Suspended Animation
Suspended Animation
by Michael Vance & Dr. Jon Suter

Check-out Michael Vance Comic books for sale


March 24, 1999

Reviews in this issue:

Comics Legend, Carl Barks
The Deception
Aliens Apocalypse: the Destroying Angels #1


Comics Legend, Carl Barks

    Carl Barks was the best duck man in history. His often uncredited work in comic books made him a true legend of comic books.

    Although Carl Barks did not create Donald Duck, it is undeniable that, no other man did more to define tile character for his animated shorts, movies, comic strips and books, and television shows than this master cartoonist. His impact on the characterizations of Donald's three nephews and Uncle Scrooge was even more substantial.

    In addition, Barks' adventures single-handedly elevated the ducks from gag-centered characters, and created a history and a world for his beloved 'funny animals'.

    Carl Barks was born in 1901, and worked at, the Calgary Eye-Opener newspaper from 1930 to 1935. But it was not until the artist became an 'in-betweener' - the man who actually makes characters move - and as a writer for Walt Disney (1935 to 1942) that Barks carved a permanent niche for himself in history.

    Barks' comic book credits include: Donald Duck (1942-'66), Uncle Scrooge (1952-'62), Mickey Mouse (1945), Andy Panda (1943), Gyro Gearloose (1959-'61), Benny Burro (1943-47), and Barney Bear (1944-'47). These were all published by Western. His work has been reprinted worldwide in dozens of comic books and special collections including hardback collections of the 'duck' books reprinted by Gladstone. Barks' original duck paintings are highly prized.

    Barks also wrote and drew Donald Duck in Firestone and Cheerios give-away comics, March of Comics, Big Little Books and Little Golden Books. He was chosen to receive the first Shazam award (Best Humor Writer Of Comic Books) in 1971 after he became semi-retired in 1966.

    The work of Carl Barks is highly recommended for all ages.

    Some older comics are expensive and difficult to locate. Price guides or comics dealers help. Comics shops, conventions, mail order companies and trade journals are best sources. Prices vary: shop around for the best values.


The Deception

990324a.jpg (16407 bytes)    "My Lords, my Ladies - welcome to a new age of wonders! Welcome to Mythos! Here, demons stalk even the mightiest of warriors. Here, lives are lived in the shadows of dark forces…"

    "Here" is Las Vegas, of course, and it seems appropriate that The Deception comic book be set in the city of lies. If, as a skeptic and experienced fan of comics, you now anticipate a poor imitation of that most famous and oft-imitated of comic book magicians, Mandrake, don't bet on it.

    Jordan Risk, stage magician, doesn't gesture hypnotically like Mandrake, and doesn't read like a typical comic book sorcerer. Risk reads like a television detective show.

    Luckily, The Deception reads like a good television detective show. Unluckily, it doesn't read like a great television detective show. The fault lies partially in its art which is distinctive, reality-based, anatomically correct, well-staged and paced yet uneven in its inking. The artist can't seem to decide on a thin, smooth line or a thick, blunt one. The effect is only slightly jarring but does much to destroy the visual suspension of disbelief needed in a reality-based story.

    Bill Spangler's writing, however, restores much of that suspension. His pacing is flawless, his dialog natural and believable, and his plot is intriguing, although none too original.

    "Mythos" is a stage show headlined by Risk. A "select preview audience" has been invited to witness Risk's prestidigitation as a beautiful, half-naked girl is prepared for an unexpectedly real sacrifice. Murder is the game, and that's none too original.

    Will the plot of The Deception twist with it's second issue? It's a toss of the dice. If you're willing to gamble, The Deception still comes recommended by.... Michael Vance

    The Deception #1/22 pgs., $2.95 from Flypaper Press/art: Jeff Parker/ sold in comics shops or by mail.


Aliens Apocalypse: The Destroying Angels #1

990324b.jpg (17087 bytes)      MINIVIEW: Aliens Apocalypse: The Destroying Angels #1 (of 4). Well written and drawn., but multiple comics sequels have made the SF- horror movie's suspense and surprise impossible to replicate.

    Questions? Comments? A comic you wish reviewed? Write: 1427 S. Delaware Ave., Tulsa, OK, 74104. Or email c/o starland@starland.com.

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