Saturday, April 25, 2009

Warlord of Io and Other Stories

by James Turner

This was a nice surprise when I saw it on the shelves at the Beguiling the other day. I hadn't noticed any solicitations for this, or heard any buzz about it. It's a few short stories, most of which are unresolved, even though there is no evidence of a subsequent volume being in the works.

The first, and longest, tells the story of Crown Prince Zing, who becomes the Emperor of Io, and immediately, to impress a girl, institutes a set of sweeping reforms, providing education and health care to the masses, to the detriment of the military budget.

The second story is about a low-level demon functionary in Hell, who is trying to get tickets to see the Stalin-Hitler fight, and has put a plan in place to win them in a contest.

After that there are a couple of strips, including a cute one about a chair.

The book is full of the same weirdness Turner employed so well in Rex Libris. His Io is populated by 50 species, all of them angular and strangely rendered, in his usual style. The grays look a little washed out on this paper, but that effect seems to play quite well for this style of comic. I do hope that more of these are on the way.

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