Wednesday, January 12, 2011

'Realms' by Paul Kirchner




During the late 70s and early 80s some of the best comics to appear in the magazines ‘Heavy Metal’ and ‘Epic Illustrated’ were done by Paul Kirchner, an artist from Connecticut. 

Kirchner (who also did the smaller strip ‘The Bus’) had a knack for putting together stories with both great art and offbeat, wryly humorous themes. Kirchner was adept at working in illustrative styles from non-Western cultures, as attested to in the strips ‘Shaman’ and ‘The Mirror of Dreams’.

‘Realms’ (Catalan Press, softcover, 1986, 80 pp.) reprints Kirchner’s non- Bus work from Heavy Metal and Epic Illustrated. It’s probably the easiest way to get hold of the material, apart from purchasing the back issues of the magazines (although copies of ‘Realms’ are themselves not easy to find). This is a big (8 ½ x 11”) well-produced book with good color reproductions.

The entries include ‘Tarot’




‘Shaman’



‘Hive’



and ‘Mirror of Dreams’





There are b & w entries, including the longer comic ‘A Sprig of Thaxin’, as well as the shorter (i.e., 3 - 4 pp.) strips ‘The Temple of Karvul’, ‘Pillars of P—11507’, ‘Critical Mass of Cool’, ‘Survivors’, ‘My Room’, and the one-pagers ‘Judgement Day’ and ‘They Came from Uranus’.


'Realms' is definitely worth picking up if you happen to find a copy on the shelves of a secondhand bookstore.

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