Headlines   2002 Review Index   November 07, 2002

Suspended Animation

Michael Vance - Mark Allen
Michael Vance Books

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Maxim: Piper Crossing
pic     Maxim: Piper Crossing #1/13 pgs. & $2.95? from Comicaze/story: Scott Large; art: Dove McHargue.

     Some guys or dolls will go to any length to break into the field of comic books. Some writers and artists will produce samples pages and submit them to publishers by mail or at comic book conventions. Others will self-publish their work. A few even create a complete and professional sample comic book at their local photocopy shop like Maxim: Piper Crossing.

     Ulysses S. Briggs is a hard-knuckled reporter at the New York Sun newspaper. Aubrey Merlin is an eccentric scientist, and the "Old Man" is a renegade archeologist. Together, they form a band of '30s adventurers in the grand pulp magazine tradition of Doc Savage and Weird Tales: super men, monsters and cults. What a soup. Umm, Umm good.

     Indiana Jones beware! Ulysses Briggs is here!!

     Good plot and dialogue means a trip to a weird, remote town on the edge of a swamp and madness. Interesting characterization aided by the shorthand of archetypes, a crisp pace and the tiniest hint of humor make for a rollicking bit of adventure. Of special fun for those who remember "operatives" in pulp magazines like Doc Savage and The Shadow is the use of 'fellow' Sun reporter Joan Weathers.

     Good art means excellent visual storytelling, distinctive style and an uncanny understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of creating black and white interior pages. Of special note is using reversed art (like photographic negatives) to wrench Briggs and cast from this into an alien reality.

     Maxim is recommended to publishers and readers. If you are interested in hiring Scott or Dove, or in buying Maxim, send an email to ScottLarge2001@Yahoo.com or to Dove0002@HotMail.com.

     Review by Michael Vance

 
What A Long Strange Strip It's Been
MINIVIEW: Published by Top Shelf. One cartoonist's reflections on the meaning of life. His conclusions? Drugs, per-verse and promiscuous sex, theft, lying and much more are just dandy.

     Review by Michael Vance

 

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