Thursday, February 01, 2007

TwoMorrows Reviews Today!

Alter Ego #64

I’ve been finding this mag (to which I’ve subscribed for 3 years or so) to be a bit hit and miss lately – for every interesting article on some nearly forgotten comic book creator, there’s something that just does not interest me. This particular issue is no different.

There’s quite a bit that I enjoyed: the overview of the Monster Society of Evil should please most Fawcett fans and the short article on Bud Thompson was a pleasant surprise as he is someone about whom I always wanted to know more. On the downside, however, the whole ‘Timely Pin-Up’ business seemed cute the first time around, not so much these days. The flashbacks to the 1966 convention were initially fairly interesting, but I find them to be tiresome now and I’d rather reading more creator profiles. All in all, I enjoyed this issue – but I don’t think there’s much there to attract a non-Fawcett fan.

Back Issue #20

When Back Issue was initially launched, I was a bit of a naysayer as I didn’t really see how it could replace with TwoMorrows had lost in Comic Book Artist. I was also in a particularly bad mood as that was around the time Comic Book Marketplace was cancelled. I was wrong, and I am a now a subscriber. The good people have followed up the stellar Don Newton issue with another great one with a superb mixture of features.

My attention was automatically grabbed by the Englehart/Buscema interview about Captain America’s post-Secret Empire soul searching. I was so impressed with Englehart’s praise of our Pal Sal’s artwork that I fired him an email. He responded promptly with even more praise! It’s nice to know that underappreciated artists like Sal are admired by their peers.

This issue also has a great piece on the origins of Firestorm and how can anyone not love a mag that is willing to dedicate a half-dozen pages to the Human Fly? You cannot find this stuff anywhere else, folks. My only criticism of Back Issue at this stage is that I wish they would widen their mandate to reach further back into the past. There are still plenty of creators who work pre-1970 around to give interviews – let’s talk to them before it is too late!


Mickey Coalwell said...

I've also come around to Back Issue's merits, though it occasionally rubs me wrong with its fanboy fervor and hyperbole. Byt with Top Shelf's CBA on indefinite hiatus, this is the best thing out there for Bronze and Modern era readers. BI has become a lot more substantive and dense -- with a lot less wasted white space in its layouts -- in recent months, and I feel like I'm really getting my money's worth. The first few issues of BI were so insubstantial. That problem, at least, seems to have been licked. The letter from Arnold Drake published in this issue really made my day. It's great to know he's still around, and sharp enough to take umbrage at the characterization of DEADMAN as a "throway" character. Go get em, Arnie! Arnold Drake: one of the finest comics writers, ever!

Mac said...

Alter Ego 64 is being offered for free on Feb. 14 at Twomorrows. I hate to turn down free stuff, but I don't see anything in this issue that I must have. Generally I like AE and I think it is, overall, the best thing being published about classic comic books, with the possible exception of TJKC. But I've never been a huge fan of the Fawcett characters.

I also don't think BI is anywhere near the quality of CBA back when Twomorrows published it.