I’m sorry I’ve been AWOL for the last two weeks but I was neck deep in adulting and had no choice.  One fun thing that happened while I was gone was that I was named science fiction author of the month by the Knights of the Science Fiction Roundtable. That was a pleasant surprise.

Anyway, Marcie’s Marvels is out and starting to get noticed. There are two video trailers; one done by Zak Webber and the other by me. Although both were labors of love, I can honestly say Zak’s is cooler.

Zak not only cut a teaser for Marcie’s Marvels he also wrote a great review.

In the story, Marcie lives with her blind mother who knows nothing of her daughter’s alter ego (or does she?)… Being able to literally fly in and out of your bedroom window makes sneaking around even easier than usual, but mothers – even blind ones – can be more perceptive than they appear.

Prihanto illustrates the proceedings with a light, fresh touch. Our heroine is superhuman but also human; a believable teenage girl rather than a stereotypical Amazonian goddess. This is no lycra-clad athlete with an improbably buoyant bust (so beloved of comic fanboys of all ages), rather a very normal looking kid who could be your own sister or classmate… but with a secret life.

Her associate – a mysterious older guy who acts as researcher and protective mentor (kind of like Batman’s Alfred and James Bond’s Q) – provides her with her suit and various gadgets to help her in her missions. She sets off to hunt for possible locations where the missing kids are being held. She runs into plenty of trouble along the way, but nothing she can’t handle.

This is straightforward caped crusader fare, but with a dark edge. It does not shy away from the grim realities of the world. Marcie is super-powered but not invulnerable. The ending is not totally happy. The message here is an uplifting one about fighting for what is right, but without the naiveté of a children’s story in which everything turns out perfect once the villain has been thwarted. This is aimed at a somewhat more mature readership. There are dangers out there and you don’t make them go away by pretending they don’t exist. This is also a message about awareness: knowledge is power, and empowerment is essential to young people.

Not to be outdone, critically acclaimed and award winning author, Pam Harrison, wrote a review for ICC Magazine. Like Zak, she liked the art from Eko Prihanto, which is clean and fits the story perfectly.

I know Bill McCormick’s writing style, and by the end of the first issue I was left with a lot of questions. This intro sets the stage for some intense, gritty storytelling, because that’s how Bill rolls: This series supports the MJG Movement, named in honor of Marcie Jonea Gerald. The MJGM is a Children’s Advocacy organization dedicated to serving as a resource for children and families that are victims of sexual abuse and suicide. Bill says of this series, “We decided to avoid the origin trope (in the very first issue of the series). Marcie is who she is. Each issue will tackle different aspects of horrors directed at teens.”

The stage is set. We soon will find out exactly why Marcie is so driven in her mission to avenge abused kids. And she’s good at it. She has passion for what she’s doing, and still manages to get to school on time. She’s driven. She has the tech and the savvy provided by her agent friends, who we know nothing about, either. Seriously, Bill. No origin story yet? We’ll have to wait for the next installment – just like a classic pulp fiction serial – to learn all the back story, one clue at a time, and find out what happens next!

And we’re going to root for Marcie balancing school and superheroing, and getting home in time for dinner. But in the end of that first issue, we already get the feeling that her Mom is not as blind as we think she is.

That’s a lot of drama, tension, and anxious anticipation for just one little comic. I knew, when the first draft was done, I was on to something. It was decided early on to eschew the traditional origin story. I wanted to throw readers into the deep end without a life-vest.

More below

Marcie's Marvels

Just a quick reminder that I write books without pictures and some people like them. I will note, that as of this date, you can only buy the paperback version of the Omnibus edition of The Brittle Riders in select countries, none of which are named the United States of America. That is not due to some grand conspiracy. Instead, it’s due to supply chain issues and paper shortages. My author copies of Goptri of the Mists: Kitaab Ek took almost four months to arrive. The comics I write have experienced a twenty percent cost increase for printing. We had to suspend sales of comics to stores for now. Between shipping and printing I would lose .75 ¢ per comic. If you want one you’ll need to order it from my online store. I’ll even autograph it if you wish.


Winner of the Best SciFi Novel of 2020 on the Critters Reader’s Poll.
* – A nonstop thrill ride
* – Fascinating and terrifying
* – The best damn thing I’ve ever read
* – The Desert Eagle seems like overkill for a close shot, but I have no complaints
* – I’m buying popcorn now for when this hits the big screen

The Brittle Riders Series or its Omnibus Edition

* – Some of the best world building I’ve ever encountered
* – It sympathetically manages to bridge the gap between faith and technology
* – McCormick packs more in twelve words than others do in twelve paragraphs
* – Fuck McCormick, he made me cry when a cockroach died
* – When I hit book three I surrendered. I had no clue what was going to happen, but I needed to find out

Goptri of the Mists: Kitaab Ek

* – There’s a horny squid and nukes. What more could I ask for?
* – I never considered giving my spouse a year’s worth of meat for our anniversary
* – Okay, wow, did not see this villain coming
* – Relentless and riveting
* – He’s always been LGBTQIA+ friendly, but this subtly raises the bar and I, for one, am thrilled

I should also note that I appear in numerous anthologies and there are some shorts you can read for free on that link. Just scroll down.

As always, if I’ve written something you liked, you can always leave a review on my GoodReads page. While you’re there you can also post questions, check out my suggestions, and have more fun than you might imagine.

Until next week, please stay safe, sane, and inside as much as possible. I’ve grown kind of fond of you.

Azoth Khem