Sunday, July 31, 2011
'Epic Illustrated', Summer 1980
The second issue of Marvel’s ‘Epic Illustrated’ is the Summer 1980 issue and features a cover illustration by Richard Corben.
This issue provides a Letters column; not surprisingly, many writers reference ‘Heavy Metal’ magazine, and Archie Goodwin exhibits some testiness in his responses to these letters, arguing that he and Stan Lee “…have our own distinct editorial tastes and points of view”, and that “I don’t believe the two magazines will ever be so similar that one will cancel the other out….If you want to feel that Epic is better (than Heavy Metal), we’re not about to talk you out of it.”
This issue features a lengthy first installment of R.E. Howard’s ‘Almuric’, written by Roy Thomas and illustrated by Tim Conrad. It’s not a bad strip. ‘Monkey See’, by Steve Bisette and Rick Veitch, deals with trigger-happy teens on an otherworldy fishing trip.
Mimicking Heavy Metal’s use of topical columns during the Ted White editorial years, there is an interesting text feature on ‘Fantasy and the fantastic in European comics’ by Maurice Horn.
Jim Starlin’s self-indulgent ‘Metamorphosis Odyssey’ continues. ‘Killraven’ artist P. Craig Russell provides ‘Siegfried and the Dragon’, with some distinctive colors and skillfull penciling.
There is an interview with TV producer Glan A. Larson about the ‘Buck Rogers’ show, and a black and white strip titled ‘Tarn’s World’ by Robert Wakelin; good artwork, but an underwhelming script by Archie Goodwin.
One of the better pieces in this issue is the low-key ‘Seven Moon’s Light (Casts Complex Shadows)’, an adaptation of the Samuel Delany story by Howard Chaykin. I’ve posted it below.