Thursday, May 17, 2012
The Lone Ranger Rides Again!
The other day I received my author's copies of Moonstone's new anthology, The Lone Ranger Chronicles... believe it or not, the first-ever anthology of original Lone Ranger Stories. There are two different versions, each with its own unique cover -hardcover and paperback. The hardcover edition has a nice bonus... a very informative history of the character, from the radio days to the upcoming Disney film (with Johnny Depp as Tonto... I'm reserving judgment till I actually see it. He has pleasantly surprised me before.)
This volume is ably edited by Matthew Baugh and Tim Lasiuta. It includes stories by Paul Kupperberg, Matthew Baugh, Johnny D. Boggs, Kent Conwell, Denny O'Neil, Chuck Dixon, Tim Lasiuta, Richard Dean Starr and E.R. Bower, James Reasoner, Bill Crider, Joe Gentile, David McDonald, Howard Hopkins, Mel Odom, Thom Brannon, and myself. I've read about half the stories and enjoyed every one so far.
This is exciting to me for several reasons. I'm always honored to be included with my western writer pals, many of whom I've admired as authors for 20 years or more. And of course I am deeply honored to be a part of this, the latest chapter in the roughly 80-year history of the legendary Masked Man. A great added plus this time around is to also be in the company of a handful of comics legends whose works I've read since I was a young'un, such as Paul Kupperberg and Chuck Dixon. But I must confess, I was reduced to a quivering pile of fanboy jelly at the news I'd be contributing to an anthology that included Denny O'Neil. If you don't know that name, you could never hang out with the nerds from Big Bang Theory -and if you're a bona fide comics geek, you know what I'm talking about. O'Neil's work at DC in the 1970s with artist Neal Adams was some of the best stuff in the history of comicdom. They restored The Batman to his Dark Knight roots, after the campy 1960s... and their work on the superhero buddies-on-the-road series Green Lantern and Green Arrow was critically lauded, especially the story in which they dealt with the heroin addiction of GA's teen-sidekick (named Speedy, oddly enough.)
O'Neil also wrote a lot of my favorite stories of the 80s, including a memorable run on The Amazing Spider-man. In a typical display of the ol' Peter Parker luck, Spidey gets soaked in brine while fighting the Submariner; he washes his Spidey suit in the bathtub, but the colors run, and he has to fight the Frightful Four in an itchy, pink-and-pastel-blue uniform... and shortly after that he learns that letting the Sandman and Hydro-man duke it out can, well, create a giant mud-monster... man, I loved those stories.
So, um, anyway. Childhood reverie interruptus.
Check out the Lone Ranger Chronicles in trade paperback HERE or get the deluxe hardcover edition HERE