I finally found a reason to mention Phooey Duck.

§ July 17th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on I finally found a reason to mention Phooey Duck.

Released Wednesday was Scott McCloud’s big fat Zot! trade paperback, AKA The Complete Black and White Collection. It reprints issues 11 through 36 (more or less…I’ll explain in a moment) of McCloud’s much-beloved Zot! series from Eclipse Comics, and flipping through the book…well, it reminded me of just how much I enjoyed this comic.

I remember there was a bit of trauma at the time, when the book returned after a brief hiatus having transitioned from a full-color, (mostly) light-hearted sci-fi superhero romance to a much moodier, much more emotionally-invested sequence of stories richly illustrated in black and white. Well, I think we got over it right quick, and now it seems strange (at least to me) to think of Zot! as ever having been in color. Not that there’s anything wrong with the color issues, but they feel more like a prelude to the the real meat of the series. The characters’ relationships are explored in greater detail, the villains are fleshed out, McCloud takes more storytelling chances…and there’s still plenty of room for silliness. It’s a rewarding experience, and one I recommend to anyone who hasn’t yet had the pleasure.

Don’t worry about not having those earlier issues…issues one through ten have been reprinted, in color and in black and white trade paperbacks. They’re out of print now, but a search of the eBay or Amazon should turn them up. You may be able to track down the individual comics, too. But even if you don’t, the book stands on its own well enough, and McCloud himself provides copious notes in the volume to fill in any gaps that remain (as well as providing historical, technical, and publishing details behind each issue).

There are a couple of omissions that should be noted. There is a two-part “fill-in” story of sorts that was illustrated by Chuck Austen that was left out, specifically because it wasn’t illustrated by McCloud. Plus, it was self-contained, so you’re not missing any subplotty stuff. You do, however, get McCloud’s original thumbnails for the story, so you do at least get to read it, sorta, in reduced form. Also not included are the Matt Feazell “Zot! in Dimension 10 1/2” stick figure stories, which is too bad since those are a hoot. However, McCloud promises an eventual reprinting of both the Austen story and the 10 1/2 stuff, which would be nice.

Anyway, short version: Zot! – good comic. You should read.

In other news:

  • Inspired by my post on the topic, Richard over at the Balloon Bellows has posted his own “Final Fate of the Peanuts Gang,” reprinted from his late ’90s Bastard Tales comic. Follow-up posts feature more “Final Fates” of other comic strip characters, so check it out.
  • “Only one fiendish fellow is nefarious enough to wed the lyrics of ABBA with images from the ’60s Batman movie, old chum…and that fearsome Photoshopper is none other than…pal Dorian!”

    “HoLOLy internet meme!”

  • Received my copy of Helen Killer #3 this week…too bad we were shorted on our order of #2 and Diamond never was able to provide replacements.

    Luckily it’s still available directly from the publisher, but just the same, kind of a drag.

  • Just watched National Treasure: Book of Secrets via the Netflix last night…I’ve said this before about the previous National Treasure movie, but darn if this doesn’t feel like a Carl Barks Disney adventure comic, only with Nicolas Cage and, um, whoever those other people were, instead of ducks. I could just see Huey, Dewey, Louie and Phooey calling out obscure American historical facts to Unca Nicolas from their Junior Woodchucks guidebook as they crisscross the country looking for treasures and artifacts.

    Now I’m picturing Nicolas Cage with a duck bill being pursued by Ed Harris dressed as a Beagle Boy, and that’s my signal to end this post.

Comments are closed.