No, it's not an April Fool's gag, but on Wednesday, April 1, the trade paperback collection Deadlands: Dead Man's Hand goes on sale at comic book shops and bookstores everywhere. The book, from Visionary Comics and IDW Publishing, contains several terrific weird western stories set in the world of the megapopular RPG Deadlands, from Pinnacle Entertainment Group.
In addition to collecting tales from Visionary's first Deadlands miniseries, Dead Man's Hand contains two new stories and an exclusive preview of the first-ever Deadlands novel (which, I will boastfully admit, I had a little something to do with getting set up with the great publisher Tor Books), by super-talented, bestselling author Jonathan Maberry. There's also bonus gaming content, a sketchbook section, and much more.
I wrote one of the stories in the book, "Black Water," which was more-than-ably illustrated by Brook Turner. Other creators involved include Deadlands creators Shane Hensley and Matt Cutter, plus David Gallaher, Steve Ellis, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Lee Moder, Ron Marz, and Bart Sears. It's a powerhouse lineup.
If you love horror/western/steampunk comics--and who doesn't?--you need to get to the store early on Wednesday to pick up your copy.
Speaking of western comics, Fade to Black is a graphic novel set in the contemporary west, not the historical (or mythical) one. It's definitely horrific, though, and it's just received a fantastic new review by Peter Tennant in the current issue of Black Static.
The review's conclusion: "It’s a fast paced and beautifully constructed story, one in which the ante is consistently upped, but never in such a way as to lose reader interest or give any reason for disbelief. The characters are well drawn, each with their own quirks and foibles, using their past experience as actors to finagle ways to succeed in this scenario, while in a novel twist on the conventions of genre, it is not the virgin who gets to survive. And despite the generous lashings of blood, there’s also some rather black humour, as with the character who tells a cannibal to look him up on imdb. Daniele Serra’s gritty artwork brings the story to vivid and memorable life on the page, his usual ethereal style backed up by hard edge visuals that are perfect for this kind of in your face storytelling. To add extra value at the end of the book is a gallery of the original covers from the five issues of the comic. All in all this is a great little package, one that I thoroughly enjoyed."
Fade to Black is available in a special edition, signed by Daniele Serra and me, directly from the publisher, Short Scary Tales.
The regular edition is available from many bookstores, including: