Fan art of the Corum trilogy (Knight of the Sword)

For the past three months I’ve been doing some work on a side project, that I’ve been working on in between my usual miniature painting projects. After finishing the Corum book Trilogy by Micheal Moorcock, I was inspired to illustrate the characters, locations, Gods and events that took place in the trilogy.

The Corum book trilogy is by far one of my favourite Eternal Champion book series, a story of pain, war, sacrifice, destiny and the complexity of the God pantheons. Each book not only has its own amazing adventure story, but each one expands on the lore of Corum’s world (or time age, in the Eternal champion series).

So I did some illustrations of what I would imagine the first book, The Knight of the Sword, to look like in my perspective whilst respecting the source material. This book is one of my favourite out of the three for it’s story of Corums journey. From being the last of his race and physically tortured by the rising Mabden race led by Glandyth-a-Kae, to a powerful tragedy to use his new ‘gifts’ to defeat Arioch to restore balance to the five realms.

I wanted to share my fan artwork with you today, mostly from the first half of the Knight if the Sword book, and hopefully it might inspire you to take a look at the Corum trilogy book series. There are other fictional works by Micheal Moorcock that deserve a read too, I can’t list them all here (and I’ve got a lot to catch up on reading the Eternal Champion series) but they are just as good if not better. Enjoy!

_____________

Corum Jhaelen Irsei, Prince in the Scarlet Robe

Glandyth-a-Krae, Earl of the Denledhyssi.

The Horned Bear (Mabden vassal God) The Dog (Mabden Vassal God)The Giant of Laahr

Knight of Moidel Castel Moidel Earl Moidel of Allomglyl, the Margrave returned from the depths of the sea Shool the wizard ???

The Eye of Rhynn and the Hand of Kwll Arioch, Knight of the Swords (Chaos Lord)

____________

I hope you have enjoyed this art filled post! If you want to see me do more fan art for the second half of the first Corum book, post a comment below and if I get enough feedback I’ll do some more!

Again, I’d highly recommend reading The Eternals Champion series and other Micheal Moorcock literature works.

Until next time,

-Bjorn

note: I do not own the names, locations, story nor creation of Corum and The Eternal Champion series. All works of fiction mentioned here were created by Micheal Moorcock. This post is only for free expression and none profit.

Advertisements

The Jester and the Knight

This week I’ve found two Codex’s at two far away locations in the same city, how weird is that? Well, by Tzeentch’s many webs of plots and events, I found both Imperial Knights (7th ed) and Codex Eldar: Harlequins (7th ed) in pretty good condition.

It’s weird, why do I keep finding these things when I’m not looking for them? For two fairly recent publications to be in second hand shops is rare. Rouge Trader was still on display at an expensive cost of £45, no one’s taking that book anytime soon.

There were some other Codex’s, but they weren’t that interesting for me, I’ll let someone else take the Grey Knights and Tyranids………..

What’s odd is the pricing. So when I got the Imperial Knights Codex it costed £3.65, a massive reduction compared to the Rouge Trader book which was £45, and a Forge World book I saw that was roughly £15 est. in fact most of the Codex’s I’ve seen were at the same price apart from one or two that were £4.35 est.

Now at another location in the same city, the Harlequins Codex was £1.45, the condition was great apart from some small dent marks that aren’t really noticeable on the front cover. Although, the shop last year did have an 8th edition Orks and Goblins army book at £12.50 and a Warmachine faction book at £22.

I have no idea why these second hand charity shops price the books for a fairly decent price cut, considering these are not that old from publication. I’m grateful don’t get me wrong, but I’m curious to know why the prices have dropped so much for second hand.

Lately I’ve been reading some old Warhammer 40k lore (I think it was 3rd or 4th edition Imperialis book?) on the Adeptus Arbites, the law and order of the Imperium. I wish GW would release some plastic judges so I can make a Kill Team, based on the Judges from the Judge Dredd universe. Just imagine it, a squad of law enforcement going against a Genestealer cult in the Crypts of a Hive city.

Anyways, that’s all I have for today. I might have more to show soon, depending on wether the charity shops still have some Codex left for me to hunt down (no promises).

until next time,

-Bjorn

Horror Harvest: James Herbert The Fog

I’ve now decided to theme my horror reading book blog posts under the ‘Horror Harvest’ title, so it will be like a series of sorts with a nice artwork.

