Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dusty old long box Wednesday 01/21/2015

One thing that lets me know fairly quick if I am gonna like a comic shop is if they got a good back issue selection. Want to make me love the store then have lots of boxes of comics for a buck or less. I will comb through those types of boxes for hours. Grabbing all kinds of weird and/or forgotten series. One of which I felt needs more attention.

Back in 1991 Harvey comics was in the middle of a comeback.They were trying to take a share of the then fairly big kids market of comics. So they not only had their normal Harvey properties,like Richie Rich,Casper and Hot Stuff the lil Devil. But they also got classic and modern cartoons licenses. Stuff like Tom and Jerry,Woody Woodpecker,the Hanna Barbara characters and the one I am gonna talk about here the short lived Back to the Future cartoon.

There was that I know of 2 Back to the Future series. One that lasted 4 issues and was bimonthly. Then a 3 issue mini series in 92,that was also bi monthly.

Back to the future comic issue 01

Writer Dwayne McDuffire
Cover by GIl Kane
Pencils and inks by Nelson Dewey

Marty and the doc travel back to Prohibition times to get a specially brewed medicine to correct Einstein the dog's eyesight. He has CAT a racts,which causes everything to look like cats.

Of course they run into an ancestor of Biff. Who is a gangster. Turns out Marty's ancestor is that gangs brew master. So they plot to free him and get him to brew up the medicine to fix the dog's eyes.

Now I might have seen 2 episodes tops of the cartoon. But the comic captures the feel of the three films. I also liked how the story was wrapped up in one issue.

Back to the Future comic Issue 02

Writer Dwayne McDuffie,seems to be adapted from an episode of the TV show.
Cover by Gil Kane
Art by Nelson Dewey

I don't like how the cover is kind of a lie. Marty doesn't go back to prehistoric time in this issue. Hell he is barely in it.

Doc Brown and his sons,Jules and Verne,travel to the prehistoric era to test out a new invention of his. Of course they end up changing the future and have to correct this.

They see a  meteor about to strike. So they use Doc's anti matter gun thingy to destroy it. Guess what this is the meteor that killed off the dinosaurs. So when they get back to the present dinosaurs are the dominant species.

The real stand out is early on a pterodon the boys name Donny saves the family. When they return to the past to prevent the meteor from being destroyed they mention how every dinosaur will die. They even see Donny. But don't seem that sad that their friend is seconds away from death. Kind of strange for a comic aimed at kids. But who knows.

Back to the Future Issue 03

Writer Dwayne McDuffire,again adapted from an episode of the cartoon
Cover by Gil kane
Art by Nelson Dewey

Doc and Marty go back to Roman times. For Doc to return some scrolls he had been studying. The two boys of course stow away. Like Chim Chim and Spraddle on Speed Racer.But they stow away because they hear their father mention Roman Arcades. They think it is video arcades and want to go. Damn I miss real video arcades,not those Dave and Buster style bar-cades.

The boys get in trouble and Doc has to go save them.As per normal in this series,Marty runs into one of Biff's ancestors. And gets challenged to a chariot race.

Doc lets Marty know that he has to lose the race. If he doesn't lose to Biff ,then Caligula won't become Emperor. So Doc outfits Marty's chariot with all kinds of gadgets. Kind of strange for the writer to pick Caligula out of all the Roman leaders.

Back to the Future issue 04

Writer Dwayne McDuffire,and again adapted from an episode of the cartoon.
Cover by Gil Kane
Art by Nelson Dewey

It is April Fools Day and the boys are prepping lots of pranks for their father.Whatever they did to Doc Brown's brain wave analyzer causes it to think he has used up most of his brain.

So Doc leaves the home and tries to find something that doesn't require him to think. After a few misadventures he gets a job at a pizza place. Which should be perfect. Doesn't take that much heavy thinking to make pizza. Or so I am told.

Since that doesn't work Doc goes back to live with cavemen. And Marty gets ready for his band's concert. He had borrowed Doc's weather machine to use for special FX during the concert.Doc quickly realizes that living in the Stone actually causes him to think more often. So he returns to the present.

The boys explain to their Dad how they messed with his brain wave machine. He doesn't believe them. But we see that they also pranked Doc's weather machine. So when Marty turns it on a super storm hits the concert. Doc quickly comes up with a solution. Thus seeing that he hasn't used up most of his brain.

 There is a variant edition of the first issue. Seems it was a giveaway comic. I got a foggy memory of getting a free Back to the Future comic from Kaybee Toys in the early 90s. But I might be remembering it wrong.Besides it is missing most of the ads,the only real difference between the two versions is the cover.
For what it is Back to the Future is a decent comic. It is better written than most kids comics of that era. The covers by Gil Kane are a nice touch. No clue how hard these are to find I checked the online comic shop I sometimes use and they had no copies. If you find these for 2 bucks or less an issue they are worth grabbing for a Back to the Future fan. Now I am wishing the cartoon was out on DVD.

2015 Reading Challenge Book 018 The Tick The Complete Edlund

BOOK TITLE-The Tick The Complete Edlund
AUTHOR-Ben Edlund
FORMAT-Trade paperback

I have been a customer of since they opened. So once they added a wishlist feature I created one.For my birthday a few years back I got this along with about 5 other trades.

The book reprints all the Edlund written and drawn Tick stuff. So the appearances in the NEC newsletter,issues 1-12 of the original series and some sketches. That right there makes this trade a must own. But they added something extra. Sometime after I had quit reading the Tick,so after both The Tick&Arthur and The Tick Heroes of the City got cancelled,NEC published issue 13 of the original Tick run.

What makes that so special is the last full issue of the Tick Edlund wrote ends on a cliffhanger. That had never been resolved. All Tick stories published after issue 12 take place after it. And there has been tiny hints of what happened. NEC got a writer to use these hints and what Edlund done previous to create this kind of lost piece of the Tick mythos.

If you loved the Tick cartoon or live action series and have never read the comic this is the place to start.Some of the stories in this thick trade,as it says on the cover 400 PAGES!,got adapted for either series. Plus you got great storylines like Tick's arrival in the city and skirmish with Clark Oppenheimer. The Million Billion Ninjas storyline that introduces Oedipus and Paul the Samurai.Then my favorite,Tick and Arthur's cross country trip. So much great stuff in just 12 issues. Makes me wish that Edlund would return and do more Tick stuff.

The Tick The Complete Edlund gets a 4.80 outta 5.