Friday, February 24, 2012
Putting The Clock back (into comics)
The Clock was the first masked crime fighter from the early days of American comic books and was created by writer-artist George Brenner for Funny Picture Stories in 1936. Indeed he could be considered the first comic book superhero (discounting newspaper strip hero The Phantom), pre-dating Superman's debut in Action Comics by two years.
The last full appearance of The Clock was nearly seventy years ago and as he's now apparently in the public domain independent comic publisher Kult Creations have revived him for The Clock Strikes! - a nicely produced one shot British comic that's on sale now.
John A. Short is the scriptwriter for the comic and, together with artist Vincent Danks (of Harker fame), The Clock has been toughened up for a contemporary readership. The story is still set in the 1930s though, which suits this sort of noir detective thriller best.
The design of The Clock has been tweaked somewhat. Originally the character's face was hidden by a sort of black handkerchief attached to his hat. A unique but fairly silly idea that wouldn't work for this gritter update. Now he wears a full black face mask.
The Clock Strikes! is a great self contained read and it's a shame this is only a one-off as there are plot elements that could be developed into a series. Hopefully it'll sell well enough to see Kult Creations publish a sequel or mini-series.
John Short moves the story along at a brisk pace, and Vincent Danks produces impressive photo-realistic artwork. This is easily on a par with mainstream comics and worth your support.
If you're attending the Cardiff Comic Expo this weekend (http://www.fantasyevents.org/cicae/) you can buy a copy from the Kult Creations stand. Alternatively they'll also be at the Bristol Comic Expo in May (http://www.bristolexpo.co.uk/ ) or you can buy it directly from their website here: