A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Sorry I haven't plugged any great creator-owned comics in the last couple of weeks. It's been a fault of my reading habits, not a lack of enthusiasm or...well, it is kind of dedication, but come on, I try.

Besides, I'm back, I am happy to hip you to a book coming out right now that I read in issue form, and that was so good I am buying the collected version, as well.

No secret that I'm a big fan of my old pal Scott Morse and will read anything he puts out, but Strange Science Fantasy is a game changer of creativity for the artist. Serialized by IDW as a six-issue mini last year, Strange Science Fantasy was an imaginative, unhinged run through various one-off ideas Scott had. Racing automobile gangs, high-tech samurais, a dude with a motion picture camera for a head--these were just half of the jumping-off points Scott came up with, and just the beginning of what each installment had to offer. Each issue stands alone as its own cool comic, a throwback to the freaky Jack Kirby monster comics the King did for Marvel in the 1960s, and Scott explores every corner of the individual ideaa, mapping out new worlds in clever, playful ways.

Even better, when you get to the end, you will discover there is a grand design running through the whole thing, it's not just a random collection of one-offs. Scott is batting around the storytelling impulse, questioning and exploring why humans are drawn to mythologize. The last issue works as a heady finish, like a comic book big bang reverberating out into a universe of possibilities.

The stories that Scott tells are not all that is interesting about Strange Science Fantasy, though, it's also how he tells his tales. Scott doesn't employ a traditional comics style, but something more like what Kyle Baker does, a blend of regular sequential page creation and storyboarding. The images and the words are arranged more as pictures and captions, like a picture book, and there aren't really word balloons. It gives Strange Science Fantasy a leaner, more facile appearance. These tales move at a snappy pace, and Scott's colorful tones and energetic lines hum with the potency of primitive cave paintings, as if his legends were equal to those etched on cave walls at the dawn of man.

Added bonus: each story has a one-page summation by the great Paul Pope. That's six pages of the Comics Destroyer. Worth the price alone!

Amazon has the book as available in mid-April, but comic book stores will have it tomorrow.

Current Soundtrack: tonight's The Colbert Report

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All text (c) 2011 Jamie S. Rich

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