Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

June 4, 2012

Comics I Read In Series Form In The 1980s: Mechanics


My first regular comics shop had a real problem with racking anything other than standard comic-book sized publications, so things like Elfquest, the first volume of Nexus and the Marvel "graphic novel" line were generally subscription-only items (a single sheet of paper that wasn't even all the way filled, listing various titles). I wasn't much of a subscriber, then or now. So for years Love & Rockets was something with which I was only familiar as an intermittent purchase when I hit a big-city comics shop; it wouldn't become a regular buy until a bit closer to the end of the decade (and when I started shopping in a different funnybook store).

Mechanics was a comic book-sized reprinting of the Jaime Hernandez story of the same name, in color (I think there were a few black and white back-ups). The first issue became that week's impulse buy, back when the price of comics allowed for regular impulse buys even if your comics buying was being sponsored by the non-social activities portion of a teenager's allowance. The second and third issues were snatched up the moment they came out and were even anticipated. While the comic wasn't necessarily ideally suited to my tastes, the story was fun and the art was gorgeous and having a bunch of it in a form with which I was familiar cemented my desire to start picking up the main title when that was possible (I think I had four issues at the time I started picking it up more thoroughly). I include Mechanics in this series of posts as opposed to the nearly no-kidding-life-changing L&R because I think it's remarkable that 25 years ago the serial comic-book format was so strong that was where you took comics for a second chance.
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