Back Issue #125 February 2021 (magazine review).

February 17, 2021 | By | Reply More

This latest edition of ‘Back Issue’ is a ‘Creator-Owned Comics Issue’. As editor Mike Eury notes in his introduction, they have covered various creators before so these are really the ones outstanding. Chief of these is Matt Wagner’s ‘Grendle’ and ‘Mage’ comicbooks and he’s interviewed about the first of these by Tom Powers. As ‘Grendle’ was fantasy operated in its day, I didn’t really pay much attention to it. Reading here, whatever Grendle is, it’s villainous and moves on from body to body possessing them from time to time.

The only additional comment I can make is the reason why ‘The Joker’ and ‘Super-Villain Team-Up’ having limited runs was largely because you can’t really run a comicbook where the villains have to fail or get caught at the end of each story and then carry on regardless the next issue because if becomes too formulaic.

‘Usagi Yojimbo’ has been going strong for some 30 years now as created by Stan Sakai on top of his day job as a letterer and follows the tales of a samurai rabbit. Mark Ciemioch relates his adventures and interviews Sakai as well as the Mutant Ninja Turtles connection and appearing animated and appears to might be getting his own series.

‘Boris The Bear’ by James Dean Smith is more satire as Shaun Clancy conducts with its creator.

Just when you think its going to go all animal, the next is a look at Colleen Doran’s Science Fiction series ‘A Distant Soil’ from 1994-onwards by Allan Harvey. It was on my to look out for just before I dropped out of comics and a quick check on-line shows about five volumes are out there. Doran’s interview shows she put in major influences on her and it also becomes obvious there’s some geekiness in there.

Ooops! Spoke too soon. The Freelance Police, ‘Sam & Max’ are the satire adventures of a tall biped wolfhound and a short rabbit with frightening teeth that even George Lucas liked and related their adventures to his children. Hardly surprising that creator Steve Purcell was also an employee of Lucasfilm and there are some animated adventures in the works.

Then we’re back to Matt Wagner and ‘Mage’ and something I didn’t know anything about and Roger Ash begins my education. Wagner’s character draws from Arthurian legend and Mage is essentially Merlin brought to modern times.

Finally, a quick look at Cheryl Blossom/Cherry Poptart and the odd lawsuits faced by Larry Welz with Archie Comics and Kellogg and neatly stemmed by its creator related to Jerry Smith.

This exploration of independent creators does show an advantage of them moving to other publishers, mostly because the previous ones closed than bad feelings, at least from these interviews. It’s also apparent that if you follow a similar path, be sure to keep decent copies of the original art and certainly the negatives the printers use if you can.

This ‘Back Issue’ was really an education and I suspect many of you reading it will seek out the material shown which is always a good sign.

GF Willmetts

February 2021

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 9.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6904. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 9.95 (US))

check out websites: www.TwoMorrows.com and https://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_54&products_id=1552


Category: Comics, Magazines

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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