Category Archives: Comics

Two From Smeary Soapbox Press

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Before the month is over and it’s too late for you to get some free stuff I want to write a bit about a couple of free independent comic books that I pulled down from the new Smeary Soapbox Press store. These are comics by Dale Martin, the talented guy behind Watusi the Talking Dog. Dale has recently launched his store and is offering free PDFs of his comics though the month of August. As I’m a regular reader of Watusi, I picked up a couple that didn’t have everyone’s favorite talking dog on the cover.

The first is called 20 From 920.

The way I understand it, this is a jam comic. A bunch of comic artists get together and jam, which looks like this. Everyone writes one panel of a one page strip, then passes the page on to the next artist who adds a panel then passes it on. And round and round it goes until we have a collection of one page comics telling stories about everything from a naughty alien to a man losing his teeth. I think I liked the idea of this comic more than I liked the actual stories. It was interesting to see how the artists interacted with each other, and to see what surprising and sometimes frustrating choices the artists made in response to the various prompts they were given. So for someone interested in the process of making comics or in the improv aspects of the comic jam, 20 From 920  will be a hit. If you’re just wanting to read a comic without all that meta stuff going on, this one probably isn’t for you.

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The second PDF I picked up is called Days of Wine and Anthrax. It’s a collection of a comic called Continuity and Vine that Dale wrote in 2002 about living in a post-9-11 America. These strips I liked a lot. I liked the point of view of these comics. I liked Dale’s take on the classic (Plop magazine in my mind) two guys on an island or two guys hanging on a dungeon wall trope. This is a smart and fun collection, and I recommend it.

There are a couple more of these books over at the store that I’m going to download while the getting’s good. I’d suggest you do the same. As I click on “publish” you have not quite 4 days.

 

 

Jill Trent – Science Sleuth #1

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Jill Trent, Science Detective, was a Kickstarter project that included this new Jill Trent comic with five different stories by five different teams of writers and artists. Backers also received a PDF of the original Jill Trent comics from the 40’s which have recently fallen into, or perhaps been elevated into, public domain. I haven’t read those yet.

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I supported this Kickstarter because I teach high school engineering and I like comics. The big push in STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and math) is to get girls excited about such things. Of my 25 level-one engineering students last year, one of them was a girl. School-wide, in grades 9-12, we have two. So I’m aware of the situation. And I thought maybe the Jill Trent comics, both old and new, could somehow be used as marketing for our engineering program. And, as I said, I like comics.

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As with any collection of stories like this, you’re going to find some things you like, and some you don’t. I’ve said before that I’m hard to please when it comes to short comic stories. Four pages is not enough for me; I generally want more. But if these stories are sometimes too quick for me, they are all smart and clever and earnest in the way they give us two intelligent and powerful butt-kicking women who show girls especially, the power and fun of science. It’s great that each story is so different. This book includes a dark futuristic tale, a giant monster story, an Indiana Jones homage, a robot love story, and an old fashion mystery. The artwork is as varied as the stories, and each artist perfectly (not hyperbole–I really mean it) matches his artwork to the tone of the story being illustrated. And maybe coolest of all, Jill Trent and her sidekick Daisy Smyth are as varied as the rest of this book is. In each story Jill and Daisy are re-imagined in a variety of races, hair styles, and body types.

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What makes this book tricky for me as a high school teacher is that in most of these stories Jill and Daisy are a couple. And in a small town Missouri school, it’s been my experience that reading to a class a short story in which the protagonist has two dads (and two moms) (I’m looking at you Mr. Crutcher), or even just discussing the national day of silence, can lead to parent phone calls and teacher visits with administrators. This is a shame.  So I have to ask myself as a teacher, is making this comic available in my classroom worth the possible trouble? Maybe a bit. I have no problem that Jill and Daisy are gay. So it’s too bad I will be less likely to share this book as a result. And I know that’s on me; it’s one of those tricky decisions a teacher has to make. That’s all worth a longer discussion somewhere, but not here today.

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My point today is to say that Jill Trent, Science Sleuth is great fun. Maybe you’re not a person who is trying to get girls interested in science, and really, don’t you think you should be. Maybe you just like comics.  Either way, I’d recommend that you head over to Superdames and pick up a copy of Jill Trent.

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Short Book Reviews #1

I feel bad using up a whole blog post for my little one line reviews from Goodreads.  So I present a few of them.  That makes me feel a little less bad.

