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What comics have you been reading? by DeCarlo Rules
[Today at 01:49:23 AM]


Library Books That You All Read by BettyReggie
[September 20, 2017, 04:46:50 PM]


Whew! by SAGG
[September 20, 2017, 02:20:10 PM]


What have you done today? by Archiecomicxfan215
[September 19, 2017, 04:41:37 PM]


Days we look foward to as Archie Fans. by BettyReggie
[September 19, 2017, 09:02:23 AM]


What are you currently watching? by DeCarlo Rules
[September 18, 2017, 02:36:39 AM]


Rick and Morty by SAGG
[September 16, 2017, 09:05:26 PM]


Latest Hauls, what did you buy? by DeCarlo Rules
[September 16, 2017, 01:09:28 PM]


Betty and Cheryl by Tuxedo Mark
[September 14, 2017, 08:04:01 PM]


Riverdale Reviewed by Tuxedo Mark
[September 13, 2017, 08:30:24 PM]

* Shoutbox

Refresh History
  • Tuxedo Mark: Sabrina series in the works at The CW! [link]
    September 20, 2017, 05:09:30 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Riverdale billboard in New York: [link]
    September 19, 2017, 01:49:42 PM
  • BettyReggie: Riverdale Season 2 premieres Wednesday, October 11th at 8pm on The CW! which is 21 days away.
    September 19, 2017, 09:01:58 AM
  • Vegan Jughead: My wife used to watch him on All My Children.  He's kind of a weird choice for Mr. Lodge, but I guess no weirder than the rest of the characters!
    September 19, 2017, 07:47:21 AM
  • Tuxedo Mark: First look at Hiram: [link]
    September 18, 2017, 02:33:09 PM
  • BettyReggie: The Archie Andrew Show is on the radio right now. It's about Archie getting Veronica bubble bath for party.
    September 17, 2017, 03:22:25 AM
  • DeCarlo Rules: It's easy to tell what people are collecting by seeing what's "out of stock"... all the older Josie and Sabrina issues, B&V Summer Fun & Spectaculars (AGS and regular series).
    September 17, 2017, 12:15:34 AM
  • DeCarlo Rules: Only one Josie comic. About a dozen issues of Sabrina, a dozen issues of Veronica, a dozen Archie Giant Series issues, half-a-dozen B&V Spectaculars, 9 FCBD and HCF issues I was missing. A bunch of different #100, 200, 300 & 400 issues, and a bunch of miscellaneous stuff.
    September 17, 2017, 12:02:26 AM
  • irishmoxie: What did you get DeCarlo? Lots of Sabrina and Josie?
    September 16, 2017, 10:29:49 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Honestly, I never even noticed that before. Anyway, it's weird that the photographer is in the picture, which leads me to believe this isn't the actual publicity shot.
    September 16, 2017, 02:51:52 PM
  • DeCarlo Rules: Went a little nuts today and ordered over $200 worth of Archie Comics back issues online. I'm just too impatient to wait until that stuff just happens to turn up somewhere in the bargain bins.
    September 16, 2017, 01:06:04 PM
  • DeCarlo Rules: Aw, but it's just a publicity shot. They didn't replicate the most important aspect of that iconic image, which is that Betty is looking at Archie, Archie is looking at Veronica, and Veronica is looking at no one...
    September 16, 2017, 01:14:47 AM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Camila, KJ, and Lili do the iconic "three on a soda" pic: [link]
    September 15, 2017, 08:30:23 PM
  • Vegan Jughead: I wouldn't exactly call that "feeling up", perv!  LOL
    September 14, 2017, 12:27:05 PM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Vegan Jughead: It is! And I just noticed Betty's feeling up Veronica.
    September 14, 2017, 12:07:06 PM
  • BettyReggie: I just preordered Your Pal Archie Vol. 1 Paperback from Amazon – March 27, 2018 which is 193 days away.
    September 14, 2017, 09:30:12 AM
  • Vegan Jughead: That cover is SO HOT!
    September 14, 2017, 08:59:45 AM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Archie, Veronica, Jughead, and Betty on the cover of "Entertainment Weekly": [link]
    September 14, 2017, 08:49:50 AM
  • Tuxedo Mark: Yeah, they're all fine. Thanks for asking. :)
    September 13, 2017, 08:28:35 PM
  • steveinthecity: @Tuxedo Mark - Hope the chickens made it through unscathed.
    September 13, 2017, 03:34:59 PM


Author Topic: Some reviews.  (Read 20087 times)

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SAGG

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #45 on: December 24, 2016, 12:39:13 AM »

REGGIE AND ME #1 - It's readable, but definitely one of Tom DeFalco's lesser efforts at scripting for ACP. There's no problem following the story, at least. The biggest criticisms here are ones that generally apply to most of the New Riverdale comic books, i.e.: (A) not much happens in the course of 20 pages, and (B) what does happen isn't particularly funny, or even that interesting. I will admit that there are a lot of classic-style ACP 5 or 6 page stories where you could fairly say that "not much happens", but as long as the story is funny, it hardly matters -- you didn't invest much money or time in those 5 or 6 pages. Another thing that occurs to me is that it's a lot easier to forgive Reggie for being such a total dick as long as it's for the purposes of humor and entertainment -- but when he behaves the same way and he's not being funny, it makes him much less likeable as a character. There's probably no good reason for copying the format of B&V here and having the story narrated by Reggie's dog Vader. The information conveyed in the captions could just as easily be delivered by a disembodied omniscient narrator. The artwork wasn't terrible, or particularly good either, not the worst artwork to appear in a NR comic, but nowhere near the best, either.

JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS #3 - Might as well admit here that I only picked this up to read the classic reprint in back. I attempted to read the new lead story, but half-a-dozen pages in the dialogue was so boring and tedious that I just gave up and skimmed the rest. Good god, reading an Archie comic book shouldn't feel like work, and this feels like trudging through waist-deep molasses. Audrey Mok's artwork isn't bad, and I could probably get to like it if the writing on this title wasn't nearly incomprehensible. All in all, some of the best art I've seen in a NR comic (aside from Derek Charm), along with absolutely the worst writing on any of the NR comics so far, which is a real shame.








