Mar 10, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 14: 1st Issue Special #8, November 1975


Something occurred today that I hadn't considered. It makes sense, honestly, looking at the breadth of the project, but I had some skewed notion about the portion of my collection that I call the "Storage Collection," that everything in there was somehow substandard, that if it wasn't in my active collection, then it couldn't possibly be good. Surely I would have read it by now if it were good? It's an odd point of view to take, and the more I consider it, the less sense it makes. So today, two full weeks into my project, I'm excited to have discovered a piece that I really, really, like: Mike Grell's "The Warlord."

I'll say, upfront, that I've never really been one for the Edgar Rice Burroughs-y pulp jungle adventure hero. And even with this issue, I was wary at the beginning. But there's something about this comic. Y'know what it is? Mike Grell. Each issue of 1st Issue Special features a text page explaining the sometimes esoteric origins of the characters they feature. This one is a brief bio of "writer, artist and letterer" Mike Grell. That's a remarkable amount of the page that Grell has full control over. And it's really noticeable. The pages flow together beautifully. As an artist who is also the letterer, Grell has designed each  panel to best accommodate the text. But in turn, the text boxes are beautifully designed, and add an interesting Saturday morning movie serial sort of vibe.

I kind of love this comic. Can you tell?

The dialogue suits the tenor of the story perfectly. Morgan, and his barbarian friend, whose name is Tara (which is my wife's name, so that's pretty awesome), occasionally verge on cliche, but it's the kind of melodrama that suits the tale. Well, so far, anyway. Having read only one issue, perhaps I can't yet say what suits the tale. Perhaps this dialogue, this tenor, suits the introduction to this tale. I look forward to seeing what it becomes.

Speaking of which, I see in my magical database that I actually have the next issue, that is, issue #1 of The Warlord series itself, which carries on from this one. Maybe I'll read that, and have another taste. Otherwise, with it starting with "w," I'll have forgotten reading this one by the time I get to that one. That's an odd thought.

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