Anyone seen the new spinoff of Modern Tales? (http://www.adventurestrips.com
, for those of you who didn't know.)
It's kind of a mix of exciting and disappointing, for me. I love old, pulpy serial adventure strips, and the art is mostly excellent, but the execution of some of them has been...a little TOO old-fashioned, in the sense of rather awkwardly paced--some of them seem too eager to get going without bothering to introduce the characters properly, and even in the first strip there's a little too much over-reliance on expository captions.
Of course, I'm basing that on the FIRST STRIP, so this isn't exactly a qualified analysis. Still, a lot of them got me revved up, based on the concepts, and then the actual strip seemed disappointing.
"Sorceror of Fortune" seems like unfortunately cliched sword & sorcery stuff. The writing's fairly sharp, though, and at least it hasn't shovelled incomprehensible exposition at us. And the art is nice.
I like the art of "Jazz Age". That's about all I can say so far.
"Gravedigger" seems the most intriguing, and not just because there's a topless chick on the "cover". Very nice art, good film noir atmosphere.
I'm passingly familiar with "Astounding Space Thrills" from before. Seems like good retro-SF.
"Captain Luck" seems to be a "Tintin homage, which is cool, but the first page seemed really rushed.
"Mr. Jigsaw" also looked amusing, but the first page was very, very clunky. Ditto "Haunted Horseman", which looked like an early Marvel comic. (Not one to disparage early Marvel comics for their historical value, but come on, we've evolved since then.) Neither one seemed that great, art-wise.
"Athena Voltaire" had some VERY nice art, and the premise was elegantly set up. Looks promising, though the setup is fairly familiar.
"Tabula Rasa" and "Rip & Teri" seem to have the neatest premises, and be least reliant on pulp cliches.
I love the idea of a Flash Gordon/John Carter homage, so "Perils on Planet X" was one of my most anticipated. So far: decent writing, fair-to-good artwork.
"Terranauts" is another one I'd like to see done well...at first they made it sound like a "Journey to the Center of the Earth" but now it looks more like a 50s version of the X-Files or Planetary. Could still be interesting.
"Red Kelso" seems a bit similar, and I'm not knocked out by "John Law" by the same guy on Modern Tales, so I dunno.
What else? "Gibson Dent." The least memorable one. More save-the-world-from-the-Nazis-and-their-mystical-artifact stuff.
See, a lot of those concepts seem a tad...repetitive. That's what worries me. Even Tabula Rasa and Rip & Teri are both "Bourne Identity" riffs (as far as I can tell.) There seems to be a concept to echo the others in each case, or even if not, it seems a bit tired. The best thing so far is the nice artwork for each strip.
Still, too early to judge. I'm not subscribing yet, though.