SPOILER ALERT:
I think the writers were being cute here, and thought they were being clever, with the old Saturday morning cartoon version of Josie and the Pussycats, with the villain and all. I thought the way the Josie/Alexandra angle was being played had an interesting take: On the surface, from Josie's POV, Alexandra was the bad gal, but then Alexandra turned the tables, and made Josie really to be the one who's fault it was. However, I don't think Josie was really using Alexandra's money because they'd still be "friends" now just for the money angle where Josie could ride the gravy train. Josie basically used Alexandra, but not for the money. I think Josie just grew apart from her, but didn't let Alexandra know how much Josie's drifting hurt Alexandra, who grew resentful...

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #46 on: December 24, 2016, 02:34:21 AM »
I think the writers were being cute here, and thought they were being clever, with the old Saturday morning cartoon version of Josie and the Pussycats, with the villain and all. I thought the way the Josie/Alexandra angle was being played had an interesting take: On the surface, from Josie's POV, Alexandra was the bad gal, but then Alexandra turned the tables, and made Josie really to be the one who's fault it was. However, I don't think Josie was really using Alexandra's money because they'd still be "friends" now just for the money angle where Josie could ride the gravy train. Josie basically used Alexandra, but not for the money. I think Josie just grew apart from her, but didn't let Alexandra know how much Josie's drifting hurt Alexandra, who grew resentful...

That's all well and good as cake frosting. That is, if it just adds some additional level of interest or depth to a story that primarily exists to be fun or funny and entertaining, because the latter is really the only reason I need to read Archie Comics. I'm not looking for serious character interaction as the primary reason for reading. It's all secondary to a story that interests me for what's happening -- the events and ideas in the story. The only thing that makes me want to read Archie Comics as opposed to some other comics that might have stories about interesting events and ideas is for relaxation and amusement, and they are entertaining to me only insofar as they they take my mind off the boring day-to-day grind, and leave me with a feeling of having had a little fun or a chuckle.

If I want something else from a comic book, I can easily read about Batman keeping the people around him at arms' length and alienating them emotionally by being controlling and/or distrustful, but I don't even particularly care to read about that anymore.

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #47 on: January 26, 2017, 02:36:24 PM »
ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #276 - Haven't finished reading this yet, but I flipped through it and read a few stories, including of course, the new lead story by Dan Parent.

Some of the highlights in this issue include: "The Elevenaire" by Craig Boldman and Stan Goldberg; a section with 2 stories of Archie's SuperTeens: "Mad Doctor Doom's Dupe!" (I wonder if that wasn't the first teenage Archie story to use Mad Doc D, who usually appeared only in Little Archie stories prior to this?) and "Evilheart's Revenge!" - both stories spotlighting Reggie as Evilheart, and both by Frank Doyle and Bob White; and a couple of selections from LIFE WITH ARCHIE issues, "That Far Out Feeling" (in which Archie encounters teen alien invader Supro) and "The Perilous Past!" (a 24th Century interplanetary escapade with the crew of Starship Rivda), again both written by Doyle with art by Stan Goldberg.

The new lead story is "Dear FAKE Diary", featuring Archie, Veronica, and Jughead. Dan's art is always a pleasure to look at, but the ending of this story left me puzzled and a little disappointed. The plot concerns Jughead putting Archie up to making up a fake diary as a test for Veronica - which he leaves lying around, and of course (I don't think this should be a spoiler for anyone - otherwise there wouldn't be any story here) she does read. I won't say any more for fear of giving it ALL away, but the ending sort of flabbergasted me, so I guess I have to explain why. At the end I sat thinking about it for a minute or two, and it seemed to force me to come to one of the following multiple-choice conclusions:

A)  Veronica is pretty stupid.

B)  Archie is pretty smart.

C)  Both A and B are true.

Since ANY of those conclusions seems to fly in the face of everything I've learned about these characters, I just didn't know what to make of the story's ending. Even more mystifying to me was that, in thinking a bit more about it, I know DAN PARENT can't believe any of those things. So I really, REALLY don't know how to explain this story.  ???

irishmoxie

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #48 on: January 26, 2017, 03:18:20 PM »
ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #276 - Haven't finished reading this yet, but I flipped through it and read a few stories, including of course, the new lead story by Dan Parent.

Some of the highlights in this issue include: "The Elevenaire" by Craig Boldman and Stan Goldberg; a section with 2 stories of Archie's SuperTeens: "Mad Doctor Doom's Dupe!" (I wonder if that wasn't the first teenage Archie story to use Mad Doc D, who usually appeared only in Little Archie stories prior to this?) and "Evilheart's Revenge!" - both stories spotlighting Reggie as Evilheart, and both by Frank Doyle and Bob White; and a couple of selections from LIFE WITH ARCHIE issues, "That Far Out Feeling" (in which Archie encounters teen alien invader Supro) and "The Perilous Past!" (a 24th Century interplanetary escapade with the crew of Starship Rivda), again both written by Doyle with art by Stan Goldberg.

The new lead story is "Dear FAKE Diary", featuring Archie, Veronica, and Jughead. Dan's art is always a pleasure to look at, but the ending of this story left me puzzled and a little disappointed. The plot concerns Jughead putting Archie up to making up a fake diary as a test for Veronica - which he leaves lying around, and of course (I don't think this should be a spoiler for anyone - otherwise there wouldn't be any story here) she does read. I won't say any more for fear of giving it ALL away, but the ending sort of flabbergasted me, so I guess I have to explain why. At the end I sat thinking about it for a minute or two, and it seemed to force me to come to one of the following multiple-choice conclusions:

A)  Veronica is pretty stupid.

B)  Archie is pretty smart.

C)  Both A and B are true.

