Bruce Jones, Christina Rosetti, Jeffery Jones, April Campbell – Writers
Barry Windsor-Smith, John Bolton, Jeffery Jones, Leila Dowling, Scott Hampton – Artists
Tom Luth – Colours
Carrie McCarthy – Letters
Pathways to Fantasy was supposed to be an ongoing title that only ended up being a single issue which was a shame as it featured so many great writers and artists within its pages doing what they did best. It would begin with Barry Windsor-Smith illustrating a tale from Bruce Jones that would see a hunter having just lost his family to a murderous tribe and now setting off across the desert, followed by a great grey border wolf. The two are evenly matched even though the wolf’s paw be injured and soon, rather than end up enemies, their trials will find them as allies, if not friends when all is said and done. A second tale called Goblin Market by Christina Rosetti and John Bolton would end up being a standout in the book next to the first feature, a tale of two sisters, one of them seduced by the monsters of the title into eating their fruits and such which would eventually end up draining her vitality. Written in fairly dense rhyme, but working perfectly because of it, the story would flow like a tale from the Brothers Grimm and even better, look utterly beautiful thanks to the painted pencils from Bolton, bringing it to vivid life as only the master could. It is a tale not only of fantasy but of horror and it is a spectacular read. The least of those presented in the book is by Jeffery Jones, an ethereal little account much like his artwork that accompanies it which is then followed up by a story of doomed romance by April Campbell and Leila Dowling. Dowling’s artwork was good, but not quite as exceptional as the rest of her compatriots in the book, but it would be captivating nonetheless as it would present a fair maiden and a handsome prince of a man fall in love at first sight, only to be separated by his witch of a wife who would transform him into a giant spider for all time. A final two-page story would be both humorous and horrific with stunning painted artwork from Scott Hampton, an almost lyrical tale from Bruce Jones about a little girl who turned out to be more than she seemed. With five stories from some truly great creators, this book which was released in 1984 from Pacific Comics for a couple of bucks or less was worth every penny and can still be found today if one is lucky for the same amount, give or take. The only downside is that Pathways to Fantasy only lasted a single issue, a shame given the talent within its pages, but a gem that will surely enhant and delight those that are able to peruse its pages.