Sunday, September 14, 2014


My new "1987 And All That" went up on Comics Should Be Good this past Thursday, covering the first seven issues of Strange Tales. I looked at how Cloak in the Cloak and Dagger parts and Dr. Strange in the Dr. Strange parts went through opposite versions of the same internal conflict, one fighting to resist darkness and the other learning to accept it. Meanwhile, on Friday at PopMatters, I published a piece about Riley Rossmo. I've written about his comics before on that site and this one, and called him my favorite current artist on more than one occasion, so I wanted to do something to officially examine why I love him so much now that his body of work has become so big and varied.

Something I Failed to Mention
I sort of wanted to talk about how Green Wake and Rebel Blood were probably the two most similar of Rossmo's series, with their horrific gore, muted colors, frenzied linework, and brooding main characters. Even then, though, he does things to make them immediately distinguishable. The coloring is faded in both titles, but the palettes he uses are different; Green Wake is full of frogs and frog-like humans while Rebel Blood is full of zombiefied people and animals, so they have their own creatures populating their casts; Rebel Blood is heavy on action and intensity, whereas Green Wake has a lot of quiet, unsettling calm, so they're paced differently, and the art naturally reflects this.

That's about all there is to say on that topic, though, and I also feel like I ignored SO MUCH about Strange Tales. I didn't do any real plot discussion except for issue #7, I only briefly touched on one of the artists' contributions, I ignored my favorite character Rintrah completely, etc. The ground I did cover was fairly specific, so tons get left out. On the other hand...the single thing that stood out the most to me after reading those issues, and the thing that tied them all together, the defining aspect of the series in my mind, is the thing I wrote my column about, so I'm not sure what else I ought to bring up here, exactly. I have too many options, and none of them stand out as more important to bring up than any others. I just felt like I should at least acknowledge how narrow my point of view was in the CSBG review.

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