(Currently available in Comic Quest Megamall and Comic Quest SM City, will be available at the other distributors over the next couple of weeks).
Cover art is by Filipino comic book artist Lan Medina
, who has done work for such titles as Fables
and Silver Surfer
, among many others. He is the first Filipino to win the prestigious Eisner Award
for comics. It's an honor for PGS that he agreed to do the cover art for this issue. Thank you, sir!An excerpt from The Last Stand Of Aurundar, by Vin Simbulan:
Bodies cover the ground. Some of your fallen defenders rise again, infested and shaped into monstrous new forms by Ebonnite sorcery, and begin to fight against their former comrades.
It is not long before the tide of battle turns against you. From the ranks of the Grotesqueries comes a towering colossus of corpses, a makeshift titan of bone and rotting flesh that cuts a swath through the ranks of your troops, golden helms fall like sunlight on the blighted ground and rivers of blood flow freely.
Your Duke grimly orders a retreat. The field is alive with all manner of insects, feasting on the remains of the dead. The broken ranks bravely face their foes as they fall back.
They regroup along the twin towers of your barbican and make a stand there. Your Duke sends you an urgent thought; I need your strength.
He climbs over your barbican's walkways and draws power from you as he goes. You course your might into his jeweled scepter. With a single stroke he fires a coruscating bolt of prismatic light that disintegrates the Ebonnite colossus where it stands and sends the remaining Grotesqueries fleeing from the battlefield.An excerpt from Psychic Family, by Apol Lejano-Massebieau:I guess from how my mom is acting that her psychic senses are telling her that there is something wrong with the Room That Was Never Shown.
She had just told a little white lie. There isn't anything to be done with that room. It is small, but neat, even freshly painted white, and the only room in the house that was already furnished when we moved in. There is a single bed, a writing table, and a clothes closet.
The only problem is that there is a bad smell in there all the time, like rotten fish, or the brown gunk oozing out when I was in second grade and got an ear infection. Mom and the maid Linda washed down the walls with Clorox bleach. They sprayed everything with Lysol. The odor remained.
“That's why the rent is so cheap, there's a room that smells like feet,” my Dad joked, looking at mom and the maid on their hands and knees, scrubbing. Mom glared at him.An excerpt from Chimaera, by Yvette Tan:The beggar frowned. "There are many chimaera that walk the Worlds In Between, m'lord," he said. "I'm afraid I don't know which one you refer to."
"What? The seer not know anything?" the griffin said in mock-disbelief. "Too bad because it's not spare change that I'm offering."
"That's not fair m'lord!" the beggar said.
"It is and you know it," the griffin said. "You're just hurt you couldn't dangle the information over my head and make me beg for it."
"'Tis true," Mordacay chuckled. "It's always been my pride and joy, making passers-by beg from a beggar.'
"Are you going to let your pride get in the way of making a profit?" the griffin asked.
Mordacai looked at the griffin, then at his can, then back. He appeared to be in some sort of inner struggle. Then the words came. Slowly, reluctantly, in a tone so low it could have creeped under the shadows. Mordacai said: "She never left."
The griffin nodded.
"I see," he said before turning away from a grumbling Mordacai. His hand started to glow a pale blue, the color swirling until it became a small ball of blue light. In one swift motion, the griffin, threw the ball over his shoulder, then disappeared into the road that led to the worlds of fantasy.
The ball separated, becoming seven white butterflies that flew into the beggar's can. Mordacai, complaints forgotten, watched greedily with dead eyes as they flew in. He smiled.
"Yes, that's a luv," he whispered as he fingered the can's contents; two bloodshot eyeballs, a swollen black tongue, a half-decayed egg and seven butterfly carcasses, as gray and dreary as the night around them.An excerpt from Blink, Wake Up, by Mia Tijam:Once there was this little girl who was already as wise and weary as old women. She knew many things, things that were not supposed to be known by a little girl, but she knew no words and no one understood her. No one would listen to her and she was lonely.
So one day she took this shard of glass and carved a face on it with her nails. The face gave her a bloodied smile and she was happy. Then she placed her mouth on the face’s mouth and breathed out her stories.
In time, she found more glass shards as she found more words for her stories and found out that her stories were supposed to be kept secret.
She told only the glass shards her stories. The shards became a glass box through time and it had many faces: one face would laugh with her, the other would cry with her, the other would rage with her, another would patiently listen to her, another would dream with her… All of them told her that they loved her.
Each face was chosen carefully. Each face swore to keep her stories secret.
Then the glass box betrayed her. She did not know or understand why. She did not know which shard broke, which face spoke of her stories first or which of them had or would. She wanted to break all the faces and see their bloodied silent screams of pain mirroring her own. An excerpt from In The Dim Plane, by Dean Francis Alfar:I had left my cave on my way to meet the others – something that happens every year or so, at their insistence - when I unexpectedly encountered a ghost.
It was a beautiful woman with dark hair and sad eyes.
In any other place, in any other time, this would not have fazed me. I am, or was, after all, the greatest Necromancer of Forlorn. However, in this place of shadows, on the Dim Plane, I had barely enough power to do the simplest unnatural thing and could not defend myself if this was one of the hungry ones.
“What do you want, ghost?” I said with false bravado, at a loss to explain how a ghost came to be here, in this remote sanctuary, in the first place.
“Please,” the ghost said, holding out a small ornate sandalwood box toward me.
Before I could reply, she dissolved into the dimness, the box she held settling down softly near my feet. I sensed that it was end of her tenuous existence. I took the box, both puzzled and pleased. Puzzled, because here was a mystery; pleased, because it was something I could think about.
Just as I was about to open the box, a voice boomed out from the dimness.