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ElfQuest #5
Feb 11th, 2018 by Rusty

ElfQuest #5 cover

ElfQuest #5

Date: August 1979
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2018 Price Range: $3 – $30
Stats: 33 color pages plus editorial and Elfquotes letters page
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: The end of the first Elfquest chapter.

Follow Gandhi’s Example

Whenever I see a herd of stampeding horses, or other grazing beasts, in movies or read about them in books, I always recall the movie Gandhi. It is there that the title character urges people to lie down, saying that the horses won’t step on them if they are prone. For some reason I have often thought about that part of the movie. Although I am not sure if that is true or not, it does seem logical that horses wouldn’t want to step other living creatures. I guess we are kind of like that too – how many of us would run across of carpet of cats, for example? Anyway, there is a part in this comic book where I thought the characters should heed Gandhi’s words and all lie down. However, the award winning movie didn’t come out until three years after this book was published – so I guess I can’t fault them!
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Cory Doctorow’s Futuristic Tales of The Here and Now #1
Feb 4th, 2018 by Rusty

Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales of The Here and Now #1

Cory Doctorow’s Futuristic Tales of The Here and Now #1

Date: October 2007
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Stats: 22 color pages
Writers: Cory Doctorow, adapted by Dara Naraghi
Artists: Esteve Polls, Robert Studio and Neil Uyetake
Notable Notes: The first time a Cory Doctorow short story has been adapted to comics!

A Story and A Comic!

Several years ago I read and reviewed Cory Doctorow’s short story “Anda’s Game”. (You can still read that post over on my science fiction blog) I thought the story was pretty good, but definitely not his best work. He has written a ton of cool short stories and novels, so I was excited when I recently learned about the comic adaptations of some of his stories! I started with this one because it was the first story in the free (and legal!) TPB download. I kind of think there was something lost in the translation to graphic form, but it was still fun seeing a great short story in comic book form! Kind of like seeing a movie that was made from a novel you read. Anywho, here’s what I thought of it.
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ElfQuest #4
Jan 14th, 2018 by Rusty

ElfQuest #4 cover

ElfQuest #4

Date: May 1979
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2018 Price Range: $3 – $30
Stats: 32 color pages plus Bearclaw and Joyleaf pin-up art, Laugh “Wolf” and Elfquotes letters page
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: 1st appearance of Madcoil!

Rival Spurning

Have you ever been spurned by a rival? I’m talking about when you finally decide to play nice, and so you make a reconciling gesture only to be scoffed at, turned down or ridiculed? This can lead to even higher tension between rivals. I remember one case, in particular, when I was in high school where “my nemesis” and I elevated proverbial blows until we were ready to kill each other. Ah, the good old days of teenage testosterone! Nowadays I usually (emphasis on usually) laugh and let things blow over, because I am older and wiser… or is it older and weaker? One of those. Anyway, in this issue we see some male-rival-spurning going on, and I’m sure it will lead to more aggression in later issues. I can’t wait!
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Archie #1 (Vol. 2)
Dec 11th, 2017 by Rusty

Archie #1 cover

Archie #1 (Vol. 2)

Date: September 2015
Publisher: Archie Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Stats: 22 color pages
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Fiona Staples, Andre Szymanowicz, Jen Vaughn and Jack Morelli.
Notable Notes: The first comic book in the New Riverdale universe!

All New Archie?!

It has been a few years since the All New Archie series re-launched the Riverdale Universe. Even then I was late to the game, and only picked up a few issues after it had been going for a while. Knowing that Mark Waid was the writer helped, because I like most of his stuff. Anyway, I had been wanting to get some more issues of this series, but they were turning out to be expensive and hard to find. So I was excited when Humble Bundle offered a bunch of the electronic TPBs recently, and I jumped on that bandwagon while I could! Anyway, here are my thoughts on the first issue of this re-launched series.
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Crux #1
Nov 26th, 2017 by Rusty

Crux #1 cover

Crux #1

Date: May 2001
Publisher: CrossGen Comics
Cover Price: $2.95
2017 Price: $3
Stats: 29 color pages plus creative team bios and house ads
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Steve Epting, Rick Magyar, Frank D’Armata and Troy Peteri
Notable Notes: The Sigil comes to Earth!

