Comics

Review: Amazing and Fantastic Tales #3

Written by Davidde Gelmini

Amazing and Fantastic seems to be a hugely appropriate name for this volume. Here we have aliens, people searching for a sustainable planet to live on, and an alien and a demon who quite literally walk into a bar. Amazing and fantastic indeed.

Most of the stories in Amazing and Fantastic Tales #3 are written in prose, with about a third of the stories being told in comic book from. While this may seem like an odd decision for what at first seems like a conventional monthly comic book series, a great story, if told well, will still be a great story no matter which medium it is told in.

And, for the most part, the stories here are told with enough creativity and passion that before long you’ll stop asking why they decided to have most of the issue written in prose and instead ask when the next issue will be release.

And okay some of the writing may not exactly be Shakespeare (“It was unmistakable, the smell of shit filling Bill’s pants”), but within the short space that the writers are given (the entire issue is only a minuscule 24 pages), they get you hooked. How will the Western confrontation play out? Will the extraterrestrial explores ever make it home? Guess you’ll just have to read on to find out.

And remember, Watchmen, which is widely considered to be one of the greatest graphic novels of all time, contained lengthy book extracts written in prose, so if used in the right way in can add to the experience of reading a comic.

Strangely only one of the comic book stories was in colour, though it did seem at some points as though the comic book elements were only playing second fiddle to the prose. Which is kind of a shame, after all, the series seem to have taken its inspiration (and its title) from Amazing Fantasy, the legendary Marvel series that introduced a certain arachnid themed superhero. That series was known to have revived interest in comic books at a time when they were waning, so more illustrated sections would certainly have been appreciated here.

Let’s face it, the overall lack of actual comic book content will turn many readers away, change is something that has always been approached with caution. But as they say, innovation is the key, because if everyone did the same thing then creativity would cease to exist. So although it’s status as a comic book is in question,  Amazing and Fantastic Tales certainly contains has no shortage of creativity on offer.

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About the author

Davidde Gelmini