Broadswords and Blasters

The Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) is a French language ahistorical fantastic retelling of the legend of the Beast of Gévaudan. It is what happens when French moviemakers (director/co-writer Christophe Gans and story creator/co-writer Stéphane Cabel) emulate Chinese wuxia, Gothic Horror, and a touch of the American West as seen through the eyes of Sergio Leone. It’d be reductive to merely call it French wuxia, as I’ve seen it described online, since such description misses the presence of both the spaghetti-Western ironic aesthetic and also the distinctive flair of Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto or Matthew Lewis’ The Monk. The convoluted overlapping plot threads of those stalwart Gothic novels is absolutely in play in Brotherhood, as are the shifting allegiances and dramatic irony of Leone’s The Man with No Name trilogy. Also, while there is definitely wire-work involved in the fight sequences, it’s not quite as over-the-top as

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Broadswords and Blasters

Pulp Appeal: Kung-Fu Hustle

KUNG FU HUSTLE, directed, produced, written and starring Stephen Chow, is perhaps the most over-the-top, troperific, batshit insane kung fu movie to not strictly be a parody. It features dancing criminal gangs, old kung fu masters hiding out in slums, evil kung fu masters hanging out in insane asylums, musical assassins, over the top action, and even a sequence straight out of a Looney Tunes short.

Set in 1940s Shanghai, the city is controlled by gangs, none more feared than the notorious Axe Gang. Sing is a low-level crook trying to get in good with the gang, and through his attempts to get in good with the criminals, he ends up creating an escalating conflict between the Axe Gang and the impoverished residents of Pig Sty Alley… which just so happens to be the home of a number of powerful martial artists, not the least…

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Broadswords and Blasters

“From days of long ago, from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend. The legend of Voltron, Defender of the Universe.”

LEGO Voltron! I can’t wait for the semester to be over so I can start assembling this 2300+ brick masterpiece.

As a kid growing up in the 1980s I was naturally attached to cartoons. That’s one of the defining characteristics of late Gen-Xers/early millenials (I’ve seen us referred to as a crossover generation, but isn’t everyone really?). For me, those cartoons were GI Joe, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and Voltron. I’m sure I’ll tackle the first two at some point in the future, but Voltron is at the forefront of my mind today because one of my best friends sent me a special birthday gift for my 40th birthday (May 4th): LEGO Voltron. (Thanks Kyle!)

Voltron is a mecha series of the…

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Broadswords and Blasters

Matt Spencer is no stranger to Broadswords and Blasters, having appeared in issues 1, 2, and 9 of our magazine, and writing the occasional article for us as well. So, when we were given the chance to read a review copy of his latest “CHANGING OF THE GUARDS,” we knew what we were getting into.

And, to be fair, Spencer isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and if by tea we mean hardcore brutal fantasy that pulls no punches. There’s very little genteel or noble in this book, with the focus instead on the kind of people that end up being heroes, and how those same people rarely fit into the society they are fighting for.

Front Cover Final rgb

The opening starts with Severen, a member of the
imperialistic Spirelight Secret Police, captured by the very bandits he was sent
out to deal with in the first place, led…

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Broadswords and Blasters

Editors’ Note: Anthony Perconti lives and works in the hinterlands of New Jersey with his wife and kids. He enjoys good stories across many different genres and mediums. His articles have appeared in Swords and Sorcery Magazine and DMR Books Blog.

Copyright text page for Moon Knight: From the Dead, with a snippet explaining how Moon Knight gained his powers. "Mercenary Marc Spector died in Egypt, under a statue of the ancient deity Khonshu. He returned to life in the shadow of the moon god, and wore his aspect to fight crime for his own redemption. He went completely insane, and disappeared. This is what happened next."

In the early years of this century, in addition to all of the mainstream comic work that was on his plate, Warren Ellis took the time to  create a line of standalone pulp inspired one shots for Avatar comics, under the heading of “Apparat.” The goal of these 4 titles was to present specific pulp subgenres (science fiction, aviation, detective and pulp vigilante) as a first issue of a series from a parallel universe where pulps made the direct translation into comic books, without the invention of the superhero. These four one shots was Ellis’ attempt to directly create new pulp stories for a modern comic reading audience, replete…

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Issue 9 is here!

Posted: April 15, 2019 in Uncategorized

Broadswords and Blasters

Issue 9 Release!

