ZIMM'S HEROIC TALES VOLUME ONE
Written by: Randy Zimmerman
Artwork by: Doug Lamperski, Randy Zimmerman, Chris Theisen, Gary Thomas Washington, and Marcus Rollie.
The second product to come from Arrow Books is designed to serve many different purposes. First of all it's an entertaining collection of three super heroic style series that have been pitched, or produced in small, nearly invisible, numbers by a couple of small press publishers. Then, alongside production and promotional drawings from these properties are notes from the author about their inception and each of the series' limited careers. Finally it also is meant to serve as proposals for all three of these series in the hopes that potential publishers would be interested in publishing and promoting any or all of these characters.
"It's meant to be pretty multi-purpose" Randy "Zimm" Zimmerman said, "Kind of a "fit-your-needs" product, but most of all it's meant to entertain and introduce these three ideas that I feel are still viable to today's market. After rereading these works I'm sorry I didn't concentrate on them more to market them better when they were first developed. Perhaps they were meant to be collected like this."
The brainchild of Arrow's Editor-In-Chief, the self-titled "Zimm's Heroic Tales" is his way of producing superheroes in a viable package without having to do the works in full, expensive, color. "I think the public will enjoy this trade paperback, if only on the sheer volume of the material, Randy said, "It was easy to collect a sizable page count just from the completed work I had sitting on my shelves. If this book is successful enough to warrant a Volume Two, I have almost as much material on hand, or just a few pages away from being completed, that it would be easy to do."
Though "super heroic" in nature each series has it's own particular flavor and are designed quite differently from each other. Here's a small taste of all three:
THE NEW BREED.
The New Breed involves a team of genetically engineered super teens designed by the Gentech Corporation to serve mankind, as well as their own selfish corporate needs.
Beginning with a classic superhero/supervillain clash, this series of stories ends on a tragic note with a funeral service being held for two of the team's members.
"I look at them as my metaphor for living, what it means to be alive, and coping with existence. I love this team and had a ball creating and working on it, and would love to continue it someday." Zimmerman stated. "There's almost half of this volume dedicated to them, the majority of which has never seen print before."
The Fool is an insane urban vigilante who fights crimes with practical joke style weapons (like a paddle ball and a rubber chicken) who collects "trophies" from his victims (the bad guys he detains for the police) by stealing a piece of their clothing and attaching it to his "Action Duds". "He tells folks who ask him if he has any super powers that he has the mutant power to sew" Zimm added. "He never gives the same first name to anyone, pretty much works alone, and come off as just plain insane to most folks."
Almost anyone in authority considers him to be a menace, the criminals consider him a threat, while the locals he protects consider him to be a hero making more of a difference than the police, and much more entertaining.
Played as seriously as possible, The Fool is meant to be a bit lighthearted, while at the same time adventurous. "It's not just my version of The Punisher, but also a kind of homage to those classic superheroes in the past that weren't entirely serious like The Spirit, Plastic Man, or the Shazam style Captain Marvel, all three of which are big favorites of mine." Zimmerman said.
The Fool has enjoyed some limited exposure in the form of short stories found mostly in the short-lived Arrow Anthology. "The story printed in this volume is the first issue of what was hopefully going to be a regular series. It had a very limited print run from the now defunct Mythic Comics, but (artist) Chris (Theisen) and I never received a penny in promised royalties or payments from the book. Perhaps now it'll have a chance to realize its full potential." Randy concluded.
The Unforgiven centers around a young female wizard, aptly named Pandora, who through her uncovering a forbidden book lets loose a band of nasty, mostly mystic evil villains onto an unprotected, non-superheroic world. With the aid of a small group of confidants, Pandora jumps from her world to ours, only to be interrupted and brought before the evil Realmlord (the lord of the area between universes), leaving Pandora to secure safe passage from him to the world the villains have jumped into.
The Unforgiven is best described as a superhero epic, meant to have a beginning, middle, and eventual end. The chapter in the first volume of Heroic Tales was meant to be a prologue of sorts, a stage setting opening to get the story rolling. "It's a great tale, even if all that was done was mostly exposition, it still has a great sense of flow and a lot happening." Zimmerman said. "Most of my associates who read it say it's the best thing I've ever written, and I keep thinking they've really only seen the stage and barely been introduced to some of the key players, the real fun happens next! I'd love the chance to continue the story to its eventual conclusion, perhaps someday I'll get the chance."
With a book entitled "Zimm's Heroic Tales Volume One" one has to ask, "Will there be a Volume Two"?
"That's for the fans to really decide", Zimmerman said. "If this volume sells well I'd like to do more, in fact I've got almost enough material to do another one, and have even had offers from fellow artists like myself of similar material, works that they've held onto for one reason or another, willing to have them printed in a format like this one, so who knows, there may be many more volumes of Heroic Tales in the future. Plus, if even one of the properties in Volume One gets picked up by another publisher it would almost insure another volume or two."
Time will tell.
Heroic Tales will soon be listed in Diamond's Previews in the green section under Arrow Books. If you can't wait to own a copy until then a few limited copies available through this website for fans and retailers alike.
Zimm's Heroic Tales Volume One is 152 pages, trade paperback bound, with a full color front cover of The New Breed by Doug Lamperski and Randy Zimmerman and sells for $15.95 U.S. and a Canadian price of $23.95.