Feb. 17, 2003-- 'Fantasy is more than special effects, billion-dollar book deals, and slouching Goth teens,' says Joe Zabel, editor of the webcomics anthology Longplay. To prove it, he's devoting an entire issue of the anthology to comics in the fantasy genre.
Modern Tales is the leading commercial webcomics publisher, and Longplay is a monthly feature on the site devoted to stand-alone, 'long form' webcomics.
Longplay is a monthly subscriber-only anthology series on Modern Tales, www.moderntales.com,
the leading subscription-based webcomics service. Every month, Zabel scours submissions for the finest new
"longform," completed works he can find, and presents them to Modern Tales
subscribers in their entirety.
Joey Manley, publisher of Modern Tales, describes Longplay like this: "Each
'issue' of Longplay can be thought of as the equivalent of a book-length
'trade paperback' comics anthology -- often, as is the case this month,
Longplay contains enough comics to fill two or three such paperbacks.
The focus, of course, isn't on volume, though, but on quality -- comics by some
of the best-known industry veterans, and some of the hottest rising stars,
stand side by side on the Longplay Table of Contents every month. This
month is no exception! Joe's really outdone himself this time, rounding up
an amazing array of talented creators. Longplay alone is worth more than the
$2.95/month that our subscribers are asked to pay."
Featured this issue, and available at http://www.moderntales.com/longplay
--'Chutney Point,' a 152-page graphic novel by Indigo Kelleigh.
Having attracted a legion of fans with his Tolkeinesque series 'Circle Weave,' Indigo Kelleigh makes a dramatic departure in both style and tone with the newly-completed work. 'As you can probably tell,' says Kelleigh, 'the primary inspirations were Twin Peaks and the work of Richard
Sala, whose art style is really loosely emulated here.'
Contrasting with his sober approach on 'Circle Weave,' Kelleigh really cuts loose on 'Chutney Point.' Says the artist, 'I always want to make my work more fun, but Circle Weave really doesn't
allow for it yet. Chutney Point, however, practically required it. The story
was just so goofy from the beginning, what with the psychic toe and all.
Most of the humor in Chutney Point was unintentional, and just comes from
the ultra-corny dialogue. In my head I was writing it as a play for bad
actors, very melodramatic and overdone.'
Kelleigh is currently preparing the trade-paperback version of the graphic novel, which he hopes to release in March.
--'Kara, Kali, and the Wind' by Michael Cohen
Best known for his distinctively retro SF series 'Strange Attractors,' Michael Cohen's fascination with the fantasy genre inspired him to edit two ground-breaking comics anthologies, 'Mythography' and 'The Forbidden Book.' Presented in color for the first time, this tale of secret enchantment is one of his most magnificent works. Indeed, the artwork is so impressive that it's being presented in both high-resolution and low-resolution format.
--'One Good Turn' and 'The Heir' by A. P. Furtado
Fantasy artist Furtado is best known for his webcomic series 'Tween.' His style, which mixes humor with a chilling macabre atmosphere is well on display in these two tales of wits matched and wickedness rewarded. 'One Good Turn' is a rousing adventure tale presented in full color. 'The Heir' is a droll satire in which Satan faces a recruiting dilemma.
--'The God of the Orchid' by Mat Tait
New Zealand artist Mat Tait was a big hit with Longplay readers in January with his offbeat satire 'One Night Out Haunting.' Rising cornstalks, the setting sun, melancholy twilight are the ingredients in this darker and more perplexing narrative, a strange brew of mythic terrors and bedtime fables.
--'Beyond Belief'' by Eric Millikin and Casey Sorrow
This appearance is a crossover dream come true for Longplay fans-- Millikin and Sorrow have been winning converts and (probably) Homeland Security scrutiny with their controversial series Fetus-X for Serializer.net ( http:www.serializer.net , a sister site of Modern Tales.) 'Fetus-X' comics have entertained and informed newspaper readers at over 20 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada and have been studied in graduate level courses at Michigan State, Texas A&M, and Yale universities.
This new story is an interlude in the life (?) of Fetus-X that is about as far from J. R. R. Tolkein as you can get. Woven into the tale, nonetheless, is a desperate mission, a magical (and melting) sword, and a three-headed demon from the edge of eternity!
'The Prince of Stories' by Ed Humpal
Ed Humpal's playful short deconstructs the escapist adventure tale and suggests the nurturing and liberating effect it has on the reader. While supporting himself in construction,
Ed Humpal worked in theatrical design and wrote short prose. His
fiction has appeared in Tales of the Unanticipated, Xizquil, and Mythic
Circle. This is his first contribution to the world of webcomics.
Guest Editorial -- 'Defending Your Fantasies' by Gene Phillips
Does fantasy need to be relevant? Comics critic Gene Phillips replies with an appreciation of the genre of pure imagination, accompanied by exotic illustrations from our featured artists.