Since ANY of those conclusions seems to fly in the face of everything I've learned about these characters, I just didn't know what to make of the story's ending. Even more mystifying to me was that, in thinking a bit more about it, I know DAN PARENT can't believe any of those things. So I really, REALLY don't know how to explain this story.  ???


I think they've used the fake diary story before. I think Betty wrote a fake diary about her life to fool Veronica.

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #49 on: January 26, 2017, 03:26:47 PM »
ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #276 - Haven't finished reading this yet, but I flipped through it and read a few stories, including of course, the new lead story by Dan Parent.

Some of the highlights in this issue include: "The Elevenaire" by Craig Boldman and Stan Goldberg; a section with 2 stories of Archie's SuperTeens: "Mad Doctor Doom's Dupe!" (I wonder if that wasn't the first teenage Archie story to use Mad Doc D, who usually appeared only in Little Archie stories prior to this?) and "Evilheart's Revenge!" - both stories spotlighting Reggie as Evilheart, and both by Frank Doyle and Bob White; and a couple of selections from LIFE WITH ARCHIE issues, "That Far Out Feeling" (in which Archie encounters teen alien invader Supro) and "The Perilous Past!" (a 24th Century interplanetary escapade with the crew of Starship Rivda), again both written by Doyle with art by Stan Goldberg.

The new lead story is "Dear FAKE Diary", featuring Archie, Veronica, and Jughead. Dan's art is always a pleasure to look at, but the ending of this story left me puzzled and a little disappointed. The plot concerns Jughead putting Archie up to making up a fake diary as a test for Veronica - which he leaves lying around, and of course (I don't think this should be a spoiler for anyone - otherwise there wouldn't be any story here) she does read. I won't say any more for fear of giving it ALL away, but the ending sort of flabbergasted me, so I guess I have to explain why. At the end I sat thinking about it for a minute or two, and it seemed to force me to come to one of the following multiple-choice conclusions:

A)  Veronica is pretty stupid.

B)  Archie is pretty smart.

C)  Both A and B are true.

Since ANY of those conclusions seems to fly in the face of everything I've learned about these characters, I just didn't know what to make of the story's ending. Even more mystifying to me was that, in thinking a bit more about it, I know DAN PARENT can't believe any of those things. So I really, REALLY don't know how to explain this story.  ???


I think they've used the fake diary story before. I think Betty wrote a fake diary about her life to fool Veronica.

SEVERAL times, in fact. But this isn't a B&V story, so the BFF/frenemies dichotomy which makes that such a good plot for them doesn't apply here. Unlike Archie or Jughead, there's never a doubt here in the reader's mind as to a question of whether she will or she won't*, so that's not even what the story turns out to be about (although that's what Jughead thinks it's about, and I guess it's fair to assume he's convinced Archie as well). The big deal with the story is exactly what she reads in the fake diary, and how she reacts to what she reads. I guess it's fair to say that that's also the case for those B&V stories, but the difference is this: We KNOW Betty is smart, of that there can be no doubt. Smart enough to fool Veronica, even though she's not dumb, but because Betty knows her so well.

*[After all, we HAVE read those B&V stories, haven't we?]
« Last Edit: January 26, 2017, 03:45:47 PM by DeCarlo Rules »

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #50 on: January 30, 2017, 02:39:43 AM »
DEAD@17 (Vol. 1) TP - I've known about this for ages, but never really got around to it even though it was always on my 'have to check that out' list. Interestingly, this also started as a webcomic (same as with SCARLET TRACES, which I read earlier this week). It's got some interesting elements, and some that are more formula, but at least it's looking like this first volume sets up a little different mix to the formula elements. I like Josh Howard's art a lot (which to me seems similar to Michael Avon Oeming's). Either of those artists (or someone like Chynna Clugston) would have worked a lot better for an Archie reboot, assuming we have to have one, because they're still basically cartoon styles. It's kind of a 'girlfriends' story, as the title heroine, Nara Kilday (dead at 17, but resurrected as some type of pivotal player in a forthcoming epic battle between good and evil, whose exact role in coming events remains as yet unclear), and her BFF Hazy Foss are the two main characters.

It's made clear in the story that Nara now possesses great power and is functionally beyond death's grip, but knowledge about her purpose remains unknown to her, so in most respects she remains the same 17-year old high school student she was before she was killed. It seems like she's now part messiah and part Joan of Arc, but receives no answers to her questions from God. I thought it was interesting that Josh Howard addressed that aspect, since most horror stories about some ultimate evil apocalypse seem to avoid any mention of an opposing power. Ultimate evil in this instance is represented by a demonic creature named Bolabogg, whose chief lieutenant is Legion, another demon able to possess and control multiple bodies of the recently dead (but they don't behave like movie zombies). Fortunately Nara discovers that she has allies in a group called the Protectorate, and it is strongly implied that her birth parents were members of that group. A rogue faction of that covert group under the leadership of a Mr. Pitch tries to use the resurrected Nara's body as a vessel for Bolabogg to inhabit this world, but is foiled by Protectorate agents with help from Nara's friends and ultimately by Nara's own resistance to Bolabogg's domination of her will.

Bolabogg appeared as a character in Howard's THE LOST BOOKS OF EVE, which I also read earlier this week. There he is identified as the most favored of the 12 sons of Lilith (Adam's first wife). God also makes an on-screen appearance in that story as a character. Since that story does not appear to have continued beyond the first volume, hopefully DEAD@17 incorporates more elements of that story in later volumes and will explain a little about what happened after that story left off, with Adam kidnapped by Lilith and Eve left in the clutches of Bolabogg. Genre-wise, Afterlife With Archie would be the most direct comparison, but you could say it also has some elements of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (but Howard's story appeared much earlier - this version of the TP is from 2008). For what that's worth, I think I like this story better, enough to read the rest of the series. At least it seems to have a few more interesting angles than the usual zombie apocalypse/satanic cult story.

