Monday, November 03, 2008

Every Wednesday (give or take) the New York comic shop extraordinaire "Forbidden Planet" runs my comic column " Unkiedev's Amazing Stuff" in its hand out newsletter. This is the column for November 5th, 2008:

Unkiedev's Amazing Stuff by U.D.
I thought my Alaskan Inupiat Halloween costume was pretty dang fabboo, myself. Unfortunately, the Homeland Security agents who hound my every step couldn't see the "Huskies through the team" as we say. They thought I was a Siberian Yupik. HA. As if. Anyway, the joke is on me as the increased hostilities between Russia and Georgia has got everybody in the H.S. a little spooked. They've adopted a " Zero Tolerance" policy towards Eurasia. Deported AGAIN, *SIGH*
My new Yupik family and I have been huddling for warmth and trying to open the first Arctic comic book shop. Diamond and I have been exchanging some pretty heated, albeit freezing cold, words. Seems they won't ship above the 20  degree latitude. To satisfy my customers I've been creating scrimshaw recreations of Final Crisis, and I've carved a totem pole that, when read correctly, recounts all of the Secret Invasion so far...but it's just not the same.
Sandman The Dream Hunters #1 (of 4), P. Craig Russell (W/A), Vertigo/DC
Umugak has requested I weave an intricate basket to recreate this issue, but we have to wait for the sea fronds to dry. In the meantime, I recommend one of you pick this up, if only to mail it up to me. I can't really pay for the shipping, but I could make you a member of our tribe, and that way you could legally hunt whale!
Many people arrive at comic fandom through the work of Neil Gaiman. With increasing Hollywood attention on his career this trend will only grow. His most beloved creation was Sandman, which along with Alan Moore's Swamp Thing pretty  much invented the DC/Vertigo line. Even after Sandman wrapped up fans couldn't get enough! Sandman: The Dream Hunters was one of the earliest original Sandman graphic novels post the actual comic, and was written by Gaiman in prose and illustrated by renowned Japanese artist Yoshitaka Amano (of "Final Fantasy" fame.)
Amano's closing inscription to this first iteration of Dream Hunters says that Neil and Amano's relationship would "... build and take many forms in the future... This is only the beginning." Sadly, this was not the case.
I loved this story. Dream Hunters is simple, elegant and illustrated by a true world master. I suspect the prose tone and Amano's flowing ink style deterred many a mainstream American reader.
Which brings us to this new adaptation by Sandman alumni P. Craig Russell.
What would seem a tactless attempt to rebrand Dream Hunters for the Yanks I expect to be a delightful celebration of the original story under the pen of Russell. He is one of those rare comic pros who's career is long, substantial and marked with personal projects the creator finds rewarding. I'm a P. Craig junkie, and usually pick up everything the man does. It is with no hesitation I can say I am wildly excited for Russell to show Dream Hunters the same love, attention and dream like quality he brought to his adaptations of "Das Ring Der Nieblungs", "Pagliacci" and the works of Oscar Wilde.
Otherwise it's rather a slow comics week. This is good news for my poor frozen fingers. Marvel has Dan Slott's Initiative Special out this week, always a smooth read for folks who dig their cape stories with a smart twist. I', also going to pray to the Great Raven, he who made the reindeer out of his hair and the sea from his urine to make me this week's Ms. Marvel Storyteller issue out of... oh, I dunno, his eyelash? I've never bought an issue of Ms. Marvel before, but this one promises pirate versions of the entire Marvel Universe and YES I am that easily beguiled.
Nukusuk and I are really excited for this week's Lucha Libre #6! Out from Image and drawn by some of Cali's hottest talent, Lucha Libre is that diamond in the rough of "indie" art books: High talent artists having a blast drawing fast, goofy stuff! There's also a NOT-TO-BE-MISSED Lucha Libre TB out this week as well collecting issues 1-5. 
Till then, I sit and await the harvest of the seals, the subsequent bladder ceremony and word from my attorney, or better yet the American Embassy. Next year I'm just going to dress up as Sephiroth.

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