Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Jeff Hawke vol. one and Droid Life

Here's how this works: I finish reading something, and I tell you about it, and I try not to bore you to death.

Titan's ever-growing series of great old reprints continues with Jeff Hawke, a great old science fiction newspaper serial that started in 1954 and ran for twenty years. Their first new volume compiles four stories from 1960-61, which saw Willie Patterson joining artist Sydney Jordan for some remarkably inventive and clever tales of alien law and morality. The art's a downright treat, and you can see why they got Brian Bolland and Dave Gibbons to provide cover endorsements, as both men were clearly influenced by Jordan. One of Bolland's first pro jobs, incidentally, was inking Jordan in 1974-75. All four stories are very good, but "Wondrous Lamp," which goes from the tale of Aladdin to matter-transmission coils to having a mean li'l housecat become one of Earth's greatest defenders, might be the best of them. Highly recommended!

...but then there's this. If Cat Sullivan's Droid Life was a webcomic, its audience would dwarf even Achewood's. Recently, I've been a little guarded in recommending 2000 AD collections, as they've not proven quite as punchy in collected form as I'd thought. The reverse is true here, where what's often amusing as a weekly four-panel gag strip becomes absolutely riotous when read in one sitting. I am unhappy with the price - £7 is awfully steep for a book so small, especially with the dollar so infernally weak - but this book includes the disembodied brain of Sylvester McCoy as a recurring character, and one strip's punch line is "Easy-peasy TV emcee AC/DC BC VCs," and consequently it's worth twice the price. Highly, highly recommended!

(Originally posted March 26, 2008 at hipsterdad's LJ.)

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