Comic Book Creator #32 Fall 2023 (magazine review).

This edition of ‘Comic Book Creator’ again covers some interesting people. The first is writer Greg Biga as he interviews Mike Deodato Jr., born Deodato Taumaturgo Borges Filho, a Brazilian artist who took some time convincing the American comicbook companies, after over a decade of work, that he could do super-hero art and ended up on Wonder Woman, giving her the briefest briefs. This is only the first part, but it shows he can pencil, ink, and paint. useful versatility. Oh, he’s also a martial artist.

Writer-editor Jon B. Cooke continues the second part of his look at artist Frank Mellor Borth (1918–2009), who did newspaper strips and comicbooks. Rather quaintly, he was a Presbyterian working on a Catholic comic book.

Of course, the biggest interview as seen on the cover is Jon B. Cooke’s interview with William ‘Bill’ Stout. As he comments in his interview, we Brits know of him more for his album covers than his other work, which is extensive, and he has a network of creative talent friends to die for built up over the years. Find yourself a good hour to sit down and read his interview because it is a page-turner career. His advice on taking a business course served him in good stead, although I’m less sure if it exists in the UK. Creative talent never knows their true worth anyway. Did I say he likes dinosaurs?

An even bigger section is devoted to Byron Preiss (1958–2005), someone who Stout did a dinosaurs book and whose life was cut short in a car accident at the age of 47. This is also the first time I’ve seen how to pronounce his surname. Up until now, I thought it was an appropriate surname of ‘Press’, but according to Jon Cooke, it is actually pronounced as ‘Price’. I’m glad I got that out of the way. Even during college, Preiss was making inroads to having comicbooks as educational tools and even roped Jim Steranko in on a streetwise 8-pager.

From all the information here, Preiss appeared to be a good communicator and able to talk to people at their level. It sounds a bit like me in that respect. In the USA, Preiss also had business acumen and was able to garner money for projects that finally led to his own company and early versions of visual or graphic novels using SF writers matched with artists. I owned a couple of those books myself when they first came out. When I read them, I saw them as largely experimental and even a little bizarre in some places. This article covers his entire career with various publishers, including stints at DC and Marvel Comics. The ‘Spidey Super-Stories’ for younger readers was one of his ideas, for instance, tailoring the stories for a younger audience.

The only thing missing from this extended article is a checklist of his work, but I suspect that would also be several pages long. I doubt if Preiss ever saw himself as a great writer, but he could get things done by the people who could, and that is a long list. Give yourself plenty of time to read in one sitting.

I defy anyone reading this issue not to check to see if there’s anything out there needed to add to your own book collection, especially as I’m tracking down Stout’s first dinosaur book.

GF Willmetts

March 2024

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 9.95 (US). ISSN: 2330-2437. Direct from them, you can get it currently for sale for $ 7.67 (US))

check out websites: www.TwoMorrows.com and https://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_132&products_id=1764


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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