Topic: Comic Books - New
Earlier this year I blogged about a different mini-series that Robert Roach created, titled 'The Roach', which was Not an autobiographical set....However, as I said in that blog, (click here for review), I thought it the best mini-series I had read in a long time!
So when I met Robert again, this time at the recent 2009 Long Beach Comic Con, he presented me with a full set of his earlier mini-series 'Menthu' to read and possibly review here.
Robert mentioned, (possibly as a warning?), that it was not at all like 'The Roach'. And it wasn't. So what was it about?
Here's the PR for issue #1: Rashan N'Shanga's world has just turned upside-down. Overnight, he's become an Egyptian sungod and he now has to set out on a quest to figure out exactly what being a"god" means. Rashan's sojourn will span across our world and into Egyptian mythology's netherworld.
Here's the PR for issue #2: Rashan's situation goes from bad to worse as he appears in the TaDjesart, ancient Egypt's "Underworld," on the unholy river, the Tuat. But if he thinks sharing unknown time in a boat with a rotting corpse for an oarman is "worse," then the "worst" is yet to come.
Here' the PR for issue #3: In part 3 of 4, Rashan N’Shanga has finally been reunited with his father, Anhur, ancient Egypt’s God of War. After being "snack food" for a fire-breathing snake—not to mention being fished out of the river, half-dead—Rashan’s ready to relax & enjoy this reunion. But the young immortal has more hard facts of his origin to learn. And Set has NO intentions of allowing his 2 mortal enemies to enjoy a "happy ending".
I'm not going to post the PR for issue #4 here, as I don't like to post 'spoilers warnings' for the endings of mini-series if I can help it. And with this mini-series already published, why give away the ending?
Very briefly, let me state Robert's publishing history of this 'Menthu' series. Robert first started coming up with this mini-series back in 1991 when he listened to the CD titled "The Seven Souls" by an electic, ever changing group called 'Material'. The CD had seven songs, of which five of them contained narration by William S. Burroughs about Egyptian mythology.
Robert says "A chord deep in my imagination was struck when I heard the CD". In 1992 Robert, while driving up the Pacific Coast Highway to Monterey, CA, came up with the story outline in his head. However he didn't feel that he could do justice to the story until he improved his storytelling abilities. By 1996 he was ready to start with the actual story. In 1997 he published the first issue of Menthu, and then the second issue. However, distribution problems kept him from finishing the series at that time.
In 2004 Robert decided to restart the mini-series, and had the art redone as well as the coloring and other production values. This time he had the whole four issues of the mini-series printed in advance, so there would be No distribution issues.
Those involved with the mini-series production were: Robert Roach, Larry Welch, Bryan Taylor, Tony Stewart, and Yumi Roach.
Okay... so much for the PR and the history of this mini-series. What did I think of this mini-series of Robert's?
Well, I found the story arc itself to be well paced, not rushed and most importantly not stretched out to fill the four issue story arc.
The dialogue of the characters were fitting and what I would expect those beings to possibly talk like. The research behind this story arc had to be a project in itself, what with the variations of the stories from ancient Egypt, and with the different names of the gods used by other conquering nations since then to refer to the Egyptian gods.
The art is in a style that adds distinction to the panels, but it is the coloring of this series that really brings out the flavor of the artwork to me. Additionally the paper used for the cover and the interior pages really makes the total package jump out at me!
The lettering is something a lot of readers don't really notice unless it bothers them. Here the lettering fits each scene and each character without interferring with the artwork.
The cover art by Tony Stewart is well done, and most importantly doesn't conflict with the interior art. Too often nowadays when the cover artist and the interior pages artist are not the same person, a browser / possible purchaser of the publication will think 'what happened?!' when turning to the splash page with much different art than the cover. Not here, the artwork flows smoothly between cover and interior pages.
I enjoyed reading this mini-series, especially with the letter columns taking the time to publish letters from those that saw the earlier publications from 1997 and then viewed new pages online from the revised edition. Plus the time that Robert Roach spent in explaining what had happened to bring this mini-series to a restart and a conclusion. It had to be hard to have 'letter columns' in a mini-series when the whole series was printed at once!
For those blog readers of mine that are into this type of story genre in prose form, I would have to say that it should be a very good read for them! Add to it being told in very nice panelized sequential artform, and you have another winner from the Black Inc. Imprints / Hometown Productions publishing group!
To get started reading the first issue of the series just click the following link to be taken to Hometown Productions store: http://hometownprods.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=28
Thanks again to Robert for bringing this earlier work of his to my attention, AND also again to Dale Wilson of of DWAP Productions who has turned me on to several works that other members of The Antidote Trust have turned out!
AND... Thanks again to all of YOU reading our current and archived blog posts! We do blog daily on comic book creators, comic book reviews, comic cons, and other pop culture news and events including some TV shows and theatrical films as they are shown!
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