Thursday, September 16, 2021

Andy Richardson:

Addicted to Comics


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Genre: Mystery, Manga

Like many manga-styled novels, the story begins with a naked woman posing for a picture. The story very quickly goes in a different direction, however, as the important element is not the woman—but a ghostly image in the background. It’s not long before a skeleton, a psychic investigator, and what may be the spirit of a murdered girl enter the picture, setting the stage for a mystery far greater than what the young woman trying to make a name for herself as a reporter had bargained for.

This spooky little page-turner blends horror and the supernatural with a good old-fashioned murder mystery, laced throughout with dry wit. Housui Yamazaki shows equal talents with words and pictures.

COMICS COMICS

Genre: Underground

The super-heroes from the 1930s and 1940s that survived until today—Superman, Batman, Captain America—are the ones we know most about. Those characters’ creators, too, including Bob Kane and Jack Kirby, are the names celebrated by later generations. But for every character and creator who became legends, there were many others that were largely forgotten—like Fletcher Hanks. This collection changes that by reprinting an eclectic mix of Hanks’ comics from that era. Alien super-heroes (Stardust), skull-faced jungle women (Fantomah), and more unique creations get their day in the sun here.

This oversized collection presents some pretty wild concepts and ideas, some of which are more inspired than a lot of what did survive from the era. It includes a “Whatever Happened to Fletcher Hanks?” story that chronicles the editor’s meeting with Hanks’ son.

Andy Richardson is a freelance writer and editor who has been reading and writing about comics for far longer than he can believe at this point. Andy can be reached via e-mail at richardsonag@earthlink.net. Please use “ComicBase” as your subject line.

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