Featured Columns

February 10, 2012

From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays: Geronimo Stilton and Reed Gunther

From Friendly Ghosts to Gamma Rays

From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, No.84: Rock It Like Buzz Dixon

Buzz Dixon has done a ton of writing over the years. Aside from many comic books, he also wrote a ton of episodes of 1980s TV shows like Transformers, Jem, Thundarr The Barbarian, GI Joe, Inhumanoids, and more. Dixon episodes always stick out a little bit more than the others and often seem to have a hip, off beat quality to them, and at the same time are highly entertaining and enjoyable. This week’s comics to me felt like something out of the 1980s TV work of Buzz Dixon, and I mean that in a good “wanna read ‘em twice” way. Let’s get down to it at your source for all-ages comics:

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Geronimo Stilton #8: Play It Again, Mozart!
Publisher: Papercutz
Writer: Leonardi Favia
Art: Federica Salfo and Manuela Nerolini

For the unfamiliar, Geronimo Stilton is the popular book series from Italy which tells the adventures of the mouse Geronimo Stilton and his family on multiple adventures through time, as they go against a group of pirate cats to save the day. The popular book series spun off a series of comics in Italy, which are collected and presented in English here by Papercutz.

Collection #8, titled “Play It Again, Mozart!”, spins a tale of one night when the Stilton’s are going to a concert, and they are contacted by Professor Von Volt to jump back in time to once again stop the Pirate Cats. Turns out the Pirates have gone back to Milan in 1770, with a plan to steal the original sheet music by Mozart and sell it for a nice buck in present day. Problem is they steal the sheet music right before teenage Mozart would play his first huge concert, and if he doesn’t play, it will alter the history of modern music as we know it.

This is my first time reading any of the Geronimo Stilton comics, and I found the story enjoyable. If you are familiar with any of the new Disney comics Boom! was publishing a year ago, you’ll know that the Italians do a nice job with their friendly cartoon art in their comic books there, and Geronimo Stilton a fine example of their nice all-ages art. The writing on the title was great and the plot had a nice flow to it that never became boring for a second. Aside from the basic plot of the Stiltons saving the day, the story is also filled with interesting facts about this period of history in Milan, so it tricks you into learning as you are enjoying yourself.

Geronimo Stilton is a neat all-ages title, and probably is best recommended for fans of the Geronimo Stilton book and graphic novel series, as well as fans of Disney comics.

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Reed Gunther #8
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Shane Houghton
Artist: Chris Houghton
Colors: Josh Ulrich
Artist on Backup Story: Kassandra Heller

Eight issues and still going, Reed Gunther has not slowed down with its non-stop fun yet. Issue #8 is another great story in the series, showing us Reed Gunther a long way away from jumping the shark, as it’s packed with laughs, monsters, and action as it fleshes out its world.

We get a story which centers on Starla this issue. After winning a few arm wrestling matches and feeling like one of the boys a little bit too much, Starla goes to try on some dresses. Of course Reed can’t help but pick on her about this, which leads to him being knocked out and buried up to his neck in the ground, as a payback by Starla. Starla picked a terrible place it turns out to do this, and it happens she dug up an Indian burial ground, in which all these Native American mummies come back from the dead to pull out Reed and get their revenge.

Art: grade-A, writing: grade-A (not that we’d expect less at the batting record the brothers Houghton have with their creation). There is not a bad thing about this issue, and it was cool to see them tackle a story that focused on Starla to mix things up. I get the feeling, with the way the brothers talk lately, that they want to make sure to give some street credit to their color artist Josh Ulrich. Certainly the colors are an integral part of any non-black and white story, and so I thought I’d myself give Ulrich a shout out, because he does do a nice job coloring the world of Reed Gunther, helping give the art its hip feel.

This issue also features a two-pager, written by Shane still, but with art by Kassandra Heller. Heller’s art has this almost story book illustration feel to it, and her really cool visual touch still worked perfectly with Shane’s writing. It’s a funny two-pager, so I’ll leave it at that, because I’d give the whole thing away to summarize it.

Reed Gunther #8 is out on stands now.

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That’s it for this week! See you next, and remember to get your kaiju game on!

Drew McCabe
drew@comicattack.net

 

 






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