Bel, The Last Dragon: Jungles of Habbiel by John Baltisberger

Bel, The Last Dragon begins in the Land East-of-Nod, a dizzying and unreal metropolis populated by beings that defy easy description. Not altogether dissimilar from Barker’s Midian–though the nature and scope of this story is far more grand than Cabal–there’s a certain flair and beauty from which one definitely feels a Barker-ish flourish as Bel wanders the streets of this hidden city.
Bel, long believed dead, believed himself to be deceased as well. During the American Civil War, he’d sacrificed himself in the centuries-long War of Dictates between the Sheydim and the Watchers (fallen angels bent on molding the human world to their twisted whims). Following that sacrifice, Bel’s fellow dragons sacrificed themselves in retaliation, each falling in turn, though the tide of the long war only marginally swayed in the direction of the Sheydim. No longer solely the first, Bel awakens outside the Land East-of-Nod as the last dragon.
Enraged and distraught by the loss of his brethren and the minimal benefit gained by their sacrifices, Bel wants revenge. Advances and knowledge gleaned during his centuries of restorative slumber have provided Bel with a chance to obtain the revenge he seeks. A series of islands existing in a strange tangential space separate from the human world is ruled over by Watchers who seek dominion, independent of their brethren. Here, the Sheydim and their allies have a chance to strike profound blows against the power of the fallen angels, to gain strength and the expertise necessary to ultimately assault the Watchers divying up the human world.
In this place, Bel will mete out the bloody, fiery vengeance that drives him as he learns to work with those who have fought this war while he slumbered in near-death.
The first target is the jungle island ruled over by Habbiel and his forces.
Whether you’ve read the epic poem, War of Dictates, you’ll benefit from diving into this tale of cosmic horror and fantasy crafted by Baltisberger. If you’ve had the pleasure of reading War of Dictates, you’ll be pleased to see familiar faces in a format more conducive to truly getting to know them. If you haven’t read the poem, this can be your introduction into the realm of War of Dictates and a primer of sorts that can make your journey through that twisted and violent epic all the more complete.

This title comes out in May of 2022. A link will be added once it becomes available.

The Crimes & Passions of John Stabberger Volume 4: The Second Fall of the Third Reich by John Baltisberger

Immediately after Nazi scum kidnapped his romantic interest, Esther, John Stabberger sets out on a recovery mission that’s sure to produce copious amounts of blood and carnage. This is John Stabberger we’re talking about, after all. With the assistance of a celestial entity of indescribable appearance, Stabberger’s quest for vengeance and rescue leads him straight to the Texas Governor’s mansion–as one might suspect, when there are Nazis involved.
The Governor isn’t the only familiar face readers will encounter on Stabberger’s bloody rampage. He’s hardly the only bigot involved with Texas politics. Stabberger as well will come up against some familiar faces from his past on his way to retrieve Esther from the clutches of the Nazi menace.
Stabberger has faced challenging odds in the past, but will his rage and seemingly inexhaustible surplus of murderous implements be enough to take him through the countless guards, Nazis, and Nazi guards standing between him and his target?
Will there be a surplus of long pig for carnitas in Hell after everything is over?
Will you just read the damn story for yourself to find out?

This and the other Godless League titles are available from http://www.godless.com or through the Godless app on your mobile device. The link is below:

The Doze Volume 3: Stalk of Shame by Drew Stepek

Following the events of Concrete Christmas, Slaughterdozer is out of commission and transported to a secret Globoshame facility where he can be studied and held securely captive. All of that will change when a wannabe actor and two-bit criminal, Chance McAlister, is forced to take a job with one of Charles Busk’s companies to pay penance for attempting to rob his distant in-law. Chance never anticipated he’d be coming face-to-face with a monster of living concrete or that his coworkers would be grade-A douchebags, but life works out that way for him.
Seeing The Doze from a different perspective, that of a relatively innocent bystander with no love lost for Globoshame or its CEO, Charles Busk, Stepek provides readers with a glimpse of just how inhuman Slaughterdozer appears from the outside–and how human he can still be.
Will The Doze escape from his confinement?
Will McAlister work off his debt to Globoshame?
Will you just read the damn story and find out for yourself?

