Combustoica - a prose project of About Comics

The Origin of Sorrow cover1741

by Robert Mayer

In the years before America was a nation, ships were bringing a steady stream of immigrants to New York. Some were fleeing their homeland, others were seeking their fortune, many arrived in chains. In this quickly growing city, tensions mounted, fires began burning, and accusations flew.

By the time it was over, dozens would be dead -- at the hands of the government.

This is a tale of desire and hope, of despair and tragedy. Mayer brings to life searingly vivid characters, showing how their lives intertwine with each other and with the fears and passions of the day. By humanizing major events and showing the tensions of race and class that drive them, Mayer gives us a novel that is ripped from the headlines of colonial America yet still echoes in the headlines of today.

 

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After more than a decade of publishing, with acclaimed books and best-selling creators, we came to feel that it was time to step beyond our "About Comics" name and our emphasis on the comics specialty market. Thus, Combustoica, here to bring you projects that are right for the world but may not be right for the comic book store. In some cases, Combustoica is the publisher; in other cases, we provide preparation and publication services for other publishers.

THE PARODIES OF SOL WEINSTEIN & HOWARD ALBRECHT

Jonathan Segal Chicken

JONATHAN SEGAL CHICKEN - You know about chicken soup, but a souped-up chicken? When this piece of kosher poultry aspires to fly, it takes him to the larger world, and beyond!

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The Oddfather

THE ODDFATHER - When organized crime war breaks out in New York, no one can handle it like the big cheese, Don Provolone.

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The Exerciser

THE EXERCISER - When your body is possessed by calories and fat, then the one to call is Romaine LeLane: The Exerciser!

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Oh Henry!

OH HENRY! - Meet Henry Kissingherr, intellectual, lover, and supersecretary of state as he goes undercover on this unlikely spy adventure.

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The Origin of Sorrow coverSTAND-IN SUPERSTAR

by Nat Gertler

Andy Vederman is an earnest young man and successful waiter in a Hollywood world that gives little value to earnestness and none to success beyond its own definition. When he gets the chance to live a true Hollywood lifestyle, it becomes a wild and hilarious tale of sex, drugs, fame, and excess in general.

 

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The Origin of Sorrow coverEYES

by Robert Mayer

Dr. Michael Lee, smart and literate, is the chairman of ophthalmology at a major California hospital. He may be up for a Nobel Prize. Without wanting to, he has fallen madly in love with a beautiful young Marine recruiter – who happens to be his son’s girlfriend. Worst of all, for 40 years his life has been controlled by a deadly secret – a secret that even he has all wrong..

 

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The Origin of Sorrow coverCONFESSIONS OF A RAIN GOD

by Robert Mayer

A droll comedy/drama about love and the gods, Confessions of a Rain God is set among the classic Mayas. They, of course, did not predict the end of the world. (It caught them by surprise.) The book is narrated by the Mayan rain god Chac -- long-nosed and elderly -- the most important god of the Mayas, who depend on his rain for their very lives. Chac has the misfortune to fall in love with a beautiful young Maya girl, Tika. But physical love between a god and a mortal is forbidden, causing no end of frustration for the droll old fellow. How he copes -- and fails to cope -- is a bawdy, romantic tale of love and blood, which gives a new twist to the questionable saying, Love Conquers All.

 

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The Seas of Quivira coverTHE SEAS OF QUIVIRA

by Charles Wagner

prepared by Combustoica

Leaving city life behind, Charles Scott returns to his rural hometown to farm the family land, only to discover that his field of waving wheat has become the nighttime abode of long-extinct dinosaurs. Prehistoric echoes collide with small-town despair, building up to a storm seventy million years in the making. Is there anything Charlie can do to stop it?

(Cover derived from a photo by thekamal, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license, integrated with a painting by Charles R. Knight.)

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THE ADVENTURES OF ISRAEL BOND, AGENT OY-OY-7

by Sol Weinstein

Loxfinger, Matzohball, On the Secret Service of His Majesty, the Queen, and You Only Live Until You Die - a classic quartet of spy parodies from the 1960s which sold over a million copies back then, out of print for decades, but now they're back -- and it's such big news, we've given these books their own website:

Oy-Oy-7.com

The Origin of Sorrow coverTHE ORIGIN OF SORROW

by Robert Mayer

It was a time of love, of struggle, of hope, of worship, of the birth of dynasties and the crushing affliction of hatred...

In the 1770s, the Jews of Frankfurt are trapped, both physically by the walls of the ghetto within which they must dwell, and in a larger sense by the rules of a society in which they are outcasts, legally debased and barely suffered to live.

