Manly RecommendationsA column article, Busted Knuckles by: Beau Smith
I’ve always felt it was my duty to use the vast power of my Busted Knuckles column to steer all of you faithful “Knuckleheads” to all that is truly worthy in the world of pop culture. I use my power mostly for good. In fact I try to only tell you about stuff that I think you’ll like. I never want to waste your time. Far too many columnists and bloggers waste your time whining about every little thing that upsets them in pop culture. Sometimes I think they must hate everything, Well, I don’t. I like a lot of stuff and I want to share that excitement with you; hence, my Manly Recommendations.
Red, White and Blood by Christopher Farnsworth.
Published by Putnam
Twice before I’ve informed you about a series of novels created and written by Christopher Farnsworth. The first in the series is Blood Oath and the second is The President’s Vampire. Both books detail the full throttle adventures of Nathaniel Cade, a vampire who has been protecting the Presidents of the United States for over 147 years. Cade is the ultimate Secret Service agent. He’s sworn by a blood oath to protect the President at all costs. He has a young White House handler named Zach Barrows working with him to see that continues to happen with as little collateral damage as possible. As you’d imagine, that’s not always possible.
In his newest Cade Novel, Red, White and Blood, Christopher Farnsworth has created a foe for Cade that could more than be his equal. The villain is an immortal serial killer known as The Boogeyman, who will stop at nothing --living or undead -- to see that the current President never makes it to the 2012 elections. The behind-the-scenes political backstabbing doesn’t stop on Capitol Hill; it spills over and across this great country of ours - by land, by sea and even by air.
Trust me when I tell you that Red, White and Blood is serious non-stop action and intrigue for the full 385 pages of the book. Not one character in the book is safe from possible harm or death, and not one character utters a cliché that you’ve heard a hundred times over in other novels. Red, White and Blood is THAT original and that good!
As I’ve said before when I recommended Christopher Farnsworth’s first two Cade novels, this is not your typical vampire story. As a reader, I don’t care for vampires. As a kid when monsters were everything to me, vampires were at the bottom of my list. Cade is the first vampire I’ve ever cared about or been interested in.
In these novels, Cade demands your attention like Batman does in comics. Cade’s history is amazing and it’s great to see how he realistically deals with living with that history in our modern times. The character of Zach Barrows represents you, the reader, if you were put in the position of being the handler of the President’s secret service vampire.
You truly hang on and enjoy every bit of dialogue that comes out of his mouth. The other characters in the book also carve out their own important place in the story. The bad guys are bad and have their own senses of dread and their own specific agendas, and the supporting cast weaves their way in and out of the story at the most appropriate times making the story spark with excitement.
I cannot recommend Red, White and Blood enough. You cannot go wrong here. It’s the same news with any of the books by Mr. Farnsworth. After reading this you’ll ask yourself Why isn’t this guy writing every comic book, movie and TV show there is? Christopher Farnsworth is THAT good.
This is one of the most slam-dunk recommendations I could ever make. You will thank me and I will say you’re welcome….and I told you so.
A Parent’s Guide to the Best Kid's Comics by Scott Robins and Snow Wildsmith
Published by Krause Publications
I’m a parent, a grandparent, an uncle, a friend and a reader of books Every now and then I need a suggestion to of what to buy these modern day, high tech savvy kids that we are unleashing on this planet, sometimes I don’t have a clue. (Surprise!) With A Parent’s Guide to the Best Kids Comics by Scott Robins and Snow Wildsmith, my bacon has been saved when it comes to putting the right comic books into the right kid’s hands.
This is a book that has been a long time coming. Everyone has needed this book to help them path-find their way through the jungle of comic books that are being tossed at us every month. This full-color, well-produced book breaks down everything that will help you find the perfect comics for any kid you know. The comics are color coded and grouped, so your job is easy no matter what age and gender the kid you have in mind is. This is super useful for parents, librarians and school teachers.
It boggles my mind that this kind of book has not happened before. Not only will this make a great guide book for yourself, but it’ll also make a wonderful gift to any parents you know. I hope to see this book get updated annually.
The Lone Ranger Chronicles Limited Hardcover
Written by various writers
Published by Moonstone Books
I grew up watching reruns of The Lone Ranger starring Clayton Moore on TV. As a kid, I was mesmerized by the fact the Lone Ranger was a western and but he also wore a mask like a lot of the superheroes did in the comic books I read. The Lone Ranger was a dead shot and he used his fists a lot, including some pretty cool judo moves. His sidekick, Tonto, was pretty cool as well, but they never really let him do too much. Well, the TV series got me into the Lone Ranger comic books, cartoons and even the old radio shows. I became a true fan of the masked man.
Now, many decades later, I’m reunited with the Lone Ranger via a great limited edition hardcover book of prose stories by writers that enjoy the character as much as I do – men such as such as James Reasoner, Bill Crider, Denny O’Neil, Paul Kupperberg, and even my good friend Chuck Dixon. Chuck’s story, “The Blue Roan” really stands out for me because it captures the character of the Lone Ranger so very well.
The Lone Ranger Chronicles will entertain you for hours. All the stories are new and each one has something very special to add to the legend of The Lone Ranger.
Busted Knuckles Manly Cover of the Week: The Texan #1
Published by St. John Publications
The Manly Meter is pretty high with this action-packed cover of the always well-dressed cowboy hero, The Texan, saving a leggy cowgirl from an attack on the stagecoach. It appears that it’s women and children first and since there were no children, the shapely woman get saved first. It doesn’t look too good for the stagecoach driver. Who says chivalry is dead? Not the Texan! This is a wonderful comic filled with all kinds of great western action tales from a very politically incorrect time. It’s like a fresh breath of comic book air to take in. Make sure you check it out at your next convention or online auction.
Busted Knuckles Babe of the Week: Marie Avgeropoulos
I’ve said this many times when posting up the Busted Knuckles Babe of the Week: some of the most beautiful women come from Canada. Marie Avgeropoulos is proof of it. She has amazing eyes and a mane of hair that must have every shampoo company begging her to be their spokesmodel.
Marie has always been one of my personal choices to play Wonder Woman in a film or TV show. She’s athletic, spends a lot of time outdoors and has always dreamed of being an action heroine. She’d be perfect. You may have seen Marie’s work in such films and TV shows as Human Target, Hunt To Kill, Fringe, Eureka, Supernatural and the upcoming A Remarkable Life and The Inbetweeners.
I would complain about the heat, storms and power outages here, but there are a lot of other people far worse off, so I won’t. I send them my prayers and thoughts that soon normalcy and un-extreme weather will come their way.
I promise that Busted Knuckles will get back on its normal schedule as well. You can’t keep a good man down and a politically incorrect column down; then again, I’ve never really been called a good man.
Thank you for the hundreds of emails asking where your Busted Knuckles fix has been, I read them all and answered them as well. I appreciate your kind words and your support for the column. I also thank my editor, Jason Sacks, for hanging in there with me as I rode out some busy times here. He’s always a guy you can count on and he rules the west coast.
Go out and buy these manly recommendations and tell them that Beau made you.
The Flying Fist Ranch