Topic: Comic Books - New
Continuing my new series on comics and graphic novels that I found out about in the Artists Alley at the 2009 Long Beach Comic Con ...
Is the 'Mysterious Adventure Magazine' comic book series from Matt (Crap) Bennett and Scott Godlewski.
Their table caught my attention because the way the covers of their publications were laid out on the table made me first think that they had several publications for sale. Upon closer examination there were only two publications, but each cover was striking enough to make me pick them up to look at closer.
In the photo to the above left is Matt holding the Spring 2009 issue and Scott at the right holding the 2nd issue (Summer 2009). The photo insert to the right of their photo is a close up of the first issue.
You can see how striking both covers are. The genre that the covers present is one that I like, so of course I struck up a conversation with both of them.
The following is what their first issue of this comic book series is about:
"Written and Illustrated by Scott Godlewski, Matt Bennet, Joe Dellagatta, Ben Perkins, Matt Kaufenberg
The Flying Phantom must escape a deadly trap sprung by the manical Dr. Otto Metzger and the Dead Baron! Plus, an eerie retelling of the Selkie legend, a private eye with a frightening secret, and two ranchers discover an unbelieveabe creature on the Arizona desert!
Mysterious Adventure Magazine recaptures the magic of the great Silver Age anthologies with a modern twist!"
I put the above issue mentioned and the second issue toward the top of my list of comics to read first from the LBCC, because of the covers and the conversation I had with them.
The first story in the Spring issue did not let me disappoint me. It was exactly what the cover indicated this 'magazine' comic book would be. Good job by Scott Godlewski and Matt Bennett.
Then I read the second story, 'The Fisherman's Wife'. Although it was an enjoyable story by Mat Bennett and Joe Dellagatta, it was then that it really struck me that I was reading an anthology comic book. An anthology comic book as I have mentioned in this blog before, is one of the hardest comic books to review. That's because that even though the cover may pull a casual browser to stop and pick up the comic book, you would think that all the stories inside would fit the 'theme' or genre format that the front cover suggested would be inside.
I found the second story to be good, but the art style was so different from the cover and the first lead story, that it was kind of jarring to be the following story after the lead story. Taken on its' own, the story and art was good, but somehow didn't seem to fit in this issue in my opinion as a reader and reviewer.
The third story 'Found in The Desert' by Scott Godlweski and Matt Bennett, got back on track with the genre that I would think would be in this comic book. A good 4 page story.
The fourth and final story, by Matt Bennett and Ben Perkins, fit in the genre, and actually reminded me of the old stories by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko that were the pre-superhero HoRRoR / MoNSTer stories that I loved so much.
The last four pages were welcomes from Matt and Scott, and a great 'hook' for the reader to join the 'Mysterious Adventure Club' with a membership card, etc. Now that is the branding and style that made me pick up these two issues in the first place!
So for me, the first issue this anthology comic book series did a pretty good job in delivering the promise of what the cover suggested would be inside. Again I want to state that publishing anthologies with different writers and artists are one of the hardest things to do in comic book publishing. Matt and Scott did a pretty good job delivering in the first issue of this series.
Wait, I said there were two issues, right?!
Here's the details on the second issue, Summer 2009 cover date:
Written and Illustrated by Matt Bennett, Scott Godlewski, Joshua Covey, Michael Kasinger, Michael Babinski, Dan Schkade, Matt Kaufenberg, Ryan Cody
Masked mystery men, water-borne legends, and demonic detectives await!
Mysterious Adventure Magazine recaptures the magic of the great Silver Age anthologies with a modern twist!
Again, Scott and Matt promise a 'Mysterious Adventure' comic book on the front cover. And again for the most part they delivered that to me as a reader.
There were five stories in this second issue. The front cover featured 'Night Shift'. That lead story delivered what the front cover promised. But again the following story, although I enjoyed it in its' own right, was too different for me as a reader from what the front cover suggested would be in the comic book.
The third story, 'Saying Goodbye With Bullets' fit the story genre of the comic book although the art style was different. But it wasn't that different from the issues's theme after reading the second story. It kind of put the issue back on track for me as a reader.
The fourth story, 'Down To Zero' was another Flying Phantom story, who was featured in the first issue. Again, another well done story and art here!
The fifth and final story. 'Death In Haiku', was another story with artwork that was too jarring for this comic book in my opinion. It just didn't seem to jell with the rest of the issue's works. This would be a good anthology story, but just not in this series in my opinion.
So... for me the first issue was a good first issue start for this series. The second issue had a couple of stories that just didn't jell for me as a reader. Again as I've said, publishing anthology comics is a hard undertaking to take on.
The premise of the series is a good one, and the lead stories delivered what the front covers promised. Being a long-time comic book reader, I'm wondering if instead of an anthology book, maybe a 'split book' would work better?
A 'split book' would be like the old 'Tales of Suspense' which basically ended up with Iron Man and Captain America sharing the covers for the most part and sharing the interior pages. 'Tales To Astonish' with the Incredible Hulk and the Sub-Mariner would be another good example. However, just like anthology comics, the 'split book' concept doesn't always work to draw in readers. Take for example 'Strange Tales' that had Doctor Strange and Nick Fury - Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. The readership of that split book probably didn't like both features, as they were too different. That is probably why sales of that series weren't as high in numbers as TOS and TTA.
However, in 'Mysterious Adventure Magazine', the comic book series, I could see that 'split book' concept as probably working. Especially with their own characters 'Flying Phantom' and 'Night Shift'. Both of those features worked well and were actually the featured characters on the two front covers. Those front covers promised and the interior pages with those two characters delivered!
You can find more about the 'Mysterious Adventure Magazine' at their web site:
You can purchase these issues at:
I enjoyed both of these issues enough that I would be sure to come back for the third issue. Like any new comic book title that is an anthology comic book series, the publisher does have to get a few issues out to see what the reading public enjoys before finding its' selling niche!
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