Sarah Palin Vindicated by Alex Toth!!

A few days ago, a package arrived at my door: it was my ebay-purchased, beat-up-but-readable copy of Dell Comics’ 1957 “Paul Revere’s Ride,” with art by Alex Toth (which is why I bought it). Today I read it. Good stuff: Toth took a lot more care with this than with the 1960 Four Color adaptation of “The Real McCoys,” which I acquired in the same fashion. So anyway, there I was happily reading away — not paying too much attention to the writing, but it didn’t require much — and Paul was happily riding away, when this happens:

Do you see what he just did, in that last panel?? He warned the British. During the Ride. Warned them that they’re not going to be able to make it to Concord to seize the rebels’ cache of weapons — take our guns away!! (I paid enough attention to the story to understand that much!)

Then, a couple of pages later…

…in the last two panels: he does it again!

Now, it’s not that I’m a fan of Sarah Palin, but let’s be fair: she didn’t mess up on Paul Revere… she just learned her history from a comic book drawn by Alex Toth! So regardless of political ideology, we in the comic book world should come to her defense, right?

Okay, well I didn’t give the full title of the comic, which is “Walt Disney’s Paul Revere’s Ride with Johnny Tremain.” So perhaps the fact that this is Disney’s version of history, and includes the fictional character of Johnny Tremain, has to be taken into account here. Probably Sarah actually got her history lesson from watching Uncle Walt’s Wonderful World of Himself, in which case I’m not sure we need to rise to her defense. Never mind.

Boston’s Future – A BCR Jam

As of today, the “Future Boston” issue of the Boston Phoenix is history, as far as the newsstands are concerned, but the Boston Comics Roundtable’s jam comic* on the theme is on the Phoenix website, where, presumably, it will still be available even after human life on earth is extinct!

I’ve posted the full page of it here, in the “Read My Comics” section (the Phoenix site shows it as a slide show, which is also cool. The individual panel credits are there too). Our next plan is to format it as an 11 x 17 color poster….

(*OK, it’s maybe not technically a jam comic, but kind of)

Future Boston Comics!

This past week, the BCR was asked by the Boston Phoenix to contribute some comics to their “Future Boston” issue, which comes out on this Thursday, the 21st. I won’t “scoop” the paper by showing you what we came up with… but they also asked for some on-theme spot illustrations to possibly use in the issue. I don’t know if they’ll run them or not, but here are the ones I did:

Review: I Cut My Hair #3 by Lisa Rosalie Eisenberg

Eisenberg’s clean-line style is a real treat. Her line is fluid and sensitive enough to define volumes and express facial expressions and gestures, and precise and controlled enough for some virtuoso architectural drawing (especially the sequence in the Forbidden City). There’s little or no shading (when she shades, she uses a broken-line haching that works nicely) and the pages have a clean, inviting look, with the few solid blacks generated by the characters’ dark hair or other small details. Her characters are distinctive, both in facial features and body type. Printed at 8.5 x 11, the scale of this “mini” gives the art room to be appreciated fully.

“I Cut My Hair” #3 is pretty much straight journal/auto-bio comic, relating the protagonist’s trip to Beijing to visit her boyfriend in 2009. It provides the bare-bones pleasures of the genre: a little glimpse into other lives, a little informative travelogue, some good descriptions of their various meals. Beyond that, it’s not exactly thrilling drama; a pervasive sense of ‘niceness’ (there’s really no conflict here at all, with the exception of an unpleasant cab ride), is both the strength and weakness of the writing. Though minimally eventful, at 36 pages, the narrative doesn’t drag; once you give yourself over to an understated, day-by-day account of her travel, the leisurely pace and sense of completeness to the story is welcome.

Story-wise, this isn’t much more than pleasant, likeable stuff — told with clarity — but Eisenberg’s beautiful artwork tips the balance strongly in favor of this comic.

36 pages, black and white, stapled.