You can pick up Stalk of Shame and the other Godless League titles by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:

The Filthy Marauders by Bob Freville

The Filthy Marauders are heading down to Delacroix for fun and debauchery. They’re looking for the sort of antics the filthiest and most depraved motorcycle club in existence would be seeking out because that’s precisely what The Filthy Marauders are.
As Spunk leads the rest of his crew down the highway, he’s excited about the annual Hilljack Games in Durr City, but when they arrive, the city is unnervingly empty and silent. Something is off, but nothing could prepare them for their run-in with The Cunty Scoundrels or the discovery that they’d attended the Hilljack Games the year before. Not only had they been too wasted to remember it, but they hadn’t made any friends in the process.
The Hilljack Games aren’t in the cards for Spunk and the other Filthy Marauders this year. On this trip to Delacroix, they’ll need to survive The Dirty Rooster Fuck-Off!
Easy Rider meets Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas as Bob Freville takes his readers on a ride they’ll never forget. Prepare for absurdity, violence that approaches the cartoonishly pornographic, and the most thrillingly horrific set of challenges ever met by man or beast.
Delacroix County is Freville’s answer to Burroughs’ Interzone, a place where anything can happen, and one never knows who to trust…or what they might be ingesting.
The two additional stories Freville includes are no less perverse than our main course, though unrelated to the trials and tribulations of The Filthy Marauders.
Stuffing tells us the story of the most dysfunctional Thanksgiving dinner. As Cooter and Nana find that revenge is a dish best served hot and sloppy, the orphanage will never be the same again.
Of course, The Pink Sock probably needs little introduction. Savannah lives in a world where everyone aspires to be the biggest slut, but she can’t bring herself to tolerate a certain fluid. All seems hopeless until Savannah discovers a hidden talent.

This title will be released March 17th, 2022.

Valentine by Ash Ericmore

If you’ve been following my reviews at all, you know how much I adore Ash Ericmore’s writing and especially the sordid tales associated with the Smalls Family. To say I was pleased when Ericmore indicated there would be more to come after he’d concluded the stories of the seven Smalls brothers with Candyboy’s agricultural escapades would be an extreme understatement.
With Valentine, we’re fully introduced to their cousin Marian. Babysitting Backy for Adam (Bliss) becomes quite the adventure when a group of Scottish criminals force their way into the house and leave with Valentine’s charge, hoping to take something of importance to Adam. Unfortunately for them, Valentine is no less prone to violence and impulsive behavior than the other Smalls we’ve met.
Physical torture, superhero antics, excessive violence, a reptile ruckus, and a big rig brouhaha ensues as Valentine tracks down the twice-stolen baby, hoping to return him home before Adam is any the wiser.
As with Ericmore’s other criminal capers, this story is non-stop, full-tilt excitement from the first line to the conclusion. You can’t be disappointed when you’re delving into the world of the Smalls clan, it’s simply not an option.

You can purchase this title as well as the other Smalls Family stories from http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:

Candyboy by Ash Ericmore

Michael is the final Smalls brother to make our acquaintance in Ash Ericmore’s Smalls Family series, and he’s the core around which this whole sequence of events has orbited. It’s Candyboy’s thriving drug enterprise that rubbed the Eastern Europeans the wrong way.
Coming together after what happened to Bod in the previous installment, the Smalls brothers could have ventured out en masse to take their bloody and brutal revenge on the Eastern Europeans; but Candyboy feels responsible for what’s already happened, and it’s up to him to set things right in a truly Smalls fashion.
Michael Smalls will torture, degrade, and dice up anyone and everyone who stands in his way as he searches for the man calling the shots.
Ericmore, perhaps recognizing how profoundly Backy has wormed his little baby way into our black hearts, delivers more baby action with this volume. And, while there is no baby armor this time around, the little ones find a way to fly into the midst of the action just the same.
As we reach our agrarian climax, Ericmore pulls out all the stops with Candyboy destroying everyone and everything in his path, using whatever he has at his disposal, including farm implements.
This story is a thoroughly satisfying conclusion to what will hopefully be one of many Smalls Family series. Not that there should have been any doubt.