Doctor Who II Volume 2: When Worlds Collide

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How is it that the comics make more sense than the TV series.

Cory Doctorow’s Futuristic Tales Of The Here And Now

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Mixed bag. Enjoyed some of the stories and art, and others not so much.

Night of the Crabs

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Kind of a silly pulp kick this summer.

NASTY LITTLE F!#*ERS

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Silly fun.

Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life

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Listening to Steve read it to you is the way to go.

Savage Tales #1

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Savage Tales #1

From the looks of the cover, my first thought was that Marvel was going to do their version of Heavy Metal magazine with maybe a post-apocalypse bent. But that wasn’t their intent. In fact, when you open up the magazine you are greeted with a title page laid out in 48 point font declaring that this magazine is to carry stories of pulpy violence, and if the reader wants something else, he should look elsewhere. The intro is written in the tone and voice of the pulp writers–“You want philosophy, read Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, and Proust. They wrote it good.” And while that declared promise is broken right out of the gate with the first story, making one’s goal to give the reader nothing to think about, nothing to ponder in these self-declared stories of “only violence,” may have something to do with this magazine having a run of just 9 issues.

There are 5 stories in this book, each by a different writer and artist. Each one is set in a different violent setting. There’s the Vietnam story,  a western story, a jungle war story, a post-WWII story, and a post-apocalypse/crime-ridden future story.

The first story is a Vietnam war story that eventually spun off into its own comic–The ‘Nam. The story is kind of set up as an introduction to more stories to come, with an introduction of the ragtag group of soldiers, each with his own set of quirky traits.

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It tells the story of a soldier demonstrating true courage, sacrificing his life to save the lives of his friends. The story’s not that interesting, unless this is maybe your first war comic ever. But self sacrifice and its implications is something worth exploring. The story’s not that interesting, but the ending is satisfying. Something that can’t be said for all if theses stories.

The second story, the jungle war story, which takes place in a sort of dystopian future, but not very far in the future, has everything a good story needs, except a good story. This setting and characters are intriguing, a group of rebels in the jungle who use biplanes and other such salvaged technology from the past to fight an organization, presumably a government or corporation of some sort that has access to high tech jets and such.

But I didn’t get enough of that to be hooked. A short story is tricky that way. In a novel, graphic or otherwise, the author has more time to draw the reader in, to make him care about what’s going on before the stakes get raised and the action begins.  A good short story, graphic or otherwise, can do that, but I think it’s more difficult. This jungle story, and really the majority of the stories in this book, don’t set that hook. The investment by the reader is not there. So when the hot rebel girl steals the jet, and in the process of getting away has to ditch the plane and parachute safely back in the jungle, and she does, and the end, I was left thinking a page or four was missing from the story. Because, so what?

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The next story involves the revenge killing of a Nazi officer. It’s one of the better stories in the collection. We get a little twist at the end which is ultimately pretty dumb and turns a story of possible redemption into a story of revenge and the myth of redemptive violence.

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My favorite story in the book is “Blood & Gutz: A Pizza.” It involves a man, Blood, going down the street for a pizza in a post-apocalypse crime-ridden Los Angeles. The story is basically a long set up for a punch line. But the fights are fun, as is Blood’s casual attitude toward all of the danger around him.

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The final story is a Western, one of my favorite genres. But I think this story is the weakest of the lot.  It’s about some soldiers tracking down some deserters.  After some shooting, the deserters are apprehended.  Their punishment, besides being tied for a while out in the sun? Reenlistment in the army. Du-du-dummmm!  Endings are hard I guess.

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So it’s probably clear that I mostly didn’t like this book.  The writing is weak and the stories mostly uninteresting.  Maybe that’s why I only bought one issue.  Or maybe I just bought one because I knew that issue #1 would be the one to be worth hundreds of dollars some day.  But I will say this, this magazine is great to look at.  The art is varied from story to story, with each style perfectly fitting the tone of its piece.  The art for the western story looks westerny and the art for “A Pizza” is fun and scary just like the story.

So Savage Tales is ok.  If you can turn off your brain and just enjoy the stories for their pretty pictures, you’re in good shape. If you want more than that, then just keep walking.  Or find some Schopenhauer or Kierkegaard, or some old Secrets of Haunted House comics.

