WGTC librarian authors book exploring fantasy heroine

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Matthew Sunrich spends his entire working life surrounded by books. Now he’s written one.


A librarian at West Georgia Technical College’s Thomas B. Murphy Campus in Waco, Sunrich has written a character study on a long-running Marvel Comics character, Red Sonja.


Sunrich said he’s long been fascinated by the character of Red Sonja, a sword-and-sorcery heroine, having read and researched nearly 300 comic books for his newly published book, “Drawn Swords: An Unauthorized Exploration of Red Sonja and the Artists Who Brought Her to Life.”


Sunrich has been a comic book, fantasy and horror fan for as long as he can remember. After years of attempting to become a fiction writer, he directed his writing toward pop-culture analysis.


“It means the world to me to have my first book published,” Sunrich said. “I’ve written several articles on the character of Red Sonja in the past, but there’s so much material out there about her origin story and how her story has evolved over the past 40 years, I knew there would be plenty of compelling content to cover in an entire book.”


Since her debut in Marvel's “Conan the Barbarian” in 1973, Red Sonja has become the “undisputed queen of sword and sorcery,” Sunrich said. She has hacked and slashed her way through more than 300 comic books to date – a number that continues to grow in the pages of Dynamite Entertainment's series.


Savage and beautiful, altruistic and deadly, Sonja, the flame-haired "She-Devil with a Sword," is a war-goddess in the tradition of Athena or the Valkyries – but though divinely blessed with supreme battlefield prowess, she is a flesh-and-blood woman.


“That makes her an extremely compelling woman to me,” Sunrich said. “She’s beautiful, but also has powers that make her nearly impossible to beat in battle. She fights for the weak and is an adventurer more than anything else. That keeps her story fresh and interesting, and it’s a story I’ve been following for several years.”


The 322-page book is published by Hasslein Books, based in New York. The book explores the character’s adventures and how they relate to other comics, as well as novels, television programs and films.


Sunrich’s book also details Red Sonja’s adventures from Marvel and Dynamite, examining the work of the myriad artists whose pens and pencils gave her the breath of life.


For more information about “Drawn Swords,” visit www.HassleinBooks.com. To purchase Sunrich’s book, visit https://www.amazon.com/Drawn-Swords-Unauthorized-Exploration-Artists/dp/0692903283/.


Sunrich lives in Tallapoosa, Georgia, with his wife, two children, five cats and 800 Dungeons & Dragons miniatures.

(above) Matthew Sunrich, a librarian at the West Georgia Technical College Thomas B. Murphy Campus in Waco, has written a book on a long-running Marvel Comics character, Red Sonja.