Since Critters was an anthology, not every Lionheart story was accompanied by a cover. I have shown here only my covers, respecting the rights of the artists whose work graced the often beautiful covers of Critters. Follow links to excerpts, or just visit the gallery that follows these story synopsis pages.



Mad Cosmos
Lionheart interviews a variety of conspiracy theorists, bigfoot hunters, and alien abductees, researching an article on fringe groups. Despite his experiences with aliens and monsters, Lionheart is hard pressed to accept their tales of alien Santas, possessed presidents and talking hairless apes. Lionheart's skepticism convinces them that he is an alien agent, and kidnap and interrogate him. However, since he is smart and they are gullible, it's no big trick to escape their clutches.

A personal favorite, and in fact somewhat personal. Lionheart's view on aliens, monsters and UFOs is mine. I grew up devouring UFO literature and believing it all, immersing myself in writing and reading science fiction. Eventually though, I had to discard my beliefs in the face of overwhelming non-evidence and simple logic.
I am both Mulder and Scully - I want to believe, but I won't believe blindly. There are aliens and UFOs, but they are not kidnapping and impregnating talk show guests. Elvis may still be alive, but he isn't living on an island with Hitler and Marilyn Monroe.

USAGI YOJIMBO (Mirage studios) #15-16
Real Heroes
Big, loud, stupid, physically impossible Super Heroes are the focus of Lionheart's last published story, ironically enough. Beast is a pea-brained strongman and Beauty is a spike-heeled, french cut, giant cleavage superbabe whose hair and breasts comprise 80% of her body weight. Lionheart's interview reveals them to be dysfunctional and not particularly bright, and earns them the nicknames of Feast and Famine.
When Feast attempts to wreak his revenge on the media, it leads to an unmasking of the sinister force behind the drug - enhanced superheroes: a 15 year old boy with big power fantasies.

LIONHEART IN COLOR! I guess you could call this color.
At least I got to say something about Image Comics Superheroes before I was crushed underfoot by their lurid juggernaut. Without hating the people at Image, I hate what they did to comics. It is not, I repeat, NOT a remarkable achievement to sell millions of comic books by filling them with violence and gorgeous babes. Within a year, it seemed every superhero had become like Feast and Famine: either a WWF psycho or Pamela Lee Anderson.
That said, plenty of fun to skewer their unimaginative crap.
PSYCHOTIC is also the word for the color in this, the only color Lionheart story. The superbly gifted Eric Vincent provided the color keys for the story, and I was thrilled to have him. Unfortunately whoever did the actual colorizing was on some great acid; normally you'd only see these colors if struck hard on the head. More about this terrible color in the gallery.




all images ©1999 by Tom Stazer

No reproduction allowed without consent of Tom Stazer

Like this'll stop you thieving cyber-weasels.