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Suspended Animation Review: Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis The Menace: 1951-1952

April 21st, 2006 1:33pm by ComicList Email

Hank Ketchum was master of the punch line without a "set-up", better known as the single-panel cartoon, and Dennis the Menace was his masterpiece.

In parallel to the universal "every-man" concept of prose, Dennis has been everyboy for over fifty years. He has been so for two very good reasons.

1) Ketcham was an astonishing artist. Every Dennis panel is meticulously staged; everything needed to accomplish his punch line is included, and nothing more. The balance of black with white areas is flawless, his line work is fluid and dynamic in execution, and his mastery of human stance and expression is unsurpassed.

2) Dennis is a 'real live boy', to quote Pinocchio. He is smaltzy sweet and downright nasty. He is too full of energy and curiosity, socially awkward, and blatantly honest (especially with his parent's opinions!)

His father, mother, friends and neighbors are also real live people. Characterization and dialog ring true because Ketcham was an astute scholar of the human condition.

As an added bonus for those of us alive in the 1950s, Ketcham also caught the nuances of that decade. This reviewer was almost overwhelmed with memories triggered by simple things like the shape of an automobile or refrigerator, a discarded toy, clothing, and the attitudes of that decade.

Yes, young readers, neighbors really did watch after neighborhood kids, 5 ½ year old boys could walk around alone with no fear of being manhandled, and the exuberance of being alive was not labeled "A.D.D." (Attention Deficit Disorder—ha!!).

I liked the world better in the '50s. And comics cost a dime!

Dennis the Menace is comics at their highest level of achievement, and this massive collection receives the highest recommendation for readers of all ages. MV

Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis The Menace: 1951-1952/589 pgs. & $24.95 from Fantagraphics/sold at www.fantagraphics.com and at comics shops. MV

Order your copy of the all-Vance horror paperback Apocris 1 at
http://www.lighthousemediaone.co.uk/FutureProjects.html

Interested in the exciting Oklahoma Cartoonists Collection and Toy and
Action Figure Museum? Go to http://www.fourcolorcommentary.blogspot.com/

Dark Horse Comics for July 2006

April 20th, 2006 7:23pm by ComicList Email

Dark Horse Comics that will be published in July 2006, by Ralf Haring.

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DC Comics for July 2006

April 20th, 2006 7:23pm by ComicList Email

DC Comics that will be published in July 2006, by Ralf Haring.

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Image Comics for July 2006

April 20th, 2006 7:21pm by ComicList Email

Image Comics that will be published in July 2006, by Ralf Haring.

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Marvel Comics for July 2006

April 20th, 2006 7:20pm by ComicList Email

Marvel Comics that will be published in July 2006, by Ralf Haring.

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Bob Burden hospitalized

April 20th, 2006 8:32am by ComicList Email

Per the Great Curve web site, Flaming Carrot creator Bob Burden has been hospitalized.

http://www.thegreatcurve.net/2006/04/bob-burden-hospitalized.html

Suspended Animation Review: Anthem

April 14th, 2006 7:56am by ComicList Email

Anthem, published by Heroic Publishing, Inc., 32 pages, $3.25.

A few weeks ago, I was thrilled to see something on the spinner rack at a
bookstore I hadn't expected to see; a comic written by Roy Thomas. For
those who don't know, Roy is a highly-respected figure within
the comics industry, having been writing and/or editing since the'60's. Not
having penned a story in a number of years, however, Anthem #1 is fairly
solid proof that there's no rust on that guy.

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Suspended Animation Review: The Surrogates #1

April 7th, 2006 6:29pm by ComicList Email

The Surrogates #1 (of 5)/24 pgs. & $2.95 from Top Shelf/words by Robert
Wenditti; art by Brett Weldele/sold at wwwtopshelfcomix.com and comics
shops.

In the future, almost everyone owns a surrogate, an android who does
everything one doesn't want to do, and some things one doesn't want to get
caught doing.

An android is a robot that looks like a human. Regrettably, in this exciting
new mini-series, they act like humans as well. As proof, two androids whom
are about to have sex in an alley are
murdered…if one can murder something that isn't really alive.

Well written, and drawn in an effective, abstract style, one of the
strengths of this new SF series is its willingness to tackle tough political
and moral questions without preaching to a reader.
In addition, and worthy of praise, is the restraint used by the creative
team when handling sexual issues and violence. Less is always more; nothing
in literature is more powerful than the human
imagination.

Surrogates is highly recommended for mature readers. MV

Tales of the Terminal Diner/96 pgs. & $9.95 from Sonic Comics/various
writers and artists/sold at comics shops and www.sonicpublishing.com.

Terminal Diner is an anthology of tales told over coffee at a restaurant
located at the corner of Unreal and Real. You are as likely to buy a donut
as an order of barbequed dragon wings.

These pithy stories cover the gamut of literary genres and styles of art,
and more than one is likely to be your cup of tea. None will offend anyone
but the weakest of hearts.The only disappointment is that the diner doesn't
feature an All You Can Read buffet.

Terminal Diner features the work of professionals including Michael T.
Gilbert, Don Lomax, Steve Skeates, Fred Hembeck, and the last story written
and drawn by Oklahoma Cartoonists Museum associate, Richard "Grass" Green.
MV

Order you copy of the all-Vance horror paperback Apocris 1 at
http://www.lighthousemediaone.co.uk/FutureProjects.html

Interested in the exciting Oklahoma Cartoonists Collection and Toy and
Action Figure Museum? Go to fourcolorcommentary.blogspot.com/

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The Acronyms List

AR -
Ask retailer for price
BD -
Blu-ray Disc
CCG -
Collectible card game
CD -
Compact disc
DVD -
Digital versatile disc
FCBD -
Free Comic Book Day
GN -
Graphic novel
HC -
Hardcover
HD -
High definition
LCG -
Living Card Game
MMPB -
Mass market paperback
PVC -
Polyvinyl chloride
RPG -
Role playing game
SC -
Softcover
TBD -
To be determined
TCG -
Trading card game
TP -
Trade paperback
UDA -
Upper Deck Authenticated
WDCC -
Walt Disney Classics Collection
WS -
Widescreen

show more

About ComicList

ComicList was founded Jan. 12, 1995 with the mission of empowering comic book consumers by providing accurate and timely information. By delivering the weekly list of new releases, along with news concerning current and future products available in local and online comic book shops, we enable consumers to meet their goals more effectively.

The new releases list, which details the comic books, graphic novels, trade paperbacks, and other products you will find in your local and online comic book shops, is posted weekly every Monday night. Our site also offers the latest news, previews, and reviews, updated every day.

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Reviewer In Chief: Brandon Borzelli

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Graphics Designer: Emilio Amaral Marques de Morais