Wednesday, December 1, 2010
BAG IT AND BOARD IT
by Mike Mignola
"The Magician and the Snake" by Katie Mignola and Mike Mignola
colors by Dave Stewart
letters by Clem Robbins & Pat Brosseau
Written by Matz
Illustrated by Luc Jacamon
Translated by Matz and Edward Gauvin
Lettered by Marshall Dillon and Mark Smylie
Words and Pictures by Michael Allred
Colors by Laura Allred
written by Jim McCann
art by Janet Lee
Strips 1-183, 1939-1943
Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
[Strips by Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Paul Cassidy, Wayne Boring, John Sikela, Jack Schiff, Whitney Ellsworth, Harry Donenfeld and Vincent Sullivan]
To this day, Mignola's The Amazing Screw-On Head one shot remains perhaps my favorite single issue comic book ever, and Dark Horse's recently released hardcover gives it all due justice. The other "curious objects" in this collection are also a nice addition, every one of them new to me and a wonderful complement to the main attraction.
Two more books from Archaia here, and both are must-reads. This first volume of The Killer is a masterfully executed study of a man who exists without remorse in a world that only he can inhabit, governed by his own code and none other; Jacamon's art (including his tremendously deft use of color) is every bit the equal of Matz's script. And at the other end of the spectrum of What Comics Can Be, Return of the Dapper Men delivers a new fairy tale that already feels comfortable and familiar, while introducing us to the uncanny talents of artist Janet Lee. McCann is an exceptionally creative and talented writer, and while I wish him the best with his work for the Big Two (or at least Marvel, anyway), I hope he gives us a lot more in the way of creator-owned material. Thank whatever god watches out for comics that Archaia exists!
So far as capes and/or tights go, this Superman book made for spectacular bathroom reading. I was sorry it didn't have the historical information provided by the similar Batman collection I read some months back, but the early adventures of the Man of Steel nevertheless entertained in their own right. I'll be honest, I'm not much of a Superman fan, but I do love seeing these early works when even his creators, Siegel and Schuster, weren't quite sure what they had on their hands.
And so long as we're talking about costumed heroes, Mike Allred's Madman is a masterpiece, and this Gargantua! edition is a perfect showcase for all of its crazy energy. I love this kind of comics, the kind where anything--anything--can and does happen. Time travel! Dinosaurs! Robots! Mutant street beatniks!