Comic Effect #42 (2005)

 Jim Kingman has released the latest issue of his wonderful fanzine Comic Effect. If you want to enjoy a wonderfully intelligent and fun fanzine, this is the zine for you.

CE #42 is the special "western comics" issue, devoted to cowboys in comics past and present. There’s a whole collection of interesting articles. Howard Leroy Davis contributes a partially autobiographical look at the old western character the American Eagle in a superlative piece. In telling us about his abortive career as a comics publisher while also describing a favorite old character, Davis raises the article from being a mere recitation of facts into a compelling and wonderful piece.

Then Murray Ward steps up and contributes an equally wonderful article, "Six Guns Against the Super-Villains," essentially a history of the western hero at Marvel Comics from 1957 to the genre’s end in the late ’70s. Meticulously researched and extremely well written, this article paints Marvel’s 1960s success in a somewhat different light. Fans tend to concentrate, with great reason, on the rise of the super-hero books at Marvel. We often forget, however, about the western books that were a large part of Marvel’s line. The concentration on super-heroes causes fans to lose perspective on the super-hero books, by causing us to not see the non-powered antecedents for the characters. Ward does a great job of telling this almost forgotten story. I learned a lot from his piece.

Editor Jim Kingman contributes a typically fun piece on the earliest issues of Jonah Hex for his major article. As usual for Jim, the article shows his enthusiasm and love of the subject matter. He does a great job of putting the comic in perspective and making me want to seek it out.

Howard Leroy Davis contributes several additional pieces for this issue, making it an exceptionally well-rounded and fun issue.

You can probably tell it’s hard to miss my love for this issue. Every issue of Jim’s fanzine is a real treat.


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