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King of Comics

Very busy right now but I thought I’d do a quick post recommending a recent comic book series from a King. Not Jack “King” Kirby (don’t we all wish we could see more Kirby work on the comic book shelves)… but a new series based on a novel by Stephen King.

I took Number One Son Thomas to the comic book shop the other day, and I was surprised and delighted to see there is another adaptation of a “King story on the stands… actually “The Stand“. The first three issues are already out. I picked them up with some low expectations, mainly because the adaptation/continuing story series based on King’s fantastic “Dark Tower” books have been (in my opinion) a colossal disappointment.

Not so this one.

The Stand is up there with my favorite of King books. It’s a phonebook-sized monster that takes forever to read, but it’s also a page turner and great re imagining of the classic “plague wipes out the earth except for a handful” story. Tied closely into the “Dark Tower” mythos, it has all the best element of a Stephen King story firing on all cylinders… great characters, entertaining dialog, well moving plot, atmosphere and the fascinating intrusion of the supernatural.

Unlike the Dark Tower comics, this series also is firing on all cylinders. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa‘s scripts capture the essence and mood of the original novel very well. However it’s the art of Mike Perkins and the coloring of Laura Martin that is really bringing the story to life. As much as I respect the work of Dark Tower artist Jae Lee, I think those books suffer from an inability to create a substantial world visually. The entire book series feels like a disconnected dreamworld of misty nothingness just beyond your immediate area. Here the art grounds us firmly in a real world, and as the disease begins to take hold the panic and plight of the human race becomes more and more evident in the visuals.

Only three issues into the five issue series and barely a dent in the full story. Obviously this will series will consist of several chapters and arcs. The official comic website seems to hint that other creative teams might be taking on later chapters. Hopefully they can keep the same level of success this team is capturing.

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