You probably thought I forgot about your questions, didn’t you?

§ May 24th, 2017 § Filed under question time § 6 Comments

Okay, it’s been exactly a month since I last dipped into the most recent question pool, so let’s knock out a couple right here:

William Burns lights a fire under my butt about

“Do the Black Mask Studios comics sell much for you?”

They do…okay, I suppose. Some better than others. There was a while there, a year or two back, where the investor-types were looking into new releases from indie companies for their next fortunes. It’s still happening to a somewhat limited extent, but mostly with, say, Aftershock and Scout, possibly because nobody’s quite sure how to order on a lot of these, meaning if one catches one, any given store is likely to be caught short.

But with Black Mask, Four Kids Walk into a Bank and Young Terrorists still get a small bit of attention…in fact, I just turned a customer on to the latter title, and he thinks it’s great, so, you know, they’re still capable of finding new readers. It’s hard, though, in the current marketplace, to get any sort of traction, but I’m glad companies like Black Mask, and Aftershock, and the rest are still hanging in there.

• • •

Rob Staeger grills me with

“I’ve recently been reading a bunch of old Warlord issues. They’re so enthusiastically batty! I was wondering what your thoughts are on Mike Grell and the evolution of his career. Are you/were you ever a fan?”

Sure, I liked Mike Grell well enough. I wasn’t a huge follower of Warlord but I had this digest collecting his several-issue battle with his wizardly arch-nemesis Deimos, and that was pretty good. I tried the monthly series for a while (though at this point I can’t remember if Grell was still involved with the series or not) but I didn’t like those single issues as much as that digest, so I didn’t keep reading.

I don’t know if I would say I was a “fan” in that I was a devotee of his work, but usually his art was professional and effectively presented the the stories it was illustrating, like in Green Lantern or in Legion of Super-Heroes. I haven’t read Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters in a while, so I don’t know how that holds up…all I seem to remember are some unfortunately violent bits that may not have aged well in the nearly 30 years since its release. And I read Jon Sable Freelance for a time, too, and the “usually” qualifier I used just a moment ago applies to this title, as the art got a little…sketchier that I preferred in the later issues of this series. I never did get around to reading Starslayer, though I own several issues for the Grimjack back-up stories and that early appearance of Groo the Wanderer. Should probably look at the stories in the fronts of those books someday.

Overall, I think his work is fine. I know he’s done a few covers for the recent Green Arrow series, and those have been nice. I can’t recall how much interior work he’s done of late (aside from a couple of those Arrow TV show tie-ins), but I wouldn’t mind seeing his storytelling in action on a regular basis again. I mean, if they can give Neal Adams regular Batman and Superman minis for him to be his Neal Adams-est, why not give Grell a short-run Green Arrow or Green Lantern (or Green Arrow AND Green Lantern) series? I’d read that.

6 Responses to “You probably thought I forgot about your questions, didn’t you?”

  • Mike Loughlin says:

    I went through a long Mike Grell phase. It started with Shaman’s Tears; I was buying every non-Liefeld Image #1 at that point, and had never seen Neal adams-style art in a comic. It looked “fuller” than the other Image & Marvel stuff I was familiar with. My LCBS had a grab bag of cheap issues of Grell’s Green Arrow, & I really dug them. They were more “adult” than the stuff I was into, and the other back issues were cheap. Eventually, I got the first 30-something issues of Jon Sable, which are a lot of fun. I think the breeziness, character writing, violence, and semi-subversive adult content kept me checking out whatever Mike Grell books I could get my hands on.

    These days, I’m happy to see him get work but I don’t seek it out. If a new Grell Green Arrow series, or a Sable or Shaman’s Tears revival came out, I’d probably buy it.

  • Andrew Leal says:

    Random question for Mike: Were you aware that Turner Classic Movies is running SWAMP THING tomorrow? If not, you are now. (Sadly too late for a Robert Osbourne intro).

  • Linnen says:

    I’ve been hoping for years that DC would reprint Warlord, and even read an interview with Grell where he said he was working with them so they could collect those old books. Doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen though and I don’t understand why.

  • BobH says:

    They did reprint the first 500 pages of Grell’s Warlord in black and white a few years ago:

  • Rob Staeger says:

    Thanks for answering my question, Mike!

    I first encountered Grell on the Legion in recent (at the time) back issues, and then Green Lantern/Green Arrow. I loved Jon Sable books in high school, but never went back to read the Warlord until now, with whatever I can scrounge from dollar bins. I love the bombastic style, and the Disco Gladiator fashion sense of the whole thing. If only they’d given him a better inker than Colletta as the book turned monthly!

  • John J says:

    Yeah, Swamp Thing is running at 1:00 CDT tonite. Don’t know if Dennis Miller will be introducing it that late like he has the other monster movies this month. Tonight’s theme is giant bugs so I’m not sure how Swamp Thing fits into that as it’s been a long time since I’ve seen this movie.