Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Byron Preiss was an American writer, editor, and publisher. He founded and served as president of Byron Preiss Visual Publications, and later of iBooks Inc. In 1971, while Preiss was teaching at a Philadelphia elementary school, he conceived, and with Jim Steranko, produced an anti-drug comic book, The Block, designed for low-level reading skills. Published by Steranko's company, Supergraphics, it was distributed to schools nationwide.

In the Fiction Illustrated series, both Chandler & Son of Sherlock came out in trade paperback. I've only seen Son of Sherlock only published in trade, not in digest. 
He founded Byron Preiss Visual Publications in the mid seventies to publish original works, including Weird Heroes. His Fiction Illustrated series of illustrated novels began with Schlomo Raven: Public Detective, a Preiss collaboration with Tom Sutton, followed by Starfawn, illustrated by Stephen Fabian, Steranko's Chandler: Red Tide and Son of Sherlock Holmes, illustrated by Ralph Reese. Other publications included a 1978 adaptation of Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination as a two-volume graphic novel, illustrated by Howard Chaykin.

Both Reaves & John Shirley did great Batman novels.
I, Alien was written by Michael Reaves (Batman: Fear Itself novel), illustrated by Terry Austin (X-Men) and published by Ace Books. A story of an alien, named Caliban, stranded on Earth.

Guts written by Byron Preiss was published by Ace Books. Illustrated like Weird Heroes was, in many ways a continuation. He first appeared in Weird Heroes #1, Rock'n'Roll was the answer for this man out of time. A second Guts book and a second I--Alien book (I--Alien in NY) were promised, but unfortunately, not published.

Darkworld Detective written by J. Michael Reaves was published by Bantam Books and reprinted the first two Kamus stories from Weird Heroes #8, including 2 new ones. Kamus of Kadizar is the one and only private eye on Ja-Lur, the Darkworld, where science and sorcery uneasily co-exist.

The first Crow movie was by far the best! Brandon Lee left us all too soon. Tragic!
Kamus of Kadizhar: The Black Hole of Carcosa written by John Shirley (The Crow screenplay) contains the character from Weird Heroes #8. Kamus of Kadizhar: The Black hole of Carcosa is the sequel to Michael Reaves's fantasy novel Darkworld Detective and is written in fun, tongue-in-cheek fashion.
Chaykin did a lot of paperback covers and I'm glad he did this one.
Gray Morrow cover for the Doc Savage inspired Doc Caliban.

Greatheart Silver written by Philip José Farmer (The Mad Goblin novel) was published by Tor Books and reprints Greaheart Silver stories from Weird Heroes. Greatheart Silver is fired after his zeppelin is robbed and destroyed by the infamous Blimp Gang and begins a fight against the world's evils as an investigator for Acme Security-Southwest.

Always love a Boris Vallejo cover!
Back in the day, I was primarily picking up the Chaykin covers for his art. The novels were a bonus.
Orion written by Ben Bova (Test of Fire paperback with Chaykin cover) was published by Tor Books. John O'Ryan is a man who awakens one day to discover that he is the leader of a race of beings so far beyond humanity that they are almost gods and, like a god he is locked in an endless struggle with an enemy whose powers are so far beyond the merely human that they seem demonic. Their eternal battle spans time itself.

Dragonworld written by Byron Preiss and J. Michael Reaves, with art by Joseph Zucker, was published by  Bantam Books and in several editions from 1979 to 2005. This was actually planned as fifth Fiction Illustrated work. The epic fantasy tale of the twilight of the dragons, of two nations plunged into war by a tragic misunderstanding, of a shy dreamer's incredible voyage of peace to a long forgotten land where nightmares are born.

Not only did Wolfman write the mini-series, but a fantastic novel as well.
Oz Encounter written by Marv Wolfman (Crisis on Infinite Earths), based on an idea by Ted White. Hardback reprint of the Doc Phoenix (from Weird Heroes #5) novel published by Hungry Tiger Press. What if your dreams were real? What if your mind contained another world - one which could be explored - one in which your fantasies actually existed. That is the world of Dr. Raymond Phoenix and his aides - a world of dangers, both real and surreal.

I hope you've enjoyed many of these wonderful works. Like Dave Stevens and Marshall Rogers, Byron Preiss was taken from us way too soon in an tragic traffic accident. 

John Shirley also penned a fabulous Batman novel. Great moody John Van Fleet cover.
Jeff Jones did the magnificent cover art for the original Doc Phoenix cover.
The legendary mini-series written by Marv Wolfman, who also worked on Teen Titans with marvelous Crisis artist George Perez. Terrific Alex Ross cover.
Live Large My Friends!

Thank You!
Not only did Farmer write a bio of the Man of Bronze, but a great original novel incorporated in the series as well. Nice Steve Assel cover art.
The fantastic new cover for the reprint of the original Ace Double book. Not sure who did that cover.
The striking cover for the Titan Books edition of the Mad Goblin, also available on Kindle.

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