Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Lost Planet & comics

Lost Planet (1987) on Eclipse is the first part of a six-issue mini-series written and drawn by Bo Hampton.  There's a back up story adaptation of a Brothers Grimm story, Godfather Death, adapted and drawn by Scott Hampton (Bo's brother).  Both brothers are adept at drawing.  The stories are both hand lettered by Tracy Hampton, which added a nice touch.  I mention this as this is back in the day before computer lettering, but also there's a short biography of both Bo and Scott along with their families and the artistic backgrounds from where they came.

The first part of  Lost Planet: Thin Air opens with a bit of foreshadowing when a primitive man seeks shelter from a rain storm and enters a cave and disappears. 

The story shifts to South America in 1937 as a tribe of natives have captured two fortune hunters tied to a tree and readied for slaughter--one has an arrow in his neck already.  It's a scene somewhat reminiscent of the pulps and the Indiana Jones films.

Before the protagonist, Tyler Flynn is killed, however, someone comes to save him.  Later he explains to his young ally that he is searching for a mountain called Ojo Del Diablo.  The young native knows where it is and takes him to the location, but disappears before Flynn can thank him.

Flynn finds a cave opening into the mountain, we learn he is in search of a cache of emeralds.  He goes through a portal and disappears.  This begins the tale, which is much like John Carter of Mars, and other pulps heroes.  Tyler finds himself a stranger in a strange land and is captured by a dark tyrant known as Zorrin.  Zorrin tells one of his henchmen to take him to an island until he figures out what to do with him. 

When Tyler gets to the island he rest from his ordeal.  But once he wakes up he goes to a tavern and meets a woman and her pet baboon.  We find out the woman is an archer whose name is  Romney, and she tells him that she knows a magician, Ambrose, who can help him get him back to his own world.

About this same time, Zorrin's troops have shown up to take Tyler back with them.  Tyler and Romney flee capture, and this begins Tyler's quest to get back home.  I like the tale as it influenced by the pulps and also filled with dinosaurs and action.

Both the Lost Planet and the back up story are drawn really well.  Bo Hampton's art reminds me a bit of a mixture of Al Williamson or Gray Morrow, where his brother, Scott's art, reminds me a bit of Charles Vess.  The back up story is nicely done in a gray wash, but some panels are too small and it's hard at times to make out the action within the panel.  Both though are nice SF fantasy stories and worthwhile for the adventure fan.
If you enjoy alternative, independent, or underground comics, and would like to hear some interviews with their creators, check out the site, Inkstuds hosted by Robin McConnell.  I think I bookmarked this site long ago, but somehow forgot about it, but a friend mentioned it (hey, Mob) on his blog site, and rekindled my interest.  I just got through downloading a three-part interview with Gary Panter.  He's one of the creators of Peewee's Playhouse back in the day.  He's also from a small town in East Texas, and I enjoy his insights about art and pop culture.  This is the perfect thing I like to listen to while walking and getting some exercise.  I also downloaded the podcast by Seth, David Lloyd, Dylan Horrocks, Joe Matt, Peter Kruper, and there's a bunch more I want to grab.  Check it out, ah  blissville. 


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