Dark Horse Presents 41 (June 1990)

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I guess up against Zick and The Argosy, Randall’s writing on Trekker seems really good. Maybe the plotting is a little better this time around from Randall–I wasn’t expecting the ending at all–and he’s still doing a lot of good work on the art. It’s crazy how different Trekker looks from when it started, even if it hasn’t exactly become original. Though the relationship between the female protagonist and her sister gets close.

The Argosy is something of a train wreck. The most important thing in the entire story happens in a tiny panel on the last page. Zick’s art is Kirby influenced, but in an interesting, thoughtful way, not the obvious. So it’s all right to look at, it’s just really stupid and pointless. Just rent Jason and the Argonauts or Clash of the Titans.

Sheldon’s “story” is art plates with some text. Art’s good, text’s pointless.

CREDITS

The Argosy; story and art by Bruce Zick; lettering by Pat Brosseau. Trekker; story and art by Ron Randall; lettering by David Jackson. Same Story Told Yesterday; story and art by Monty Sheldon. Edited by Randy Stradley.

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Dark Horse Presents 40 (May 1990)

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You know, I think Matt Wagner’s Aerialist is homophobic. Every man is forced to be gay. Anyway, it’s not at all impressive, a Rollerball knockoff. When his characters aren’t in costume, Wagner’s art is rather weak. I guess the hot air balloons look good.

Bob the Alien is absolutely amazing as a) Bob moves to a black neighborhood in Brooklyn and b) discovers God. It might be the funniest installment so far. I can’t believe this comic isn’t more appreciated.

The Argosy is a really wordy retelling of Jason and the Argonauts. It’s fantasy, introduces about forty character names in eight pages. It’s a waste of time.

Randall continues his good art on this Trekker installment. Still bad writing–some really silly developments here.

The Wacky Squirrel story’s a waste of pages, but I guess Bradrick’s art is good.

Campbell’s Bacchus features the (presumably true) store of Dom Pérignon. Fantastic.

CREDITS

Trekker; story and art by Ron Randall; lettering by David Jackson. The Aerialist, Part One; story and art by Matt Wagner; lettering by Kevin Cunningham. Bob the Alien, Bob, the alien, Learns About God; story, art and lettering by Rich Rice. The Argosy; story and art by Bruce Zick; lettering by Karen Casey-Smith. Wacky Squirrel, Diet Riot; story by Mike Richardson and Jim Bradrick; art by Bradrick; lettering by Jack Pollock. Bacchus, Gods, Monks, & Corkscrews; story and art by Eddie Campbell. Edited by Randy Stradley and Diana Schutz.

Dark Horse Presents 39 (May 1990)

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I think Davis’s Delia & Celia has definitively made me hate all fantasy, if I didn’t already dislike it enough. It’s like he sits around trying to think of how much blathering exposition he can fit in each panel, like it’s a contest to one up himself. The story’s completely incomprehensible at this point, but I’m pretty sure it’s never, ever going to end.

On the plus side, Ron Randall’s artwork has gotten fantastic on Trekker. Some of it’s the inking–maybe all of it’s the inking. It’s just gorgeous. Too bad his writing is still terrible. He spends maybe five of his eight pages rambling, trying to find a point to the story. He fails, there isn’t one.

Bob the Alien is, as usual, a delight. I don’t think I’ve mentioned how important “regular” people are to Bob‘s success. Rice has significant insight into the human condition. It’s just wonderful.

CREDITS

Trekker; story and art by Ron Randall; lettering by Steve Haynie. Bob the Alien, Bob, the alien, Schemes; story, art and lettering by Rich Rice. Delia & Celia, Drelin’s Wager; story, art and lettering by Gary Davis. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 38 (April 1990)

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Chadwick’s Concrete isn’t so interesting this issue for what he does say, but for what he doesn’t. Concrete’s sidekicks get lost in the ghetto and a bunch of black guys attack the car–presumably to beat the guy and “gang rape,” Chadwick’s words, the woman. When Concrete and the guy are sitting around calmly discussing it later, Concrete basically says it’s just how men act and isn’t it awful and shouldn’t women run things. But Chadwick made it pretty clear earlier these men are, specifically, black men. I think it’s supposed to be well-intentioned, but….

Prosser and Pollock contribute the Mary: The Elephant prose story (Pollock illustrates). It’s awful; I can’t believe anyone would want it in their book. Maybe Dark Horse didn’t pay Prosser for something else on the condition they printed this idiocy. Some nice art though.

Delia & Celia is better than usual, but still exceptionally bad.

CREDITS

Concrete, Fire at Twilight; story and art by Paul Chadwick; lettering by Bill Spicer. Mary: The Elephant They Could Not Hang (At First)!; story by Jerry Prosser; art by Jack Pollock. Delia & Celia, A Pyre for Ethrod; story, art and lettering by Gary Davis. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 37 (March 1990)

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Thank goodness there’s a Bacchus in here because otherwise it’d be a complete loss.

Guinan’s art continues to be acceptable on Heartbreakers, while he and Bennett’s writing just gets worse and worse. Some of the issue is with them trying to do too much in such a short amount of pages… But mostly they just can’t write it. They can’t make their characters matter, so they try to make their ideas matter. Except it’s a bunch of theoretical ideas, so… as usual… who cares?

Speaking of bad, Davis is now changing the hairstyles for the protagonists between panels on Celia & Delia. This installment has a lot of exposition and very little action or even implied action. It’s a complete bore.

The Bacchus story is dark and confusing, but absolutely wonderful. Campbell and Bissette confound with purpose. Reading it–they’re adapting a poem–can be time consuming, but very worth it.

CREDITS

Heartbreakers, The Crowd Roars; story by Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan; art by Guinan; lettering by Willie Schubert. Delia & Celia, Gratitude; story, art and lettering by Gary Davis. Bacchus, Tam O’Shanter; story and art by Eddie Campbell and Stephen R. Bissette. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Uncle Scrooge 329 (May 2004)

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The issue opens with the first half of this lovely story by Rosa. The writing and art are both full of energy. Just the first page shows Rosa’s abilities as an artist and he maintains this precious quality of art through the whole story. Even with Donald Duck as the protagonist (the dumb jokes only last a page), the plot manages to be eventful, funny and occasionally touching. It’s my first Uncle Scrooge as an adult and my first Don Rosa ever; I’m definitely a fan.

The story gets split in half, presumably to force readers to go through the issue’s other stories, which aren’t Rosa and are more what I’d have expected.

The rest of the stories are European reprints, based on the artists’ names, and the stories are geared toward kids (not to say Rosa isn’t kid-friendly, just not dumbed down).

Rosa makes it worth the rest.

CREDITS

The Dream of a Lifetime; writer and artist, Don Rosa; colorist, Scott Rockwell; letterer, Todd Klein. Gyro Gearloose, Call of the Wildlife; writers, Lars Jensen and Chris Spencer; artist, Manrique; colorist, Russ Miller; letterer, Susie Lee. How To Induce A Miser; writer, Per Hedman; artist, Manrique; colorist, Barry (Englin) Grossman; letterer, Wilie Schubert. Grandma Duck, Bossing The Boss; writer, Karl Karhonen; artist, Marsal; colorist, Terry Letterman; letterer, John Clark. Considerably Richer; writer, Paul Halas; artist, Vicar; colorist, Janice Miller; letterer, John Babcock. Edited by Leonard (John) Clark; released by Gemstone Publishing.

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