Before I begin with The Fog, I’d like to thank IRO (Imperial Rebel Ork) and The Fly on the Wall podcast, for taking my suggestions for their podcast topics. They did a brilliant podcast on the Subject of James Herbert, and what book they enjoyed the most.

The podcast is like an all sorts show ranging from different topics from funny and serious subjects. Its great for long bus trips (they can take ages so a good hour of podcasting always helps!), painting miniatures, walking and anything else really.

It’s also good motivational therapy fuel for getting through paper work after paper work after paper work after paper work. Oh did I mention it’s great for getting through paper work?

If you would like to know more about the podcast and who bears the one Mocha of all Mochas, I have two links to IRO’s blog where he has the official links for where you can download the podcast.

https://imperialrebelork.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/fly-on-the-wall-podcast-plus-some-hobby-updates/

https://imperialrebelork.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/army-of-hate-second-miniature-plus-fly-on-the-wall-podcast-episode-2/

And for those of you who want to hear the James Herbert episode, links below to IRO’s post.

https://imperialrebelork.wordpress.com/2019/06/04/fly-on-the-wall-podcast-and-the-new-post-apocalyptic-saga/

Best of luck to The Fly on the Wall podcast!

__________________

Continuing on my journey reading James Herbert’s books after a colossal read of The Rats Trilogy (and the Graphic Novel), today I want to share my thoughts on The Fog. A horror story about an ominous yellow fog that appeared after a huge fissure opened up in a small village, floating away after our main protagonist saves a child whilst being trapped below the fissure gap. However, unbeknownst to the people who witnessed this strange event, the fog would go on through the land to cause madness to anyone who inhales the it.

This book unlike The Rats trilogy, is more of a horror mystery story mixed with human physiological horror. The fog itself whilst known in origin of how it came to be (no spoilers here!) It’s still a mystery as if it may or may not be sentient. Anyone who comes across the fog and inhales it becomes a single minded force of madness.

Wether by hatred, depression, love or any other emotion, the fog is just the means to create the horror as it turns both good, bad and everyday citizens.

At the core of the fog there is an unatural light which seems to draw people closer, as if it wants them. It also seems to rest at places of convince for safety, say inside a church, a rail tunnel or an underground motorway. Overtime this fog grows in size as it feeds off carbon dioxide, becoming as big as a town.

The story focuses more on human psychology, when the mind slowly deteriorates making the person more savage with madness. Usually the person affected will either eventually die from their minds deteriorating, or commit suicide.

Our main protagonist, Holman, is the first to be affected by the fog after he escapes from the fissure. For weeks he was classed as clinically insane as he became a mad man, until weeks later his sanity came back whilst being placed in a mental health facility.

At first it was assumed that he was diagnosed with PTSD from the fissure incident, but later on through the story it’s revealed that the fog had cause this sudden personality change. This would be proven true as several incidents of strange murders are all linked to the yellow ghastly fog.

My thoughts on the book?

As usual James Herbert writes The Fog in great detail and engaging narrative, using his human victim characters to tell their story and how the horror aspect plays into their actions. Each character has an interesting story to tell, from our main protagonist, Holman, as a survivor of the fissure. Side characters including a drunk who cares more about his pigeons than his wife, a woman who’s same sex relationship broke apart by her partners choice to be in another relationship with a man, a school teacher who’s past during the Second World War is a dark and disturbing story and a man child who decides to give his boss a message he’ll never forget.

Similar to how The Rats Trilogy was written, these short story’s in one book adds to the weight of the affects that the threat can cause as a consequence. You feel for those who don’t deserve it, but can’t stop reading the book as you find out the fate of these unfortunate victims.

By this point I’ve become pretty used to how James Herbert writes his books, nearly leaning towards predictable at times when it came to certain sub story lines and plot twist. However, this isn’t to say it’s all predictable as the finale throws a very good question during the end, and reflection on just what the Fog could be.

This was James Herbert’s second book that he published in his writing career, still in the early days when James would use excessive blood, violence, mature themes and subjects that you tend not to see in today’s literature. It’s only later on that these things would dull down as supernatural and paranormal horror stories were written.

Overall, another great book to read as a twisted but enjoyable horror story. If you’ve read James’s books before, you may find some parts of this book to be the same old stuff you’ve read before. However, it’s still worth reading if your interested in the human psychological horror genre.

