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The Princes of Time
posted August 10, 2007
Self-Published, newspaper tabloid, 16 pages, 2007
There's not much to Jon Vermilyea's The Princes of Time
. It's a solid example of silent, fantasy storytelling closer to Mat Brinkman than Frank Frazetta, presented in the free tabloid newspaper style that gets my vote for most under-appreciated comics format. Three pipe-smoking, suit-wearing, and likely men's social club attending professors named Gordon Hammie, Ashley Glasscock and Barnabus Conrad go back in time to some point when monsters roamed the earth. They draw the ire of a local wizard, and fight both some local monsters and, finally, the wizard himself.
The joy in The Princes of Time
can be found in the details, and its strength is in Vermilyea's imaginative picture-making. The professors drive a car with three steering wheels, and when they defend themselves it's with karate chops that split monsters in two or with "atomic snuff" that melts them outright from a super-inferno deep inside, Miyazaki-style. The monsters and wizard are a lot of fun to look at, with grotesque elements that stretch border to border. Vermilyea also makes great use of panel depth, pushing creatures forward and backwards in a way that adds a lot of visual interest. In the end, this is a trifle, but a pretty cool one, something from a back-issue of a Dragon Magazine
in a world where Gary Panter and not Gary Gygax worked on Dungeons and Dragons.
There's a PDF of the comic available through the artist's web site. I'm afraid to go there, because it keeps blowing up my computer, but it's easily google-able.