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Comic Effect #42
posted May 6, 2005

Creators: Jim Kingman, Howard Leroy Davis, Murray R. Ward, Ed Quinby
Publishing Info: Jim Kingman, 48 pages, $3.50, Summer 2005
Ordering Numbers:

Comic Effect is, of all things that someone could be spending their time doing, an old-fashioned fanzine, 48 pages on white paper, bent over and stapled twice to make a spine. Even more surprising, it's an entertaining one that by virtue of following old-style fanzine practices, actually provides a service not available on-line or in fancier print productions.

I'm not sure themed issues are the regular diet, but #42 focuses on western comics. The review style is to basically unpack each comics story as a detailed narrative; plot description to beat all. While this approach doesn't make the magazine pulsate with insight, it does allow fellow fans who have some idea of the context involved to have really detailed descriptions of potential later purposes. In other words, if you know what John Ostrander's writing is like from first-hand experience, you can pretty safely imagine what the writing is like in the books Comic Effect breaks down for you in great detail. There is some art, but it's entirely various cover scans, and all of it is in black and white. The best articles pick up on some developmental historical issue and then bombard you with support. Here it's Murray R. Ward's look at Marvel's western comics in terms of how the success of the company's superhero titles influenced the use of super-baddies in the western part of the line. This isn't a fact for which I'm likely to find much use, but it's a well-supported argument and one I'll bear in mind if I ever look at those titles.

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