Review: The Dumbest Idea Ever!

The Dumbest Idea Ever!
The Dumbest Idea Ever! by Jimmy Gownley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This graphic novel was a fine look at the creative process, following the autobiographical adventures of the writer/artist. While I thought the artwork was a bit too cartoony, the story was enjoyable. I currently live in the same geographical area as the story was set, and the backgrounds and locales of note were spot on.

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Review: Chester Gump at Silver Creek Ranch

Chester Gump at Silver Creek Ranch
Chester Gump at Silver Creek Ranch by Sidney Smith
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A fine entry in the Big Little Books series, with great artwork and a well-written story by Sidney Smith, creator of the Gumps.

Why the 2-star rating then? It’s a continued story, something I’ve never come across in a BLB before. And I got no way to read the rest of it.

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Review: Photo-Journal Guide to Comic Books

Photo-Journal Guide to Comic Books
Photo-Journal Guide to Comic Books by Ernst W. Gerber
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to say this is one of those books I had wished I had bought back in the day, but it (and it’s co-volume) were way out of my price range. Now, to be honest, it’s a pretty useless book, since you can find all of these covers on the internet, and most of the complete comics themselves as well. There is a lot of interesting artwork, but it doesn’t cover full runs of all the series – there are a LOT of missing issues.

I thought I’d finally get this one, given that it was 92 cents plus shipping, and it was a steal at that price, but I would’ve hated to have paid full price for it. You can get nearly all your nostalgia for free nowadays; don’t waste your money on tiny pictures when you see the full-sized art.

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Review: Mammoth Adventure, November 1946: The Tunca Puncu Nugget

Mammoth Adventure, November 1946: The Tunca Puncu Nugget
Mammoth Adventure, November 1946: The Tunca Puncu Nugget by Richard S. Shaver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a dated tale even in 1946, by Richard Shaver, the creator of the Shaver Mystery stories. I will give it props for being one of the first fantasy tales set in the Incan Empire that I’ve ever read, but it’s has the style and verve of a story that would’ve been in vogue a decade earlier. Conversely, it’s also one of the better written Shaver stories I’ve read, which might be the effect of legendary Ray Palmer’s editing. It’s worth reading if you like that era, and if you’re a Shaver completist.

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Review: Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age All-Winners, Vol. 1

Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age All-Winners, Vol. 1
Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age All-Winners, Vol. 1 by Joe Simon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first volume of what would become Marvel Comics’ first team book isn’t bad. The first issue has Bill Everett, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, and Carl Burgos handling their legendary characters (Sub-Mariner, Captain America, and Human Torch), but the artwork’s a tad sporadic after that, with other artists trying to copy S&K on Cap.

The introduction of the Destroyer feature was a pleasant surprise, as was the inclusion of several early Whizzer stories. The book is a great look at early, wartime Marvel (then Timely Comics), and is an enjoyable read for any golden age comics fan.

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