Comic Review: Michael Allred’s Madman, Vol. 1

Published: July 23rd, 2008 (collected and reprinted)
Written by: Mike Allred
Art by: Mike Allred, Laura Allred

Tundra Publishing, Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics (reprint), 294 Pages

Review:

I’ve had a few issues of Mike Allred’s Madman in my comic collection since the ’90s. I never had a complete story arc, however, so I never got to give it a real read.

I figured I’d check out the first collected volume, which collects his first two miniseries.

The first story is in black and white with nice grayish blue shading. The second arc is in full, vibrant color. Regardless of the presentation, both stories that were included here were a lot of fun and the art was pulpy and terrific.

Allred has a good sense of humor that works well for the character and this series. In some ways, it reminded me of the experience I had reading Rob Schrab’s Scud: The Disposable Assassin or Doug TenNapel’s Creature Tech.

While Madman is a product of the ’90s comic book industry, it feels timeless. I let my friend’s kid read this as well and she thought it was pretty damn funny even for modern teenager standards.

Madman is energetic, endearing and just a really cool comic. I dug the hell out of it and plan on completing it by collecting all the floppies out there.

But that could take some time and I don’t want to hold off on jumping into volume two, which I will do in the very near future.

Rating: 9/10
Pairs well with: later Madman collections, as well as other work by Mike Allred. Plus, Rob Schrab’s Scud: The Disposable Assassin and Doug TenNapel’s Creature Tech and Bigfoot Bill.

Comic Review: Gødland, Issues #1-6

Published: July 27th, 2005 – January 4th, 2006
Written by: Joe Casey
Art by: Tom Scioli

Image Comics, 140 Pages

Review:

Gødland is a comic book that I’ve wanted to read for awhile now. I’ve become a fan of Tom Scioli’s art style and I also like his contributions to the Cartoonist Kayfabe channel on YouTube. The guy is a wealth of knowledge and his style is heavily influenced by Jack Kirby and the classic “Marvel style” of the ’60s and ’70s.

This series is wholly original but it is a fantastic homage to the legacy and work of Jack Kirby, primarily his cosmic and mythological stuff like his Fourth World saga, The Eternals and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I have been working to track down all the single issues of this comic but I figured that I’d give the first six issues a read, as they are free to Comixology Unlimited members.

From the first panel, this series just kicks off on the right foot. It’s got that old school style, it’s humorous but also has the feeling of something mythical and epic. It feels right and it’s just cool.

As always, I liked Scioli’s art here and I thought that it meshed well with Joe Casey’s writing. I also like that this feels kind of raw but also pure. Ultimately, it’s just a really unique comic book for something that came out in the mid-’00s.

Now this series stretches on for 37 issues, so this is just a small sample size of the whole shebang. But this does set things up nicely and I want to read the other 31 issues after this.

I don’t think that this is a comic book series that will resonate with everyone but for fans of Kirby’s cosmic comics, it’s a fantastic throwback to that style of art and storytelling.

Rating: 7.25/10
Pairs well with: cosmic Jack Kirby stuff and Tom Scioli’s other work.

TV Review: The Comic Book Greats: Episode 12 – Spotlight on Whilce Portacio (1992)

Released: 1992
Created by: Stan Lee
Directed by: Rick Stawinski
Music by: Rick Stawinski, Rob Stawinski
Cast: Stan Lee (host), Whilce Portacio

Excelsior Productions, Stabur Home Video, 52 Minutes

Review:

Well, this is it, the final episode of The Comic Book Greats. There was one more video released after this one but that was a “best of” compendium of all the episodes. I’d also like to review that one but it’s not up streaming anywhere that I can find. If it does become available, at some point, I’ll check it out and let you know how it is.

This series really did go out on a bang, though. I didn’t know what to expect from this episode as I never saw it and I also haven’t seen much with Whilce Portacio in other interviews. But I have always liked his work, especially the stuff he did on X-MenX-Factor and his own creation for Image Comics, Wetworks.

Portacio is very engaging and had a good rapport with Stan Lee. Lee seemed genuinely fascinated by Whilce and his backstory, especially regarding Filipino culture.

Whilce also does a good job at the drawing table, discussing his technique during his creation process. Like the other Image guys that had videos before this one, I think Whilce would make a good teacher.

It’s kind of sad that this is the last episode of the series, I feel like there were a lot of other greats that the series could have showcased but this final episode was pretty darn good and a solid end to the series.

Rating: 8.25/10
Pairs well with: other episodes in The Comic Book Greats video series.

Talking Pulp’s Pull List – 2nd Quarter, 2019

This is my personal pull list as it stands, right now. From month to month it changes, as I read a lot of limited series stuff but I figured that doing a quarterly update would be cool for my readers that keep up with current comics.

So this is what I have my local comic shop pull for me each month, most of which I will review every time I get to the end of a story arc.

I’ve broken them out by publisher and alphabetized the list to make it flow easier.

And if there’s anything you like that I’m not reading, tell me in the comments.

But, as you can see, my list keeps shrinking.

