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Strange Tales Paperback – August 18, 2010

3.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* A truly strange anthology indeed, this excellent collection gathers some of the top names in alternative comics and unleashes them on the Marvel universe. Similar to the DC parodies in Bizarro Comics (2002), these fresh takes on Marvel’s classic characters include some weird, humorous, often psychedelic results. Among the off-kilter best are Dr. Strange’s psychic battle at a diner over a poisoned bowl of soup, by Dash Shaw (BodyWorld, 2010); the oddly touching rework of the Hulk as a grumpy child, by James Kochalka (American Elf); autobiographical true-farceur Jeffrey Brown re-imagining the Fantastic Four as a group of bored pranksters; a restrained Johnny Ryan (Angry Youth Comix) envisioning the Punisher telling an at-risk youth to stay in school—or else; and droll genre parodist Jason making anthropomorphic animals out of Spider-Man and Doc Octopus getting into a bar fight. Though longtime alt-comics fans will be thrilled to see Peter Bagge’s “lost comic” The Incorrigible Hulk finally in print, the real winner here is Maakies creator Tony Millionaire’s completely whacked Iron Man adventure: the troubled hero (Millionaire would pick a reformed alcoholic) goes head-to-head with the nefarious Baloney-Head and his sidekick, Liver-Wurst Face (with a surprise appearance by Dwight D. Eisenhower!). Weird and totally unique, Strange Tales is like seeing your favorite heroes and villains in a fun-house mirror, with the emphasis on fun. --Carlos Orellana --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel Books (August 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785128026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785128021
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,567,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nicholas J. Nuttall on July 8, 2016
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love seeing alternative takes on superhero comics. There's only so many times you can watch them fight without wondering what else could be going on in the universe. Some of these stories get that. I really enjoyed Perry Bible Fellowship's contributions but, then again, he's pretty much always that good. However, a lot of the book is taken up by comics that I really didn't like, mostly because of the art style. One of these stories is entirely incomprehensible. Like, it has some unique-looking art, but it isn't what I'd call "sequential art." But there are some neat things in here and, if that's what you're looking for, go ahead.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
These strange tales are very weird and you have to be very into the marvel lore to get some of them. But a few of them are also kind of funny. I got a chuckle out of them. All-in-all, the book is just okay.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Unless you like alternative comics in general then it will be hard to say whether this is for you. Roughly half of this collection consists of quirky humorous spoofs on familiar Marvel characters, being the offbeat kind of humor normally found from the Kitchen Sink Press, and the rest is what I would describe as being odd alternative narrations using Marvel characters that aren't necessarily trying to parody as much as being a form of literary experimentation. In both the humorous material and the more serious work, there's some of it that works and some of it that doesn't.

What I enjoyed most about this collection were the well written oddball humorous pieces. There is some truly great parody stuff to be found here, but there is also a lot of stories that left me wondering what the point was supposed to be. I was also surprised to find that many of the creators that I thought would appeal to me most were often only mildly entertaining compared to some of the lesser known artists. Having read a fair amount of alternative comic books in my time, I should have realized that just because an artist is great at creating dynamic visuals does not necessarily mean they are apt at writing dynamic or engaging stories.

In general I liked volume 1 more than volume 2, and there is enough worthwhile material to make the whole collection worth checking out, but to honest I found it to be about half and half.
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Format: Paperback
The book takes the same premise as DC's Bizarro books where well known comic book heroes appear silly and go on daffy adventures. It's the comic book equivalent of going on vacation.

So with that in mind I was looking for a good time, some jokes, some light entertainment. And most of the book is just this. I enjoyed James Kochalka's Hulk scripts where he has Hulk fight Rain (yes the weather) and write a diary. Jason's Spiderman is insecure that he hasn't ever been in a bar fight and so goes out to a bar and starts one. Nicholas Gurewitch, he of the excellent Perry Bible Fellowship series, writes two excellent one pagers of Wolverine and Hulk. Jeffrey Brown contributes a funny Fantastic Four strip while Peter Bagge provides the most substantial works found here with lengthy stories on both Spiderman and Hulk. He makes Spiderman a corporate shill after reading Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" and deciding to follow the book's teachings. Hulk and Bruce Banner meanwhile become embroiled in a disastrous love triangle.

But most of the stuff here is kinda dull. There are numerous strips here that go on and on: a Punisher strip that is drawn so poorly and is about nothing at all; numerous Modok and Iron Man shorts that never take off; a poorly conceived Brother Voodoo strip; Black Widow doing nothing more than what she usually does - surveillance and intelligence gathering. And so on. It showed that much of the book was made up of half-baked ideas at best and were trying to read.

So there's some stuff that's good but generally I found the book a bit weak. The stories never seemed that imaginative nor funny and it could've been a lot better than it was. An ok collection.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of collections of comics by indy comic creators about mainstream super-hero types. Bizarro World, Bizarro Comics, Hellboy: Weird Tales, Vol. 1, and Hellboy: Weird Tales Volume 2 are all on my shelf next to this TPB. Strange Tales II would be there as well, but I am waiting for the soft-cover trade.

I felt like there was too much Bagge stuff and not enough of the other stuff though. Jhonen's short was my favorite, which is kind of funny since I am usually lukewarm to his work at best. I would put the collection overall on par with Bizzaro 1, but not as good as Bizzaro 2.
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This book collects issues 1-3 of Strange Tales. With over two dozen of alternative and online comics greatest artists and writers featured in this book, there is a very good chance of you discovering a comics creator or three that you did know of before seeing them herein.

I came for Peter Bagge, and stuck around to enjoy Tony Millionaire, Stan Sakai, Max Cannon, Jason and the always zanny Johnny Ryan. What these artists are up to here is to take The Hulk, Ironman, The Punisher, Spider-Man and The Sub-Mariner, and knock our heroes down by a few pegs. And as these tales are both very weird and very funny, they might have gotten it right.

This book reminds me an awful lot of "Heavy Metal" magazine circa 1977, and as that was such a great way to introduce the world to the greats of that era, this is indeed a great thing to see in the year 2010, history repeats itself!

The color and print of this book is top-notch, and my biggest gripe is that I should have shelled out a few more dollars and gotten the hardbound edition as it seems to be the better buy over the paperback edition.
If you enjoy comics, this is for you.
(and if Baloney-Head, doesn't make you smile, call the coroner, you is dead!)
Three and a half stars!
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