Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Strip magazine - Issue 5/6

Finally, finally got me mitts on this issue and what a corker of an edition to mark the end of this first phase - a double sized issue with a VERY nostalgic cover strap line: "Don't miss Hook Jaw - he won't miss you!". Ah, its like its 1976 all over again. Having a read of the bumper episodes, "The Devil's Hertitage" pips "Age Of Heroes" to the post for favourite new tale this time and i'm guessing its down to me reading a lot of "Blake & Mortimer" just lately and "Devil's" does seem similar in tone and art style. Hoping this'll be released as a graphic novel at some point, as i'd like to read it all in one go, in one edition. Of course, best of the bunch is "Hookjaw" and, as usual, there's the multi-level joy of (A) reading it in a just-bought comic, (B) on lovely glossy paper, (C) taking the tale as presented, (D) comparing the new coloured strip with the old B/W, (E) comparing script changes. So, what's of particular note this time round? Well, in the first of the two episodes here, we've this classic sequence, with the shot of diver "Pat Mills" floating away with his guts all gone being one of my Top Five Action iconic moments. How i used to pour over and studying this page, morbidly fascinated by it:
Move forward 35 years and there's been changes to just this one page: "Pat Mills" is now going under the name of "Matt Hills" (why? Did Pat object after all this time?. The explanation of how a squid "drinks its victims alive" has gone in favour of it having just a razor beak, which doesn't make sense now in the art: Pat/Matt is hollow - where'd his insides go? And there's a bunch of script changes, which i can see the sense in - reading an old copy from back then, that style of script certainly suits as its a product of its time ie explaining everything and real gung-ho out-bursts. But the new script is tailored for the new reader reading a new comic. Which is fair enough.
The other episode i'm most pleased about as, not only does it have another iconic shot on panel 1:
But the rather underwhelming outburst of the guy being eaten ( i make more of a fuss than that when i stub my toe) has ben replaced by a very close to home "AAIIEEEE!":
John had let me know it was coming yonks back and i was chuffed to bits to see it then, even more so now to see it in print. I am a happy bunny. Also of note here is what i was on about re the scripts - the originals look really rather corny compared to the much more naturalistic replacements. So, a all in all, a good end to Phase 1. Shame there'll be no more Hookjaw in Phase 2 but (A) its not that far away before the art takes a serious nose-dive in quality, as does the script, so maybe its for the best, (B) We get Dredger instead - ahugely under-valued character. And i can't wait to see Carruthers severed head come out of that box in colour.

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