Toaster Wars

Remember when Mad Magazine used to (probably still does) illustrate how ahead of the curve they were by showing one of their magazine covers being ripped off by another more prestigious magazine?  Here’s what I’m talking about.

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The Real Matt Show has finally joined the likes of Mad Magazine.  The writer of one of the comics I read online–Brevity–is clearly a reader of this blog.  The proof of this is presented below.

Brevity, March 19, 2015

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The Real Matt Show, January 6, 2015

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Pretty cool.  Brevity Facebook.  Brevity at GoComics.

Original Toast-Mobile post

The Human Fly #1

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Writer, Bill Mantlo. Artist, Lee Elias.

Issue #1, so purchased as an investment back in the day. Recently I came across some issues of The Human Fly selling at a comic shop for $6.00 each. If I could get that for this one I’d make 2000% on my investment. I should have bought 100 copies.

This is an interesting comic. First of all, while the Human Fly is the main character, it’s really about his team. And as you may recall from a previous review featuring The Challengers of the Unknown, I love this kind of team–just regular folks with a collection of specific skills that make them awesome. There is, obviously, the Human Fly, the team leader. Nearly killed in a auto accident that took the life of his wife and child, he is patched up by doctors who expect him to be bedridden for the rest of his life. But at night he sneaks out of bed and exercises against doctor’s orders, building his body into a lean, mean, stunting machine.

After making remarkable recovery, Fly visits the future members of his team, offering them the encouragement they need to overcome a major obstacle in each of their lives, get back on track, and join the Human Fly team. Both of these stories are told in flashback at a time when the team member is struggling to complete a task. Just remembering their inspirational meeting with Fly strengthens the resolve to do what needs to be done. A fun narrative tool.

The story opens with Fly preparing to do a stunt to raise money for charity. It’s then they get word that the jet full of reporters there to cover the stunt has been kidnapped by The Mercenary and his band of terrorists demanding 5-million dollars. The Fly’s team springs into action, and attempts to lower the Fly in his magnetic suit onto the hijacked plane to rescue its occupants.

The first team member we meet is Ted Locke, a Vietnam vet. Remember when every ragtag team had at least one Vietnam vet on it, if not a whole van full. Locke is trying to secure the metal rod/ladder that the Fly is climbing down from their chopper to the jet. Locke can’t seem to control the device, the Fly nearly falls. It’s then that we learn how Locke came to be on the Fly’s team. Locke thinks back to the explosives accident that cost him his hands. Sitting in the army hospital, having given up all hope to live a productive life, Locke is visited by a bandaged man who inspires him to join him. This memory gives Locke the strength he needs to use his robot hands to secure the device and keep the Fly safe.

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A similar story unfolds in the cockpit of the Fly’s plane as the pilot, Blaze Kendall thinks back to when when she crash landed a plane, and then couldn’t emotionally function as a pilot. It was the Fly that paid her an inspiring visit, and his faith in her that enabled her to rise up out of her funk and become the amazing pilot she had always been. The memory helps her to fly a steady course in harsh weather, keeping the fly safe during their rescue attempt.

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The fly manages to blow off the door of the plane and save the hostages, at least those that didn’t get sucked out of the cabin due to sudden depressurization. (That didn’t happen, but it could have.  The Fly should be more careful.)

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It’s while the Fly is beating up the hostages that one of the reporters does something stupid. That reporter’s name? Peter Parker. When you are on a plane with a limited number of people, and after the day is already almost saved, is not the time to turn into Spider-Man. But he gets dumber. As the Fly and the boss terrorist go out the door in a struggle, Spidey goes after them. This is good for the Fly who, when the bad guy goes off in a jet pack, finds himself being rescued by Spider-Man with a web parachute (that falls as fast as a man without one). But then Spidey’s all, well I better go get on that plane before they notice Peter Parker’s missing and put 1 and 1 together. First, no doiy! Second, I’d love to see how you do that Spider-Man, get back on a jet that is probably making an emergency landing right now, without being noticed.

And they’re all happy except the snotty reporter, Harmony Whyte, who obviously being set up as the foil.  She will find out what the Human Fly is all about.  Who risks his life just for charity?  She’s determined to find out.

I liked it. I liked the clever introduction of the team. I liked the lack of superpowers, something that I’m realizing that I could mostly do without.  I liked the Human Fly kicking some terrorist butt.