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #51 on: February 02, 2017, 06:23:42 AM »
MICKEY'S INFERNO (Disney Graphic Novel #4) HC - Until I saw this listed in the Previews catalog, I had no idea Papercutz was doing Disney Comics. I don't know what Disney Graphic Novels #1-3 were, either. There's an ad for other TP collections on the inside that includes PLANES (a spinoff of CARS, no doubt), 2 volumes of MICKEY X (looks like some kind of Disney/X-Files mashup), and 2 volumes of MINNIE & DAISY: BEST FRIENDS FOREVER (a Disney spin on B&V?). MICKEY'S INFERNO is an Italian reprint from a 6-part serial that ran from October 1949 to March 1950 in Topolino, which makes it one of the earliest (if not the earliest) reprint of any of the European Disney material yet. It's an adaptation/parody of Dante's Divine Comedy (specifically The Inferno part), with Mickey playing the role of Dante and Goofy playing his guide through the underworld, the poet Virgil. I've never read any translation of Dante's Inferno, only seen a few adaptations, so it's hard to say exactly how faithful to the original work this is, but I'm familiar with the basic story. Various (1930s/1940s) Disney characters appear in the story in minor roles as some of the inhabitants of Hell that Dante and Virgil encounter, including Peg Leg Pete, Donald Duck, Dopey, Big Bad Wolf, Br'er Bear & Br'er Fox, Dopey and even Dumbo (...it's hard to imagine what Dumbo could have done in life to deserve being consigned to the fiery pit...)! The story is told using both traditional word balloons and a running series of caption text in every panel (one rhyming line followed by a line that doesn't, followed by a second rhyming line). I gather that's supposed to be imitative of the way that Dante structured the verse of his cantos, but it's somewhat distracting segueing back and forth between the panels and the running narrative captions (many of which include not just Dante's narration, but dialogue spoken by various characters as well). You know the translation (by Stefan Petrucca) of the original Italian comic script has to be very loose here, as some of the jokes contained in the captions contain modern references that would not have existed in 1949/1950. Makes for a bit of a slow read (I found myself reading a lot of the captions at least twice, as the meter seems very odd to me), but nonetheless I have a certain fascination with this story and Dante's imagined structure of Hell itself, as a series of concentric circles descending with each level (smaller than the last and reserved for those who have committed greater sins) toward the ultimate pit in the center where Satan himself resides. Being a Disney comic however, some of the nature of those sins is glossed over (and occasional cantos are skipped completely). I'm only about halfway through this (73 page) graphic novel at the moment.

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #52 on: February 19, 2017, 05:18:59 AM »
JUGHEAD AND ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #25 - I was pleasantly surprised to find my subscription copy in the mailbox yesterday, 5 days ahead of its release in comic shops next Wednesday. The lead story in here by Dan Parent is "Child's Play", in which Archie and Jughead get jobs working as costumed performers on a local kids' show, "Jollie's Circus Show" (turns out Jughead is a big fan of Jollie's - he never misses the show). Archie gets hired to wear a rabbit suit (Mr. Floppy), and Jughead winds up cast as Bobo the Bear. They get the jobs because the show needs a guitarist and a drummer (so it's kind of like The Banana Splits?) Jollie turns out to be not-so-jolly, and Jughead is disillusioned (and this reminded me of stories I heard about a certain local kid's show host when I was young; it may be that there are a lot of local legends like that). It's a funny story, but the premise immediately struck me as oddly dated. I remember local programming of kids' shows from my childhood (and I'm sure Dan does as well), but I could have sworn these type of locally-produced programs ceased to exist a couple (or three) decades ago. Am I wrong about that? I guess I can just let it go, and say Riverdale is stuck in a never-neverland nostalgic timeless era.

There's a couple of other notable Dan Parent stories in here, one of which, "Streetsmart Strategy" is drawn by Stan Goldberg (I don't think I've ever seen one). In fact, I skipped reading the credits for the story, but noticed it's another one of those stories (I've seen several) where Jellybean is so adorably cute that she's attracting all sorts of attention (exclusively from teenage girls in this particular instance) while Jughead is out walking her in her stroller. On page 3, in panel 2, it's a medium head shot of Jellybean by herself, and in a thought balloon (responding to Jughead's comment in the previous panel: "I love you like a sister, JB, but you DO present problems!") Jellybean thinks to herself "A sweet little charmer like ME present problems? What a cockamamie idea!". At that moment, even though I'd never before seen a Dan Parent story drawn by Stan Goldberg, I thought... "Waitaminnit. Is this a DAN PARENT story?" and flipping back to the credits, I confirmed I was right. So it's a little scary to me now that I can so readily identify a DP story without even knowing the credits beforehand. In fact, there's another Jughead story in here that Dan Parent drew, which is credited here as written by George Gladir ("Identical Opposites!"). A couple of pages into it though, I was already beginning to doubt the veracity of that credit, as the whole story just seemed too Dan Parent-ish ... or Dan Parental? ... Whatever. Then on page 3, Ginger Lopez (a DP-creation) shows up in the story, and I was 98% certain that someone at ACP had flubbed the credits. Just to be absolutely sure though, I looked up the story (which first appeared, and was cover-featured, in JUGHEAD JONES DIGEST #100, May 1996), and sure enough, on GCDb the writing is credited to Dan. The story introduces Jughead's cousin Nathan, who looks exactly like Jughead, but behaves completely differently. (I was reminded here of Archie's identical opposite twin cousin, the well-mannered and cultured Alistair from the English branch of the Andrews family, but he's a later creation, first having appeared in ARCHIE #527 in 2002). Alistair Andrews was created by Greg Crosby. Both stories were probably inspired by The Patty Duke Show (and I know Dan is a big fan of classic sitcoms)... "They laugh alike, they walk alike, at times they even talk alike; You can lose your mind! When cousins... are two of a kind!". I should remind Dan about Nathan Jones next time I see him, and ask him about putting him in a new story together with Alistair Andrews... that could be fun. Like, what would happen if both Alistair and Nathan showed up in Riverdale at the same time, and Archie & Jughead hatched a 'Prince & the Pauper' scam at the same time that Betty & Veronica schemed their own little 'Trading Places' plot?

