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michael heimos
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nick runge
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jordie bellaire
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brandon dEstefano tom waltz

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FEVER RIDGE: A TALE OF MACARTHUR’S JUNGLE WAR #1. FEBRUARY 2013. FIRST PRINTING. FEVER RIDGE © 2013 Michael A. Heimos. All rights reserved. © 2012 Idea and Design Works, LLC. All Rights Reserved. IDW Publishing, a division of Idea and Design Works, LLC. Editorial offices: 5080 Santa Fe Street, San Diego, CA 92109. The IDW logo is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Any similarities to persons living or dead are purely coincidental. With the exception of artwork used for review purposes, none of the contents of this publication may be reprinted without the permission of Idea and Design Works, LLC. Printed in Korea. IDW Publishing does not read or accept unsolicited submissions of ideas, stories, or artwork.

A lot of people have a thing about bats, we all know they play large roles in literature and the graphic arts and surely we need not go further into the vampire and Batman stuff. We will add a little to this in Fever Ridge because truly, New Guinea can be described as “bat-land.” There are bats of all sorts, all over the island: from flying foxes large as hawks to bats that crawl on the ground (as you saw in Issue 1, our characters caught them for breakfast). It is well known that Papuans very skillfully catch bats, often in handmade nets strung between high trees, rather like tuna nets, and revel in them as culinary delights. They also passed this knowledge on to the Allied soldiers, especially the Alamo Scouts (see Issue 3 of Fever Ridge!). Now as the foregoing shows, Nature has a few tricks up its sleeve–— s -even pretty, brightly colored songbirds can deceive. Well, just the opposite is the case, too, and even if you find bats completely creepy you have to love the blossom bat, or Syconycteris, a new subspecies of which was recently found in the Foja Mountains of New Guinea by a scientific expedition funded by the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences. It’s been called the “hummingbird of the bat world” or simply the “hummingbat” because of the  long tongue it uses to drink nectar from flowering trees. Just like their compatriots in nectar, bees, they are important pollinators as well.  In the mid-1800s the legendary explorer and scientist Alfred Russel Wallace, who had seen more than a few wild places, wrote that the rugged and dense forests on the island of New Guinea presented “...an almost impassable barrier to the unknown interior.” This remained true throughout much of the 20th century, even during the desperate battle for the South Pacific during World War II.  In Fever Ridge, we focus on both the great issues facing  mankind and the personal perspectives of a handful of men during their  struggle for mastery of that unknown world. But New Guinea also provides us a wonderful aesthetic stage, and you will also see Nick and Jordie do astounding things with New Guinea’s astounding creatures. Taken with a grain of salt of course, have a read of Rev. R. Lister Turner’s “Malignant Witchcraft in Papua and The Use of Poisons Therein,” Man, Vol. 24, (Aug., 1924), pp. 117-119. Read more about the Foja expedition at http//:/gm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/6/foja-mountains//hite-text. / n 0 / w / / / And please give direct support to the remaining explorers of the s world, or indirectly through funding//ponsoring organizations such as the  National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian Institution.

-Michael Heimos

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