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Strange Tales Paperback – August 18, 2010
Deluxe graphic novels
Premium editions of classic titles including "Preacher," "The Sandman," and more. Learn more
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cool take on marvel characters, most of it is pretty good. I'd buy volume 3.Published 5 months ago by DoubleDouble
"Strange Tales" is a real mixed bag. You already know the premise - "indie" comic creators crank out some material using whatever they want from Marvel's wide... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Cody Parma
I've been reading a lot of comics from the library recently, but it hasn't been since I discovered Michael Allred that I had as much fun reading one as I have with this latest... Read morePublished on May 25, 2013 by Surferofromantica
This is almost excellent, but the stories seem uninspired and like assignments to get finished. However, a few are good fun, and esp enjoying Bagge's Spiderman. Read morePublished on October 14, 2010 by Rextrent
Like any anthology some are better than others, but I was really sad to get to the last page. Peter Bagge does a great job as does Jim Rugg, and many others. Read morePublished on October 12, 2010 by shawn williams