Heads Up: THE BUS 2 by Paul Kirchner

Received notice directly from Tanibis the other day — hey, look at me, kids! I’m in the loop! — that a second hardcover volume of Paul Kirchner’s the bus strips (56 pages, black and white) will be available in November of this year. Since I obviously haven’t seen a copy yet — although I have, of course, pre-ordered — here’s the publisher’s description, cut and pasted from Amazon.ca:

During the years 1974 to 1986, after working as an assistant to Wally Wood, Paul Kirchner created several comic strips such as Dope Rider for High Times magazine and the bus for Heavy Metal. In 2012, French publishing house Tanibis published an anthology of the bus strips that was nominated at the Angoulême International comics festival, proving that even a 30-year old public transportation vehicle can take part in a Grand Prix.

In 2013, Paul Kirchner surprised commuters when he decided to start working again on the bus. He fixed the old vehicle up, took it out of the garage and called its iconic passenger in the white overcoat back on duty, waiting to be taken on new, exotic adventures. The bus’ unpredictable personality causes him to mimic classic pop culture icons such as King-Kong or Steve Martin while in turn analyzing or teleporting his passenger. And that’s only when it’s not cheating on him with other commuters.

Kirchner’s new ideas are on par with the original strips, proving that his creativity didn’t end with the 80’s. The crazy cartoon logic of the original strips is still present, and wackiness is the norm. Some details, such as the so-called “smart” phones or the passengers’ looks, root the stories in the 21st century, but Paul Kirchner’s universe retains a timeless vintage aesthetic that blends eras, lending these new stories a hint of nostalgia.

The bus 2 will be published in hardcover horizontal format identical to the previous collection published in 2012.

Back in that twilight dimension he calls home, it is rumored that Paul Kirchner is at work on new material for his psychedelic western Dope Rider. After all it seems that the bus’ passenger is not the only one who gets caught occasionally in strange time warps…

Parts of the bus 2 material may have been previously published in magazines in North America and Europe.

So buckle up, bus fans… no, wait… the bus doesn’t have seat belts… which I guess means, you take this ride at your own risk… so, uhmmm…

Bonne chance?

Look Here: Two editions of Heinlein’s RED PLANET

Here’s a cover scan of a paperback picked at random from the piles in the room that serves as my study/studio. The artist here is Steele Savage, known to longtime readers here at RCN for his illustrations for Catharine F. Sellew’s Adventures with the Giants:


The Ace paperback edition of Heinlein’s Red Planet, 71140, does not include a publication date, but according to ISFDB, the book was published in 1971. Now, according to Wikipedia, Steele Savage was born in 1898 and died in 1970. So on the face of it, it would seem that that Heinlein cover was among the last illustration assignments that Savage ever worked on. Nice, clean, precise work for a 70-something year old artist!

And a nice touch that the design of the “outdoor costumes” of the colonists in Savage’s illustration is more or less faithful to Clifford Geary’s cover and illustrations for the 1949 first-edition hardcover of Red Planet. Here, for the sake of comparison, is a scan of the front cover of my copy, which I rescued from a library discard sale a number of years ago:

Red Planet was one of the first two science-fiction novels I ever read (the other was Heinlein’s Rocket Ship Galileo, which I didn’t like anywhere near as much), and I read it in the exact hardcover edition that you see above. But it’s not that I am so ancient. It’s that our rural school library at the time — a tiny room lined with shelves with a table in the middle, and no librarian — was very badly out of date. As I recall, it was shortly after I read those two Heinlein novels that our school miraculously received boxes of new paperbacks in a variety of genres that were shelved at the back of the various classrooms. That was a big deal!

Look Here: Another Gor cover with art by Robert Foster…

I’ve just added a fourth cover to last year’s post, Look Here: The first three Gor novels, with cover art by Robert Foster, but I suppose I might as well post it here, too:


Hey, it’s a hand-coloured photomontage!

Heads Up: Corben Art Sale, 12 September 2015

On Saturday 12 September 2015 at 12:00 noon CST, ten pages of original comic art by Richard Corben will go on sale via the “Sales” page on the artist’s official website.

All ten of the pages in the September sale are from the graphic novel, The House on the Borderland (2000), adapted by Simon Revelstroke and Richard Corben from the novel by William Hope Hodgson.

And according to the Corben website, all of the pages are drawn with Sharpie and Pigma pens on 11 x 17 inch Strathmore paper.

The small scans that are on the Corben website right now are intended for “viewing only.” Prices will be posted when the sale goes live on Saturday 12 September 2015 at noon CST, at which point the first person to complete the PayPal shopping cart for each page will receive that page.

Look Here: Pynchon’s V. with cover art by the great unknown

A couple of weeks of silence, and now here I am, back in the control room of RCN’s online headquarters, poised to post a gallery of one paperback cover, scanned by me mere minutes ago from my personal copy of Thomas Pynchon’s V. Earlier today, I searched high and low online for information about the Bantam Modern Classic edition V. in an attempt to determine if anyone out there knows who produced the uncredited, unsigned cover art, with no luck, none, nothing, zilch, but whatever… I’m going to post it anyway… and then perhaps I’ll offer a copy of the scan to ThomasPynchon.com, where the Bantam Modern Classic edition of the book is NOT currently listed:


If anyone out there knows for sure who the artist is here — by itself, the generic 60s illustration style points in any number of directions! — please feel free to post the information in the comments below.

P.S. The hot spot to the left of the figure is not glare from the glossy cover stock; rather, it’s a feature of the illustration.