Topic: Comic Books - New
TODAY'S FEATURE - Blog #3533:
This comic book came in the mail to me for possible review, from Keith Tucker. If that name sounds familiar to you, that's because Keith has been in the comics industry for a while, as seen by just some of his credits that are listed at the GCD. Keith is also known for his storyboarding, as well as other works.
This comic book of his, "Keith Tucker's Strange Alien Tales" #1 caught my attention immediately upon opening the package. That's because of the title, which reminded me of the late 1950s sci-fi comics I used to read, and that there appeared to be zombie like creatures in a spaceship on the cover, which would tie in the current zombie (walking dead) craze that is still going on today!
So what's this comic book about? Here's what the creator / self-publisher posts on his web site and on the inside front cover of the comic book:
"Strange Out Of This World Tales Of Science Fiction! Welcome aboard, space recruits! You are now on the flight deck of my latest venture into the world of creator owned comics! Science fiction anthology stories have always been amongst my favorite genres! This book is my chance to revist those timeless tales of tomorrow! So haul your carcass to the launching pad, strap on your magnetic boots and get ready for some retro rocket, space happy fun!"
Well... That pretty much would entice me to check out this comic book!
So what's 'My Take' on this comic book?
Front Cover - As mentioned above, it is a mix of using a 1950s style name of a sci-fi comic book series, along with a modern zombies cover! The vivid colors and layout made me turn the cover page right away to see what was in store for me to read!
Inside front cover - The 'welcome page' from the comic book creator, plus an illustration of what appears to be a far-out space visitor. The style looked familiar, and yes... It was a Jack Kirby penciled illustration with Keith Tucker inking it! The connection? Well, afterwards I found the connection here: Keith Tucker & Jack Kirby at...!
Splash page - Interesting choice to start a splash page! Usually I'll find a host / hostess to a comic book title as an intro to a horror comic book. So this got me on the edge of my seat as to what I would find next...!
First interior page - What was next was a story titled: 'Dead Weight'! Okay, after a gorgeous pin-up page of the hostess, 'Rocketina', we get this... So am I reading a horror or sci-fi tale here, or a mix of the two?
Additional pages - What I'm reading is a finely crafted tale with great pencils and inks, which goes on for six pages, all black & white pages. The last page says 'END'.
Turning that page, I find 'Epilogue!' Not being one to give away stories without a 'spoiler warning', I found it interesting that the 'Epilogue!' page had to be turned to see that it was there after the 'END' panel from the previous page.
Directly across from it was another pin-up splash page, with the hostess, 'Rocketina', introducing the next story... So yeah, this would be an anthology comic book!
The 2nd story '...It Was Just A Matter Of Time', was in a different style, and my eyes caught the fact that although Keith Tucker did the story & pencils, the story was inked by Dave Simons, who was a Facebook Friend of mine until his passing in June of 2009. Dave was a great inker, and he is missed.
I also found when checking for Keith's credits in the industry, that this story had first been presented, in a 3-D format, back in June of 1986, in Eclipse's 3-D Alien Terror Comic Book! Turned out that although I hadn't seen the original 3-D Process by Tony Alderson, which is not part of this presentation here... I still liked it here in this comic book. And it flowed with the previous story, not 'outdated' at all.
Following this story was another one page pin-up page, with Rocketina introducing the next story. BTW, although the interior pages are black & white, there is a color presentation of Rocketina on the back cover!
The last story, another 5-pager, was titled 'Lost Galaxy', and although familiar to me, because I'm so old...(LOL), I wouldn't think that most readers would be aware of the 'story twist' that was used in this storyline. Good job on it too, BTW!
Okay, we are down to the inside back cover... With another pin-up page with Rocketina saying farewell to the reader: "So Until Next Time, Happy Trails!"... A good way to end this comic book!
Except to mention the back cover... Which does have the before mentioned color illustration of Rocketina, and black & white panels from the inside pages plastered on the back cover!
So, with all that analysis of this issue before stated here... What did I think of it?
Well... I liked it! The 'feel' of the entire comic book was one that made me want to keep reading it from front cover to back. There were a few things that I would have suggested, like maybe less vibrant colors on the front cover which made me think that there would be color pages inside. However the black & white pages were fine in themselves. Plus they actually stand alone in presentation. Maybe a little darker front cover would work better for a 2nd printing?
There could have been a little more on the inside front cover, including a Table of Contents, but overall the entire presentation was one that I would recommend to others who like this anthology genre of sci-fi comic book stories.
My comic book grade for this first issue is a VERY FINE / NEAR MINT (VF/NM) 9.0 out of a possible 10.0 comic book grading scale.
You can find this comic book and other creations by Keith Tucker at his web site, where you can use PayPal to pay for your purchases. Here is the direct link to where you can do so.
Plus be sure to check out Keith's other pages on the same web site to see what else he has done and is currently working on!
My thanks to Keith for bringing this comic book to my attention!
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