Suspended Animation

Michael Vance - Mark Allen
Michael Vance Books

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King David

King David      D.C. Comics' newly released King David, by Kyle Baker, was something I, personally, had been anxiously awaiting, both as a comic fan, and a student of the scriptures. I have to say, I was pleased upon its release, from both vantage points.

      First, as a comic fan, I very much enjoyed the art and storytelling techniques. Baker's art-style is very appealing; kind of a "rough take" on Disney. While it definitely has it's "cartoony" aspects, the line work possesses a course quality that fits the darker aspects of the story of David very well. The expressiveness of the characters is also quite enjoyable, especially David's righteous anger at Goliath's curses toward the Israelites, as well as the father-son sequence at the end.

      Baker's pacing of this classic story is also quite good. As comics are content-limited when it comes to adaptations of long stories, it's important for plotters to highlight the important aspects of a tale, and Baker does this in fine fashion.

      The treasury-sized format of this book compliments the artist's work greatly, and gives it a cinematic quality. While some of the colors used in King David seem a tad…bright, it is, all things considered, a visually stunning work.

      Second, as a Bible student, and a Christian, it was comforting to see that Baker had stayed true to the scriptures with this work. While there are some instances of him taking artistic license, creating particular scenes or lines to enhance character, or create interesting dialogue, this is to be expected with an undertaking of this kind. While this is disconcerting for some, it does nothing to change or alter events as they are recorded in scripture.

      King David is good comic work, and these days, that's saying something. It's recommended for teens and adults.

      Find King David in your local comic book store; if they don't have it, they can order it.

      To locate the comic store near you, call 1-888-comicbook. King David, published under D.C. Comics' Vertigo imprint, 160 pages, $19.95.

      Review by Mark Allen.


Impact      E.C. Comics was always known for quality stories and artwork. Even after some of their comics became the subjects of debate, criticism, and, ultimately, censure, in 1954, due to the publishing of Fredric Wertham's Seduction of The Innocent, E.C. went on to publish stellar comic work, even by today's standards.

      Worthy of note among those works is Impact, all five issues of which have been collected in a large hardback edition.

      Published in black and white format, the stories contained in the Impact package do exactly as they promise; they produce a twist at the end that, for the most part, the reader doesn't see coming. And, considering these tales are nearly 50 years old, that's saying something; most of today's comic stories don't accomplish such a feat. Though a few of the stories read like soap opera tales, these are, in truth, engaging human interest stories.

      One of the most notable in the collection is Bernard Krigstein's "Master Race," published in 1955.

      Before the public consciousness had grown accustomed to the horrible images of the Nazis' extermination of millions of Jews, Krigstein's comic story brought it out into broad daylight, not regarding the sensibilities of the post war reader. If ever there was an historic comic story, with a significant message, as timely as it was timeless, this is it.

      The reprints boast such classic Golden Age artists as Jack Davis, Bernard Krigstein, Jack Kamen, George Evans, Joe Orlando, and others. Representing various art styles, all are reality-based and enjoyable to the extreme. From storytelling techniques to use of panel layout, these stories demonstrate why, sometimes, the old ways are the best ways.

      The Impact collection is recommended for all ages, though it will probably be enjoyed most by adults who can bear the "culture shock" of decades-old stories, and, of course, who love a good yarn.

      Find Impact at your local comic shop, comic conventions, bookstores, or online auctions and catalogues.     

      Impact, published by Russ Cochran, 164 pages, $20.00

      Review by Mark Allen.


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