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Trade Paperback

Plushies to the Rescue!

Here’s a new one-shot full-color comic book from Alterna Comics: The Fear Diaries.A dangerous threat to children across the world has returned. In the depths of The Nightmare Realm, The Dark Mistress has bode her time, waiting for the right moment to strike. Theodore Bearsly and his ragtag team of stuffed heroes face the greatest battle yet as they encounter The Dark Mistress’ army of evil toys who will stop at nothing to collect the fear of every child on earth.” Written by Garrett Gunn and illustrated by Jim Callahan, Ulises Grostieta, and Nicolas Touris, this new compilation brings together issues #1 – #3 of the original comic from last year. Check out the reviews over at Comic Book Round Up.

image c. 2018 Alterna Comics

Learning to Live with Change

Some of you may recall the Eisner-nominated anthology comic Island, which looked at LGBTQ issues from a variety of perspectives through a variety of artists and writers. Well now Image Comics have taken one selection from Island, called The Pervert, and expanded upon it to full graphic novel length. “A surprisingly honest and touching account of a trans girl surviving through sex work in Seattle, The Pervert is an unflinching debut graphic novel that is preoccupied with work — what we put into our work and what it takes from us.” Needless to say, this is Adults Only material — and by that, we mean grown-ups. Written by Michelle Perez and illustrated by Remy Boydell (Emergency!, Recovery Blogger), it’s available in trade paperback now. Image has a detailed preview (with reviews) at their web site.

image c. 2018 Image Comics

Don’t Be A Lonely Hunter Anymore…

At BLFC this year we came across an ad for The Dragon Tax, a new fantasy novel by Madison Keller. “When the King of Thima Island hires Sybil Dragonsbane, the last thing she expects is to be collecting taxes. Sybil has misgivings, but gold is gold. However, tax collecting isn’t as easy as it seems. When a defenseless and handsome dragon begs her for help, Sybil discovers there is more to the tax than simple gold. Now wanted and on the run together, she must protect the dragon while untangling the truth. Worst of all, she may be falling in love.” The book is available now at Amazon.

image c 2018 Hundeliebe Publishing

Start Your Kids on a Fantasy Adventure

And speaking of the young folks… We came across this at a book store. (Remember those?) The Last Firehawk is a new illustrated fantasy series for beginning readers, written by Katrina Charman and illustrated by Jeremy Norton. Here’s what they say about the first book, The Ember Stone, over at Scholastic: “A terrible darkness is spreading across Perodia. Thorn, a powerful vulture, is using dark magic (and his dark army of spies!) to destroy the magical land. A young owl named Tag may be the only one who can save it! Tag dreams of one day becoming a brave warrior, but he is small . . . In this first book, Tag and his best friend — a squirrel named Skyla — meet the last firehawk. Together, the three friends learn about a magical stone. Could this stone be powerful enough to defeat Thorn? This action-packed series makes a great introduction to fantasy and quest stories for newly independent readers. Realistic black-and-white artwork appears on every page!” Already there are four books available in the series.

image c. 2018 Scholastic

Werewolf Minds and Werewolf Hearts

Interlude Press is a boutique publisher specializing in fiction geared toward the LGBT crowd and their friends and allies. While visiting their booth at the LA Times Festival of Books we came across the works of Michelle Osgood.  Her talent is dark supernatural fantasies with more than a touch of romance — and her favorite subject seems to be werewolves. Here’s the press release for The Better To Kiss You With, the first book in her series of the same name: “In the rare moments when Deanna Scott isn’t working as the moderator for Wolf’s Run, an online werewolf role-playing game, she wanders the local forest trails with her golden retriever, Arthur, and daydreams about Jaime, the attractive, enigmatic woman who lives upstairs. As Wolf Run’s “den mother,” Deanna is accustomed to petty online drama. But when threats from an antagonistic player escalate, Deanna wonders if her awesome online job could be riskier than she’d ever imagined — and if her new girlfriend knows more about this community than she had realized.”  The next two books in the series are Huntsmen and Moon Illusion.

image c. 2018 Interlude Press

Where Have All the Dragons Gone?

Here’s one we came across at the LA Times Festival of Books: The Erth Dragons, a new fantasy series by Chris d’Lacey. The first book is called The Wearle. “The Wearle came to Erth to find out what happened to their previous colony, who never returned. Gabrial, a young blue dragon, is desperate to prove his worth. But the dragons aren’t alone in the mountains. Out beyond the scorch line Ren, a young hom boy, is fascinated by the ‘skalers’. Little does he know that his fate and theirs are linked in ways he could never have imagined.” Read all about it (and the other two books so far in the series) over at Goodreads.

image c. 2018 Orchard Books

Anyone Can Be Anything

And another self-published book we found through Xlibris, this one geared more toward young readers. What I Want to Be from A To Z is written and illustrated by Janis Arnold. We’ll let her describe it: “‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ At some point in their young lives, this question is heard by most children. My poetry book, What I Want to Be from A–Z, is a fun way to learn about a variety of careers. Each poem contains vocabulary that will help children learn about a career. When children become familiar with a rhyming book, they begin to make predictions, which is an important part of early reading skills. My two main characters are foxes—a female English red fox named Fiona and an American gray fox named Fernando. While reading through the book, the reader will view, on some of the poems, one of the foxes dressed up for that career.” It’s interesting (and rather heartening) to note that the pictures do not always conform to older ideals of what jobs are best for a man or a woman. Both these foxes seem equally capable of doing whatever they want!

image c. 2018 Xlibris

Teen Dragons in Trouble

Sounds like a bad romance novel but it’s not. Still, more dragons! Hadn’t heard of this before but we came across it at the LA Times Festival of Books. Dragon Time is a 2015 fantasy novel by John Doyal, published through Xlibris. “It started as a war between wizards on the planet Hector. Tulles wants change at all costs, and the Council of Wizards wants peace and stability. Add in two teenaged dragons stranded in world that they do not know and a group of orphans displaying signs of magic, and what do you have? The first war between nations in over two hundred years and the first war between dragons that this world has ever known.” Check it out over at Amazon.

image c. 2018 Xlibris

A Human Turned Into A Dragon. That’s Bad?

[Back from our first BLFC and we’ve got lots to talk about!]

Ryan Smith is the writer and primary artist behind Accursed Dragon, a series of fantasy graphic novels. Starting as a web comic in 2008, since 2011 he has self-published several paperbacks with the help of several Kickstarter campaigns. And as you can see at the official web site, Ryan started off using his own black & white art, but as the series has progressed he’s brought other artists on board and moved to full color. So what’s it about? “Rawn (a selfish young wizard) is introduced to Coven, a man cursed in the form of a dragon, and together they journey the war torn land of Ternia to find the cure!” Needless to say things get more complicated from there. Check out the first volume over at Goodreads.

image c. 2018 by Ryan Smith