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Vic and Blood (2003)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Vic and Blood (2003) author: Harlan Ellison & Richard Corben

This oversized soft-cover book reprints both the short stories by Harlan Ellison and the graphic adaptations by Richard Corben, which is the first time they are side-by-side. it's after World War IV and humans survive by scrounging up old cans of food and killing whatever they can eat. Vic is a teenager and his companion is Blood, the descendent of genetically modified dogs who were used to fight in the war. The two communicate via telepathy.

The first story, EGGSUCKER, Vic and Blood find a load of alcohol, which they trade to a nearby community for ammunition. Vic, the not-so-bright but loyal human, gets drunk and the others start teasing Blood by calling him an Eggsucker, which is a big insult. After a few times of being called this Blood attacks the guy and almost gets shot but Vic saves him by shooting the tormenter. Of course, they flee the town and nearly run into a "Screamer", a radioactive mutant. This time Blood saves Vic's life by warning him about it.

The second story, A BOY AND HIS DOG, Blood locates a woman for Vic. It turns out Quilla-June is from a city underground and he follows her down there while Blood stays above ground. Vic soon finds out he doesn't much like it down there, as their society is based on the 1950's, and he escapes back to the surface with the girl. He finds that Blood has been waiting for him above ground and is near starvation. So Vic has to make a choice--the girl or the dog. And "A boy loves his dog".

The third and last story is RUN, SPOT, RUN. Vic is still upset about killing his girlfriend to feed Blood and is haunted by this. Blood can't seem to get him out of his funk and they almost get captured by Fellini and his slave-wagon. However, as they run away Vic breaks his ankle and has to hide in the undergrowth, where these huge spiders start wrapping him up. Blood is terrified and unable to keep the giant arachnids away--so he runs and runs away, feeling guilty about leaving Vic to his sure death.

The one thing I could have done without is the the introduction, in which Harlan Ellison whines about the movie adaptation of A BOY AND HIS DOG in that it's too misogynistic.

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