineer, creating an awkward love triangle. The princess is determined to get the treasure back so she can shower the young man with wealth. The old Indian becomes reluctant to assist because he feels bad for the girl and it would be a disaster if the spirit of the princess killed her.

The Golden Fleece turns out to be some sort of protective garb [whether magical or mechanical is never explicitly stated] that allows the wearer to enter the lost pyramid [revealed by seismic activity] and retrieve the chest with the hidden treasure without being harmed by the poison gasses in the treasure room. Removal of the treasure chest also unstops the spring which will flood the valley with fresh water.

There’s a hackneyed sub-plot where the engineer initially meets and falls for a shop-girl who’s coming out west from New York. The engineer instantly falls for the beautiful Mestiza girl, and cultivates a rivalry with a local Mexican aristocrat in an attempt to distract the shop-girl and fix their attentions on one another. The protagonist is kind of a dick, and you feel for the poor Mexican sod who he corners into potentially dueling to the death [as the professor says, it would have been an execution had he gone through with it], but the Mexican guy does end up with the shop-girl and they live happily ever after–even after he finds out she was a lowly shop-girl, his fascination with modern American capitalism leads him to placing her in even higher esteem when he finds out.

Now, I say that it’s hackneyed, and it kind of is, but Hawthorne’s breezy writing style brings enough wit and humor to it that it’s still enjoyable. In fact, that can be said for the whole book in some regards. While it’s not particularly innovative [it’s a very typical lost city/lost treasure story] and the characters are VERY flat, there’s something about the flow of Hawthorne’s prose that still makes it a delight to read. There’s a bit of musicality to it, and some clever humor, though, unlike many authors who write clever, he never seems too enamored with his own cleverness. There is also a stab at making a statement on mixing of ethnicities, royal and common blood, and how America has made such a thing uniquely possible, with the unions of the A & B couples of the story symbolizing the triumph of the time and ideas, but it doesn’t really beat you in the face with it and may be easily overlooked.

It’s worth checking out, to say the least. I managed to read the whole thing in one sitting Saturday night.

Will definitely be looking at more of Julian Hawthorne’s writing in the near future. The man was apparently incredibly prolific, and he even wrote some early science fiction, though virtually none of it is presently available.

What the Heck is Going on with Future State and Batman?

One of the rules of modern post-Crisis DC has been Batman never reboots. Never fully. They will do soft reboots, slide the timeline around a bit, but generally tend to avoid doing a hard reboot on Batman. And Future State has been no different, though, they’ve gone about it rather strangely…

Death Metal most recently hit the reset button on the DC universe, but it ran at the same time as an incredibly successful Bat Family event that repositioned the direction of the myriad Bat-books going forward out of Joker War.

Future State is either the remnants of an aborted project known as G5 or a spinoff event from Death Metal [with everything being framed as part of the infinite possible futures following the latest reset of the multiverse] depending on who you ask.

For Batman, it’s a weird postlude to Joker War. Like I said, Batman’s not allowed to be fully rebooted, so all of the Future State Bat-books are following a storyline of the aftermath of Joker War, taking place roughly two years later.

Asian cop who lost his eye in Joker War won his mayoral election right before Future State launched, and his anti-mask platform has turned Gotham into a police state, where all the criminals and capes are being hunted and locked up.

Bruce Wayne/Batman has been killed, but he hasn’t, Lucius Fox’s son is filling in as Batman, the rest of the Bat family is around struggling and not doing so hot, Batman is in hiding, or he’s in a prison, or he’s on a train. I’m not entirely sure. There’s a clear chronology to the Batman Future State books, but they’re being published out of order so that it can all run concurrently over the course of two months.

The problem: Future State did a two year time skip, but the Future State Bat-books all tell parts of a single story that spun out of Joker War… Where will the mainline books pick up in March? Things were ending just before Punchine’s trial, and Tec was set up to build into the story that would become the Future State Magistrate story. Will the Future State Batman storyline just be the new normal going forward; will Batman go back to a pocket continuity [like Tom King’s run before he killed Alfred] while it wraps things up that happed during the two years before Dark Detective and Next Batman? Will things rewind to Punchline’s trial and the Mirror gang and Future State doesn’t happen? Who knows.

Anyway, one of the main things I’ve noticed about Future State bat books [other than the homogenous neon mud coloring] is that it seems like a pendulum swing–someone was like “oh, crap, we have to run an ACAB storyline, because Joker War ended up being anti-BLM!” I do wonder what happened to Clown Hunter, whether there’s a story reason for him not being in Future State or if Tynion just said “no.”

Crowdfunding for Cirsova #6: Where is the Money Going?

Okay, so, we’re trying to raise $7,000 for the Spring issue. That’s a lot of money! So, where is it going?

Well, let’s first talk about how much did this issue cost to put together?

