The Complete Pacific Comics Re-Reading Blog Series presents:
by Bruce Jones, April Campbell, Scott Hampton &c
Silverheels (1983) #1-3
I covered the collected Silverheels edition over at the Eclipse blog:
But I’ve got the individual Pacific comics too: I bought them at the time they were published, so let’s have a gander:
This is printed on very shiny, thin-ish white paper, and Scott Hampton’s artwork has never looked more gorgeous. Month by month, Pacific were getting better and better at printing comic books, and by this time (December 1983), they had just about perfected it. I dare say that nobody else were producing comic book comics in the US that were as good-looking.
But let’s skip the main feature (because I talked about that on the Eclipse blog) and look at the back-ups.
The main back-up feature is a very silly thing written by Bruce Jones and drawn by Ken Steacy. The first part is in a modified version of Steacy’s full-colour artwork, while the subsequent parts are look less painterly.
As usual with comics written by Bruce Jones, it’s a breeze to read, and unusually, it’s funny.
I’m guessing making the artwork for the main feature was very work intensive, because Silverheels #2-3 only have eight new story pages each, which leaves a lot of room for backup features.
So we get reproductions of lots of Hampton artwork, and I guess nobody minded much.
I mean, that’s kinda nice, eh?
Hampton has very controversial opinions: Andrew Wyeth is the best!
Ken Steacy goes a lot more cartooney in the last two parts of the robot story.
And we also get some more random artwork from him to pad out the pages.
In similar circumstances, other publishers would just have poured on the house ads, but the Pacific people seem to be very conscious about keeping that number down and instead give people at least something to look at if there isn’t a sufficient number of story pages.
Steacy does a reference to the Jones/Campbell Alien Worlds anthology.
Steacy points out the inherent silliness of the storyline.
And so it ends. I don’t think Ridiculous Robots was ever continued, and it doesn’t seem to have been collected, either. Which is the case with many Bruce Jones-scripted things over the years. It’s a shame.
WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK! JAIME HERNANDEZ?!?!
I did not remember this at all. I mean, I had these comics as a teenager, and I was (and am) a Jaime super-fan, but I did not remember this backup feature: “All My Love, Aliso Road”. And I can’t remember seeing it reprinted anywhere.
I’m all aflutter now!
Wow! Gorgeous! And the story seems kinda interesting to, with international intrigue and spies and corporate takeovers… or something. I mean, it’s just six pages, but there’s a lot there.
And then Part I ends, and Hernandez never continued the story. I don’t think it’s been reprinted, either? According to Amazing Heroes, it was supposed to be a regular feature in Silverheels.
Wow. That was a nice little surprise in there.
Storywise, it’s very on-the-nose approach to anti-authoritarian literature, but still a decent effort on the part of the creators to introduce an anti-racist, non-White protagonist (I know, he still looks v European) in an era of comics dominated by mayonnaise.
The script (credited to “Bruce Jones Associates”) is overwritten, and text bubbles obscure far too much of the pages. I do think that the protagonist, Flan – a transforming robot janitor that loves action figures and wears a backwards baseball cap – could have been a contender in the annals of “weird shit that got inexplicably popular,” but, he didn’t. Our cruel, dispassionate culture never embraced his wacky antics.