This is the final installment of the "Project Trilogy" which provides the up-and-coming generation of cartoonists to work with traditional comics themes. Inititated by Project: Telstar, which dealt with science fiction themes with a focus on robots, and continued by Project: Superior, which had super heroics as its unifying theme, this time around, as the title suggests, the same generation of cartoonists is given a chance to tackle the romance comics genre. As with the first two anthologies, the works assembled here bear little semblance to their generic progentiors in the mainstream comics of yore, a guided tour of which we are given in the introductory essay by Bill Boichel (which is currently available online as a downloadable PDF, HERE ). "True" romance seems mostly a thing of the past in the stories that follow, which here primarily focus on -- at best -- snatching a moment of happiness with a fellow being. Many of the pieces center on unrequited love, heartbreak, romantic disaster, murder, mayhem and confusion. Sometimes it's played for laughs and sometimes for tears. Exceptions include Aaron Renier's "Reflectors and Rutabegas," which comes closest to being a traditional romance, and McGovern & Leandri's Dr. Id story, which employs a 1960s-Dr.-Strange-as-sex-therapist narrative that is certainly traditional in its form, if not in its content. As with all AdHouse Books, the production values are excellent and the quality of the artwork is uniformly high. Stand-outs for us include the contributions of Paul Rivoche, Hope Larson, Roger Petersen and Junko Mizuno, but doubtless every reader of this anthology will find their own favorites. And there's no way we can avoid singling out Robert Goodin's contribution: if there were an award for excellence in the service of perversion, this one would have the comics category all wrapped up. PLEASE NOTE: This is the limited edition hardcover edition that we are offering here. Limited to 500 individually numbered copies, it features front and back covers, as well as endpapers that consist of four apocryphal romance comic book covers featuring Afrodisiac, all by Pittsburgh's own megatalent, Jim Rugg! We are offering this at half off it's original price – need we say it? – while supplies last! (LIMIT: ONE PER CUSTOMER)
This is the first full length work by a talented and original new-comer, Hope Larson. It's a story of a growing girl's imaginative idle moments spent in the woods around her home, which intriguingly incorporates a confrontation with her budding sexuality. This aspect is handled in a fairly unique manner that is entirely suitable for all ages. Salamander Dream is artfully presented in black and white with green tones and is worth a look.