Welcome to the first edition of the Daily Read. Essentially, this feature will be a series of mini-reviews of what comic books I’ve read that day. Nothing to detailed; just a few sentences. The number of comics per day will vary. Today I have only two, but they are good. So let’s dive in.
Yes, i began the day by going old school. I’m a Star Wars fan. Nothing major. I don’t have Jedi listed as my official religion and i’ve never beat a man to death with a vintage Gamorrean action figure for saying Star Trek was better. I just grew up watching the movies. In fact, Return of the Jedi was the first movie I saw in a movie theater. Unfortunately, I don’t follow the Star Wars comics. I’ve heard that Dark Horse has done a great job with the license, but I’ve just missed them. But i do recall reading the old Marvel comics. Not when they were published; i’m not that old. But i did pick up a handful of nasty yellow-pagedStar Wars comics at a yard sale when i got into collecting in the late 1980s. Those books have long since gone to the great trash heap in the sky, but thankfully Dark Horse has reprinted the classic Marvel series in an omnibus collection. I’ve decided to read one issue a day and hopefully relive some of my earliest comic book memories.
Issue 1 is brought to us by a pair of legends: Roy Thomas (on script) and Howard Chaykin (on art). The issue essentially covers the first section of “A New Hope” from the opening scene up to Luke’s run-in with the Sand People. It was a fun little read. It felt a little redundant because it’s an adaptation of the film and not an original story; that will come in later issues. But i still enjoyed myself. Chaykin’s art is, as always, quite good. I assume he worked from reference photos and there is a good amount of detail in his art, but the “movement” is a bit to fluid, a bit too comic book-ish. The characters move like superheroes, but that’s forgivable for, what i assume, was a rushed licensed comic. Thomas’ script is also a mixed bag. I hate to say it, especially regarding a legend like Thomas, but when it comes to adapting a film as legendary as Star Wars, just stick to the script. Thomas’ inserts into the dialogue ring hollow because we, the reader, know they weren’t there in the film. I mean, c’mon, if you’re reading this you can probably recite every line of dialogue on the film. When something else comes out of a character’s mouth it’s a little jarring.
Still, the book brought back a lot of memories and there is something about seeing Star Wars on a paneled page that brings me back to being a kid. I’m looking forward to Issue #2. In fact, I’m looking forward to the next several months!
I love The Shadow. You have to understand, I’m an OTR freak. Now, for those of you not in the know, that’s not some sort of acronym for deviant sexual behavior. OTR is Old Time Radio. Yep, i’m one of those weird people. I use a 21st century work of micro-engineering (an mp3 player) to listen to hissy, poor quality recordings of radio shows recorded before World War 2. I got hooked on OTR when i was a kid and came across an episode of The Shadow one night on some AM station. I like to think my beat up old hand-me-down radio had somehow breached the dimensional barriers of time and received a signal from 1936, but i think it more likely i caught an episode of When Radio Was or some other syndicated OTR show.
I fell in love with OTR and with the Shadow. But my OTR obsession can wait for another day and another post. We’re here to discuss The Shadow Year One. Dynamite is doing a great job with the Shadow title. It’s in my top ten list of monthly titles (as is it’s sister title Masks). And, judging by issue 1, The Shadow Year One is about to jump into that crowded list. I loved this issue. LOVED it. Matt Wagner and Wilfredo Torres have done an amazing job with issue #1.
And i’m going to end this mini-review right there. Why? Because i have a Friday Night feature entitled “Best of the Week” and this issue, ladies and gentlemen, is going to be it. Come back tomorrow for my first in-depth review.