Thursday, October 26, 2017

Review: RETRO TALES No.1

You may remember Simon Williams from his artistry on the originated Marvel strips published by Panini UK a few years ago, when he produced fantastic work for comics like Marvel Heroes. A master of dynamic superhero storytelling and a fan of 1970s comics, Simon has now put his talents to use on the first issue of Retro Tales, and it's a blast!
Not only a brilliant artist, but also a witty writer and great designer, Simon has produced Retro Tales to look like a forgotten American comic from the 1970s, and it really is spot on. The 24 page comic gives us a 10 page adventure with the Discotronic Funk Commandos, a soul/funk inspired supeerhero team facing off against punk-inspired villains such as Squid Vicious, Blockhead, and Mohawk.
It's an affectionate pitch-perfect parody of '70s superhero comics with the added bonus of loads of song title puns and references. The result is a comic that's such great fun to read! 
The artwork of Simon Williams has a true classic Marvel feel to it, and a storytelling clarity that many of today's artists simply lack. Retro Tales is a joy to read, but at the same time I felt sad that Simon isn't the regular artist on The Incredible Hulk (his favourite character). Marvel should sign him up immediately!

The rest of the comic gives us a YMCAgent pin-up, black and white, unlettered pages of art as a bonus feature, a YMCAgent single pager spoofing the old Hostess Fruit Pies adverts, unpublished art, and more. I hope Simon finds time to produce a second issue soon!

With so many modern superhero comics being grim, slow-paced efforts, Retro Tales makes for a very refreshing change. If you're interested in buying a copy, message Simon Williams directly at his Twitter page here:


Peter Gray said...

I like it...good fun..

ChannelZeroX said...

It looks wonderful. I find that typically superhero comics these days have actually moved on from the whole 'Dark Age' thing that Alan Moore so laments being partially responsible for. Although I guess they perhaps push characters' penchant for "too-cool-for-school" snark a bit too far. Maybe that's been to try and capitalize on what at least until recently has been Marvel's primary cash cow (Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man)?

Retro Tales definitely looks like it is making strides to rectify that problem, of course we're in spoof territory here, but it captures something sorely lacking in a lot of current titles.

Lew Stringer said...

I'm not sure if they've moved on from the dark stuff. The latest DC series, Metal, seems to be yet another tale of bleak versions of heroes. At least I think that's the premise. I can't be bothered to follow it. The disappointingly dragged-out Nazi Captain America Secret Empire yarn that Marvel just concluded was the final straw for me. (I'm picking up most of the Marvel Legacy comics but practically every one has left me underwhelmed. Time I moved on from superhero comics at my age perhaps.)

Yes, I think comics made a huge mistake in misunderstanding Watchmen as a template to follow, and not a stand alone commentary on superheroes and society. I'm steering well clear of 'Doomsday Clock'. A sequel to a comic that was never intended to have a sequel, and which isn't approved by the original creators? What an insult to those creators and to the fans. It can't be anything but fan fiction dressed up as canon.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...