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Theatre, Music, etc.


July 25, 2014

Al Qaeda, druids and princesses, oh my!

Trio of comics from Northwest Press illustrate an array of stories

Infidels! Give thanks unto Charles “Zan” Christensen, publisher of Northwest Press. Give thanks now!

That was an unusually silly way to start a review of Jon Macy’s Fearful Hunter collected edition, Leia Weathington’s The Legend of Bold Riley issue one and David J. Zelman’s Al-Qaeda’s Super Secret Weapon, all out now from Christensen’s Northwest Press. And all of them deal with myth, religion, magic or something else significant that justified using the term “infidels.”

First up is Macy’s full edition of Fearful Hunter, the oddly quasi-modern tale of a young druid-in-training who risks everything he has worked for over the years for the love of a hunky young wolf-man. He is aided in his quest both by the shaman of the wolves and by a clever fox, who absolutely refuses to let his reputation as a matchmaker be tarnished by the machinations of a couple of corrupt druids.

I reviewed the first issue of Fearful Hunter years ago and called it “incredibly engrossing, beautifully-drawn works of brilliance.” I stand by those words. Seeing the full series in one volume (available as an e-book, hardcover or paperback), one is constantly amazed at the sublime eroticism of Macy’s drawings. He can go from deep detail to surreal simplicity in the space of two panels, with otherworldly godlike forces of nature represented as the most intricate designs imaginable.

And when Macy draws a pair of tight jeans sagging over a voluptuous pair of buttocks, make sure you are near a sofa or bed or some other soft, padded surface, since swooning is a very distinct possibility.

Next up is the first installment of the continuing adventures of Leia Weathington’s quasi-Indian princess Bold Riley, who had a collection out two years ago. Now she’s back in issue-by-issue form, with Jonathon Dalton drawing “The Talking Bone” in the first issue, available now.

Pricess Rilavashana SanParite is continuing her adventures after abdicating her claim to the throne, killing monsters, bedding nubile women and having a grand old time. This time, she finds a talking finger bone in a pile of rags. Apparently, a young man fell in love with a beautiful woman at the bottom of a pond and drowned trying to get to her. Now, he wants his finger returned to the rest of his skeleton, so he can lie near his beloved. Of course, things are not what they seem and Riley must swing her sword in the name of love and justice.

Dalton’s strong line work complements Weathington’s story nicely, propping it up in a loving embrace.

This week’s silliest selection, however, must be Al-Qaeda’s Super Secret Weapon, which Zelman wrote under the pseudonyms Mohammed al-Muhammad Mohamed and Youseef Fakih. In it, we discover the true horror of the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on open service by gay men and lesbians--it provided an opportunity for the nefarious terrorists to infiltrate our military and completely hijack their units. Who would fight when instead they could have massive, Ecstasy-fueled orgies? Nobody, apparently, and the entire world gets nuked.

Obviously, Zelman wrote this with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek, going so far as to include paper dolls of his main character, Mahmoud. He comes with five different outfits!

Zelman does a great job with his framing, making the pages look like illuminated manuscripts, and the story is silly and very funny.

So, thank you Zan! Thank you for this wonderful selection of reading material, now available at comic shops, book stores and online.











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