If you’ve been following us on twitter at all you know that this
day was coming. No, not tax day in the US of A (though that too), but the long awaited release
of issue 9. So what do we have in store for you this time?

R.A. Goli
returns with a tale of how far a mother will go for her daughter in the tale
“Griffon Eggs.” The first time she graced our pages was way back in issue 1, so
we’re especially happy to have her back again.

Rex Weiner, veteran writer probably best known as the
creator of Ford Fairlane, graces us with “Camera Obscura,” a noir tale of a
shady real estate developer’s fall into obsession.

Ethan Sabatella hits us with
a tale of ancient Nordic horror in “The Pole-House.”

Broadswords and Blasters Issue 9: Pulp Magazine With Modern Sensibilities (Volume 3 Book 1) by [Gomez, Matthew, Goli, R.A., Fox, Cara, Weiner, Rex, Carpini, Vince, Spencer, Matt, Blackwell, C.W., Sabatella, Ethan, Furman, Adam, Rutherford, Scotch]

Cara Fox spins a steampunk revenge tale with a twist in “The…

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Broadswords and Blasters

Cover of The Outsider by Stephen King

Stephen King has long been one of my favorite authors. Until about five years ago I could say I owned every book he’s written. Looking over his bibliography on Wikipedia, I’m still pretty damn close, missing only five of his most recent works, but I’ve read all but one of those, Gwendy’s Button Box, which I’ll rectify as soon as I’ve finished reading Econoclash Review #3 and the Spring 2019 issue of Cirsova.

I’ve had some mixed feelings about several of King’s recent books, namely the Bill Hodges trilogy (Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, End of Watch), but even with those so-so emotions I don’t regret the time spent reading them. They trade more on mystery/detective fiction than the supernatural horror King is famous for, and because of that they weren’t something I immediately fell in love with.

The same is true of the most…

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Broadswords and Blasters

Editors’ Note: Matt Spencer is the author of numerous novellas and short-stories, as well as the novels The Night and the LandThe Trail of the Beast, and Summer Reaping on the Fields of Nowhere. His latest book is Changing of the Guards. He’s been a journalist, New Orleans restaurant cook, factory worker, radio DJ, and a no-good ramblin’ bum. He’s also a song lyricist, playwright, actor, and martial artist. As of this writing, he lives in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Spinning
an effective Wild West tale is harder than it looks, for the same reasons as
any form of historically-inspired adventure fiction, though in some ways even
more so. On the one hand, there’s a consciously mythologized landscape that the
audience knows well, at the very least by pop cultural osmosis, and from which
they expect certain things. On the other hand, modern readers tend to view such

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Broadswords and Blasters

In 1993, editor Karen Berger at DC Comics forged a new imprint that focused on stories geared at a more mature audience and creator owned works as well. The end result was the creation of Vertigo Comics. Such early titles included, naturally enough, a transfer of already established titles such as Shade the Changing Man, The Sandman,[1] Swamp Thing, Hellblazer,[2] Animal Man and Doom Patrol. Soon after, new titles, both ongoing and limited premiered under this imprint including Neil Gaiman’s Death: the High Cost of Living, the Matt Wagner-helmed Sandman: Mystery Theatre and Peter Milligan’s Enigma. The summer of 1993 re-introduced readers to a preexisting DC character, who was inactive for a considerable amount of time; this figure received a Vertigo Comics makeover of sorts, with a five issue limited series. Written by veteran crime and horror writer, Joe R. Lansdale, and illustrated by the…

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Broadswords and Blasters

A Parallel Life” and “The Intersection” are two short novels by Edmund Lester. Both share similar themes and even characters, almost as if they are slices of alternate universes where the action takes place.

A Parallel Life: Ben Williamson by [Lester, Edmund]
Cover for “A Parallel Life”

“A Parallel Life” follows Ben Williamson, accountant, who chances upon the fact that a man sharing his name has been recently killed. The dead man happened to be a musician in a glam rock band, and Ben-the-accountant slowly starts to take on the aspect of his dead doppelgangers life. It starts small at first- finding YouTube videos online of performances, tracking down memorabilia, picking up the guitar and playing again. It snowballs quickly, however, with Ben deciding to attend the estate auction and blowing through what reserve funds he has, much more than he was originally planning to spend. His obsession with adapting to his new life…

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