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The story was fun, even with Spiderman horning in. But what was best is that this comic is based on a real guy. It says so right on the cover. I didn’t notice it. But for some reason I read the editorial in this issue, something I hardly ever do. And there Bill Mantlo explained that the Human Fly is based on a real person who after the aforementioned car crash, built himself up to become the world’s greatest daredevil.

I did some research. And I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble. But it may be more accurate to say this comic is based on a guy whose story is based on some things that may or may not be matters of fact. But the real Human Fly did ride the outside of a big jet through the rain and visit the hospital later with rain related injuries. And he did attempt to break Evel Knievel’s bus jumping record of 12 buses by jumping 26 on a rocket-powered motorcycle. There’s an interesting article about it in the British Esquire magazine. And an interview with him on Canadian television. Where is he now? No one knows.


Aquaman #59

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Aquaman #59. 1977.

Well, I’m about convinced that the perfect number of stories for your standard 18-or-so-page comic book is one. This doesn’t necessarily apply to the horror anthologies, although I think in that case, the fewer stories, the better. But I’m saying a typical superhero comic needs the entire book to present a well developed interesting story. What happens when there’s two stories is the feature story gets cut short just as it gets rolling, and the “bonus” story never gets rolling at all. That’s what happened to Aquaman in this issue. However, I will say that both these stories are pure action from start to finish. So what we’re missing is a bit of variety in pacing and tone of the stories. They are basically nonstop grumpy/whiny action from start to finish.

This story starts with Aquaman being fired on by the NATO navy. Turns out they were just warning shots as the navy wants him out of this particular area of the ocean. As Aquaman boards the navy ship to discuss things, a giant squid, under direction of Aquaman, grabs the captain to make sure everyone realizes just who they’re dealing with (king of the freaking seas, that’s who). While they’re arguing,

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a giant waterspout booms out of the ocean dead ahead in the path of the ship. Falling debris from the waterspout damages the ship’s rudder, leaving everyone on board heading toward eminent death. Aquaman heads beneath the surface to investigate, leaving behind some helpful whales, and a snotty remark.

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At the source of the waterspout Aquaman find the Fisherman and his goons overseeing the reclamation of a sunken ship. The waterspout of rocks and debris was caused by the device they’re using to dig it out. Aquaman starts bossing everyone around. He doesn’t know what’s on the ship, but he figures if it’s in the ocean, it must belong to him. There’s a brief underwater fight, during which an explosion causes the ship to tip off the ledge it is sitting on. Aquaman sends a giant squid to catch it before it plunges into the depths. But it’s too much for the squid. The fisherman isn’t happy, and he yells at Aquaman for losing the ship.

Then swoosh, up it comes. But how? Because it is now in the possession of The Scavenger who somehow grabbed it with his giant scavenging submarine. The Scavenger and Aquaman somehow have an extended conversation about the rightful owner of the wreck even though The Scavenger is in the sub and Aquaman outside it in the water.  Aquaman once again demands possession of the ship. Scrapper just zaps him, laughs, and drives away with the ship.

At this point it seems that Aquaman is more the kind of guy who likes to act like he’s the boss of the seven seas, even if he’s pretty ineffectual. The Scavenger drives on, and Aquaman just shakes his fist. Where are your whales and giant squids now big guy? I guess I’ll chalk it up to the fact that the king of the seas is going through some tough times–his son is dead and his wife has left him. But it seems like he’s kind of a bossy jerk.  And it comes back to bite him when I needs help going after The Scavenger.

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Also, there are a couple of panels about some diplomat being kidnapped. But that’s never addressed again in the story.

The other story could be titled “Meanwhile . . .” It deals with Aquaman’s wife, Mera, having traveled back to her homeworld to retrieve a device that will revive her dead son. I’m not familiar with Mera, but I like her.  She’s got spunk.  The villain sends a big goon after her and asks if she’s tough enough to do what she’s come to do.  Her response . . .

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Thwack! The whole story is basically a hard water fight between her and the man who has the device. But not the kind of hard water that keeps you from getting suds in the shower. This hard water is more like what comes from Green Lantern’s ring. She and her opponent fight each other with giant blue fists and birdcages and such.

And while it seems to be a physical fight, it’s really and battle if the will and mind. So when Mera defeats her opponent, she accidentally shatters his mind. And you guessed it. He’s the only one who knew where the magic medical device was. Ohhhhhh snap!

