Thee Comic Column #98: Bill Sienkiewicz’s Stray Toasters

Stray ToastersIt’s 1988 and I’m 12 years old. While out running errands with my mother in Worth, IL I get her to stop at Heroland Comics on 111th. This is a regular routine for us at this point. I’m always spending my meager allowance on comics, and as I’ve talked about often in these pages the limits on my funds ($5 a week? maybe $10?) dictates that I buy my essentials and then very carefully screen for any other purchases. This is why there’s a lot of series from the 80’s that I have arcs from but did not follow religiously. It’s also why some of the prestige format books that were rocking the comics world at the time remained out of my grasp for several years still. Bill Sienkiewicz’s Stray Toasters was definitely one of those latter –  although I don’t think it ever found the audience that Dark Knight Returns or Watchmen did. Stray Toasters is an anomaly among the ambitious, groundbreaking books of the late 80’s and unlike the aforementioned classics one that I looked through very carefully from the relative safety of the shelves; Stray Toasters was a book that genuinely scared me. Not, “Oh no, this is scary”, but “What the hell is this? Why does that man have a toaster for a head – or perhaps why does that toaster have a man’s body – and why is it killing that woman? My twelve year old mind, reared as it was on the relative sophistication of Larry Hama’s GIJOE and Chris Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men just had no capacity to process what the hell this was.

Thee Comic Column #79: Chris Claremont Documentary

image courtesy of marvel.wikia.com

Last month the good folks at Sequart’s documentary about Chris Claremont and his classic run on Uncanny X-Men became available. Comics in Focus: Chris Claremont’s X-Men is something I’ve been waiting for since I found out about it some months ago and now that it’s out I heartily recommend all X-fans out there follow the link at the tail of this article and grab it. If you need some convincing just hope over to Sequart’s youtube page and subscribe to their feed – there’s so much promotional footage for the film that you will almost instantly become pleasurably overwhelmed by it.

Thee Comic Column #10: The Uncanny Avengers

image courtesy of comicvine.com

Just like last week, this week on Thee Comic Column I’m dealing with something that I had really high hopes for but unfortunately let me down. However, the difference this week is that I AM going to give this book a second, third and forth, fifth and sixth chance, because I believe in Rick Remender THAT much.

I didn’t read Avengers Vs. X-Men, haven’t in fact read any Avengers or X-Men book in years other than Remender’s Uncanny X-force, which was introduction to the man and his wonderful writing. Still, I’ve tried to brush up on a little bit of the set-up for this new series via various websites and I think Remender has a pretty good chance to make something big and bad here.

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