I could open this week’s Small Press Spotlight with a series of pirate references and sound effects, but I’ll refrain and let Ablaze’s new title speak for its piratey self. The new publishing company has Robert E. Howard’s fearless pirate queens Belit and Valeria ready for an exciting adventure on May 4. Belit & Valeria: Swords vs. Sorcery #1 is written by Max Bemis (Polarity; Oh Killstrike; Moon Knight) and illustrated by Rodney Buchemi (HULK, X-Men, KISS, Marvel Adventures).
Bemis said in a statement:
“I’ve always been a fan of the ‘riskier’ side of fantasy; from Dark Souls and the Witcher to Gaiman or the Princess Bride, I love fantasy that f*cks with you. Some of the first risky fantasy I truly devoured were comic book adaptations of Howard’s work, and I’ve never seen his ideas look as beautiful then they do at Ablaze. They’re taking steps further by allowing some voices from the great writer’s universe to speak for themselves; specifically, two that are decidedly not that of the decidedly pectoral Cimmerian school of choppery, Howard’s two most bad-ass heroines. Think of this as Lethal Weapon a la Game of Thrones and you have a hint of the weirdness we’re cooking up. I’m honored to be given the reigns for these girls’ first journey, and promise it will f*ck with you from page one.”
Howard first introduced the fearless Hyborian age pirates in the 1930s in the pulpy pages of Weird Tales magazine. Read about Ablaze’s version below:
“Rising from a watery grave, Belit once again finds herself commanding a ship, sailing the seas in search of adventure…and answers. But when a deal goes wrong, she finds herself teamed up with the woman she was holding prisoner: the equally beautiful and deadly, Valeria.
These two iconic characters will find themselves traveling across Hyperborea on a mission to find out how Belit lives once again that will lead them straight into danger…from the gods themselves! Bonus material includes the original Robert E. Howard essay, ‘The Hyborian Age.’”
Belit & Valeria: Swords vs. Sorcery#1 will be released in print and digitally on May 4. Look for variant covers by artists Marco Turini, Olivier Vatine, Leirix, and Buchemi.