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

Check-out Michael Vance Comic books for sale


June 6, 1999

Reviews in this issue:

Dylan Dog #1 - Warrior Nun Frenzy #2
Hogan's Alley - Comic Book Marketplace - The Golden Age of Marvel Comics


Dylan Dog #1

Part one of six, 96 pages, priced at $4.95, from Bonelli/Dark Horse Comics. Script by Tiziano Sclavi with art by Angelo Srano. Translation by Bojana Dozic. Sold at comics shops and by mail. 

What do you get when you cross a hummingbird and a doorbell? 

"Elementary, my dear Felix; a humdinger."

If that conjures visions of Doctor Watson, Sherlock Holmes and very bad jokes, I have conjured well. Because all three of these are important elements in Dylan Dog, a Supernatural sleuth whose tongue-in-cheek adventures are a hoot, man. 

Dylan and his sidekick, Felix, are loosely based on Holmes and Groucho Marx. Their adventures are loosely based on old Hammer horror flicks.

Loosely is a keyword. The other important words about Dylan are "well drawn, well written" and "fun".

This first jaunt leads the team to that ultimate Supernatural horror spelled backwards, Notnilc. Oops, I meant Natas. I often get the too confused.

Natas is busy making zombies.

Regrettably, there is too much nudity, although most of it is unerotic. Otherwise, Dylan Dog is highly recommended for adults.

Reviewed by Michael Vance


Warrior Nun Frenzy #2

24 pages, priced $2.95, story and art by Miljenco Horvatic, translated by Vida Lapaine, sold in comic shops and by mail.

A story told is a story understood.

A story muddled is Warrior Nun Frenzy from Antarctic Press.

Granted, its art is exceptional in style and execution, but art is capable of expressing little more than location, action, mood and the skeleton of plot and characterization.

After the first reading, I knew little more than that two vaguely defined groups were battling to the death over something. I knew too little about the characters to care whether they lived, suffered or died.

I have no idea why the character Frenzy is a nun, if she really is a "bride of Christ" or why a nun would butcher people.

True, I may have learned more on a second perusal, but no one should have to read twice; they should want to read again.

I do not.

Reviewed by Michael Vance


Hogan's Alley
Comic Book Marketplace
The Golden Age of Marvel Comics

A very pleasant discovery is the semi-annual publication, Hogan's Alley. Each massive issue (144 pages) is filled with information on the history of comic strips and books.

The sixth issue (Winter, 1998) ranges from animated Popeye cartoons to Jack Cole (creator of Plastic Man) to Tom Batuik's Funky Winkerbean strip and Mark Schultz's Xenozoic Tales comic book.

Other articles are on Disney animation, sports in cartoons, and the recent television commercials with Superman and Jerry Seinfeld. For $5.95, that is a bargain. The articles and interviews are well illustrated.

I first found Hogan 's Alley in the hobbies section of a large newsstand, days later, I found it shelved in the arts section at another newsstand. 

Let's hope it finds a wide audience.

A glossier publication is the monthly Comic Book Marketplace that I have found only at comic bookshops. The title is a bit misleading in that there ate many good articles on the history of comic books as well as on their value.

Comic Book Marketplace is published by Robert Overstreet, A name recognizable to any collector because of the annual Overstreet guide which is the basis for any discussion of the value of comics. It also costs $5.95 per issue.

Each magazine is different. I think serious fans will want both. (And how many immediately recognized Hogan 's Alley as the first title of Richard Outcault's comic strip, Yellow Kid?)

Those interested in older comics will also want the second volume of The Golden Age of Marvel Comics. I spoke rather highly of the first volume that must have been successful enough to justify a second compilation of material from the 1940s.

$19.95 seems high, but much of this material has never been reprinted. Its last story may be of most interest. It deals with Citizen V, an obscure name until Marvel recycled it as the alias for the villainous leader of the Thunderbolts. Other characters include the Fin, Black Marvel, and Flaming Mask.

Get this while you can.

Reviewed by Dr. Jon Suter


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