You can find this title as well as the other Smalls Family stories at http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski, Translated by Danusia Stok

Like most Americans, my first exposure to Geralt of Rivia and the wider world of The Witcher was through video games. It wasn’t until a short while later that I opted to check out the books upon which the video games were adapted. The Last Wish, a collection of seven short stories, was the first I’d read from Andrzej Sapkowski, and the tales were enthralling. Sardonic humor, entertaining dialogue, fast-paced action, captivating characters, and off-beat references to well-known fairy tales made famous through Disney bastardization produced a wholly original fantasy realm in which Geralt plied his trade.
Nested within the framing story of Geralt recovering from the injuries sustained in the first of the stories collected in The Last Wish, the stories primarily serve as flashbacks to earlier events in the titular Witcher’s life.
The first of those stories, and the source for the injuries, is a tale titled simply The Witcher. A king’s daughter, cursed at birth as a striga from the king’s incestuous union with his sister, has been preying on the population of Temeria. Many had tried to either lift the curse or kill the monster to no avail. Geralt offers his assistance and the assurance that he believes he can end the curse, but Geralt might have more difficulty doing so than he expects.
A Grain of Truth finds Geralt wandering off the beaten path, where he discovers two corpses with peculiar wounds. He soon discovers a large manor with an unexpected beast as a host. An interesting riff on the Beauty and the Beast narrative, A Grain of Truth provides the reader with a glimpse of the strange shapes love can take in Sapkowski’s writing.
It’s the third story, The Lesser Evil, that provides readers with the explanation for how Geralt obtained the pejorative nickname, the Butcher of Blaviken. Additionally, this story provides readers with a unique twist on the Snow White fairy tale, with a distinctly dark and sinister damsel at its heart.
A Question of Price introduces readers to “The Law of Surprise” and Queen Calanthe of Cintra. Another story with a curse at the core of it, we learn the power of destiny within the world of The Witcher, and we witness that love can be both blind and without judgment even in a realm brimming with cynicism like Sapkowski’s creation.
The Edge of The World shares with readers the first adventure featuring Geralt and the bard, Dandelion. Tasked with ridding the farmland of Lower Posada of a devil while restricted by a wise woman to inflict no harm on the creature, Geralt and Dandelion discover that there is more going on than the peasant farmers suspect.
In the story, The Last Wish, we meet Yennefer of Vengerberg after Dandelion and Geralt accidentally release a genie from its captivity, resulting in Dandelion being grievously injured. Seeking assistance from the sorceress, Yennefer, Geralt finds himself a pawn in a game he knew nothing about. He must find a way to restore control if he hopes to save Dandelion’s life as well as that of the duplicitous sorceress.
The framing story, The Voice of Reason, culminates in Geralt and Dandelion leaving the temple only to be waylaid by a company of soldiers who challenge Geralt to a duel. We also receive a glimpse into the fate the surrounds Geralt, one of blood and violence.
These stories are in no way chronologically lined up, and many of them will be familiar to those who have watched the Netflix series adapted from Sapkowski’s writing. Similarly, the strangely fluid chronological delivery will feel quite familiar to fans of the series. There are, of course, deviations in the adapted material for the series, but the core elements of the stories are present, which makes what Netflix has done quite spectacular.

