The Fifth Day of Classic Comics Christmas 2014 Dec 22, 2014 4:24:41 GMT -5
Post by berkley on Dec 22, 2014 4:24:41 GMT -5
Whaugh. Yesterday I talked about how much I like big comics depth-wise, today we got a big comic leeeeength-and-height wise. The lead story is a fun "two worlds collide" story as the characters from Steve Gerber's funny book (The Defenders) and his more serious examination-of-the-human-condition-book (Howard the Duck.) ... But it's not the lead feature that earns this book a place on my list, although I did enjoy the vacuum-powered villain with the er.. memorable battle cry "I Am the Black Hole! And the Black Hole....Sucks!"
It was the (new-to-ME!) reprints of the first few Howard the Duck stories reprinted, oversize and beautiful. These were the Frank Brunner Howard the Duck stories, and his phsychadelic realism (which shouldn't even make sense!) worked better for me on Howard than even Gene Colan. And I lo-o--o-ove Gene Colan. There was less of Gerber's trademark social criticism here, but who needs criticism when you have a giant frog, an evil accountent/wizard, and a COW who is also a VAMPIRE. Surprisingly dark stuff, this, which choreogaphed the next wave of "literary" funny animals, from Maus to Shhh! to Sammy the Mouse.
I think this is where I first read those HtD back-ups from Man-Thing too. Brunner should have been an artist on Man-Thing at some point - the few covers he did still inform my visual impressions of that series to a large extent, even though I don't believe he ever drew a full story for the series, did he?, apart from those Howard shorts.
But I have to say, I thought Colan was perfect for the street-realism of the middle and later HtD series. The big editorial mistake for me was when they replaced Steve Leialoha with Klaus Janson, otherwise an excellent inker, and a personal favourite, but ill-suited for Colan's style on that book, and a huge drop-off from leialoha, who I rate as Colan's best inker, even ahead of Tom Palmer.
I have to laugh at some readers I see today dismissing Gerber's stuff as "dated" and not much different from anything else from that era. What have they read? Do they read at all - outside comics?