Marvel Comics:
-Conan the Barbarian
-Daredevil
-Dead Man Logan
-Guardians of the Galaxy
-The Immortal Hulk
-The Punisher
-The Savage Sword of Conan
-Spider-Man: Life Story
-Symbiote Spider-Man (upcoming)
-Venom
-Wolverine: The Long Night
-X-Force

DC Comics:
-Batgirl
-Deathstroke
-Detective Comics
-Doomsday Clock
-Justice League Dark
-Justice League Odyssey
-Red Hood: Outlaw
-The Silencer

Dynamite Entertainment:
-Battlestar Galactica Classic
-Red Sonja
-The Shape of Elvira

Image Comics:
-Spawn

Valiant Comics:
-Bloodshot: Rising Spirit

Comic Review: Street Angel: After School Kung Fu Special

Published: April 26th, 2017
Written by: Brian Maruca, Jim Rugg
Art by: Jim Rugg

Image Comics, 43 Pages

Review:

I’ve been aware of the Street Angel comic for a few years but I wasn’t too familiar with Jim Rugg until seeing him on Cartoonist Kayfabe alongside Ed Piskor (and sometimes Tom Scioli). Since then, I’ve come to admire his style and his opinion on comics, especially his recommendations.

This is the first Street Angel title I picked up and it was a lot of fun. It’s an easy, quick read at 43 pages.

I thought that the story was cute and energetic and I loved the art style, overall.

The plot deals with middle schooler Jesse Sanchez, who goes to the worst school in the worst ghetto of Angel City. She’s a homeless skateboarder and a badass martial artist. She fights all types of villains but here, she deals with a male bully in a fight after school.

None of the comic books share any actual continuity, from what I understand, but that’s fine, as each story is self-contained and works well on its own and doesn’t require any knowledge from other Street Angel tales.

Ultimately, this was a cool comic. If I’m being honest, I wish it were a bit longer or that the story somehow carried on in another release, as it ends in a place where you want to see what develops next between Jesse and the bully due to the result of their fight.

There are a lot of ongoing comics that don’t have enough meat and potatoes to justify them carrying on past a single arc. This, however, could benefit from that, as I like the characters and want to get to know them more intimately.

Rating: 7.25/10
Pairs well with: other Street Angel comics, as well as Jim Rugg’s other work.

TV Review: The Comic Book Greats: Episode 10 – Spotlight on Jim Lee (1992)

Released: 1992
Created by: Stan Lee
Directed by: Rick Stawinski
Music by: Rick Stawinski, Rob Stawinski
Cast: Stan Lee (host), Jim Lee

Excelsior Productions, Stabur Home Video, 51 Minutes

Review:

Well, I think I have found my favorite installment of The Comic Book Greats video series!

This episode was stupendous and Jim Lee was such a treat to see on this show. He has a great rapport with Stan Lee and he does an fantastic job of talking the audience through his method for creating comic book art that it works even for the most inexperienced layman.

Jim Lee, as I also said about Todd McFarlane, would be a great teacher. He is thorough in his lessons here and covers a lot of ground in a limited amount of time.

I also liked the interview segment of this episode a lot, as Jim Lee gets very personal about his life up to the point when this was recorded and it’s just an interesting story, as comic books weren’t where he originally intended to end up, career-wise.

Lee would go on to be one of the most prolific creators in the history of the comic book industry. Seeing him so young and this early in his career is a real treat for anyone that’s a fan of the medium.

Jim’s got a great personality, a real love for what he does and he still does all these years later. This is why I watch his YouTube channel where he live streams periodically and talks to his fans as he works on new art.

Rating: 8.5/10
Pairs well with: other episodes in The Comic Book Greats video series.

Comic Review: Creature Tech

Published: August 10th, 2010 (original – black and white), January 15th, 2019 (New Edition – colored)
Written by: Doug TenNapel
Art by: Doug TenNapel, Katherine Garner (New Edition, colors)

Image Comics, 224 Pages

Review:

Recently, I invested in Doug TenNapel’s upcoming graphic novel Bigfoot Bill. I was aware of Doug for a little while, as he is the creator of Earthworm Jim and several other video games and graphic novels. Getting ready for Bigfoot Bill, I wanted to read some of his other work. Creature Tech is the first of a few that I have read from a couple of his graphic novels I picked up.

All I can say really, is that I loved this story. It was cool, imaginative and pretty damn funny. Doug’s got a good sense of humor, which anyone would know from watching his YouTube channel but it really comes through in his writing.

The story is really a sci-fi romantic comedy at its core but TenNapel also taps into things that are important to him: religion, science, the search for truth. While a lot of people don’t like politics or religion in comics, Doug doesn’t do it in a heavy handed way and he doesn’t hold one higher than the other. Speaking as an atheist, I didn’t find this in any way preachy or propaganda-ish.

Ultimately, this is a really fun book that works for all ages. It has charm, character and I absolutely love the art style. I looked through a copy of the original black and white version but I ended up getting the New Edition, which is now colored. It’s a better version of the book, in my opinion. I love the colors and they add a new dimension to the story and liven it up quite a bit. Katherine Garner, Doug’s trusted colorist, did a fine job on this.

While I’ve read Doug’s stuff before, it has been awhile. This really made me happy in the end, I’m glad I picked it up and I’m really happy that I have Doug TenNapel’s Bigfoot Bill to look forward to in the near future.

In 2019, few comics make me smile while I read them. Creature Tech brought me to laughter multiple times.

Rating: 8.25/10
Pairs well with: other comics by Doug TenNapel, as well as Rob Schrab’s Scud: The Disposable Assassin and Rob Guillory’s Farmhand.