__________________

Well that’s all I have for my post on The Fog. Now that I’ve read all of my current James Herbert books, and read some other books (like Eric, by the late Sir Terry Pratchett) too to broaden my ongoing reading past time. I’ve now started another book by James Herbert, this time a supernatural horror story, The Ghosts of Sleath.

until next time, mind the yellow fog,

-Bjorn

Yearly book reading challenge update and the Prince Corum book series

Back in April I’ve posted an update on my yearly book reading challenge, after reading a total of twelve books last year, I wanted to best that record by reading more books. Below is a recap list of what I read this year.

  • The Rats, by James Herbert
  • Lair, by James Herbert
  • Domain, by James Herbert
  • Chacarodons: The Outer Dark, by Robbie Mcniven
  • The Horus Heresy: Galaxy in Flames, by Ben Counter
  • The Horus Heresy: Crimson Fist, by John French
  • Nagash: The Undying King, by Josh Reynolds
  • Legacy of Dorn, by Mike Lee
  • Elric of Melniboné, by Michael Moorcock
  • A knight and his horse, by Ewart Oakshott

Today I can announce (a late one) that I’ve now passed my goal, with six more books read! This year I have so far read 16 books, three of which are part of a trilogy of books. Below is a list of what I’ve read since April’s update post.

  • The Knight of the Sword, by Micheal Moorcock
  • The Queen of the Sword, by Micheal Moorcock
  • The King of the Sword, by Micheal Moorcock
  • The Land Leviathan (the Oswald Bastable trilogy), by Micheal Moorcock
  • The Dark Powers of Tolkien, by David Day
  • The Fog, by James Herbert

The first trilogy in the Corum series written by Micheal Moorcock.

So now that my goal has been met, I’m going to read some more books and see how far I can go before the end of 2019.

After reading the Sword Rulers trilogy by Micheal Moorcock, I was really inspired by the story and creations by Micheal, a fun and interesting series relating to the multiverse. I think it’s a series that’s hardly been talked about with today’s generation (including me for a time before I found out about Micheal Moorcock). I’ve got an idea that I’ve been working on for weeks now, that will hopefully attract more new readers to the Corum series and other Micheal Moorcock books……

Until next time,

-Bjorn

Book reading challenge 2019, progress so far

Back in February I did a post on my 2019 book reading challenge, after last years biggest record of reading books of twelve in total. This year I wanted to beat that record by reading more books, and expand my interests into literature.

So how have I done so far?

Well, I’ve done a lot of reading so far, a lot more faster than I used to read. In fact I’ve noticed how quicker I am at reading books and how I’m more imaginative reading the action/ character developments.

Here’s what I’ve read so far this year.

  • The Rats, by James Herbert
  • Lair, by James Herbert
  • Domain, by James Herbert
  • Chacarodons: The Outer Dark, by Robbie Mcniven
  • The Horus Heresy: Galaxy in Flames, by Ben Counter
  • The Horus Heresy: Crimson Fist, by John French
  • Nagash: The Undying King, by Josh Reynolds
  • Legacy of Dorn, by Mike Lee
  • Elric of Melniboné, by Michael Moorcock
  • A knight and his horse, by Ewart Oakshott

Ten books read so far! It’s only month four of twelve and I’m already near over the record mark! I must admit I wasn’t sure if I could read as much book with enough enthusiasm and interest. But I’m actually enjoying reading books now that I’m using instrumental music as background noise when I’m reading, as well as setting daily/weekly goals to read a certain amount of pages.

I’ve still got many more books to read yet before the year is done, I’m now planning on setting a goal of re-reading books I’ve read years ago. This is a fun way of having a new perspective on books that I’ve read before, and learn things that I’ve missed out on my first read.

For example, I’m currently reading Warhammer End Times: Return of Nagash, by Josh Reynolds, which covers the first of five stories in the apocalyptic event that broke the Old World. Last time I read this book was way back in 2014/ 2015, so there’s been enough of a gap since I’ve read it to consider trying it a second read. Oh Mannfred, such an ambitious schemer and a fool you were!

Until next time!

-Bjorn

How I would change The City (by James Herbert)

How I would change The City (by James Herbert)

The City by James Herbert is a mixed bag for many readers, who have read all of the Rats books this graphic novel offers nothing new, but for new readers it’s quite interesting if vague. For me, this is where I started reading James Herbert’s work on The Rats, and after reading the trilogy and discussing all of the books, I now return to the last book that ends this series.