CrossGen on Earth

Back around the turn of the century, in 2000 and 2001, I was a big fan of the newly created CrossGen Comics. The fantastic artwork and intricate, inter-leaved story lines really impressed me. I collected a lot of their titles, and really enjoyed nearly all of them. But I had not read one issue of this series, Crux, until today! I picked up the first four issues of the series on the cheap after the company folded, but just now got around to reading them. Sheesh – what a slacker I am! Oh well, it was worth the wait, because this turned out to be one cool comic book!
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ElfQuest #3
Nov 12th, 2017 by Rusty

ElfQuest #3 cover

ElfQuest #3

Date: December 1978
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2017 Price Range: $3 – $30
Stats: 32 color pages plus Rayek pin-up art, Meet the Wolfriders and Elfquotes letters page
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: Cutter and Rayek battle for Leetah’s love!

Fight For Your Right

Would you fight, literally fight, to win the heart of your sweetie? What about your job? Or your family? Or your home? Or your comic book collection? 😉 Sure, we’ve all heard of fighting for true love, but as I read this comic I asked myself “What do I consider worth fighting for?” It gave me a little bit to ponder… but not for too long, because I had the rest of the comic to read! Here is a great comic – beautifully rendered and fun to read!
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ElfQuest #2
Oct 26th, 2017 by Rusty

ElfQuest #2 cover

ElfQuest #2

Date: September 1978
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2017 Price Range: $3 – $40
Stats: 31 color pages plus pin-up art, welcome and Elfquotes letters page
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: The first book from WaRP Graphics

Love At First Sight

Ah, love at first sight… does it really exist? I tend to think that it should more accurately be called “lust at first sight” – at least in the real world. But in the world of fiction perhaps love at first sight is a thing that actually works out. In this issue of ElfQuest the Wolfriders’ leader, Cutter, is so smitten with a beautiful woman that he kidnaps her! But that works out OK for him – and that is another way to tell that we are in fictional world!
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ElfQuest #1
Oct 10th, 2017 by Rusty

ElfQuest #1 cover

ElfQuest #1

Date: April 1978
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2017 Price Range: $4 – $50
Stats: 31 color pages plus forward, pin-up art and Elf-olution
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: A spruced-up reprint of ElfQuest’s first appearance!

Convoluted Publishing History

Some comic book series just really fly through the publishing companies. Astro City is one that comes to mind. ElfQuest is another one. Beginning in the late 1970s the Elf saga started off in Fantasy Quarterly #1 by an independent publisher, then it switched to the Pini’s homegrown company WaRP Graphics. Years later both Marvel and DC would pick up licenses to it, and so would Boing Boing and Dark Horse! Sheesh! Oh well, at least it is a good series, and one that deserves to be published – regardless of who is doing that publishing!
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G.I. Combat #1
Sep 29th, 2017 by Rusty

G.I. Combat #1 cover

G.I. Combat #1

Date: October 1952
Publisher: Quality Comics
Cover Price: 10¢
2017 Price Range: $97 – $1500
Stats: 29 color pages plus ads and text story
Writer: Robert Bernstein
Artists: Reed Crandall, Chuck Cuidera, Pete Morisi, Charles Nicholas
Notable Notes: First issue of one of the longest running war comics titles!

Little Interest in War

I have never really been a fan of war comics. My older brother read Sgt. Rock, but I could never get into it. In fact I have ever only had mild, passing interest in anything related to war or the military. Recently that changed, at least temporarily, when I started taking a college course about technology and global conflict. After spending several weeks reading and discussing military stuff, I have kind of been in the mood to watch war movies and try some war comics. So that is what I’m doing today – giving a classic war comic a try, and seeing how it turns out!

I decided to start with the first issue of G.I. Combat. Why? Well, because it was a famous, long running series, and it is the series where Sgt. Rock and The Haunted Tank got their starts. I figured that was as good a place as any to start!

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Akiko #10
Nov 22nd, 2014 by Rusty

Akiko #10 cover

Akiko #10

Date: January 1997
Publisher: Sirius Entertainment
Cover Price: $2.50
2014 NM Price: $3.00
Stats: 20 black & white pages plus “Letters to Akiko” and 2 page back-up story
Story & Art: Mark Crilley
Notable Notes: The gang surmounts the Great Wall of Trudd.

Hang Gliding?

There is a popular hang gliding mountain near where I live in Utah. Although I have never been, every time I pass it on the freeway I see loads of gliders lazily circling their way down from the top – and I get a hankerin’ to join in! I imagine it to be fun, a little bit scary and a bit relaxing too. Maybe some day I’ll get the nerve, time and energy to do it. In this issue of Akiko the gang makes use of a giant flag to do some hang gliding of their own – and it turns out to be pretty useful too!

