Saturday, 11 February 2012

EPIC ILLUSTRATED, APRIL 1982

Epic Illustrated, April 1982. Painting © 1981 James Fox.

Epic Illustrated April 1982, Vol. 1, No. 11. Contents: Run For The Stars by Harlan Ellison, adapted by Ken Steacy, Abraxas And The Earthman: Initiation by Rick Veitch, An Imperial Message and Before The Law by Leo Duranona, adapted from Franz Kafka's fables, Weirdworld: Journey To Skyhook Mountain by Doug Moench (story) and John Buscema (art), Woody, a tribute to Wallce Wood by Archie Goodwin, Advice To A Barbarian by Robert Rodi (story) and Joe Jusko (art) and Marada The She Wolf by Christopher Claremont (story) and John Bolton (art).

Page from Harlan Ellison's Run For The Stars, artwork and adaptation
by Ken Steacy.

Run For The Stars chronicles the war between Earth and an alien world called Kyba. Drug-addict and thief Benno Tallant is apprehended on Deald's World whilst looting during the Kyban invasion, he is knocked out and has a sun-bomb surgically implanted inside him by the planet's military, he then finds himself abandoned on the planet and left to deal with the alien Kyban.

Abraxas And The Earthman, written and illustrated by Rick Veitch.

"Marine biologist John Isaac is conducting a study into the communication of whales aboard the U.S. Naval submarine the barb. Suddenly, it is attacked and destroyed. Only Isaac himself and Falco, the sub's commander survive the disaster. Captured by the vessel that sank them, Isaac and Falco are shocked to learn that they have become the prisoners of a starfaring crew of whalers, and that their ship was destroyed simply so that the whalers could shanghai two human prisoners. 
To prepare the prisoners for duty aboard the strange, treelike vessel, its captain, Rotwang, turns them over to the Xlexu, enormous insects who function as the ship's surgeons and will alter the Earthmen in whatever means necessary for what lies ahead."

© 1982 Leo Duranona, adapted from the original story 'An Imperial Message'
by Franz Kafka.

© 1982 Leo Duranona, adapted from the original story 'Before The Law'
by Franz Kafka.

Page from Weirdworld: The Dragonmaster Of Klarn.

"Somewhere in the endless heavens, a cosmic game is being played, and eternal contest between the champions of light and darkness. The shifting of the various pieces across the great chessboard, their gains and losses, and reflected in the lives of those who dwell in Weirdworld, the strange and wondrous land beneath.
A few of those whose lives have been touched by the game of the gods are: Tyndall and Velanna - a pair of innocent elves who long to return to their home, the floating island of Klarn, and who have no memory beyond the recent past.
Mud-Butt the dwarf - their loyal and irascible companion.
Black Majister and his henchman, Murkandor - a pair of evil sorcerers working to gain control of Velanna, for they believe that she and Tyndall are somehow crucial to the fate of Weirdworld.
Now, as evil manifests itself across the land, Tyndall, Velanna and Mud-Butt journey to Skyhook Mountain, to seek the aid of the powerful wizard who lives there."
Artwork by Wallace Wood.

Advice To A Barbarian by Rob Rodi with artwork by Joe Jusko.

There's an amusing poke at Sword & Sorcery in Advice To A Barbarian, where Hakalot the barbarian meets Wotatease the necromancer and her small monkey-demon-thing Phyllis, illustrated by Savage Sword Of Conan cover artist Joe Jusko and written by 22 year-old Bob Rodi, who according to the magazine's overview, wrote to Marvel publications frequently.

Page from Marada, The She-Wolf by Chris Claremont with artwork
by John Bolton.
"Her mother was the first-born of Caesar. Her father, a prince in his own land, a slave in Rome. At the age of four, Marada saw her father broken on the rack, disembowelled and, finally, drawn and quartered. It was a public execution and, though the prince was a long time dying, he uttered not a sound. That night, Marada's mother fled the Eternal City, taking her child to be raise free, far from the place that had claimed the life of her beloved. That was twenty years ago. The child is a woman now, and that woman a warrior known and respected throughout the Empire as Marada, The She-Wolf."

I don't mean to criticise John Bolton's artwork but Marada, The She-Wolf is just awful, Heavy Metal style sword and sorcery ... very juvenile sort of stuff where everyone's a muscular hulk and walks around in their underpants, and everyone talks using archaic pronouns like thou and having entire conversations during fight sequences. Bleh.
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