Jul 22, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 148: Eclipse Monthly #1, August 1983 (Two Weeks From The Dollar Bin - Day 12)

Anthology titles are always an iffy prospect, and that's why you find a large number of them in dollar bins. This title, for example, has five different stories in it. While the caliber of talent lined up for these stories is pretty impressive, you're always going to have one story you enjoy more than the others, and then the others pale in comparison. So then you don't really look forward to the other stories, and end up paying a lot of money for 5 pages in an anthology title.

Or, at least, that's how I find it is with me.

Of all of the stories in here, I think I enjoyed Doug Wildey's "Rio" the most. So far it's reading a bit like a Cormac McCarthy novel, and while I'm not a huge fan of McCarthy, the particular atmosphere and period he evokes in Blood Meridian is really pretty fascinating. So to see it transferred to the comics page is a treat. I was kind of excited to see another oddball Steve Ditko piece in here, but "Static" failed to electrify me (see what I did there?). But I did get the first four issues of the title, so perhaps they'll get better as we go on. While I do like Trina Robbins' art, her contribution to this anthology is a continuation of her work in Eclipse Magazine, so the story's a bit lost on me, it being part 8 of 10. Which leave Marshall Rogers' "Cap'n Quick and a Foozle" and B.C. Boyer's "The Masked Man," both of which were entertaining, but not terribly gripping.

So the western wins out. Interesting. As I say, I've got at least three more issues of this series to go through. I'm curious as to why anthology titles very rarely succeed. I've suggested a reason above, but I don't think that's all there is to it. Perhaps it's because it's so hard to convey any drama and development when you've only a small amount of pages in which to tell (part of) a story. I'll think more on this, and talk about it a bit more next time we have an anthology come up.

See you tomorrow.

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