  • Cover Art: $1200 [Anton Oxenuk Cover + Genzoman Cover]
  • Interior Art: $700 [3 illustrations from Dark Filly and 1 illustration from Zobert Zoltan]
  • Fiction Content: $500
  • Comic: $500 [rights and digital cleanup]
  • Editing: $80
  • Proofs: ~$100
  • Contributor Copies: ~$70

So, that’s over $3,000 right there!

The rest is going towards fulfillment [~$10 per unit to print, ship and fulfill for softcovers]. We need to get about 300 backs. So, 6 times as many as we have now…

If you want Cirsova Magazine to keep on keeping on through 2021 and keep doing illustrations [something everyone has asked for but we’ve never done until now], then we REALLY NEED TO REACH OUR GOAL!

Critical Blast Interview with Michael Tierney, The Local Comic Shop Guys, and Wild Stars Art From DarkFilly

Friday night, Michael Tierney and I were on with R.J. Carter of Critical Blast talking about the new issue of Cirsova and The Artomique Paradigm.

Saturday, Michael also appeared on the regular Critical Blast feature round-table of comic shop owners.

Here’s a piece of the Red Queen of the Space Pirates of Corsairiana with Achilles Hister the Elder of the Artomiques by Dark Filly.

Be sure to back our kickstarter for our 5th Anniversary Issue!

What’s New for Mongoose and Meerkat?

The Spring issue of the magazine has Kat and Mangos embarking on their 8th adventure overall and the 3rd in what will be the second “volume” of Tales of the Mongoose and Meerkat.

In The Grain Merchant of Alomar, our pair of swords for hire are beginning to settle in. They’ve reached the city of Alomar, a cosmopolitan metropolis where anything (and anyone) can be bought and sold, and coin is king.

They’ve finally managed to save up some money (or Kat has, anyway–Mangos has squandered a lot of his on good food and drink and a replacement for the sword he lost back in Sword of the Mongoose) and are hoping that they’ve established a bit of a reputation as mercenary adventurers. Unfortunately, Alomar is a big city, and the Mongoose and Meerkat are still small time.

While they’re trying to get gigs lined up, they’re squatting in an unused wing of a manor owned by a wealthy merchant… who hires them without even knowing they’re living under his roof!

This will be the first time a Mongoose and Meerkat story will appear in Cirsova magazine with illustration [by the talented DarkFilly, who illustrated Volume 1].

Also, it’s still in production, but we’ve commissioned an audiobook edition of Pursuit Without Asking, which should be available by mid-spring. It’s read by Erin Michele Gabbard, who is not only a fantastic reader, she sounds just like we imagined Kat to sound like! More news on that soon, but in the meantime, please back the pre-order for our 5th Anniversary Issue!

On with Superversive + Sneak Peek at Badaxe!

I was on with Anthony Marchetta and Ben Wheeler of Superversive on Sunday. It was a pretty long podcast, but we had a lot of fun! Anthony in particular had a lot of great things to say about Teel James Glenn’s Tiger, Tiger, which was our Winter Cover Story.

As you ought to know by now, we’re taking pre-orders for our Spring 2021 issue. One of the features of 2021 is we’ll be reprinting Paul O’Connor’s epic Sword and Sorcery Comic, Badaxe, which has been digitally restored by Michael Tierney. Below is a sneak peek.

Want more? Back the Spring 2021 issue on Kickstarter now!

12 Cirsova Stories on Tangent’s Recommended Reading List!

I think this may be a record for us:

  1. “Pour Down Like Silver” by Cynthia Ward (Cirsova #3, Spring 2020) F (KPH)
  2. “The Golden Pearl” by Jim Breyfogle (Cirsova #3, Spring 2020) F* (KPH)
  3. “The Greenery Has Come Again” by Paul Lucas (Cirsova Summer Special #2, 5/20) F (VS)
  4. “Ecliptical Musings” by Bill Suboski (Cirsova Fall Special #1, 9/20) F (VS)
  5. “The Horror of the Hills” by Jude Reid (Cirsova Fall Special #1, 9/20) H (VS)
  6. Tiger, Tiger” by Teel James Glenn (Cirsova #5, Winter 2020) F (TG)
  7. “Pulsa” by Edward M. Erdelac (Cirsova #5, Winter 2020) H (TG)
  8. “White Casket” by Ville Meriläinen (Cirsova #5, Winter 2020) F (TG)
  9. “The Murmurous Dead” by Eric Del Carlo (Cirsova #5, Winter 2020) F (TG)
  10. “Hunt of the Mine Worm” by Jim Breyfogle (Cirsova #5, Winter 2020) F (TG)
  11. “The Cunning of Artocris” by Jeffrey Scott Sims (Cirsova #5, Winter 2020) F (TG)
  12. “The Cat, the Hand, and the Plight of the Sacred Bull” by Christine Lucas (Cirsova #5, Winter 2020) F (TG)

The full list is available here: https://tangentonline.com/news/tangent-online-2020-recommended-reading-list/