There's the usual mix of Jughead stories filling out this issue - a few Boldman/Lindsey Jughead stories (and a couple of Gladir/Lindsey stories, too), a half-dozen Samm Schwartz classics, a few new and a few old Stan Goldberg ones, and a mish-mosh of other artists like Dick Malmgren, Tim Kennedy, Bob White, Fernando Ruiz, Al Hartley, Chic Stone, and Bill Vigoda.

« Last Edit: February 19, 2017, 05:20:53 AM by DeCarlo Rules »

irishmoxie

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #53 on: February 19, 2017, 04:42:34 PM »
JUGHEAD AND ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #25 - I was pleasantly surprised to find my subscription copy in the mailbox yesterday, 5 days ahead of its release in comic shops next Wednesday. The lead story in here by Dan Parent is "Child's Play", in which Archie and Jughead get jobs working as costumed performers on a local kids' show, "Jollie's Circus Show" (turns out Jughead is a big fan of Jollie's - he never misses the show). Archie gets hired to wear a rabbit suit (Mr. Floppy), and Jughead winds up cast as Bobo the Bear. They get the jobs because the show needs a guitarist and a drummer (so it's kind of like The Banana Splits?) Jollie turns out to be not-so-jolly, and Jughead is disillusioned (and this reminded me of stories I heard about a certain local kid's show host when I was young; it may be that there are a lot of local legends like that). It's a funny story, but the premise immediately struck me as oddly dated. I remember local programming of kids' shows from my childhood (and I'm sure Dan does as well), but I could have sworn these type of locally-produced programs ceased to exist a couple (or three) decades ago. Am I wrong about that? I guess I can just let it go, and say Riverdale is stuck in a never-neverland nostalgic timeless era.


I remember local TV programming for homework. Where you could call in and a tutor would help you with a math problem live on the show.


Costume characters are still fairly popular at children's birthday parties. Like women dressed up as Elsa or other Disney princesses.

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #54 on: February 20, 2017, 02:13:19 AM »
I remember local TV programming for homework. Where you could call in and a tutor would help you with a math problem live on the show.

Costume characters are still fairly popular at children's birthday parties. Like women dressed up as Elsa or other Disney princesses.

I know that local cable access stations still exist, and so do major market stations that produce local programming, even some aimed at or starring kids (but these tend to be more in the mold of PBS' kids' programming such as Sesame Street).

The phenomena to which I'm referring here is similar to such nationally-syndicated precursors as The Howdy Doody Show or Bozo's Big Top (later known as Bozo's Circus). Bozo the Clown started out as a kid's show host in a local market and later expanded to national syndication. "Jollie's Circus Show" in the Jughead story above is clearly based on Bozo's Circus (some type of clown kids' show host may have accounted for almost half the local shows of this kind). Other types of kids' show hosts took on different personas, like cowboys or spacemen. The format of these shows nearly always involved a number of regular costumed cast members, a live (and frequently interactive) studio audience of kids, and skits, puppet characters, games & prize contests, usually interspersed with a number of syndicated cartoons (Gumby would not have been out of place in such a lineup). Both daily morning and afternoon programming time slots had shows of this type, as well as some weekly ones in early Saturday or Sunday morning time slots. This type of locally-produced kid's show host program was nearly ubiquitous in all major television markets in the 1960s, many of which were popular enough to continue through the 1970s. The introduction of cable TV programming into these same markets in the 1980s slowly made those kinds of programs an endangered species, and they were all but extinct by the early 1990s.

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #55 on: February 26, 2017, 04:42:54 PM »
FRANKEN FRAN by Katsuhisa Kigitsu. Seven Seas published this in 4 large omnibus volumes (originally the series ran 8 tankobon volumes published by Akita Shoten in Japan), totaling about 1600 pages. I spent the better part of 5 days reading the whole thing. Not what I was originally expecting. The covers sort of make it look like part of the 'sexy monster girl' subgenre of manga, but it was nothing of the kind (in fact, there's no fanservice here at all, and Fran never appears other than modestly clothed). It was more of a horror/black comedy thing, and it was excellent. A bit gory and grotesque (particularly the earlier stories), but what would you expect from Franken-anything? The earliest stories in the first volume weren't as good as later ones, and I didn't always quite comprehend what the endings were about. It gets quite a bit better as it progresses though, especially after the author begins to include a fair amount of real bio-science as the basis of the stories (I think I may actually have learned a few things about biology here, as explained by Fran). That aspect of it reminded me a lot of Osamu Tezuka's stories of the rogue surgeon BLACK JACK, which always included a fair amount of medical science to make the stories feel convincing (since Tezuka did have a medical doctorate). That made me wonder whether Kigitsu had studied biology and/or medicine as well, as he has included a lot of factual background explanations. The emphasis on the grotesque and disturbing here is of the human fear of biological processes and body morphology horror, similar to Junji Ito's TOMIE. The stories for the most part seem to have those black comedy twist endings based on irony or karmic turnabout of the same type favored in the classic E.C. Comics, although sometimes they varied by being of the open-ended "... The End?" type where the reader is left to wonder what sort of consequences (surely bad) would result. Kigitsu managed to cover quite a few genres or tropes as satires, too. Actually I'd say that there's quite a bit more than just horror and comedy here, as the stories become more varied as they go along. Each 24 page chapter is a complete story (although many of the stories are subsequently revisited by sequels in chapters later on), with 16 stories per omnibus volume (plus a couple of 6-page bonus stories, 2 one-page gags, and 2 pages of the author's notes on the stories), making up about 400 pages for each of the four omnibus volumes.