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Walt Disney’s Donald Duck #249
Aug 9th, 2014 by Rusty

Donald Duck #249 cover

Walt Disney’s Donald Duck #249

Date: January 1987
Publisher: Gladstone Publishing
Cover Price: 75¢
2014 Price Range: $2.00 – $16.00
Stats: 29 color pages plus house ads and “The Quacker Box” letters page
Writers Volker Reiche, Geoffrey Blum, Carl Barks and Marty Greim
Artists: Daan Jippes, Volker Reiche, Carl Barks and Marty Greim
Notable Notes: Donald is a scientist, a goblin and a monster hunter!

A Scientist

I have always liked the idea of being a scientist. I used to play at it when I was a kid, and I very much enjoyed science classes in school. During the last few years I have been taking some serious social science classes at the university where I work, and have quite enjoyed them. I still like the idea of being a scientist, and am slowly moving towards that goal. In this issue we get to see Donald fantasize about the same thing – only here he actually starts mixing chemicals in a lab and disastrous results follow! C’mon – what would a Donald Duck story be without funny mayhem?

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Itty Bitty Hellboy #1
Jun 18th, 2014 by Rusty

Itty Bitty Hellboy #1 cover

Itty Bitty Hellboy #1

Date: April 2014
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $1.00
Stats: 22 color pages plus Itty Bitty Letters and ads
Writers: Art Baltazar & Franco
Artist: Art Baltazar
Notable Notes: The tiny red guy with the big hand playfully battles his cartoon-ish enemies!

Big Boxes Are Awesome!

Did you ever make a fort out of big boxes when you were little? (Do you still do it?) I did, and I loved it when my parents bought some new appliance because that meant we got a new fort for a while! The best one we ever got was a huge box from my mom’s shiny new Wurlitzer organ. It was big enough that we were able to cut kid sized doors and windows into it! Ah… what great memories. This comic book brought up all sorts of memories about the forts I used to build… and the ones I still make with my kids!

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Richie Rich: Rich Rescue #3
Apr 27th, 2014 by Rusty

Richie Rich: Rich Rescue #3 cover

Richie Rich: Rich Rescue #3

Date: 2011
Publisher: Ape Entertainment / Kizoic
Cover Price: $3.95
Stats: 25 color pages – and no ads!
Writers: Quinn Johnson, Rob Worley, Earl Kress, Patrick Rills
Artists: James Silvani, Armando Zanker, Jake Myler, Dustin Evans, Andrew Dalhouse
Notable Notes: Richie and friends uncover a secret tomb in Egypt!

2 of my favorite subjects!

You probably don’t know this about me, but I love archeology – especially the Egyptian flavor. I find the study of ancient pharaohs in splendid tombs to be infinitely fascinating. I also love science fiction – yeah, I even have my own review web site. So when this issue combined both of those wonderful ideas into one story – well, let’s just say that it was right up my alley!

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Akiko #9
Mar 23rd, 2014 by Rusty

Akiko #9 cover

Akiko #9

Date: December 1996
Publisher: Sirius Entertainment
Cover Price: $2.50
2014 NM Price: $3.00
Stats: 21 black & white pages plus “Letters to Akiko”, 1 gag page and 1 house ad
Story & Art: Mark Crilley
Notable Notes: Akiko and her friends finally reach the Great Wall of Trudd.

Are You Afraid Of Heights?

Well… are you? I like to think that I’m not, but I am… a little bit. You know how I can tell? Whenever I get somewhere that is too high, or I see a movie where the people may fall a long ways, then my palms get all sweaty. Yeah, so its a good thing that I wasn’t a character in this issue when the gang has no way around the Great Wall of Trudd – so they climb over it… or start climbing anyways. I’m afraid my slick hands would have dealt me a quick death!

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Walt Disney’s Donald Duck #248
Mar 8th, 2014 by Rusty

Donald Duck #248 cover

Walt Disney’s Donald Duck #248

Date: December 1986
Publisher: Gladstone Publishing
Cover Price: 75¢
2014 Price Range: $2.00 – $16.00
Stats: 27 color pages plus house ads, Letters to Donald Duck and A Letter From The Duck Man.
Writer: Carl Barks
Artists: Carl Barks with Daan Jippes and Mike McCormick
Notable Notes: Donald and the Nephews travel to South America!

South America

I have always dreamed of going to South America – especially Brazil and the Amazon rain forest. I think it would be a wonderful adventure, and a little bit scary too. Probably not as scary as for the first explorers to visit that region of the world, but still, there might be a few things. In this issue Donald and his nephews do just that – they head to Brazil to capture some rare insects… and brave the ferocious wild life that lives there – ulp!

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