I've been a fan of this legendary hero since I first encountered him on television via the classic adventure flick, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD with the dashing Errol Flynn as the expert archer, Olivia DeHaviland as his beautiful and courageous Maid Marion and the brilliant Basil Rathbone as the nefarious Sheriff of Nottingham. I was hooked immediately.
Later I would of course be exposed to the television series imported from England and to this day can sing most of its opening and closing theme songs.
Of course in the years since we've seen lots of others portray Robin from Sean Connery, to Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe and several other BBC series along the way. I've enjoyed every single one of them for one reason or another. You just can't get enough of a good hero.
Thus when Ian delivered his first book, of what had since evolved into a proposed trilogy, I was more than eager to dig into it. Wow. There are not enough adjectives in the language to describe how I fell in love with Ian's retelling of this well loved story. There were all the familiar characters, heroes and villains, iconic scenes etc. etc. but told in such a fresh and exciting new way as to be a "first time" experience. For those young readers who were unfamiliar with Robin and his Merry Men, I knew instantly this book/trilogy would serve as a truly monumental introduction.
And so over these past four years we put together and published the trilogy as Ian had set out for us. Along the way we recruited our Art Director, Rob Davis, to handle the interior illustrations. I think Rob loves Robin as much as I do for each of his pieces is simply stunning in their composition. And we were blessed to get artist Mike Manley to do our covers, the first of which he won the Pulp Factory Award for Best Pulp Cover. All three of his pieces are gorgeous and remind me of the great Howard Pyle's lush, colorful Robin Hood art. Reaction to all three continues to pour in daily and word of mouth has spread on just how great these books truly are.
Now can you imagine my utter amazement...and joy when, sometime last year, Ian approached us with the idea of doing a fourth book!! It seems over the years, while we were producing the trilogy, he had been working away doing "other" Robin Hood shorts, to include an 8 pg comic strip. After some thought, he realized he had amassed enough to fill a book and wondered if we'd be interested in capping off this entire Robin Hood project with one last foray into Sherwood Forest. Honestly, do you think it was even remotely possible I would say no?
Earlier today I finished reading/editing ROBIN HOOD - FORBIDDEN LEGENDS. I am once again glowing in that euphoria only readers who love great stories understand. Ian is truly one of the most remarkable writers I've ever had the pleasure of working with and this volume had me jumping up and down like that 13 yr old when he first saw Errol Flynn brandishing his sword to take on the evil Sheriff and save England for King Richard the Lionheart. ROBIN HOOD - FORBIDDEN LEGENDS is a rousing, over-the-top saga that will soon be another classic in Ian's overfilled quiver of literary arrows.
Believe me, you don't want to miss this one.
13 March 2014