Both these stories were pretty much nonstop action. And I’ll bet they’re setting up a pretty sweet story. But, again, if we didn’t have the Mera story in this book, we’d have time to not just set up a good story, but maybe to wrap it up satisfyingly as well.

Finally, it’s not hard to see Aquaman as a bossy douche in this book. As I said earlier, he’s going through a hard time.  But dude, chill. Ask a question now and then rather that issuing orders like a nerdy kid with the power of a hall monitor badge. And while I don’t want to raise the ire if the Aquaman apologists, King of the Seas, stop yelling at everyone and do something. Action, not words. You’re wife kicked more butt in her short story than you did in your long one. Ok, I guess Aquaman got on my nerves a little as well.  But I wish him luck in his future endeavors, and hope things get better for him.

 

My Nest Egg

After a recent visit to my brother’s house, I left with two containers, one cardboard, one plastic with the half of my old comic collection that I didn’t already have in my basement.  Of course it was fun to shuffle through the old books, and I found myself sorting them, which involved spreading them all over three couches and the floor. I even bought an app to help me catalog the collection. I don’t know what I’ll do with any of that data. But it’s fun to flip through the covers on my iPad, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

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Even though the collection was fairly randomly distributed throughout three different containers, based on my memory, as opposed to nice rock layers like archeologists have, I noticed something about the collection. There was a point were I went from buying and reading comics for my own enjoyment to buying them as an investment. Near the end of our comic buying days a lot of books begin to appear with words like “First Issue Collectors Item!” or “500th Issue Collectors Item” or just “Collectors Item” printed on the cover. My brother and I (I suspect he slipped some of his comics into these boxes) knew these small 60 cent investments would be worth hundreds if not thousands some day. I haven’t researched the value of any if these investments. Partly I’m afraid to find out they’re worth not quite what I paid for them. Partly I’m sure that some comic collector will see this post and these photos and will get a hold of me with huge offers for pieces of my collection.

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If my collection was laid out like layers of rock, I think the oldest ones that comicologists would find, on the bottom layer, would be Richie Rich and the other Harvey comics. Next would come the occasional Marvel title and a lot of Superman, Batman, and Justice League titles. Batman would continue on up after most of these other titles stop appearing in the higher strata. This is when two groups of comic begin to show up–the aforementioned collectors items, and Jonah Hex. Batman continues to remain in the layers after the collector’s items disappear, but they too eventually are no more to be found, leaving Johan Hex as the last comic I regularly purchased and read. Then some time travel thing happened and Jonah Hex jumped the shark. But that’s a story for another time.
Comic collectors willing to swap big stacks of cash for the comic pictured above, feel free to leave a comment to that affect below.  Thanks.

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Conan #100

Conan #100

-Roy thomas, John Buscema & Ernie Chan

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I didn’t read a lot of Conan as a kid. Later in life I read some of the black and white Conan comics. And I’ve read a couple of the books by Robert E. Howard. I like the world that Howard created in his stories, a world of magic and terrifying monsters, but not populated by elves and dwarves. The story in this book does a pretty good job of bringing Howard’s dark and foreboding mood to the comics.

In this story Conan and his sexy pirate girlfriend find themselves heading upriver in a gloomy forlorn swamp, seeking an ancient abandoned city. Conan isn’t so sure about the whole trip, but his “mate” is into it, so he stoically goes along. Before arriving at the ruins, a man on their boat is attached and killed by a giant sea serpent, and the crew spots some kind of flying ape perched menacingly atop the ancient ruins. This gives Conan second thoughts, but his baby thinks there might be a lot of treasure involved, so off they go. Turns out there is a lot of treasure at the old city, and his woman is able to get to it despite a deadly booby trap, by sacrificing the lives of three of her soldiers. Hmmmm, not like her, thinks Conan, but she seems so happy with her treasure, that he lets it slide.

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In the meantime, their ship has been attacked by the flying ape; it’s smashed all their water barrels. Conan goes off to search for water while sweet-thing moves her treasure to the boat. While in the dark jungle, Conan accidentally breathes in the aroma of the black lotus which knocks him out and gives him dreams of this past civilization. The gist is that it was once ruled by majestic winged celestial creatures, but over time, for various reasons, they became hideous winged apes that destroyed each other, leaving only the one. When Conan wakes up, he heads back to the ship only to find that everyone is dead from flying ape attack, and his lover is hanging from the yardarm by her precious necklace.

