on Oct. 8, 2017 :
Dis-ah Dora Piaza come-ah you from Stanley Ku Brick-ah Cump-nee where da latest inna series of build-in collapses jus-tah-cur."
"I say," a bewildered onlooker shook his head. "I can't understand a thing she's saying."
This is not the best in the series but it's sure as fun and great as the rest of them.
(review of free book)
on Oct. 6, 2017 :
Akkadia is a magic-based superheroine in the style of Mandrake the Magician, Ibis the Invincible, Mighty Isis, and others. She is beautiful (naturally), straight-faced, and ultra-serious. Her powers are not spelled out but they are said to be "mystical" rather than "magical." She shows additional Dr Strange influences with such phrases as "By the oddball opticals of Oktid!" (That's "Ditko" spelled backward; so maybe there's some Zatara in her as well.)
One thing for sure is that she is undeniably modeled after young Pia Zadora. She is described as being petite, blonde, and chipmunk-cheeked. And her civilian identity (in this story anyway) is Dora Piaza. Honestly? Dora Piaza? You can't get much more obvious than that.
A final thing to note is that Akkadia is extremely absent-minded when it comes to fashion; essentially she wears a large colorful cloak, and little else, resulting in frequent exclamations of "WOWZA!" from all males who see her.
"Shakin' All Over" is her third adventure. (The title derives from the Johnny Kidd & the Pirates / Guess Who song of the same name.) In her first outing, "The Cowering Inferno," she faced the villainous Moo Fanchu. Her second, "Wade in the Water," which featured Detective Bureau in a Naked Gun / Police Squad send-up, saw her square off against Maleduck the Magician. (Get it?)
Now she finds herself in heated battle with the evil scientific genius Lex Moothor who wants to bring Houston down (literally) with a super vibrator machine powered by an extraordinary new power source called SIJMU. (I won't explain it. You'll have to read it for yourself. But rest assured, it's priceless.) He does this from a subterrranium world of sheeplike people. Their city, naturally, is called Ewetopia. You also get the Stanley Ku Brick Company at 2001A Space Odyssey Blvd. And there's a gentle dig at "our neighbors to the north." (At least, I thought it was gentle. Some may think otherwise.)
The story is told in a style reminiscent of the first Akkadia adventure, which is "a comic book without pictures," meaning you had to read it as if the only thing you were getting is captions and word balloons and you had to imagine what the art looked like. The first story, "The Cowering Inferno," while good, took this approach a little too strictly. The second, "Wade in the Water," abandoned it for a straight prose technique. "Shakin' All Over" is a combination of the two. There remains a predominantly "comic book" feel to it (the author uses common comic book words like "thru" and "tho"), but it contains a tad more detail to help you along. It's still an exercise in minimalism, but it goes down smoother. I hope the author sticks with this method if he decides to write more Akkadia adventures.
I'm not going to say this is Mr Hold's best story. It isn't. It's not even his best Akkadia tale. That would be "Wade in the Water." Nevertheless it is highly recommended as an experimental piece and there's more here to like than dislike. The Akkadia series remains a work in progress. All that aside, it offers silly fun that is not meant to be taken seriously. Just take it for what it is and you'll have a good time with it.
Or as the author says, "Just go along with it, okay?"
(review of free book)