Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Saturday, November 08, 2014

What I'm Reading

Currently, I'm working my way through several trade paperback collections of comics in several different genres: pulp crime, space opera and superhero action. I love 'em all.

First off, I recently ordered the trade collection of the Dick Tracy movie tie-in comics from Walt Disney, originally published back in 1990. "The Complete Truehearts and Tommy Guns Trilogy" collects the two movie prequels written by John Moore and the film adaptation, scripted by Len Wein. All three are illustrated by the amazing Kyle Baker, whose stylized cartooning both perfectly evokes and puts a fresh spin on the world of Chester Gould's classic comic strip.

The art is beautiful and lively, marred only by Disney's insistence that Detective Tracy look like movie star Warren Beatty. The story goes that the mercurial actor only approved a handful of drawings of his face, which were then used repeatedly in the comics, pasted in whenever the character showed his mug.

Also at hand is the Deadshot: Beginnings trade paperback from DC Comics, which collects the 80s miniseries penned by John Ostrander & Kim Yale, illustrated by Luke McDonnell. This Suicide Squad spin-off is sort of superhero noir, focusing on the high-tech hitman's grim backstory. Bleak stuff, but exceptionally well-done.

The book also includes a couple of the character's earlier comic book appearances battling Batman, including the classic Detective Comics #474 by Steve Englehart & Marshall Rogers.

Finally, there's Flash Gordon: The Complete Dailies November 1951- April 1953. Published back in '88. this volume showcases the first couple years' worth of Gordon strips by Dan Barry, written by Harvey Kurtzman. Barry wasn't enamored of the more fantasy, sword & planet approach of creator Alex Raymond, and with the syndicate's blessing, took the character in a more sci-fi, rocketships and rayguns direction. The artwork is astounding, and the stories are pure, space age pulp adventure... although the fantasy stuff does creep back in eventually.

These should keep me busy for at least a little while....

1 comment:

Rip Jagger said...

I've gathered several of the Dick Tracy collections over the years, but have rarely read much of them. I keep meaning too, but it just never seems to happen. I think I might change that.


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