The Freebooters Collection chronicles the exploits of Axus the Great, all-but retired from his career as the most celebrated warrior of an exotic, ancient world. Having survived a life of perils beyond imagining, Axus, past his prime and living large (and larger) off his considerable renown, now spends his days as merry and melancholy proprietor of his inn and tavern, The Ram & the Peacock, regaling his patrons with tales of his glory days.
The transition from word-beater to innkeeper and celebrity is not an easy one for our hero, whose exploits have been scaled back to occasional forays with his band of brigands to harass the local Kaliph, all in search of the thrills of adventures past. Into this whimsical tableaux of barmaids, brawlers and tourists that populate the Peacock and it1s host city, the opulent, infamous Shahariza, rides the young seer-in-training Aran Ana-Kashan. He bears news that his hero Axus' arch foe of old, the unspeakably terrible Ammon-Gra, is on the verge of being resurrected, threatening the very existence of all that is known. Reluctantly, the aging Axus, in the company of the stalwart remnants of his fabled Red Brigade, along with the young naif, Aran, finds himself drawn once again into the maelstrom of the ultimate adventure - saving the world!
The Freebooters was one of three titles serialized in the acclaimed 1990s graphic story periodical BARRY WINDSOR-SMITH: STORYTELLER. Windsor-Smith Studio is pleased to announce that The Freebooters Collection, the second of the BWS: STORYTELLER collected editions, is available now from Fantagraphics Books. This book presents all of The Freebooters material that appeared in issues 1-9 of STORYTELLER, plus the Freebooters chapter completed for the never-published issue #10, and many pages of new story and editorial content created specially for this edition.
BARRY WINDSOR-SMITH: STORYTELLER, while a critical success during it's short life in 1996 and 1997, prematurely ceased publication when its creator, claiming mismanagement on the part of the original publisher, withdrew it from publication.
In The Freebooters Collection, the previously unpublished Chapter 11, originally slated for STORYTELLER #10, provides a graceful finale to the narrative thread that was underway in the latter issues. But there will be no expedient wrap-up of the larger story line concerning the impending threat of Ammon Gra. BWS is certainly aware that the loyal, and most appreciated readers of the original magazine would like to see a resolution to that tale, but to artificially accelerate a story intended to run over many years to a contrived conclusion would contradict the naturalistic pacing that was a hallmark of STORYTELLER.
The Freebooters Collection, which will include many pages of new story material created specially for this edition, as well as a never-before-seen, 20+ page alternate beginning to The Freebooters saga from 1995, presents the best wrap-up of the adventures of Axus and Aran and their lively cast of supporting characters that is possible under the circumstances. The author appreciates your indulgence and continued support. We are confident that The Freebooters Collection will provide a satisfying body of revisited and new material that will appeal to all fans of the original series, and to new readers as well.