Thursday, February 09, 2012

Prince Valiant vs Flash Gordon

One of the benefits of my prepress job at the old paper is being able to read the Sunday funnies again. Little over a month ago a new Prince Valiant arc began. Some things had changed since I last checked in, most notably, his wife Aleta apparently has real magical powers. The new storyline introduces an amnesiac blond giant that Aleta recognizes from some point when she was trapped in a limbo like realm. Meanwhile, I'm thinking I recognize the character only from a different strip. The week's strip reprinted above clinched it for me... it's Flash Gordon! Due to copyright and trademark concerns, I'm sure there's a reason why he's not outright identified, but it makes for a cool cross-over. The story is also quite interesting as Valiant, Gawain and Flash (called St. George after that famous dragonslayer) pursue a gigantic golem terrorizing the countryside. And, it's all done in clean, clear and detailed artwork that should really shame some current comicbook versions of the character, especially considering the strip is printed under far more restrictions (poorer paper-stock, less and inconsistent printing capability which means less color range and less resolution). Go here and you can read about many comics free. Check out the Phantom, Mutts and a few other strips while you're there.

Section Zero: Also under cool comic things that can be found on the web, Karl Kesel and Tom Grummett are relaunching their too-quickly aborted Section Zero comic on the web. A labor of love being done in between paying gigs, right now it's re-releasing the pages from the published comic on  Thursdays a few at a time.  There's also some pages with notes and character sketches. I consider Grummett to be one of the top superhero artists working in comics today. So, I think it's a crime that he has free time to work on something like this. His work schedule should be kept full. Of course, I also think that this book should be on it's hundredth something issue right now.

Black Beetle: Not the DC villain character, this is a pulp fueled character from the mind of Francesco Francavilla who initially got his start serialized over time on his website and available for purchase as an ashcan. Dark Horse has wisely recognized him as an up and coming talent and is publishing a three part Black Beetle story in Dark Horse Presents #11 out April 18th. Get your orders in now!

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