I want to discuss what I would change for this graphic novel that would give it more purpose, and a finality to end the saga. This isn’t to disrespect James Herbert’s work on The City as I’ve enjoyed reading it for its unique visual journey into the nightmare world of The Rats. However, I would like to offer my criticism not out of knowing what would make it perfect or how my opinion is right, but to offer alternative ideas and suggestions that could improve the story.

Let’s begin!

The protagonist

In The City, we meet our protagonist named David who is a lone survivor by the name of ‘The Traveller’, who search’s for his wife and daughter in the warped post apocalyptic nightmarish city of London. Now ruled by the Black Rats, David search’s for his family whilst slaughtering the rats.

When he finds his family his daughter is nothing but a carcass and his wife has gone, too far lost in her delusion. When he discovers that she is nursing a White baby rat, he ensures the vermin is destroyed and sadly mercy kills his wife.

Then suddenly he has a new mission in which he kills the Mother creature who’s nest is in St Paul’s Cathedral. After he kills the beast, he leaves London to walk the wasteland alone.

The Character lacks any connections to the previous books and we don’t really get to know David in the story. His mission doesn’t really pull you in and make you sympathise with him, his story is a mystery. A mystery character can be written well in some stories with some hints here and there about their past, but David just feels vague with nothing to make you question where he came from.

How does he know where the Mother Creature hibernate? Who does he work for? How did he know his family might be alive? Was he an ex military man? How did he survive the nuclear apocalypse?

I have two alternative suggestions that could make The City a good send off to the franchise, and to bring the story full circle.

1. Have Luke Pender be the protagonist of the story, he was the main protagonist in the second book, Lair. He knows about the Rats and their ugly hierarchy during his time as a investigator for Ratkill. Have the story briefly explain his life after Lair, his marriage and how he left behind Ratkill and his vengeance went for the Black Rats. Then go into the apocalypse and how he and his wife were lucky to be in one of the safer areas that weren’t attacked before sees-fire. Skip a few years in the future and show Pender as a lone traveller who is now back with Ratkill. After his wife was killed by the returning horrors of the Black Rats, Pender seeks revenge for her death and kill the Mother Creature.

2. Second suggestion would be that Harris would be the main protagonist due to him being the first person alive to have witnessed the beginning of the Black Rats first outbreak. Although he has no military background or combat expertise, he did survive several rat attacks through the first book, The Rats. Last we know of Harris in the series was that he survived the attack in the nest and reported to HQ (Ratkill) of what he saw. After that there’s nothing, his story just ends in the series and not even if he survived the nuclear fallout years later. Having him as the protagonist in The City would make the story feel like a full circle, a finality to the series as Harris returns to London to face a old enemy one last time.

Post Domain story with reference to Culver and how society has fallen

Domain ends with Culver and two other survivors leave London by the military, who saved them during a gruelling battle on a boat against the rats. We’re told that there are some areas that weren’t affected by the fallout, chaotic but fairly ordered mostly. The story ends on a cliffhanger of sorts as the rats are still active in their goal to take over the world. By the time The City arrives we see humanity at the whims of the rats as society is completely destroyed.

Maybe explain post Domain what happened to Culver and the others. Was it China that dropped the nuclear bombs? Did they do a second wave of attacks months later? How did the rats took over?

There’s a lot to explain in just a single graphic novel with barely 70 or so pages, so it’ll either have to be a short 2-4 page explanation or a prequel story. Or alternatively, just show how the rats finally dominated the country, as in Domain they’ve just about took over London after the fallout.

The Ratkill as a Guerrilla task force

By the time the third book come around Ratkill had completely disappeared, no mention of the group nor of Howard. Domain’s story was a few decades (10-20 years) after the events of Lair, roughly in the 80’s or 90’s. It was almost as if this book wasn’t connected to the last two when reading the first few chapters, until later on we get exposition on previous events on the Black Rats.

During The City we see unknown groups of people who help the Traveler during his mission in London, they seem to be from an established group who knew who David was. Could they be from Ratkill, surviving inspectors who now work as a task force to take down nests? Or are they a retaliation group who were in one of the many safe nuclear bunkers?

