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Nexus Graphica
by Rick Klaw

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Other Nexus Graphica Columns
For more information, you can try the following:
"Geek Movies Not On DVD"
DVD Savant
RevolutionSF
Alan J. Porter
"Comics of 1986"
"Gone But Not Forgotten"
Shannon Wheeler
"The Uncanny Un-Collectibles: Missing Comic Book Trades"
I Am Legion
The Crusades Book I: Knight
Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s
Recent Books of Interest
I Am Legion Written by Fabien Nury Art by John Cassaday (Humanoids) I Am Legion In the early 2000s, the French publisher Les Humanoïdes Associés began pairing American and French creators to produce a line of graphic novels for the American and European markets. One of the most acclaimed of these projects, the beautiful I Am Legion -- written by the Frenchman Fabien Nury with lavish art by the American John Cassaday -- introduces yet another Nazi WWII super-weapon, albeit a particularly clever one. The horrific story, effectively related in overlapping linear tales, offers some of Cassaday's finest work thus far. Pierre Spengler, one of the original producers of Superman: The Movie, optioned the graphic novel with Cassaday at helm to direct.

(Special thanks to Austin Books for the loaner.)

The Crusades Book I: Knight Written by Steven T. Seagle Art by Kelley Jones (Image) The Crusades Book I: Knight A crusading 11th century knight mysteriously appears in 21st San Francisco, meting out violent justice. The beautiful Venus Kostopikas, a lowly fact checker for a dying paper, and her lover/boss shock jock Marx Anton, a thinly-veiled Howard Stern clone, become immersed within the Crusader's confrontation with warring gangland factions. Though at times ludicrous to the point of absurdity, Jones, who always beautifully renders his often ugly figures, elevates this intriguing book above your standard pablum. The plot meanders but Seagle manages to craft dynamic characters through well-worded dialogue and interesting interactions. Perhaps its biggest shortcoming, The Crusades Book I ends midway through a scene leaving a cliffhanger.

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s Edited by Greg Sadowski (Fantagraphics) Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s With contributions by Jack Cole, Reed Crandall, George Evans, Frank Frazetta, Jack Katz, Al Williamson, Basil Wolverton, and Wallace Wood, the 300+ page, full color Four Color Fear offers some of the finest pre-code comic book horror tales ever produced. Extensively researched, complete with story notes, editor Sadowski compiled a superior collection of non-EC Tales, many of which rarely reprinted in color. A 30-page cover art section and a fascinating article by historian John Benson, who also supplied the book's intro, about the little remembered, but prolific Ruth Roche, round out one this sensational historical tour of the Golden Age of Horror Comics. Highly recommended!

The Uncanny Un-Collectibles

Scribbly

"The Uncanny Un-Collectibles" began percolating soon after the publication of the two-part "Geek Movies NOT on DVD." Inspired by Glenn Erickson's always interesting annual Movies Not on DVD list at the entertaining DVD Savant, I decided reach out to my cadre of writers, critics, and artists to compile a similar geek-centric film list for RevolutionSF. The February 2007 feature garnered tons of interest and remains one of the most popular in the site's nearly 10-year history.

In late 2005, Alan J. Porter joined the RevSF staff as the comics editor. Porter, a 20-year comics veteran as journalist, historian, scripter, and even dealer, revitalized the long vacant position, with new ideas and energy. Soon after "Geek Movies" appeared, he broached the concept of a similarly structured piece about comic books that had never been collected. Needing some downtime after editing the massive "Comics of 1986" series, and with his freelance writing career really heating up, we decided to shelve the project. But I never completely forgot about it.

After a four-year hiatus from writing a regular online column, I joined forces with Mark London Williams to produce Nexus. Let me tell you a little secret: There are times that neither Mark nor I have any idea what we're going to write about until we actually sit down to work on the columnů and even then we are often scrambling for words.

RevolutionSF

One of those times occurred last July. I faced a daunting blank screen and an impending deadline with no plan when I flashed on Porter's idea. While the result lacked the scope and depth of his original vision, I tackled the concept with my essay "Gone but Not Forgotten." But that experience only left me hungry for a full length feature.

I joined RevSF in late 2001 as their first fiction editor, a position I held until December 2002. Since then I've served as an editor-at-large writing the occasional review, contributing a blog, and developing new features. After getting the blessing from the site's producer Joe Crowe, I sent a missive to many of the writers, critics, etc. with whom I've worked in the past.

Similar to the RevolutionSF feature Geek Movies NOT on DVD, I've decided to put together a compilation of the Comics Books That Are NOT Collected for RevolutionSF. If you are receiving this email, I think you have something to say on the subject and I would love to hear it. What format the final feature will take depends on how many responses I get.

As always with this type of thing there are a few rules:

1) The material must not currently be available in an English-language collected edition. The material can have previously been collected but is not currently in print.
2) It cannot be something you are associated with and/or worked on.

Within five minutes of clicking "send," Shannon Wheeler of Too Much Coffee Man fame replied, claiming Miracleman/Marvelman. Over the next two days, I rounded up some 52 different titles more than 30 potential contributors.

Miracleman/Marvelman
Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham

Upon completion, the project weighed in at 52 titles, 48 essays, 29 contributors, and some 14,000 words. I divided the writings, thankfully better titled "The Uncanny Un-Collectibles: Missing Comic Book Trades," into six easily digestible servings, each title listed in chronological order from Scribbly (1939) through Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham (2001). Beginning on Monday, September 27, the feature serialized over the next six days.

A few interesting statistics emerged. Half of the titles originated at DC Comics. The number increases to 56 percent if you include properties that DC acquired later. The only other publisher with even a double digit percentage (10) resulted from Marvel's preponderance of toy licenses in our survey, as three of their five titles were based on toys.

The 40s and 80s dominate, each with 11 titles. Superhero stories (35%) barely beat out science fiction/fantasy (33%) publications.

My fond hope is for publishers to study this compilation and start reprinting many of the worthy titles from "The Uncanny Un-Collectibles: Missing Comic Book Trades." A geek can dream.

Uncanny Un-Collectibles By The Numbers
Counts Date
Titles 52 1930s 2
Entries 50 1940s 11
Contributors 29 1950s 4
    1960s 8
    1970s 6
    1980s 11
    1990s 9
    2000s 1
 
Genre Publishers
Adventure 12 Ajax 1
Historical/Western 4 Amalgamated 1
Horror 6 City Magazines/Century 21 Publications Ltd. 2
Humor 7 Comico 1
Media Tie-In 10 Dell 1
Manga 2 DC 26
Biography 1 Eclipse 2
Science Fiction/Fantasy 17 Fantagraphics 1
Superhero 18 Fawcett 1
    Fleetway 1
    Fox 1
    Harvey 1
    John Brown 1
    Magazine Enterprise 1
    Marvel 5
    Polystyle 1
    Quality 2
    Quality Communications 1
    Shonen 1
    Texas Comics 1
    Topps 1
    Top Shelf 1
    Writers & Readers 1


Copyright © 2010 Rick Klaw

Professional reviewer, geek maven, and optimistic curmudgeon, Rick Klaw has supplied countless reviews, essays, and fiction for a variety of publications including The Austin Chronicle, The San Antonio Current, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy, Moving Pictures RevolutionSF, King Kong Is Back!, Conversations With Texas Writers, Farscape Forever, Electric Velocipede, Cross Plains Universe, and Steampunk. MonkeyBrain Books published the collection of his essays, reviews, and other things Klaw, Geek Confidential: Echoes From the 21st Century. He can often be found pontificating on Twitter and over at The Geek Curmudgeon.


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