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At this point Conan is a little pissed. And just when it seems that things can’t get worse, he is attacked by a pack if hyenas. He takes high ground and is able to cut the pack down one by one with arrow and then sword. Finally it’s just him and the ape. But Conan finds himself trapped under some of the stone ruins.  It looks like the end for our hero. Then slice slice, back from the dead his pirate lover attacks and kills the winged ape.

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She has returned from the dead to save Conan, just like she said she would while they snuggled on the boat. I forgot to mention that earlier because it just seemed like an idle conversation, but here she is just as she promised.

In the epilogue, Conan gives her and her treasure a Viking funeral.

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Unlike batman, Conan doesn’t feel the need to emphasize the lesson we all should have learned. He just wanders off for to more adventures.

 

This was a pretty good story. About as good as Conan gets, I think. Conan definitely has that every man wants to be him thing going on. In making his way through an uncertain world, Conan has the skill and wherewithal to courageously stand up to the challenges of life, something many of us struggle to do. Plus he’s a muscly stud and gets all the girls.

That’s something to talk about regarding Conan, the women. It’s tricky to judge how enlightened a 1970’s comic book based on 1930’s pulp novels should be. But here’s some thoughts. These women, as you can see from the cover, are everything that junior high boys believe women should be, and they dress the way junior high boys think these women should dress. In fact, the I way I remember it, this is in fact how all women between 16 and 26 do look to a 13-year-old boy. I’ve seen this in action. Last year while teaching a 7th grade reading class, one of my yearbook students, a high school girl, walked into my room, took a camera off my desk, and left. I looked at my class. Where were we, I said. The guys didn’t hear me. Not only didn’t these guys know where we had been, they did t know where they were right now. They were gobsmacked. The woman from the cover of Conan had just walked into then out of their lives.

Men don’t stop feeling this way about women when they turn 14, or 24, or 54. And the fact that the the hot Conan women are so often chained or caged or uncontrollably attracted to the brute of a man who sees her as little more than a sexy warm body is problematic.  Red Sonja, the mostly naked heroine who sometimes inhabits Conan’s world is sort of an answer to this idea I guess as she’s always killing the awful men she encounters. (But she’s the one saying smell the glove, you see.) That may be one way of dealing with the misogynistic point of view of the Conan comics.  It may also be just another excuse for men to lust after a hottie in a metal bikini. I don’t know. Google images of Red Sonja, maybe not at work or with the kids around, and let me know what you think.

In this Conan story, at least at the beginning, the woman is portrayed as Conan’s equal. Later, however, as she becomes touched with the greed for treasure, she becomes bossy, murderous, and out of control. In the end she learns her lesson, albeit too late, to not worry so much about having nice things. Because you know, that’s how women are.

 

Dime Bag Comics

Isn’t it cool to get a completely unexpected gift from someone.  I got two of those this year. The first came in the mail on Christmas eve, a gift from a cartoonist friend of mine.  Friend is probably a stretch.  We took a few weeks of improv classes together a couple years ago, so we’re more than acquaintances.  But I believe we could be friends if didn’t live a couple hours away from each other.  Anyyywayyy, Dale Martin is the artist/author of Watusi the Talking Dog.  (If you scroll down a bit, you can find a link to Watusi on the left side of the page.)  He sent me a very cool Christmas card and a copy of Dime Bag Comics.

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Dime Bag Comics is an anthology of 10 different, mostly one-page stories by seven different cartoonists.  Each story is inspired by an actual item found at a local thrift shop. A pretty fun idea.  The items include a diary, a dvd remote, matching cat cheese knives, a children’s tie, and a programmable talking Ken doll. As with any anthology, some of the pieces are going to speak you, and some aren’t.  One page is not a lot of space to tell a story with words and pictures.  But most of these artists reached me. A few of the pieces I loved. And, a couple of these comics, I’m not proud to say, went right over my head.  But overall, this was a very fun experience.

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The book is well produced. There’s a cool overcover (word I just made up) made of paper bag material, as well as photos of all the items throughout the book.  It’s a nice package. This comic had a print run limited to 50 copies. I don’t know if there are more out there or not. But I know where you can find out.

I encourage you to support independent comics in 2015. If you just treated yourself once a month, it’d be like Christmas eve 12 times a year.