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Let me sum up…
Hi. I’m James ‘Grim’ Desborough, owner of Postmortem Studios. We’re an independent RPG game and fiction publisher with a large portfolio of genre stock art. I’ve been working in the RPG industry for nearly 20 years and have worked with a lot of great artists and publishers.
For many years I worked with a young, promising artists known as ‘DarkZel’, until he was tragically killed in an accident. In his memory I have run a scholarship fund for several years as a competition, helping out young or struggling artists with money for supplies or just to help them through school. I want to help them, in the same way, I helped Zel.
This year we’re doing something a little different. My ill health will not allow me to run a full crowdfunder…
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One of our contributors, Michael Reyes, has a new anthology out. It features several stories about Clock, the invisible dwarf chaos sorcerer who guards Coney Island from all manner of extradimensional horrors. You might remember him from the title story, Clock’s Watch, in Cirsova #3.
The eBook of Clock’s Watch is free all day today, but soon, you’ll also be able to buy it in softcover and hardback.
I think if you like Weird Occult pulp, this sort of thing would be right up your alley—I think that one thing that is strongly to Clock’s benefit is that rather than being a throwback in time, setting stories in the pulp era, Reyes takes the classic weird occult format and places it in the modern day. So rather than pastiche or homage, Clock feels more like a contemporary, new weird* (but not New Weird) occult adventure series.
Disclosure: While I didn’t edit these, I did do cover and interior layout and formatting (it’s not a service I advertise, because I don’t always have time to, but it never hurts to ask if you need it done), so when the physical copies are available be sure to check them out, too, and let us know how we did!
If you enjoy this book, the next story in the sequence, The Iynx, will be featured in the upcoming spring issue of Cirsova.
Clock’s Watch Available now at:
The Jihad have been hired by an unknown agent to orchestrate a major terrorist attack.
Lady Liberty and Mayflower have been invited to sing the National Anthem at a championship game between the Metro Bay Minutemen and Gotham Knights.
One of the Gotham Knights has been kneeling during the anthem, making a spectacle and it’s expected that all of the Knights will be kneeling at this game.
Sparkler’s angry—“How could they disrespect the flag and soldiers and police like that?! Someone should force them to stand!”
Major Victory—“No, Sparkler. Dark as times might be, this is still America, and they still have freedom of speech, even if that speech is disrespectful.”
While the ladies prep to sing the Anthem, Sparkler is given a tour of the Minutemen locker-room; he notices one of the players looks like Rustam. He finds one of the Minutemen tied up and gagged in a janitor’s closet, his uniform missing. Sparkler passes the warning along to Major Victory and Silent Majority.
Major Victory chases Rustam, who is cut off by Silent Majority’s duplicates. Rustam reveals that Jaculi has swapped out the Knights’ kneepads for detonator triggers—when they kneel, it will set off bombs that have been placed in the stands.
Mayflower tries to stall for time, but Lady Liberty insists that the National Anthem must be sung. Abe Lincoln Carlisle has scanned the stadium with his supercomputer, and informs the team it’s a ruse—there are no detonators in the kneepads; the Jihad wanted to create the bad optic of the Force of July trying to stop the football players from kneeling.
As Lady Liberty sings the National anthem, Djinn appears on the jumbo-tron, declaring that nothing can stop the Jihad. The screens and lights shatter, causing pandemonium in the crowd. Silent Majority helps the police and soldiers who were being honored that night rescue the injured and evacuate the stadium.
Other members of Jihad appear on the field, as Major Victory, Sparkler, and Mayflower spring into action. Mayflower quips about being glad they didn’t opt for astroturf as she uses grass tendrils in the fight.
Through the fighting, Lady Liberty keeps singing the Star Spangled Banner. One by one, kneeling players stand, tears in their eyes. “Those cops and soldiers out there helping people–it’s time we helped them!”
Their plans foiled and completely outnumbered, the Jihad are captured.
Story ends with a peroration from Major Victory on the importance of the Anthem and respecting the sacrifices made for the country. “Just remember why you have free speech the next time you think you should kneel.”
The first big Outsiders arc after Looker’s origin is a second invasion of Markovia. Baron Bedlam’s back with a cadre of Soviet soldiers, he’s kidnapped the royal family and the kingdom is on the verge of falling before the Red Army and the Master of Disaster. Also, he has a harebrained scheme to resurrect Hitler. Bedlam died after the first war in Markovia, but a chubby German mad scientist lady was able to bring him back to life via cloning, memories intact. Bedlam’s great idea was to get her to do the same for Hitler. It worked out as poorly as you’d expect from this kind of thing, only with the twist that, given a Jewish maid-servant who was supposed trigger cloned-Hitler’s Jew-hate, clone-Hitler is driven mad by his memories when they start to return and he kills himself again.
It got me thinking, though, about the cloning/resurrecting Hitler trope that comes up so often in comics. Of all the Nazis to resurrect, unless you were a Hitler-cultist (which admittedly some neo-Nazis are), Hitler seems like probably the least beneficial one to whatever evil super villain cause you might have. Unless your plan relied entirely on the charisma and oratorical skills of a man that three generations around the world have been taught to hate like the devil himself, with Hitler, you’re really getting all of the worst elements of the Reich with none of the benefits.
Best case scenario (aside from the clone killing itself), Hitler is going to unseat you from your evil plans Serpentor-style and proceed to undermine any strategic and/or tactical advantages you might have (cuz that’s what he does).
“Let’s not listen to the generals regarding realistic strategic operational objectives,” “Give the Paratroopers trucks, use them as regular infantry,” “Let’s attack Russia.” You’d really get more bang for your villain buck resurrecting/cloning Rommel, Guderian, Student, or (if you were really evil and needed a super evil underling) Peiper. There’s actually a lot of really good, nuanced comic fodder for any of those beyond what we normally see from Hitler clone stories.
Anyway, I mentioned that I thought Looker’s origin story was probably one of the best mini-arcs from Batman and the Outsiders; in the letters column, Mike Barr confirmed that it was inspired largely by Lester Dent and playing with the notion of Batman as Doc Savage and the Outsiders as his Fab Five.
Later this week, I may tease out my (admittedly ham-fisted) idea for a Force of July one-off. It will be tacky and jingoistic as suits them.
As part of my author guest blog series I am proud to present another guest blog spot. I am very excited andthe author of The Voidal Trilogy and many other great sword and sorcery tales
Would you like to be a part of my author guest blog series? Please contact me! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Now without further adieu here is Adrian’s awesome guest blog.
And don’t forget to check out his books:
So go get your copies!
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