Comic Effect #41 (2005)

I’d be a very bad friend if I did too many of these bog entries without sending a thank you over to Jim Kingman, who publishes the fanzine Comic Effect, as well as writing a column on Jim loves comics, just loves them, and his zine is devoted to “Emphasizing the fun in reading comics." He’s been publishing his zine; yes an old-style printed-on-paper, honest-to-goodness paper fanzine, for many years now. Each issue is filled with his enthusiastic passion for comics.

What I enjoy the most in the zine are Jim’s sometimes rambling pieces that explore the sometimes ridiculously obscure passions that we fans have (one piece in CE #41 begins, "Given the immense size of my comic book collection I can conduct strange bug feasible missions on a whim. … I decided to locate and read the most obscure standard-sized comic book that DC published during the 1970s." You have no idea how exciting that idea was to me!). Let’s face it, most of us real comics fans are geeks, and we geeks sometimes have wonderfully crazy ideas about our comics. It’s great to have a safe place to explore those ideas.

Comic Effect is a good place to hear about the latest controversies, but it’s an even better place to hear about older, much more obscure comics. Lee Dunchak, a frequent contributor to CE, has a wonderful piece on the obscure and underrated ’80s comic Mars, while Thomas McNulty composes an "Ode to the 80-Page Giant." Previous issues have contained an issue-length tribute to the great Julius Schwartz, reviews of ancient and obscure comics like Captain Action, Camelot 3000 and Men of Mystery Comics, as well as more thoughtful articles such as the one on "Astro City and the Heroic Ideal." And yes, truth in advertising dictates I mention that I have articles in issues 37, 38, 39 and 40, though not in #41. Even notwithstanding my personal involvement, though, this is a great zine.

Jim Kingman’s enthusiasm for old comics is infectious. Spend a couple of bucks on some issues of Comic Effect. You can order them from his website. You’ll be glad you did.


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