The number 9 has been cropping up in my life quite a bit lately.
First of all, my daughter Halo celebrated her 9th birthday on the 9th of November just gone.
A couple of weeks after that we threw a belated birthday party for her that we themed around the movie '9', at which we had 9 guests, watched the movie, ate a birthday cake decorated with images of the movie's characters, made bookmarks and postcards featuring the characters and even got all crafty and made our own little sackdolls inspired by the dolls in the feature. (It was quite a hectic day. Especially when I realised I didn't have any glue with which to stick on the dolls' eyes and had to race around town on a Sunday afternoon calling at three damn shops - at least it wasn't 9! - before I finally found one that sold some. Sheesh.)
My mother also turned 9 in the last few weeks. Or should I say 09. Or should I say 60, which is what the card actually said, except that my five year old read it upside down and happily announced to everybody "Nanny is 9!" (She was happy to go along with this, I must add!)
Which brings me to another 9-related issue...an actual issue, the 9th in fact, of Super Awesome Eagle Award Nominated Small Press Anthology Paragon!!!! Here it is, look!
Behind this fantastic cover are pages and pages of comic brilliance, including the first episode of a cracking new yarn by Greg Meldrum and Davey Candlish, about cool-as-beans 1930's adventurer Spencer Nero (this issue's cover star) and his mysterious, mask-activated alter-ego Janus; the third high-octane installment of sci-fi epic Rise of the Mekko-Sapiens by Matthew McLaughlin and Vanguardian Louis Carter; a Roy Thomas/Conan-inspired episode of caveman-smushing madness in regular strip Jikan courtesy of(once again!) Matthew McLaughlin and James Corcoran; and the 3rd installment of my own tale, Icarus Dangerous with art as ever by the brilliant Stephen Prestwood, excelling himself on this episode with panels such as this:
As you can see, part 3 picks up where part 2 left off, with Icarus cornered by the Bonemen, silent inhabitants of the interstellar starship he finds himself trapped on having attempted to rescue the alien female who saved him from drowning. He's also struggling to come to terms with the fact that the wings his father constructed for him - previously destroyed by his plunge into the ocean - have miraculously repaired themselves, sprouting feathers where there were none before, feathers that have special, somewhat explosive, properties. His make-shift wings are not what they used to be, though he has no idea yet just how much they - or he - have changed. As he rushes to stay ahead of the Bonemen and free Meriope from captivity, he will come to realise just how different things are. And how he will never be the same again. This chapter introduces us to a whole bunch of new characters who are destined to play a massive part in future episodes' proceedings. It was in the writing of this episode, and the one that follows, that I realised Icarus is my Zenith, in the sense that, although he is the title character, he is just the eye of a crazy storm that's about to kick off around him. And I can't wait to bring it to you!
With all of this plus a set of extra, 'surprise' stories to really put the cherry on top of this ice-cream sundae of a comic, Paragon issue 9 is a mag you're sure to get your money's worth from! So head on over to the Paragon blog and read about how to pick yourself up a copy!