Other Nexus Graphica Columns
For more information, you can try the following:
"Geek Movies Not On DVD"
Alan J. Porter
"Comics of 1986"
"Gone But Not Forgotten"
"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)
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)
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)
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
Copyright © 2010 Rick Klaw
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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|
||City Magazines/Century 21 Publications Ltd.
||Writers & Readers
Professional reviewer, geek maven, and optimistic curmudgeon, Rick Klaw has supplied
countless reviews, essays, and fiction for a variety of publications
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.