Monday, December 20, 2010

Comic Book Report

Had another (slightly) long weekend as I used up the last of my vacation time. I didn't work Friday, but since I normally only work four hours on Friday, and I start at 6:00 am, it wasn't that different. I spent a lot of that time reading comic books. See, I used to collect comic books. I owned over 18,000 comics at one point. They had their own room. But I pretty much had stopped collecting by the year 2000, only reading a very few comics and those mostly related to other interests like Robert E. Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs. When I moved a few years ago I got rid of my collection, keeping only three long boxes or roughly 900 comics, most of which either related to sword & sorcery, or had some sentimental value, such as my mom's original collection of Tarzan comics.
But I still love comic books. I love the medium and the characters and the artwork and the stories. I own tons of volumes reprinting OLD comics, but I just can't work up much enthusiasm for today's comic books. Perhaps it's just my age, but I don't think that's entirely it. I mean, I'm not one of those people whose tastes are stuck in the time period when they grew up. I like new music, new writers, new video games, new movies and TV shows, and all forms of new technology. I'm an internet addict. But somehow most of today's comics leave me cold.
That's why I appreciate my pal, Cliff Biggers. Cliff owns a comic book store and he probably loves the medium of comics more than I do. He and I have been friends for over a quarter of a century and we've spent untold hours talking about comics, so Cliff knows what artists I admire, what kind of writing I like, and what characters I have a history with. In other words, he knows what I like. So when he recommends stuff, I give it a try. This was a pretty big week for things he had recommended. The New Thunder Agents. A new issue of Jim Shooter's revival of Doctor Solar and the first issue of Shooter's new take on Mighty Samson. Victorian Undead, the best Sherlock Holmes comic pastiche in some time. All of those were great. So, thanks, Cliff. You're a pal.
Two others were comics I'd picked out myself, the first issue of Roy Thomas's new Conan mini-series, which I reviewed the morning I read it, (See post below.) and the second issue of IDW's Dungeons and Dragons, which was even more fun than the first issue.
But it didn't stop there. A while back Cliff and I found a company that was selling DVDs containing old comic books which have fallen into public domain. I'm still working my way through a bunch of those, and this weekend I read a lot of comics from Quality Comics . I'll have to devote an entire post to Quality at some point. Their name was apt, since they employed some of the best artists and writers ever to work in the Golden Age of Comics.
I also finished off volume seven of Dark Horse Comics' reprint series, Tarzan: The Jesse Marsh Years. Another one that needs its own post. I'll try and get to that soon. So, anyway, big weekend for comic book reading, as I said.

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