Comic Publishers

January 27, 2012

From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays: Captain Hero, Cow Boy and Rango vs. Tintin

From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, No.82: Merry Making At My Place, Baby, At My Place

No intros this week, ’cause sometimes we don’t need no dang-nab intros for the all-ages comics column. We just need a Thunderbirds go! So, THUNDERBIRDS GO!


Archie and Friends Double Digest #12
Publisher: Archie
Writers/Artists: An army of ’em, including Frank Doyle and Robert Vigoda

I have in recent months shared with you guys my rekindled love with Archie digests. The right price for the amount of old and new material, that you can find anywhere from super markets to comic shops.

So why do I write about the latest issue of Archie and Friends Double Digest this week? Well, out of the gate it opens up with a classic Jughead as Captain Hero story. Coming down from my high of the Jughead as Captain Hero story they ran in a previous Jughead Double Digest (click here for review), I was surprised Jughead was around during the old Archie Pureheart comics; for some reason I could only remember Archie as Pureheart and Betty as Superteen. This classic story “Multiple Maddness” is presented in two parts, as Captain Hero comes to the rescue of Pureheart and Superteen, and faces off against the Witch Doctor, who has a voo-doo wand that can make things multiply. A battle ensues as everyone starts multiplying, and when some other villains join the battle royale, confusion and a few laughs ensue.

The script by Frank Doyle is silly Archie gang-as-superhero fun, and the artwork by Robert Vigoda is classic, colorful, and bordering on an almost pop art feel, filled with its wacky monsters and street level duke out. Page after page of goodness that just got this reviewer excited and happy to read (and those are the best kind of things for us to let you guys know about).

The rest of the digest is packed full of fun too, with great stories, although the Captain Hero one sticks out as my favorite right from the go. Archie and Friends Double Digest #12 is out on stands as of last week, check it out!


Finger On The Cool-Pulse: Cow Boy

Archaia announced this week in March that they will be releasing Cow Boy: A Boy And His Horse, an all-ages western fun fest written by Nate Cosby (who wrote Jim Henson’s Storyteller), with art by Chris Eliopoulos (who drew the Franklin Richards stories at Marvel). Cow Boy will tell the tale of Boyd Linney, a 10-year-old bounty hunter who is determined to round up and hand in his outlaw family.

Now before you jump to conclusions, yes, I know that amazingly imaginative western Reed Gunther was our favorite title of last year, but we’re not highlighting this cause we’re western-buffs in this column. In fact, aside from Reed Gunther, 1970s DC Weird Western Tales, and the films Django and Rango, I’m not a big fan of cowboys at all. We are highlighting this because look at that image they released in the promo. Eliopoulos’s art says it all, and the story sounds like a ton of fun. I think Cow Boy could be a hot title this year, and only March can tell when it’s released, but it certainly has caught our attention here.


Tonight’s Match Up: Rango vs. Tintin

All reviewers give an opinion on something, but only here and there do I weigh in with my opinion outside of a review of a comic in this column. This is one of those rare times.

There has been a hot debate amongst animation fans, and it wasn’t the questionable fact that Cars 2 was somehow nominated for a Golden Globe, it was that The Adventures of Tintin won. There has been the big debate of considering motion capture animation or not, being it uses live actors and then CGIs them and the settings in to create the world through computer animation. The Golden Globes rule for animation is 75% of the film needs to be animated to be in this category, and so Tintin was in because somehow they decided it was at least 75% animated. However, although it did mediocre at the box office, Rango has been the fan favorite being cheered to win, and it lost the Globe.

I had a preview of The Adventures of Tintin, that my friend Larry wrote up after he saw the Hollywood preview; I personally did not review the film not because he already wrote about it, but simply because I didn’t care for it. Speilberg’s team of script writers combined 2 or 3 Tintin comic book adventures into a single film and added some new stuff towards the end to spruce up a final showdown of sorts. Yes, there was a scene where about for 7 minutes or so the camera doesn’t cut once. Yes, that crane battle was exciting. However, a good hour of the film was boring. If I zone out during an animated film, it wasn’t done right. Yeah, not everything can be the 2010/2011 anime film Red Line, where you can’t pull yourself away, but God was it hard to stay awake. That was the biggest let down for me. I own the Tintin comics, I’m fond of the DIC 1990s animated series, I even tracked down and watched the hard-to-see black and white claymation Tintin film. The Adventures of Tintin, what a let down. I have to agree with the screaming fanboys for once, what a let down The Adventures of Tintin won, and an entertaining and original masterpiece of animation like Rango lost to that pile of cinema trash.

However, maybe the hope that not everyone has their head up Speilberg’s ass is on the horizon. The Academy Award nominations came out this week, and the nominees for best animated film are Rango, A Cat In Paris, Chico and Rita, Puss In Boots, and Kung Fu Panda 2. Notice no The Adventures of Tintin (and maybe even better, not bothering to disgrace themselves with nominating Cars 2). Does this mean Rango will win, although it seems to be everyone’s favorite? I don’t know, I haven’t seen A Cat In Paris or Chico and Rita, so it could really be anyone’s game. People have also been raving over Puss In Boots all year, and it is noteworthy to keep in mind only Rango and Puss In Boots were nominated for both the Globe and the Academy award.

I say go Rango! If you haven’t seen this film yet, pick it up on DVD or Blu-Ray and just love it.


That’s it for this week, see you next!

Drew McCabe


One Comment

  1. Candy

    “Puss-in-Boots” is definitly one of the funniest and most entertaining animated movies I have seen in recent times. Its not perfect by any means, as some parts seem to drag and at times the movie felt a bit too long for its own good, but on the whole it made for a nice viewing.

    This movie has all that, a compelling story, a good message, funny characters and a lot of humour, including a healthy dose of those “in-jokes” intended for the adults in the audience, in most cases the parents who tag along with their kids to watch the movie. That makes it a truly good family viewing because not only will the children have a good time, but there is plenty for the adults to enjoy too.

    The story is fun as it is about who Puss in Boots was before he met Shrek and Donkey. The five main characters were all well developed and well played. The visuals in this film are stunning. The animation was spectacular as the scenery is amazing. The music is great as it feels part spaghetti western, part modern day swashbuckling tale.

    As for a family movie… the kids will enjoy it. The parents will be able to sit through it and enjoy a good story for themselves. Even those who are not kids or parents, like myself, will enjoy watching this film.


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