Fran Madaraki is a patchwork girl who resembles a very thin teenager with long straight blonde hair (her character design reminded me somewhat of Tim Burton's THE CORPSE BRIDE), if you ignore the fact (and almost everyone seems to) that she has two giant electrodes (the heads of which are the approximate size of tuna cans) protruding from the temples of her skull and her body is covered with stitched-up seams. She is considered the daughter of the famous (and now long-missing) Professor Madaraki, whose cutting edge work for the government of Japan in bio-engineering had begun back in World War II (so if still alive somewhere, and it's implied that he is, he'd be quite ancient). In reality, she's his greatest creation and his greatest pupil (in later stories, when Fran speaks of the Professor, it's clear that her love for him is more than that of a daughter for her father). She seems to be quite famous herself, and no one in the stories ever displays any shock or alarm at her stitches or electrodes. Whenever she's walking along the artist has drawn little "wobble, wobble" and "totter, totter" SFX to indicate that her gait or balance is somewhat unsteady or shaky, but in the operating room Fran's a positive dynamo of energy (and she usually preps for the surgery by upgrading herself with a pair or two of extra arms beforehand), announcing with great enthusiasm, "BEGIN THE OPERATION!!" or something similar. She's most commonly seen in a pensive mood sitting at her computer or at a desk with pen and notepad, pondering a biomedical challenge with a thoughtful look and a finger on her chin. Fran's personality is what really stitches all the stories together, as she sometimes plays a minor role (in terms of panel time), with the bulk of the story being given over to the patient or subject of her experimentation. Fran really does have the highest respect for saving (or restoring) a life, but she's perhaps a little less fussy about exactly what form that life might take, so you might say her morality is a little more flexible than the average person's, and she has no natural revulsion for the gruesome biological details, or prejudices regarding other forms of life than human. Her experimental surgery frequently leads to unforeseen results, and her patients should always think carefully before they engage her services. Then too, sometimes her best intentions have a way of going awry -- and at other times, her desire to prove an experimental theory seems to have overwhelmed her better judgment in considering the potential negative consequences. Or maybe her lack of a childhood and social upbringing leaves her somewhat clueless when it comes to understanding how normal humans view things. She charges exorbitant fees for clients that can afford them, yet she can be moved to tears by a luckless patient's story of true love lost, and waive her fees to grant their wishes. For a mad scientist, her optimism and good intentions are actually pretty charming.

irishmoxie

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #56 on: February 26, 2017, 07:21:08 PM »
FRANKEN FRAN by Katsuhisa Kigitsu. Seven Seas published this in 4 large omnibus volumes (originally the series ran 8 tankobon volumes published by Akita Shoten in Japan), totaling about 1600 pages. I spent the better part of 5 days reading the whole thing. Not what I was originally expecting. The covers sort of make it look like part of the 'sexy monster girl' subgenre of manga, but it was nothing of the kind (in fact, there's no fanservice here at all, and Fran never appears other than modestly clothed). It was more of a horror/black comedy thing, and it was excellent. A bit gory and grotesque (particularly the earlier stories), but what would you expect from Franken-anything? The earliest stories in the first volume weren't as good as later ones, and I didn't always quite comprehend what the endings were about. It gets quite a bit better as it progresses though, especially after the author begins to include a fair amount of real bio-science as the basis of the stories (I think I may actually have learned a few things about biology here, as explained by Fran). That aspect of it reminded me a lot of Osamu Tezuka's stories of the rogue surgeon BLACK JACK, which always included a fair amount of medical science to make the stories feel convincing (since Tezuka did have a medical doctorate). That made me wonder whether Kigitsu had studied biology and/or medicine as well, as he has included a lot of factual background explanations. The emphasis on the grotesque and disturbing here is of the human fear of biological processes and body morphology horror, similar to Junji Ito's TOMIE. The stories for the most part seem to have those black comedy twist endings based on irony or karmic turnabout of the same type favored in the classic E.C. Comics, although sometimes they varied by being of the open-ended "... The End?" type where the reader is left to wonder what sort of consequences (surely bad) would result. Kigitsu managed to cover quite a few genres or tropes as satires, too. Actually I'd say that there's quite a bit more than just horror and comedy here, as the stories become more varied as they go along. Each 24 page chapter is a complete story (although many of the stories are subsequently revisited by sequels in chapters later on), with 16 stories per omnibus volume (plus a couple of 6-page bonus stories, 2 one-page gags, and 2 pages of the author's notes on the stories), making up about 400 pages for each of the four omnibus volumes.

Fran Madaraki is a patchwork girl who resembles a very thin teenager with long straight blonde hair (her character design reminded me somewhat of Tim Burton's THE CORPSE BRIDE), if you ignore the fact (and almost everyone seems to) that she has two giant electrodes (the heads of which are the approximate size of tuna cans) protruding from the temples of her skull and her body is covered with stitched-up seams. She is considered the daughter of the famous (and now long-missing) Professor Madaraki, whose cutting edge work for the government of Japan in bio-engineering had begun back in World War II (so if still alive somewhere, and it's implied that he is, he'd be quite ancient). In reality, she's his greatest creation and his greatest pupil (in later stories, when Fran speaks of the Professor, it's clear that her love for him is more than that of a daughter for her father). She seems to be quite famous herself, and no one in the stories ever displays any shock or alarm at her stitches or electrodes. Whenever she's walking along the artist has drawn little "wobble, wobble" and "totter, totter" SFX to indicate that her gait or balance is somewhat unsteady or shaky, but in the operating room Fran's a positive dynamo of energy (and she usually preps for the surgery by upgrading herself with a pair or two of extra arms beforehand), announcing with great enthusiasm, "BEGIN THE OPERATION!!" or something similar. She's most commonly seen in a pensive mood sitting at her computer or at a desk with pen and notepad, pondering a biomedical challenge with a thoughtful look and a finger on her chin. Fran's personality is what really stitches all the stories together, as she sometimes plays a minor role (in terms of panel time), with the bulk of the story being given over to the patient or subject of her experimentation. Fran really does have the highest respect for saving (or restoring) a life, but she's perhaps a little less fussy about exactly what form that life might take, so you might say her morality is a little more flexible than the average person's, and she has no natural revulsion for the gruesome biological details, or prejudices regarding other forms of life than human. Her experimental surgery frequently leads to unforeseen results, and her patients should always think carefully before they engage her services. Then too, sometimes her best intentions have a way of going awry -- and at other times, her desire to prove an experimental theory seems to have overwhelmed her better judgment in considering the potential negative consequences. Or maybe her lack of a childhood and social upbringing leaves her somewhat clueless when it comes to understanding how normal humans view things. She charges exorbitant fees for clients that can afford them, yet she can be moved to tears by a luckless patient's story of true love lost, and waive her fees to grant their wishes. For a mad scientist, her optimism and good intentions are actually pretty charming.


