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Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser return to Lankhmar!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
There's often quite a bit of back-and-forth in the book forum about what fantasy series have merit, and which don't. Whatever, Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar series is definitely the former.

Years back, Howard Chaykin and Mike Mignola teamed up (doing some of the best work either has ever done) to adapt several of the stories (not to be confused with the Fafhrd & Grey Mouser series Chaykin illustrated when he first broke into comics). Mignola's sublime work gets most of the attention, but I think Chaykin deserves as much if not more applause for accurately adapting such colourful, rollicking, cynical stories.

Anyhow, good news - Dark Horse is finally reissuing the collected set-in-Newhon works!

Quote:
Discover the stories that defined the genre of sword & sorcery through the eyes of legendary comics writer Howard Chaykin and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola!

Since their first appearance in 1939, Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser have ranked among the most beloved characters in fantasy. Their rollicking adventures in the fantastic land of Nehwon have influenced the work of some of the best in modern fantasy, including Michael Moorcock, Terry Pratchett, and countless others.

* Chaykin and Mignola's four-issue adaptation of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, long out-of-print, is collected here in a graphic novel for the first time, with new cover art from Mignola.

* Dark Horse Comics will be collecting the hard-to-find Lankhmar comics adapations, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, written by Howard Chaykin with art by Mike Mignola! DH Press will be publishing all eight books in the influential Lankhmarseries and Dark Horse Entertainment is developing the property as a major motion picture.
http://www.darkhorse.com/profile/profile.php?sku=10-686

The date given is incorrect. Apparently it ships this week.
post #2 of 16
All I know of the Nehwon mythos - and I know I'm showing my age here - I learned from the original, pre-copyright suit bullshit copy of Deities and Demigids, the ol' 1st edition D&D book. Always wanted to read the book, but was never able to find them. These may be really good. I'd definitely be interested in checking them out. Anyone remember a B&W comics adaptation of some of the "Thieves World" stories from the anthology edited by Robert Lynn Asprin? I loved the book, but the graphic novel was just OK. Sounds like these Fafhrd n' Mouser books are better. Thanks for the heads up.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have that old 1st edition Deities and Demigods as well. It used to be worth some money.

I've read the Thieves World series, and they're good, but Leiber's series is a classic, and not incidentally a huge influence on the D&D creators - Gygax always said it was much more an influence than Tolkien.

In any case, well worth reading. I'm sure the comics turned some people onto the novels, and vice versa.
post #4 of 16
I love Fafhrd and the Mouser. The Chaykin/Mignola comics are good abbreviations of their respective stories...and no one draws a better Sheelba and Ningauble than Mignola.

Plus, Al Williamson on inks!
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subotai
Dark Horse is finally reissuing the collected set-in-Newhon works!
Thanks, Subotai! I lost those issues in a move and nobody on eBay seems to have the entire series for sale at one time.

Now, if only someone could get the rights to reprint the four beautiful Mignola-illustrated omnibus volumes of Leiber's Nehwon stories put together by White Wolf's abortive book-publishing arm in the mid-'90s. They went out of print very quickly, and the last two volumes are especially scarce and costly.

post #6 of 16
Actually, and I may be reading this wrong, but I believe the press release says that Dark Horse is putting those books back out (not sure if they'll include the Mignola art--it all depends on what White Wolf and Dark Horse settled on for an agreement, I suppose).

But they say "all eight books in the influential Lankhmarseries", and by my count there's only seven in Leiber's "Sword Series" (Swords and Deviltry, Swords Against Death, Swords in the Mist, Swords Against Wizardry, The Swords of Lankhmar, and The Knight and Knave of Swords). Though they could be including "Swords Against the Shadowland", written by Robin Wayne Bailey in 1998 (published by White Wolf).

