Comic Book Creator #30 Spring 2023 (magazine review).

While the cover of Comic Book Creator #30 highlights the focus on comic book artist Michael Cho, there are numerous other features preceding it. Editor Jon B. Cooke also notes that the magazine has been in circulation for 25 years, and he expresses his amazement at having found enough material to sustain it for this long.

The occasional gaps between issues are largely due to his work on the various TwoMorrows Companion books, the most recent of which is the ‘Charlton Companion’. In recent years, when finding new SF material worthy of attention has been akin to seeking an oasis, I’ve been discovering articles that highlight books from previous generations, piquing my interest.

Cooke’s article about Baronet, the publisher who gambled on the relatively new concept of a graphic novel with Will Eisner’s ‘A Contract With God’, is a notable read. While other books had a similar format, this was the first to bear the moniker ‘graphic novel’. The article also provides a history of the company and profiles of those involved.

The interview with editor Mike Gold is the third part in a series, this time focusing on his career with First Comics and beyond. Considering the influential output from First Comics, such as ‘American Flagg’, ‘Jon Sable’, ‘Mars’, and the resurrection of E-Man, the legacy left behind is impressive. Gold’s insights into the protocols of DC and Marvel Comics are intriguing, and I hope Jon Cooke delves further into these protocols and explains why standard American company policies are often disregarded.

Naturally, the main event is the 38-page interview with Michael Cho. Born in Korea and relocated to Canada at the age of six by his father, Cho’s upbringing and comic book influences make for interesting reading. His preferences, even in the late 1970s, weren’t the usual picks, mainly due to his fondness for cartoon robots.

Cho was seemingly destined for his profession, and he gradually climbed the ladder in the comic book industry, primarily working on covers rather than interior illustrations. He entered the industry after I had moved on from comics. His art is strikingly stylised, making effective use of negative space and chiaroscuro. While I’m not entirely convinced by his figure work, I am taken by his cityscapes and design. Cho’s recounting of his history is a fascinating read.

With plenty to read and loads of art to appreciate, what’s not to love about this issue?

GF Willmetts

May 2023

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $10.95 (US). ISSN: 2330-2437. Direct from them, you can get it for $10.95 (US))

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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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