By Alex Ness

Considering Comics, Books, Film and Games

November 24, 2014


It was pretty stinking cold here in Minnesota, and I am thinking I am fool to be living here. But then I read about Buffalo, NY, or the world found in the comic series Winterworld, and I think, eh, it isn’t so bad. That comic is one that I’ve supported through purchases, reviews, interviews, and frankly, sharing my copies, and buying more. Winterworld. is a comic, graphic story written by Chuck Dixon and has had art by Jorge Zaffino and Butch Guice.   The story is about a world that has become frozen over, and tribes of cannibals, survivalists, thieves and nomads searching for food, shelter and safety, amongst the ruins of the earth. Originally it came out from Eclipse, currently it is an ongoing series from IDW, and I recommend buying it in reprint collections, single issues, and soon, in TPBs of the current series. If you think it is a political commentary about the present, you’d be wrong. It is very simply, a story about survival against all odds.


Some people will remember in my previous episode of this column, that I mention how continuity is a good guide, but slavish adherence to it can lead to crap stories, and release from its grasp can lead to artistic growth on the various comic stories. Erik Larsen isn’t chained to anyone else’s continuity. Savage Dragon and that character’s world is all his own. He started drawing it from a very early age, and now, with it reaching the issue number 200 it has been around the comic world for about 20 some years. His characters age, bleed, die, procreate, mourn, laugh, and have clothes that rip and burn when the situation calls for it. I’d like to applaud his accomplishment, of 200 issues, because 1) it isn’t easy to tell your story, for 200 issues, alone, in today’s comic market, 2) he hasn’t burned out while doing so, and 3) I’ve yet to read a comic from the run that wasn’t entertaining. Not everyone will like his art, or his writing, or the setting, or the concept. That is a matter of taste. I do, happen to like all those things. As a person growing older, I prefer a story that isn’t rebooted every 10th issue, that isn’t changing artists or writers as often as the internet changes meme favorites.

Well Done Erik Larsen!





Frankly, I like the comics I have, and the new ones seem to changing things for the sake of it. Continuity be damned? Well maybe, it just seems to me that most comic book publishers prefer to rewrite the same comics than to open up the industry to different ideas, different people, and different concepts. I don’t blame the industry, because with the dwindling of sales in the market it has begun to pursue the dollars that are held by those buyers who are buying. But, that doesn’t grow a market, and, while the market for digital comics might thrive, the market for print dies a little more as the trends of buying for just a small group of people are catered towards by the ever more desperate publishers. I don’t need a gold covered copy of Bob the Silly Clown #26, I just want a paper copy, for as little as it can be, so I can afford it, and others. You cannot polish a turd, no matter how you try, and putting 17 dozen different covers on otherwise unimportant on the interior comics, is aimed at scooping wads of cash and coin out of the pockets of the buyers who drive the market. For me, though, I regret, the Virgin Comics, the CrossGen Comics, and many more, who tried to offer new, fun, different, but still good quality comics, but were shut out by a market that was flooded, and potential buyers who had not one clue that things they might like existed. I applaud Image Comics and IDW for putting out good quality works, despite the trends. But DC and Marvel? My wallet, however thin and dry of cash it is, will not be opened to you, perhaps ever again.




I had cancer. Yes. Not everyone is able to deal with stress in the same way. Nor is anxiety a toll that is paid evenly. I have not suffered cancer well. While I survived it, I have not recovered from the staph infection received during the first session of chemo, which happened in December or January, well at all. I am not delicate, but stress, depression and fear are now part of my existence and haunt my every move. I have great doctors and have received great care. Anyone suggesting anything but that is a fool. I am fortunate to have the medical coverage I have, despite the bills left-over. I am in a country with high quality medical services, with high costs, and anyone with coverage and access is fortunate.


Having said all this, life is not easy, but I know, it is good. May the Thanksgiving holiday be awesome, and begin a lovely season of joy for you.


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