by Michael Vance & Dr. Jon Suter
July 14, 1999
Reviews in this issue:
Deity II: Catseye #3 - Comic's Legend: Frank Willard
II: Catseye #3
"At the dawn of time, a great machine wove a magnificent tapestry
consisting of a thousand words orbiting countless stars throughout a billion
galaxies. This was the birth of the Universe. The object empowering the
great machine of creation was the Catseye. For ages, good and evil have
battled for control of this power source and its primordial energies. Now these
forces are converging for a final battle to obtain this priceless object, and
wield a power reserved for a God."
So begins the premise for Deity II: Catseye, and the great
question: if Suspended Animation recommends comics that adults will
enjoy, why review Catseye? It is not one of those unless you are an avid
It is reviewed
because Catseye is one of those if you are young or young at heart
and really enamored with Japanese comic books.
It is one for the young and young at heart because its art is
out-standing, owing much to a dynamic and appealing colorist and an artist who
knows how to incorporate color into his work. It also uses clean, visual
storytelling strengthened by well-delineated and imaginative setting.
Everything is heavily influenced by Japanese comics art.
Subtle but disappointing for adults is a cast full of perfect bodies.
Some variety in body type would be welcome.
It is not one for adults because the plot is simply an excuse for an epic
war, and that has been overworked in comic books. In addition, the characters in
Catseye, although well defined, are predominantly teenagers. Most of the
adults are sinister villains. Most adults are not sinister or teenagers, making
it difficult for old codgers to identify with this title.
That is an observation, not a criticism.
By the way and in critical passing, there in not "a God" but
rather One God.
Reveiwed by Michael Vance
Deity II: Catseye #3/22 pgs. & $2.95 from Hyperwerks/written and
drawn by Karl Altstaetter/ includes a brief preview of another Hyperwerks title,
The Kosmic Kat Activity Book/sold in comics shops.
Legend: Frank Willard
Creator Frank Willard's comic strip, Moon Mullins,
was first published in the Chicago Tribune newspaper in 1923, in part as
response to the syndicate's success with another strip, Barney Google. As
Moon developed its cast of characters including Lord Plushbottom, Kayo
and Emmy Schmaltz, Willard also created his own style. Moon gained
popularity and became a classic of visual storytelling.
Born in 1893 in the Chicago area Frank Willard decided to
become a cartoonist at an early age. His broad humor and simple art were
character-centered and drawn with a heavy line.
None of Willard's characters faired well in polite
society. In one story, Moon and Emmy get embroiled in a stolen car and are
thrown in jail. Moon turns imprisonment into slapstick comedy. In another
continuity, Moon and cast travel to Florida when Lord Plushbottom opens a night
club. Emmy's attempts to get the Lord to marry her also ends to comic 'tragedy'.
At Willard's untimely death in 1958, Ferd Johnson
continued Moon Mullins as a one-a-day joke strip.
The adventures of Moon were published in comic
books including: Large Feature Comic #29, 4-Color #s 14, 31, 81
(Dell Comics, 1941-'45); Moon Mullins #s 1-8 (American Comics Group,
1947-'48); Popular Comics (Dell #1-, 1936--), and Super Book #3
(Western Comics, 1944?).
Cupples & Leon published cardboard bound editions of Moon
from 1927 to 1933 that were precursors of comic books. Dover re-published two
Cupples editions as an excellent collection of strips in 1976 in trade paperback
form. The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics also features a
section on Willard's rakish family of characters.
The work of Frank Willard is highly recommended for all
Some older comics are expensive and difficult to locate.
Price guides or comics dealers help. Comic shops, conventions, mail order
companies and trade journals are best sources. Prices vary: shop around for the
Questions? Comments? A comic you wish reviewed? Write: 1427 S. Delaware Ave., Tulsa, OK, 74104. Or email c/o email@example.com.
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