Image © estate of Robert A. Heinlein and IDW.
Adaptations of stories by Robert Heinlein, one of my favorite writers, are rare, and I’m not sure why, other than perhaps the price of rights to do so. The novels he wrote for younger readers are works I always thought would make good comics, if a little on the talky side. This is one of those novels, and so far I like the adaptation pretty well. I haven’t read the book for some years, so I can’t say how close the adaptation is to it, but it feels like Heinlein, even reads like him in places. The art by Steve Erwin is kind of loose, but that works well on this tale of Jubbul, a planet full of thieves and beggars, sort of the space version of the film “The Thief of Baghdad.” It follows the life of a slave boy, Thorby, who is brought to the slave market on Jubbul and bought by a beggar who, as it turns out, is much more than that. He has seen something in this boy, and decides to take him in and help him. Thorby is suspicious at first, but in time the two grow close. When the beggar’s real work threatens both their lives, Thorby has to learn some hard lessons to escape death, and Jubbul.
Nicely done, looking forward to more. Recommended.
Image © Kurt Busiek & Benjamin Dewey.
The human-like animals of the fallen city have, through magic, pulled a human warrior from the distant past, a man they hope will be their champion, able to protect and lead them against their enemies. The man, Steven Learoyd, after helping them out of immediate danger, now seems unwilling or unable to take on the role they have planned for him. Reluctantly, he offers advice, does some scouting, and even takes up a sword, but he’s hardly the godlike being they were expecting.
Meanwhile, a new character appears on the scene (and the cover), Goodfoot the Trader. She’s delightful, but tricksy. Whose side is she really on, other than her own? This series continues to gain depth, with hints of a long history for the world, and elements of sword and sorcery, the Old West, and classic animal fables. I’m loving it. The writing and art are excellent, as are the coloring and lettering. The characters are fascinating, and the storyline keeps surprising me. Nothing here to complain about!
Images © Okefenokee Glee & Perloo Inc.
I’ve been gradually reading this handsome third volume of the complete Pogo comic strips over the last month or so. It takes me a while because, unlike some strip collections such as those for “Peanuts,” I can’t read very many pages of Pogo at a time. They’re so dense with things to look at, enjoy and understand — clever dialogue, jokes, satire, physical humor, amazing cartooning, lush inking, incredible lettering and more — that after a few pages my brain begins to feel overloaded and I start missing things. This time I decided to only read one month’s worth of dailies or three months worth of Sundays at a time. As the book covers two full years, 1953 and 1954, it took a while, but I feel I got more out of the reading experience this time. Continue reading
Image © DC Comics.
The final issue of SWAMP THING, at least for now, is a little sad for me, as I’ve been enjoying writer Charles Soule and artist Jesus Saiz’ run on the book a great deal. Having to wrap up a complicated storyline, this one feels a bit rushed, and it’s overlaid with a meta-fictional narration pointing out repeatedly that it’s just a story. While an interesting idea (especially when Swamp Thing finds himself literally a book), that distances the reader from events, making them seem less important, and thereby weakening the finale, in my opinion. I still enjoyed it, but not as much as I might have. Oh, and that great wide-screen cover made me think perhaps the entire issue was going to go that way. It doesn’t. Too bad. Have to give the entire series a big thumbs up, though, it’s been a great ride with lots of fresh ideas and excellent characters.
Image © DC Comics.
Writer Robert Venditti had a difficult assignment here. This run of GREEN LANTERN is ending, but the main character Hal Jordan is not, nor is the Green Lantern Corps. Any closure will be brief and fleeting. What happens is, he quits as Corps leader, intending to let the Corps’ recent bad name fall on his leadership, and attempts to take a kind of all-access power battery and leave with it. To do that he has to go through Kilowog, and much of the story is about that battle, and their friendship. Not a bad solution to this story problem. The art by Billy Tan and Mark Irwin is generally good, but they aren’t as convincing with civilian Hal as they are with Green Lantern Hal. In all, a pretty good read.