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Monday, November 15, 2010
My Take On: Escape From Terra Volume 1
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Comic Books - New


My Take On:

Escape From Terra

Volume 1

From Big Head Press!

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TODAY'S FEATURE - Blog #3280:

Today's blog is on a graphic novel that was mailed in to me before the recent November elections took place.

I say that before starting 'My Take', (review), on this compilation of web comics, because this is on one of the most thought provoking sequential art publications that have been sent in or given to me at comic cons for the year of 2010.

Here is what the promo blurb stated that this book was about:

In the late 21st Century, humans are colonizing the Solar System, finding fabulous wealth and re-discovering freedom in the far-flung Asteroid Belt.

But the United World government on Terra (Earth) envies the Belters' wealth and fears their freedom, and is determined to bring these "cowboys" under central control, one way or another.

-- Collecting the first 315 strips of ESCAPE FROM TERRA, the popular sci-fi adventure comic published on the World Wide Web.

Sounds 'innocent' enough!

Well, it truly isn't!  It is a thought provoking series of web comics that have been transformed into a really good graphic novel, IMO.

The political undertones in this volume don't just lie there...they come right out in your face while reading.  

This may not sit well with those that are of a different political persuasion, and not open to to others viewpoints.

In my case, the political undertones are what kept me reading, to see what the comics creators would bring up next!

The front cover to this compilation shows a group of diverse individuals in both age and ethnic groups. It seems to be merely a Sci-Fi graphic novel by just looking at the cover.  Well... You can't always 'judge' a book by its cover!

In this published format, there isn't a 'splash page', 'credits page' or 'intro page' to the book. 

It starts right in with the first page of panels, art, text, and dialogue.

Which could be hard for a new reader to jump right in...

I wondered what this storyline was about, so sat myself down and started reading.  Even without the intros, I found myself wanting to read more. Of course this would have been an easier reading if those intros had been shown at the front of the storyline...!

However, the storyline read well, and I was soon captured by what the comics creators were attempting to portray in the early pages of the book.   

The interior pages were black / white / greytone in a sort of way.  Which fit fine with this published format.

The creators, Sandy Sanford, Scott Bieser, and Lee Oaks! crafted a series of pages that held together well when reading.

Those pages numbered 315 strips from the web comic.  I looked this morning while formatting this blog, and found that as of 11-15-10, they have published their 571st strip, so the story continues!

Personally, I've found over the years, that I just don't have the time, nor want to make the time to read webcomics on a regular basis anymore.  I've found that I'm still a tactile reader, so I appreciate when creators take the webcomics and publish them in printed format for me to read. That's because when I'm on my laptop, or 'Droid' phone, I'm either blogging / listing comics for sale / reading emails / answering messages, etc. I just don't get the 'pleasure' of reading webcomics online, period.

So I said that I 'appreciate' webcomics that are printed. Let me put an addendum to that.  The webcomics that are published need to be 'dressed up a bit' when published in hard copy. No matter how good the storyline or artwork is, there has to be an 'understanding' that the potential reader / buyer of the product could be 'new' to this 'intellectual property'!

I remember hearing Stan Lee say years ago, that a comics creator has to understand that each issue of a comic book series, no matter how many issues have been printed before, may be the first issue to a potential new reader who can't feel 'lost' when first browsing the issue in their hands!  If they feel 'lost' right away, they will be put the issue back on the rack, and find something else to purchase that is easier to understand and buy!   This from The Man who became famous for NOT doing 'done in one' comic books, but continued stories!

So, even though I feel this graphic novel was fun to read, thought provoking, and really illustrated well, there was something missing at the very beginning that would motivate a casual browser from picking it up, browsing through the first few pages, and then purchasing it right away.

Which is a shame, because this is one of the better graphic novels, (format wise), I've read this year!

Thus I'm giving this a Review Rating: 9.2 NEAR MINT MINUS (NM-) out of a possible 10.0 Comic Book Grading scale.  A better intro at the beginning would have been helpful! The characters are well written, the storylines flow well, and the artwork suits this genre. 

Future volumes, and even this volume if it is printed in a 2nd Edition, would benefit from an intro section with character bios / illos, etc. 

What I am talking about is what I actually found on this web comic's 'About' page at this link. This is what could / should have been printed in this volume to help guide possible new readers into buying this volume after picking it up at a book store, comic book shop, etc.

It would also have been a lot easier for me to really get into this story right away, read it fully, and then blog about it quicker.

Other than that lack of an intro, this volume 1 of this web comic in print is a darn good read!

So much so, I'm posting a link here on how to easily purchase it for yourself to read if you are not close to a comic book shop or book store: ESCAPE FROM TERRA Volume 1.

Product Description:

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Big Head Press; First edition (July 7, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0974381470
ISBN-13: 978-0974381473
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches

My Thanks to those at Big Head Press for sending this 'Thoughtful Stories' graphic novel to my attention!

PLUS: My thanks again to all of YOU reading this blog and our archived blog posts, now over 3,279 total posts in number! I do appreciate your continued reading and support of this Blog!

BTW, You can 'follow' this Blog by clicking the 'Follow' Button at this NetworkedBlogs app!  We currently have over 2,010 'Followers'!  Thanks to ALL of YOU that have already clicked that button!  And for those of YOU that haven't yet...I would appreciate it if YOU would!!!


~ Michael D Hamersky @ ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com

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My thanks to those of YOU that have read today's blog post! I do appreciate that!

For those of you that didn't know me before today... I first set up as a 'dealer' at the 1972 San Diego West Coast Comic Con (SDCC) at the El Cortez Hotel. So I've been around comic conventions for a little while, LOL 

My wife Tina and I now have an on-line exhibitor (dealer) table at the first "virtual" comic con titled the "Facebook Comic Con" (FBCC)! Plus I have a chapter in a new book coming out in December of 2010, that is pictured above, "Gotham City 14 Miles"!  Click here to become a 'Fan' of the GC14M Facebook Fan Page!

You can view our dealer table and interact with us there on Facebook by clicking this link, which takes you to our table named: 'Facebook Comic Con | Make It So Marketing'. 

So if YOU are a Facebook member, please 'join' our Facebook Comic Con - Make It So Marketing exhibitor table for updates, specials, links to this blog, and other wall comments that we post every day! 

 Also, if you are a Facebook member and would like to also join my Facebook Network, feel free to send a 'friend request' to 'Michael D Hamersky'. Please Note: I have reached the maximum of 5,000 Facebook Friends and Fan pages already, so it might be a while before I am able to accept your request. Just send a message along with the invite that you saw my Blog!

Talking about comics: if YOU are a comics creator, (writer, penciler, inker, colorist, letterer, etc.), OR even a Comics / Magazine Publisher, feel free to contact me regarding YOUR works for a possible mention / review!

I've made a special blog post about: "How To Best Submit YOUR Publication For Possible Review!" for those creators / publishers that would like to possibly have their publications mentioned or reviewed. Just click on the link provided in this paragraph!

~Michael @ ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com


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Posted by makeitsomarketing at 5:50 AM PST
Updated: Monday, November 15, 2010 7:06 AM PST
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