And Then I Read: GREEN LANTERN CORPS 40

GLC40Image © DC Comics, Inc.

Another of those issues that must present some kind of resolution without changing too much. In this case, John Stewart and his small group of newbie Lanterns are finally face to face with the dark force that has been destroying the planet Zarox, and it turns out to be one that John knows all too well, it was behind a previous tragedy he’s long felt guilty about. The story is okay, but the best thing about the issue is the fine art by Bernard Chang with its unique stylized coloring in some panels. The conflict has some fine action sequences, but mostly it’s a mental contest for Stewart. On the last page there’s a large THE END, but I expect both Stewart and the Corps will go on in the near future.

Recommended.

And Then I Read: CITIZEN OF THE GALAXY 1

CitizenGalaxy1Image © 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.

Pulled From My Files #28: DRACULA

DraculaImages © Marvel.

Some time in 1992 I did this for Marvel editor Terry Kavanaugh who was planning a series reprinting some of the Marv Wolfman/Gene Colan TOMB OF DRACULA stories. It’s done with markers over pencil, and DRACULA seems intended for the logo with the other lettering as top lines above, three different ones.

WeddingofDraculaAt the time I don’t think I found out how or where it was used, but apparently only one issue was published, above, dated January 1993. DRACULA is mine, someone else has done the rest. Perhaps Marvel felt my top line wasn’t readable enough, or just too big. The cover lettering below the logo looks like a font to me. In all, not a good combination of elements to my eyes. Too bad they didn’t use what I gave them, I think it would have looked better!

And Then I Read: AUTUMNLANDS 3

Autumn3Image © 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!

Highly recommended.

And Then I Read: POGO VOLUME 3

Pogovol3HCImages © 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