It would be a nice nod to either Domain or the trilogy to include Ratkill as an existing group, who are fighting an eternal war against the rats.

~~~~~~~~~

That’s all I can suggest for how I would change The City to make it more meaningful. It’s not to say that my ideas are perfect as I’m not the master of this fictional world, James Herbert is the only one who can ultimately write The Rats franchise. But unfortunately, he sadly passed away early this decade, so I doubt anyone could continue the franchise as good as James’s work

The City was released in the 1990’s, about two decades after his first book, The Rats, was published. The City was James Herbert’s last work on The Rats franchise as a fourth sequel in the rats saga. He had changed since his early days of writing as he moved away from violent and graphic horror into more complex horror.

In a way, James Herbert was moving on from his most famous fictional franchise and wanted to create new stories rather than milking his best work. Besides, by the time Domain came out the horror was becoming too familiar and less frightening.

How can you make a graphic novel end a well beloved horror series, and meet expectations? The answer is not that simple, and because James hasn’t done a graphic novel before or since, it’s understandable that The City would feel mediocre.

But then again looking back on The City, I have this strange nostalgia now that I’ve read all of the books. Seeing the Black Rats, the post fallout remains of London, the White Rats and the Mother Creature all being illustrated actually makes us see how horrendous and evil these things are.

I think the book was never meant to be the next best thing but rather a visual story to thank the fans for supporting decades of fiction by James Herbert. Instead of writing a fourth book, a visual story was made for us, the reader, to witness the horror for one last time. To see the mutant rats for the first time as they glare at us with their evil, cunning red eyes.

The Black Rats ultimately won the battle and dominated the earth, as humanity annihilates itself by nuclear fallout. Then we get to see what we created by accident decades ago (from atomic bombs ironically) destroy our species.

The final page of the traveller walking across the crimson red horizon after leaving London is the story’s end. Unlike previous books there’s no epilogue about surviving rats nor another White Rat mutant, just the main protagonist waking away as a broken man who’s lost everything in his life. He only has revenge against the rats as something to live for.

____________

I hope you have enjoyed this post, and I hope this final post on my thoughts on The Rats saga was enjoyable. I’ve been really inspired to write several posts on The Rats series after reading all the books, and I’ve done few post covering my thoughts on each book.

It’s been a pleasure to have found James Herbert’s fiction and The Rats franchise, it’s helped me to start reading more Horror book genre now. It’s a shame that James Herbert isn’t mentioned much in media and bookshops today, hardly much of his books are in my local Waterstones (only second hand shops have his books).

However, I hope that I’ve helped spread the word about James Herbert to a new generation of book readers. Hopefully we can still pass on the tales of horror of The Rats for decades onwards.

Until next time,

-Bjorn

BL celebration stuff

A few weeks ago, I went to my local GW store whilst I was shopping around town (and remembered that it was BL celebration day), and got myself a limited print of Storm of Iron along with free gifts. I got my Mortarion badge, postcard and the free novella book with my purchase.

The novella is worth getting as the books inside are top quality, from Mortarion’s Primarch short story to a Severina Raine short story. Theres still some copies left at my local store yesterday (tons of postcards too, even a pile of Warhammer Adventures), which is better than last year when all the free novellas were gone.

I got Storm of Iron for many reasons!

  1. I’m an Iron Warriors devote, anything to do with the legion be it Horus Heresy or a 40k story I’ll read it!
  2. It’s a kinda a sequel to HH: Angel Exterminatus (by the same author) with many Iron Warrior characters returning like Kroger and Forrix. I’m really keen to know what happened to these characters after the Horus Heresy and what changes they’ve gone through in the last 10,000 years.
  3. I’ve got an (Nurgle) Iron Warriors Collection so this book will provide me with many inspirations for future ideas.
  4. It’s limited print so it won’t be out for long, very difficult when there are other new books on sale. Especially the last Horus Heresy book was nearly my choice until I saw Storm of Iron.

So far, Storm of Iron is a fun read with plenty of action and gripping moments. It’s more of an action war story than character development, but that’s not to say there aren’t any interesting character moments.

The first Titan battle was badass, can’t wait to read how March two will go!

Anyways, that’ll be all for today. I wish I could say more on the subject, but there’s not much for me to say apart from the fact that the postcard of Mortarion looks amazing! I’m seriously considering putting it in a photo frame.

Until next time!

-Bjorn