Too bad this isn't available digitally. The covers are a bit too...not readable in public. Her look reminds me of Princess Leia.

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #57 on: February 27, 2017, 03:52:48 AM »
FRANKEN FRAN by Katsuhisa Kigitsu. Seven Seas published this in 4 large omnibus volumes (originally the series ran 8 tankobon volumes published by Akita Shoten in Japan), totaling about 1600 pages. I spent the better part of 5 days reading the whole thing. Not what I was originally expecting. The covers sort of make it look like part of the 'sexy monster girl' subgenre of manga, but it was nothing of the kind (in fact, there's no fanservice here at all, and Fran never appears other than modestly clothed). It was more of a horror/black comedy thing, and it was excellent. A bit gory and grotesque (particularly the earlier stories), but what would you expect from Franken-anything? The earliest stories in the first volume weren't as good as later ones, and I didn't always quite comprehend what the endings were about. It gets quite a bit better as it progresses though, especially after the author begins to include a fair amount of real bio-science as the basis of the stories (I think I may actually have learned a few things about biology here, as explained by Fran). That aspect of it reminded me a lot of Osamu Tezuka's stories of the rogue surgeon BLACK JACK, which always included a fair amount of medical science to make the stories feel convincing (since Tezuka did have a medical doctorate). That made me wonder whether Kigitsu had studied biology and/or medicine as well, as he has included a lot of factual background explanations. The emphasis on the grotesque and disturbing here is of the human fear of biological processes and body morphology horror, similar to Junji Ito's TOMIE. The stories for the most part seem to have those black comedy twist endings based on irony or karmic turnabout of the same type favored in the classic E.C. Comics, although sometimes they varied by being of the open-ended "... The End?" type where the reader is left to wonder what sort of consequences (surely bad) would result. Kigitsu managed to cover quite a few genres or tropes as satires, too. Actually I'd say that there's quite a bit more than just horror and comedy here, as the stories become more varied as they go along. Each 24 page chapter is a complete story (although many of the stories are subsequently revisited by sequels in chapters later on), with 16 stories per omnibus volume (plus a couple of 6-page bonus stories, 2 one-page gags, and 2 pages of the author's notes on the stories), making up about 400 pages for each of the four omnibus volumes.

Fran Madaraki is a patchwork girl who resembles a very thin teenager with long straight blonde hair (her character design reminded me somewhat of Tim Burton's THE CORPSE BRIDE), if you ignore the fact (and almost everyone seems to) that she has two giant electrodes (the heads of which are the approximate size of tuna cans) protruding from the temples of her skull and her body is covered with stitched-up seams. She is considered the daughter of the famous (and now long-missing) Professor Madaraki, whose cutting edge work for the government of Japan in bio-engineering had begun back in World War II (so if still alive somewhere, and it's implied that he is, he'd be quite ancient). In reality, she's his greatest creation and his greatest pupil (in later stories, when Fran speaks of the Professor, it's clear that her love for him is more than that of a daughter for her father). She seems to be quite famous herself, and no one in the stories ever displays any shock or alarm at her stitches or electrodes. Whenever she's walking along the artist has drawn little "wobble, wobble" and "totter, totter" SFX to indicate that her gait or balance is somewhat unsteady or shaky, but in the operating room Fran's a positive dynamo of energy (and she usually preps for the surgery by upgrading herself with a pair or two of extra arms beforehand), announcing with great enthusiasm, "BEGIN THE OPERATION!!" or something similar. She's most commonly seen in a pensive mood sitting at her computer or at a desk with pen and notepad, pondering a biomedical challenge with a thoughtful look and a finger on her chin. Fran's personality is what really stitches all the stories together, as she sometimes plays a minor role (in terms of panel time), with the bulk of the story being given over to the patient or subject of her experimentation. Fran really does have the highest respect for saving (or restoring) a life, but she's perhaps a little less fussy about exactly what form that life might take, so you might say her morality is a little more flexible than the average person's, and she has no natural revulsion for the gruesome biological details, or prejudices regarding other forms of life than human. Her experimental surgery frequently leads to unforeseen results, and her patients should always think carefully before they engage her services. Then too, sometimes her best intentions have a way of going awry -- and at other times, her desire to prove an experimental theory seems to have overwhelmed her better judgment in considering the potential negative consequences. Or maybe her lack of a childhood and social upbringing leaves her somewhat clueless when it comes to understanding how normal humans view things. She charges exorbitant fees for clients that can afford them, yet she can be moved to tears by a luckless patient's story of true love lost, and waive her fees to grant their wishes. For a mad scientist, her optimism and good intentions are actually pretty charming.


Too bad this isn't available digitally. The covers are a bit too...not readable in public. Her look reminds me of Princess Leia.

That surprises and puzzles me. Certainly I would think the people at Seven Seas are aware that the market for manga in digital format is much more significant than that for mainstream American collected edition titles, relative to the total readership for the comic as a whole -- or, to put it another way, it seems to me that manga readers would be more likely to be digital-format adopters because they have less of the traditional collector-mentality than American comic book readers. I guess the other thing to take into account here is that (as I am aware from various online comments I've read elsewhere) these same stories had been previously available online as digital fan-made scanslations, so maybe they felt that a large percent of the potential digital market was significantly eroded already? (Although the scanslations have mostly now been removed from those sites, since being legitimately licensed for American translation by Seven Seas.)