And yet within those confines they find life, in all its glories and tragedies. This is the story of young Guttle, whose sweet face and curves could win her any man in her little world, but whose keen mind demands the best. It is the tale of Meyer Rothschild, who knows all the ways of the business world but discovers the ways of the heart. It is a tale of love and lust, of murder and betrayal, of holy works and unholy schemes, of bakers and brigands, of hope and of ruin. This is a novel, both amusing and sad, that will grace your bookshelf for generations – a book you will want your children to read and discuss as they reach maturity.

Free sample: Download the first three chapters (PDF, 204K)

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While I Run This RacecoverWHILE I RUN THIS RACE

by Pocahontas Gertler

prepared by Combustoica

This African-Native American woman, born in the deep South during the Depression era, chronicles her courageous journey into the 21st Century. This is her story of persistence and triumph, of loss and struggle, of love and transcendence. It will heal, inspire, encourage and touch deep places in your heart.

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The Naked Artist coverPrepared by Combustoica for writer/publisher Bryan Talbot, it's

THE NAKED ARTIST

Comic Book Legends

Expanded Edition

If on the night of a comics convention you were to go to the the hotel bar and buy a few drinks for a comic book pro, you'd soon hear stories about his fellow creators - tales of drinking and drugs, of missed deadlines and missing pants, of maniacal editors and crazed fans. These are the urban legends of the comic industry.

Acclaimed graphic novelist Bryan Talbot (creator of the award-winning The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, The Tale of One Bad Rat, Alice in Sunderland, and Grandville) saves you the cost of gin & tonics by bringing you this collection of the wild and hilarious anecdotes told by - and starring - some of comicdom's leading lights. This expanded edition includes all the stories from the original print edition and more. Illustrated by Hunt Emerson.

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Sunny Ella coverSUNNY ELLA

by Sally Zybert

prepared by Combustoica

It seems to be the classic Cinderella story. With the help of a fairy godmother, beautiful Ella meets and falls in love with a handsome prince. But Ella has lost her mind from years of abuse from her stepmother and things aren't as she imagines...

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Danse Macabre coverDANSE MACABRE

by Robert Mayer

New Orleans, August 2005. The lives of a ballet dancer, a reporter, a psychiatrist, and a voodoo queen intersect and overlap in the shadow of a stalker and a serial killer... and all the while, a bad wind named Katrina is headed their way.

Written by Robert Mayer, acclaimed author of Superfolks, The Dreams of Ada, and Combustoica's The Ferret's Tale, this all-new novel mixes stark reality with mysticism, dark history with hope, and both the lowest and the highest of human impulses.

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The Dead Sea Stroll coverTHE DEAD SEA STROLL

by Charles Wagner

prepared by Combustoica

Los Angeles has endured riots, earthquakes, fires, floods and gang infestation. But now a new scourge will rise, spreading like a plague from person to person, infecting them with evil malice and bizarre power, linking them together in the desire to absorb us all. The city will be menaced as never before, preyed on as rot feeds on carrion, and all because a young woman took the 'dead sea stroll'.

Infected by a primal force while taking a moonlit ocean swim, Mindy Cone now seizes converts by carnal means, building an army of followers that menaces Los Angeles. Only her former roommate and a man who may be immune to conversion stand in the way of her dominance.

Sometimes, people just aren't themselves...

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Reality Adjacent coverREALITY-ADJACENT

by Nat Gertler

Two-time Eisner Award nominee Nat Gertler has a mind that looks at things just a little different, sees the things that aren't real but might be, and he shares those visions in this collection of 14 short tales. You'll meet the adolescent werewolf, the man whose device can conquer time, the young lady whose freedom can be had for a song (but not just any song!) The stories included are a mix of fantasy, comedy, horror, crime, and romance; some have seen print in locations both big and small, but this edition also includes 4 stories never before in print. Very conveniently priced at just 99 cents for digital, $5.99 for print.

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The Ferret's Tale coverFrom Robert Mayer, acclaimed author of Superfolks and The Dreams of Ada, comes this tale of the human struggle, of love and war, sorrow and joy, death and renewal, faith and doubt... all seen from the ferret's point of view.

THE FERRET'S TALE

Ezra Wroth is a man of today, a master of science but facing his own mortality, struggling with an array of uncertainties. His children are adults with more exuberance than wisdom, his own past holds dark secrets, and the world around him has plans for him he cannot imagine. Into his life comes Cleo, a ferret who understands him better than he understands himself... or is what is happening not quite what it seems?

"The language is lush and tactile ... Beautifully told." -- Santa Fe Reporter

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Mystery headlights highlight a DEADLIGHTS logoPrepared by Combustoica for writer/publisher Charles Wagner, it's

DEADLIGHTS AND OTHER NIGHTMARES

Car-less headlights haunting a rural road, primeval ghosts cruising in a field of wheat, specters stopping traffic in Los Angeles - these are some of the images conjured by writer Charles Wagner. In this, his first collection, encounter these and other tales, some previously published, some appearing here for the first time. Read and experience fear, horror, and wonder where you least expect them.

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