Sunday, 1 June 2008

Hookjaw - the collected edition

While Spitfire Comics have to be commended both for putting this out, and having the nice touch of making it similar in style to the Titan reprints, the hideous wait after prepaying (over a year!), kinda soured things for when it did arrive.

Now the sourness has gone and i can look at it objectively, its great to read all the tales together but... boy does it go downhill all of a sudden.

Book One: The Oil Rig is a bona fide classic, with stunning, nasty artwork from Ramon Sola and an equally nasty character in boss McNally. There are so many iconic images from this period that i could fill a good couple of web pages with them alone, and i might do so bit by bit.

Once McNally is so memorably dispatched, we go into Book Two: Paradise Island - and hit the skids big-time.

So Mason now works for an equally unpleasent boss but this time at a resort in the Gulf of Mexico. Hookjaw turns up and each episode dips lower and lower in quality in both script (voodoo rituals to get rid of him????) and art.

Can't believe its Sola as the artist throughout this tale, especially towards the end.

And there. apart from the lengthy wait, is my problem with this collection. Its tried so hard to emulate the Titan style of reprints, and done it very well, but they never went the final stretch and had a preface detailing the origins of the strip, indepth biogs of those involved, nor an introduction from Pat Mills (who i'm sure would've been up fo it).

This is Volume 1 and maybe they'll correct that for Vol 2, but i won't be buying. I have the next strips and the art is even worse. And when he gets to England...


Cap'n said...

The reason the art on Hook-Jaw is so poor in the later episodes is because it isn't Sola drawing any more.
It's Spanish artist Felix Carrion.
Poor show, Hook-Jaw shpuld have eaten him!

Link to Felix Carrion Biog.


Mangamax said...

Well, you'd think he'd have got a credit on the cover then eh?