Even though the covers used on Seven Seas' print omnibus collections are the same as the ones appearing on the original Akita Shoten tankobon volumes as drawn by original creator Kasuhisa Kigitsu (both tankoban covers for the volumes collected in Seven Seas' omnibuses appear as color inserts inside), they represent a more glamorous 'sexy pin-up' re-interpretation of the characters like you'd find on Deviant Art, and are completely non-representational of the style of artwork and characters as they appear in the actual stories. I sort of preferred the interior cover page images (unfortunately only printed in black and white in Seven Seas' paperbacks), which are more like homages to movie posters or old-school paperback book cover art. The "cover" images I display here would have appeared as color insert pages in select issues of CHAMPION RED, the seinin manga magazine where Kigitsu's Franken Fran series first appeared.

I realize this info does nothing to ameliorate any potential embarrassment you might experience if seen reading FRANKEN FRAN, but I guess the only solution would be to go literally old-school and make your own book cover out of a plain brown paper bag. While various protective vinyl covers for paperbacks are sold at bookstores, few of them would fit these otherwise-standard-MMPB-dimensions Seven Seas manga omnibuses due to the 400-page thickness.



« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 06:41:02 AM by DeCarlo Rules »

irishmoxie

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #58 on: February 27, 2017, 11:32:17 PM »

I realize this info does nothing to ameliorate any potential embarrassment you might experience if seen reading FRANKEN FRAN, but I guess the only solution would be to go literally old-school and make your own book cover out of a plain brown paper bag. While various protective vinyl covers for paperbacks are sold at bookstores, few of them would fit these otherwise-standard-MMPB-dimensions Seven Seas manga omnibuses due to the 400-page thickness.



Haha I totally used to put slip covers on paperbacks I read as a kid/teen because I was embarrassed when strangers kept asking me what I was reading. I think it was Sweet Valley High or something. Of course this made them ask more. I probably borrowed the slip covers from some old hymnals.


I also remember the stretchy fabric covers for textbooks like these:



I totally had that blue camo one. Of course I remember the grocery paper bag book covers. Those you could decorate yourself with your drawings.

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Some reviews.
« Reply #59 on: March 06, 2017, 02:44:58 AM »
Read a small pile of romance comics yesterday:


YOUNG LUST was one of the more successful of the original underground comix and ran 6 issues in its heyday, from 1970-1980, with a couple of late additions to the series in 1990 (#7) and 1993 (#8). It was the creation of Bill Griffith (of ZIPPY fame) and Jay Kinney, with the contributions of various other UG artists. This first issue was published while the traditional romance comics genre was still in full swing, and its success can probably be attributed to the fact that they captured the exaggerated emotional angst and relationship-difficulty tropes of the romance genre while applying that style of story to adult themes. Mine was a later reprinting from 1982 with a $1.50 cover price. These should all be reprinted in a trade paperback some day. The art's a little awkward by today's standards, but these original UG comix were a huge step in breaking the mold (and stranglehold) of traditional comics publishers, and this is definitely one of the better ones.

Here's another unique alternative romance comic that I was completely unaware existed until I discovered 4 issues in the 50-cent boxes:

These first two issues of EMPTY LOVE STORIES were first published in 1994 (#1) and 1996 (#2), by B&W/alternative publisher Slave Labor Graphics. Steve Darnall is the creator/writer, along with various artists (many of whom are recognizable, like Colleen Doran). Issue #1 has a cover by Darnall's friend and comics superstar Alex Ross, and #2's cover is drawn by then up-and-coming indy comics supertalent Mike Allred (of MADMAN, BATMAN '66, and SILVER SURFER). Both issues received nominations for the Eisner Awards (for Best Single Issue, and Best New Series), and these comics are outrageously funny. I can't believe Steve Darnall didn't become better-known in the industry and go on to more successful and higher-paying gigs, because it's obvious he's got gobs of talent. Today he's mainly known (if at all) for scripting the 2-issue Vertigo prestige miniseries U.S. (a.k.a. Uncle Sam) with artwork by Alex Ross.

The EMPTY LOVE STORIES "SPECIAL" (quotation marks verbatim) from 1998 has a cover by Canadian cartoonist Ty Templeton. EMPTY LOVE STORIES 1999 has a cover by Jeff Smith (of BONE). For these next two issues of the series, Darnall set himself up in self-publishing. Inexplicably (other than the fact that, as a self-publisher, he could do whatever he felt like), when Darnell reprinted SLG's #1 and #2 under his own Funny Valentine Press imprint, the reprint of #2 contained a 7-page(!) text-and-photos article about the cult TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000. I'm a big fan of the show myself, but the straightforward article seems oddly out-of-place in this otherwise devastating satire of the romance comics genre. The pastiche lovelorn advice-column letter pages in these issues are particularly hilarious.


Lastly, we come to HEART THROBS #1, a 1999 Vertigo revamp of an older DC title (inherited from Quality Comics actually, when that publisher went out of business in 1956), HEART THROBS was part of a whole series of re-imaginings of old discontinued DC titles like STRANGE ADVENTURES (sci-fi), WEIRD WESTERN TALES, WEIRD WAR TALES, and THE WITCHING HOUR -- all of which had been cancelled by the mid-1980s, but were revived with late-90s spin by Vertigo.

I didn't actually find any other issues than #1, but after reading it you can bet I'll be keeping my eyes peeled. I just love the covers, though. This flew entirely under my radar when it was first published, but again (as with EMPTY LOVE STORIES), all of these stories are great, with top-flight creators. #1 leads off with a great Bruce Timm cover and opens with artist Brian Bolland's spin on the old fairytale classic "The Frog Prince", and is totally funny -- Who even knew Bolland could write? As awesome an illustrator as he is, he should do it more often. The other stories are distinctly modern, but skewer the old comics genre properly. Again, no trade paperback collection (or any follow-up) on this 4-issue mini, which is a darned shame. It should be better-known, and the caliber of all the creators is tops.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2017, 03:05:44 AM by DeCarlo Rules »

 


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