The Doze Volume 2: Concrete Christmas by Drew Stepek

Our second installment of The Doze cements the character as the Godless League answer to The Hulk or The Thing. Much like those two Marvel Comics characters, The Doze is a tragic figure, transformed into a monster through no fault of his own, plagued and motivated by loss and betrayal.
Seeking vengeance against the man who manipulated him and took advantage of his illiteracy, ultimately destroying his family, The Doze sees an opportunity with the Christmas parade celebrating the new Globoshame development that’s arisen where his home used to be. As Stepek splashes the pages with blood and concrete, with over-the-top carnage, we find ourselves thrilled that The Doze might finally achieve the revenge he deserves.
Unfortunately, he’s not the only one with some surprises in store, and Stepek leaves us with a cliffhanger ending that will surely leave readers waiting with tingles of anticipation to see where he takes us next.
As with the five previous Godless League installments, I can’t help but find myself wishing that Stepek, Baltisberger, and Leitner will find a comic book artist capable of converting these tales into one giant graphic novel. It would be amazing to see these tales on display in the format most fitting, possibly even finding a new audience in the process.

The second installment of The Doze series was released as part of the AntiChristmas event at http://www.godless.com for December of 2021. You can pick it up for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:

Nobody (2021)

The best–and simplest–way I can think of to describe this movie is that it’s essentially John Wick with more humor and perhaps a bit more heart, as well as a far more unlikely hero. It’s that unlikely hero, portrayed by Bob Odenkirk, that also makes Nobody feel more down-to-earth and believable, even though it is far from being either of those things.
Hutch Mansell initially appears as a broken, downtrodden suburban father and husband, with a routine that erodes his sense of self and–more importantly–his sense of self-worth. As it turns out, this is merely a role he’s been playing for years, a character he’s adopted and immersed himself within, sleepwalking through a life that’s been designed to keep him sedated and subdued.
After a burglary in his home appears to have led to his daughter losing a kitty cat bracelet, Hutch begins losing his facade of suburban normality. Dipping his toes briefly in something that reminded him of his old life, it seems like it just wasn’t enough, as a bus ride home from the anticlimactic confrontation with the burglars provides him with an outlet for pent-up frustration.
The subsequent fight taking place on the bus showcases a man who has been out of practice and separated from his former life of violence by more than a decade in a visceral and altogether realistic way. Muscle memory and a lifetime of training for precisely that sort of confrontation manifest in his capacity to take a beating and keep on going, but his years of banal and mundane accountant work has taken a bit of his finely-honed edge off.
From that point on, the movie descends into a series of violent and violently amusing set pieces that never once disappoint the viewer. Comparisons to the John Wick films are appropriate, as are comparisons to the Ben Affleck vehicle, The Accountant, but Nobody maintains originality and a quirky narrative that sets it apart from other films with similar themes.
It’s worth the price of admission, just to reach the final scene when Odenkirk is joined by RZA and Christopher Lloyd in what plays out as a thoroughly ridiculous but equally entertaining ballet of violence and brutality.
Learning that some of this story derived from experiences in Odenkirk’s life, wherein he suffered two separate break-ins within his own home, one of which concluding with the trespassers locked in his basement, allows the story to take on a whole new level of authenticity. Writer, Derek Kolstad, and director, Ilya Naishuller, worked together spectacularly well in crafting a story that’s both compelling and darkly hilarious.

Bliss by Ash Ericmore

Bliss introduces us to the next of the Smalls siblings, Adam. When we meet Adam, he’s lurking in an alley as a solitary police officer approaches, waiting for his chance to strike. The day was turning out quite differently from how Adam expected.
The day began with some pegging. Look it up. Sadly, the erotic escapades were rudely interrupted, leading Adam on one hell of an adventure involving the Eastern Europeans, some locals who might have mistaken Adam for Edward, human trafficking, and a most unique fashion statement blending protection and style.
Like all of the members of the Smalls clan we’ve been introduced to thus far, Adam has a certain moral flexibility and perversely dark humor. Unlike the previous two brothers readers had the pleasure of meeting, Adam seems perhaps less professionally adept at committing murder and a bit more fluid and driven by poor impulse control. It seems like he’s found the right woman, though, as she seems to compliment him well.
These damn stories are just so good, the fast-paced action and black comedy infused into the few pages is potentially addictive.

You can read Bliss for yourself by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your preferred mobile device. The link is below:

Bliss (The Smalls Family III) by Ash Ericmore