Where's Fafhrd, anyway? This is the thread for him.
post #7 of 16
Oh fucking YES! I've wanted these comics ever since I first learned that the Mignola illustrated Lankhmar mentioned in the foreword of The Art of Hellboy was not in fact the White Wolf omnibus editions. I am ALL OVER THIS.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yeah, it sounds like pretty much all the stuff - and a movie in the works, too? Fantastic.
post #9 of 16
Based on this, I'd say that the actual story releases aren't going to have any of the Mignola illustrations. Chances are White Wolf has the rights to Mignola's art and aren't letting it go.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fafhrd
Based on this, I'd say that the actual story releases aren't going to have any of the Mignola illustrations. Chances are White Wolf has the rights to Mignola's art and aren't letting it go.
That's too bad. And what a bland cover.

I've always liked this Michael Whelan cover for Swords and Ice Magic:

http://www.dodgenet.com/~moonblossom/swordice.jpg
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Picked up the trade, and damn it is sweet. For fans of Leiber's work, fans of Mignola and/or Chaykin, fans of strong fantasy writing, or just really good comics in general.

Again, both Mignola and Chaykin are at the top of their games in this one.
post #12 of 16
Mignola on the reissue:

Quote:
It’s about damn time. I’ve always said that that was the one pre-Hellboy thing of mine that is out of print that I’m very happy to see back in print. Looking back, there is a lot of stuff that I would have done differently—but so much of what I do now started in that Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser book. I’m still pretty proud of that book. I would hope that the atmosphere that Dark Horse has created around the Conan books that this book will get some attention. If tomorrow, for some reason, some power said that I couldn’t do Hellboy anymore—you can’t make up anymore new stuff—you’ve got to pick one thing you did from your past and you’ve got to do it for the rest of your life, it would be Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.
post #13 of 16
God DAMN, Amazon fucking sucks. They list March 7th for the release date of this book, but they're still on pre-order for it. Estimated a May ship date. Fuckers. Same shit with the Fell TPB, too (which is only related because I'd had it in the same order as Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser.) I'm actually going to have to find where the hell my local comics shop is if I want to read these before June, aren't I?
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fafhrd
God DAMN, Amazon fucking sucks. They list March 7th for the release date of this book, but they're still on pre-order for it. Estimated a May ship date. Fuckers. Same shit with the Fell TPB, too (which is only related because I'd had it in the same order as Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser.) I'm actually going to have to find where the hell my local comics shop is if I want to read these before June, aren't I?
Maybe not...I noticed that Barnes & Noble's website lists yesterday, 3/28, as the release date for the collection (and currently says the book ships in 2 or 3 days if ordered through there). I assume this means it's available at bookstore chains (or at least Barnes & Noble stores). I got mine from a local comic shop last week, though.
post #15 of 16
Finally came today. Much thicker than I was expecting, a quick flip through indicates that they chose some of the best stories (Lean Times in Lankhmar! YAY!). And I like how you can see Mignola's art evolve throughout, starting with the sort of flat style he used in Gotham by Gaslight, and finishing somewhat closer to the chiaroscuro and sumptuous detail of Hellboy.

I'll start actually reading it tomorrow. And I'd happily fellate someone for a Mignola penned and drawn adaptation of Down the Wrong Branch and Adept's Gambit.

As an aside: Chaykin's intro is shockingly inaccurate regarding the creation of the characters; making Leiber out to be a straight up thief of Fafhrd and the Mouser, when in fact they were given to him by his lifelong friend and pen-pal Harry Otto Fischer, who based Fafhrd on Leiber, and the Mouser on himself.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fafhrd
As an aside: Chaykin's intro is shockingly inaccurate regarding the creation of the characters; making Leiber out to be a straight up thief of Fafhrd and the Mouser, when in fact they were given to him by his lifelong friend and pen-pal Harry Otto Fischer, who based Fafhrd on Leiber, and the Mouser on himself.
I noticed this myself--doesn't Chaykin even mention another writer/friend instead of Fischer? Because I read that and was immediately unsure if I was remembering the genesis of it all with Fischer wrong. But, nope, I wasn't. I read an online interview with Chaykin where he makes the exact same mistake, as well.
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