§ May 17th, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

Well, I was going to post a sprawling screed about “middle-ground” comics magazines (discussed here, here, here, and here, and probably other places too), but then pal Dorian did it a heck of a lot more succinctly than I would have.

Basic gist of my post That Will Not Be…I want Amazing Heroes back. It covered both the superhero beat and the indies, and usually did so with intelligence and irreverence in the proper proportions. And most importantly…no price guide!

I also came to the realization as I was writing that post that I’d been reading The Comics Journal since I was 13…that means I’ve been buying an issue of TCJ every month (or so) for 22 years. Good gravy. And I don’t know if I’d describe the mag as “elitist” — I think if I were to be as bold as to sum up TCJ‘s publishing philosophy, it would be “entertainment doesn’t have to be stupid.” That’s a dangerous attitude to have in a society that encourages this sort of behavior, but there you go.

In other news:

  • Once again, Milo George comes through with some nice flavor text for a cover I posted.
  • More Grimjack news can be found here and here. I’m very happy about this…Grimjack was one of my favorite titles, and I still remember a long-ago interview with John Ostrander about future plans for the character that, due to the fall of First Comics, never came to pass.
  • A new trailer for The Incredibles is up…turns out there’s a character in this film called “Elasticgirl.” Isn’t that name taken? (Okay, so there’s a hyphen missing.)

And, at long last, a review of another Ait/Planetlar book…it’s Electric Girl Volume 1 by Michael Brennan. It’s a fun and very charming book, focusing on a young lass named Virginia who has been given powers over electricity by…well, an invisible gremlin (named Oogleeoog) that only Virginia can see. Now, these aren’t Lightning Lad-type hurling electrical bolts-type powers…these are more like kicking back on the couch and recharging batteries-type powers.

This is a superhero comic stripped down to its barest essence…yes, you have the standard “villains” (killer robot, zombie, mad inventor) but treated in a light fashion, and filtered through the matter-of-fact perspective of the protagonist. It’s all great fun, and it feels more like you’re just following the life of a normal girl (er…as normal as you can get with electric powers and an invisible gremlin) than like traditional super-adventures.

The supporting characters are a hoot, too…Oogleeoog functions as an annoyance in Virginia’s life, but you get the feeling that, despite the fact that his job is to cause problems, he really does care for Virginia and her welfare (most evident in the story, which takes place when Virginia is much younger, where the gremlin tries to circumvent the rules under which he must operate in order to protect her from a possible kidnapper). And then there’s Virginia’s dog Blammo (whose name is the result of another of Oogleeoog’s pranks)…this squat little fellow is quite a character himself, a nice visual gag whose interactions with Oogleeoog and his own solo adventures are always good for a laugh.

The art is very simple and cartoony, and very emotive…faces aren’t much more than a couple dots and dashes, but Brennan squeezes a great deal of expression out of them.

This book is a lot of fun…I have volume 2 here as well, and I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I expect it’ll be just as good as the first one. Recommended for fans of Andi Watson’s work…and it’s an All Ages book, so I recommend it any comics-inclined kids as well.

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