Sigil      Average. It is not a description that any creative person covets.

     As example, in an editorial section of the comic book Sigil, someone wrote: So what started out as a nice homage to science fiction and classic film stereotypes ends with just about every preconceived notion turned upside down and inside out. "Ask Mark Alessi," Barbara [Kesel] joked. "I'm allergic to doing anything exactly the same way it's been done before."

     That sounds like Barbara doesn't like average.

     But Sigil is nothing but a nice homage to science fiction, full of stereotypes, and turns nothing upside down or inside out.

Sigil Character     Sigil is average.

     Sigil is about two races in an intergalactic battle with gigantic space-ships and heavily armored human and alien warriors. Boy, that's original. One of the warriors gets an odd brand on his chest that gives him a super power.

     Well, at least it isn't a ring and a green lantern.

     Enough about words. What, ancient reviewer, is earth shattering and revolutionary about the art?

Sigil Character     Do you like Japanese comics art? Then you'll like Sigil. Once again, there is nothing wrong with Japanese comics art, and certainly nothing deficient in this variation of that national style. It is vibrant, due to excellent coloring, visually energetic, and wholly entertaining. It tells the story. It is above average.

     It will not adorn the ceiling of any Italian chapels or the walls of any art gallery.

     Enough about art. Enough nit-picking. Enough, already.

     Apparently, this publisher bragging about originality and excellence brings out the worst in this reviewer. So, after the harsh, negative comments, it is important to remember that Sigil is not a poor comic book. It just isn't the powerhouse claimed.

     Although Crossgen has not realized its hype of creative superiority, Sigil is entertaining and worth a read.

     Sigil: Mark of Power/$19.95 & 192 pgs., from Crossgen Comics/story: Barbara Kesel/principal artist: Ben Lai/available in comics shops and at

     Review by Michael Vance

Lights End Audio BookLight's End Audio Series

     Michael Vance has teamed with William Windom to present an incredible collection of SF and fantasy stories. Set in the eerie town of Light’s End, Maine, these stories have been called “[a] meshing of myth and reality, [of] stack details of place, an...unromantic vision of horror...” Light’s End is a gathering place for the worst in human nature.

     Mr. Windom's impressive experience has prepared him well for the telling of these scary tales. He is well known for his TV roles on Murder, She Wrote, Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, All In The Family, and Barney Miller. He also won an Emmy for his TV series My World…and Welcome to It. His movie roles in To Kill a Mockingbird and True Crime won him additional acclaim. His stage performances as James Thurber and Ernie Pyle have entertained thousands. He's performed in eighteen Broadway plays, countless radio shows, and several books-on-tape.

     Michael Vance's work is published in numerous magazines. He has appeared as a syndicated columnist and cartoonist in over 500 newspapers. His history book, Forbidden Adventure has been called a "benchmark in comics history”. Vance, best known for his Suspended Animation columns, briefly wrote the comic strip Alley Oop and his own strip for five years, Holiday Out. He also wrote comic books including Straw Men, Angel of Death, The Adventures of Captain Nemo, and Bloodtide. His work has appeared in comics anthologies, and he is listed in the Who's Who of American Comic Books. With novelists Mel Odom and R.A. Jones, he co-wrote Global Star, a world where babies born with bowling balls in their stomachs are common, and the New York Times is “trash journalism”.

Special Offer!

     Suspended Animation readers will be able to order a copy of Lights End Volume 1 personally autographed by both William Windom and Michael Vance. Volume 1 contains the stories "A Change of Heart" and "Cross Purposed."

     What are you waiting for? It's just $19.95 signed or $11.95 not, plus shipping.

Never miss an issue of Suspended Animation!

Your email address

Worry not, we won't trade or abuse you with ads, we'll just notify you when a new column arrives.

 Questions? Comments? A comic you wish reviewed? 
Write: 1427 S. Delaware Ave., Tulsa, OK, 74104. Or email Michael Vance.