Thursday, May 26, 2016


Here we continue our renaissance of illustrated pulp adventures with Byron Preiss' Weird Heroes paperback book series. For me, it was refreshing to hearken to the days of the mystery and heroics of Doc Savage, The Shadow and The Spider. It was amazing to discover new worlds, epic quests, fantastic mystery with top notch writers and fantastic artists. Weird Heroes #6-#8 wraps up the fabulous series produced by the proponent of illustrated books, Byron Preiss.

Back cover for Weird Heroes Vol. 6.
Carl Potts/Terry Austin art for Shinbet by Ron Goulart.
P. Craig Russell art for Orion by Ben Bova.
Alex Nino art for Hamilton by Edmond Hamilton.
More Alex Nino art for Hamilton by Edmond Hamilton.
Steranko title page for Greatheart by Farmer & Sutton.
Tom Sutton art from Greatheart by Philip Jose Farmer.
Ralph Reese art from Galactic by Arthur Byron Cover.

Weird Heroes #6
Shinbet Investigates
A comedic sci-fi piece about a human professor at an interplanetary university accused of murdering a cat-alien professor, and the case being solved by the cover star, Shinbet, a mysterious and haughty alien who looks like a half-human / half-snake, but gets annoyed if you mention that.
Written by Ron Goulart (Vampirella) & illustrated by Carl Potts (Alien Legion) and Terry Austin (X-Men.)
Gilbert O'Ryan, a man who can't remember anything about his life beyond three years ago, and who has extra unexplained powers, slowly comes to realize he's actually Orion The Hunter, the eternal warrior who dies and is reborn again, destined to appear and reappear throughout history.
Written by Ben Bova & illustrated by P. Craig Russell (Killraven.)
50 Years of Heroes: The Edmond Hamilton Papers
Memoir written by Edmond Hamilton (Captain Future) with supplemental material by Julius Schwartz, Forrest J. Ackerman & Robert Bloch) & illustrations by Alex Nino (The Comet.)
Greatheart Silver in the First Command or Inglories Galore
Written by Philip José Farmer (Doc Savage) & illustrated by Thomas Sutton (Schlomo Raven.)
Galactic Gumshoe
A Franklin Davis Thriller.
An incredible mix of high-fantasy heroics, low-budget monsters and --hard-boiled fiction.
Written by Arthur Byron Cover (J. Michael Straczynski's Rising Stars) & illustrated by Ralph Reese (Fiction Illustrated #4 Son of Sherlock Holmes).

Jim Steranko title page for Quest of the Gypsy. 

Weird Heroes #7
Eye of the Gypsy: Eye of the Vulture
Think of a quest-an epic quest-across a world you've never seen. Think of a hero-a wanderer-struggling to find his own identity. Then place it all in 2033, a future filled with the secrets to your past. Experience Quest of the Gypsy-an adventure where you must pit yourself against a maddening fifty year old puzzle. Meet Jackita Teal, a rogue with the timing of a spider and the Vulture, a strange creature who holds the clues to Gypsy's memory. 
Written by Ron Goulart & lavishly illustrated by Alex Nino. Title design by Jim Steranko.

Weird Heroes #8
Cover painting by Stephen Hickman.
Seward: The Deep Fix
The Deep Fix was also the fictional band fronted by Moorcock's character Jerry Cornelius.
Written by Michael Moorcock (Elric) & illustrated by Howard Chaykin (with Moorcock, The Eternal Champion in The Swords of Heaven, The Flowers of Hell graphic novel.)
Kamus: The Big Spell
Journey to the towered city of Myriad and discover a dark hero caught in a web of minstrels, monsters and murder. Kamus of Kadizhar is searching for the big spell.  
Written by J. Michael Reaves (I-Alien) & illustrated by Steven Hickman (Gasm.)
Orion 2: Flood Tide
The second Orion epic, a mis of hard Sci-Fi and classic fantasy.
Written by Ben Bova & illustrated by P. Craig Russell (Dr. Strange.)
Kamus 2: The Maltese Vulcan
Journey to the towered city of Myriad and discover a dark hero caught in a web of minstrels, monsters and murder. Kamus of Kadizhar investigates the secret of the Brothers Below. 
Written by J. Michael Reaves & illustrated by Steven Hickman.
Robeson: The Grant-Robeson Papers
"Savage Shadow"
Both Maxwell Grant and Kenneth Robeson become enshrouded in a suspense-filled pair of tantalizing mysteries.
This was meant to be the first of a pair of stories, but the second (to be “written” by Robeson) never appeared.
Written by Maxwell Grant (Philip Jose Farmer) & illustrated by Alfredo Alcala (Conan, Voltar.)

Next time, we'll follow the amazing, miscellaneous illustrated adventures outside the Weird Heroes series. Including Greatheart Silver, I-Alien, Guts and Darkworld Detective.

Highlighted inspiration for all the incredible characters in the Weird Heroes series. 

Live Large My Friends!

Thank You!  
More great Stephen Hickman cover artwork for Gasm #3 a great, underrated anthology magazine.
One of my all-time favorites of Howard Chaykin (again working with Byron Preiss) is Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination.
One of P. Craig Russell's finest in Marvel Graphic Novel #7: Killraven.
Alex Nino inks Carmine Infantino in The Comet #1 (& #2.)
Terry Austin cover for The Uncanny X-Men #142 (Days of Future Past.)
My favorite of Alfredo Alcala's is Voltar #1 magazine.
Philip Jose Farmer wrote an all-new installment in the Doc Savage series.
Arthur Byron Cover's paperback adaptation of the Rising Stars comic book series.
Ron Goulart wrote a Captain America paperback novel, Holocaust for Hire, under the name Joseph Silva.

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