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Eric Millikin and Casey Sorrow's Fetus-X

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Wedneday, February 19, 2003


Joe Zabel, editor of the webcomics anthology Longplay, is devoting an entire issue of the anthology to comics in the fantasy genre.

Longplay is a monthly subscriber-only feature of Modern Tales,

Every month, Zabel scours the popular websites voluminous submissions pile for the finest completed works he can find -- short stories, long stories, and the occasional graphic novel -- 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, isnt 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! Joes 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, with descriptions from Modern Tales:

* Chutney Point, a 152-page graphic novel by Indigo Kelleigh.

Having attracted a legion of fans with his Tolkeinesque series Circle Weave, 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.

"I always want to make my work more fun, but Circle Weave really doesn't allow for it yet," Kelleigh said. "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 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 retro SF series Strange Attractors, Cohen's fascination with the fantasy genre inspired him to edit two comics anthologies, Mythography and The Forbidden Book. Presented in color for the first time, this is a tale of secret enchantment is one of his most magnificent works. The artwork is presented in both high-resolution and low-resolution formats.

* 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 macabre atmosphere is on display in these two tales of wits matched and wickedness rewarded. One Good Turn is an 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 Tait was a hit with Longplay readers in January with his 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.

From the creators of Fetus-X, which is featured at, 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.

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.

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