Wednesday, November 04, 2009

the stuff of legend


if, for some crazy, wacky reason you like what i write, i'm thinking that there's a good chance you might also like what i read. or like what i like, might be a better way to put it...

as the final minutes of the baltimore comiccon were running out last month, i was running to the refreshment stand one final time and was able to slow up a bit and admire some of the booths and banners i had been racing past throughout the weekend. one banner really jumped out at me--actually, a trio of them--for three of the titles from th3rd world studios. i slowed down enough to meet the three guys at that booth and am i glad i did.
mike raicht, brian smith, and charles paul wilson were the three guys responsible for one of my new favorite books, the stuff of legend. we introduced ourselves and mike and i realized that we'd talked on the phone several times before and had shared a "weekend from hell" together years ago, when we were each asked to crank out 5 marvel age spider-man scripts over the course of three days. we called each other throughout that frantic, frenetic, blurry weekend at all hours, coaching and encouraging each other on, not sleeping, drinking gallons of either coffee or coke, and eventually sharing an hallucination or two in the wee hours of monday morning.
good times.
anyway, these guys were really nice and happy to tell me about their stuff when i told them how much i liked the banners, especially the one for the charming looking the stuff of legend.

flipping through the first couple of pages of the first volume (i try not to flip too deep into a comic book for fear i'll see some visual that might give some of the story away), i was immediately hooked.
this is a modern--well, it takes place in 1944--fairy tale that, to me, is destined to become a true classic and should fall into place somewhere between frank l. baum's oz books and alice in wonderland. when their "boy" is kidnapped off into the closet by the diabolical boogeyman, a contingent of toys mount a rescue mission that takes them into lands unknown on an adventure that i'm already hoping never ends! how's that for good! written with such obvious care and consideration by mike and brian--and brought to beautiful life in charles' sepia-toned illustrations-- the stuff of legend is a promising adventure in the tradition of the great ones and has me salivating for more! if you like that kinda stuff, you just shouldn't miss this!

each volume contains two chapters and each of those are a bit longer than your average comic, so the experience is deep and satisfying. you can see more and order them at:


i've known rocco nigro for, wow, about twenty years now. he was a friend of my good friend, andy's, of fred hembeck's, of terry austin's, and so we were always in the same crowd. for most of the 90's he had an awesome comic book shop up in albany and it was always fun to go and check out the eclectic variety of books he'd found to fill his shelves; sure all the marvels and dcs and comics from that new upstart, image, but also racks of more obscure offerings from fantagraphics and the independent companies that were hoping to catch your eye. fun stuff, dark stuff, subversive stuff--i could browse in there for hours! conversations with rocco were always intelligent and his perspective on comics, storytelling, and the industry itself were always interesting. he had a keen eye for what was selling and why and i always loved to hear his take on things. rocco also worked at barnes and noble in albany and was in charge of stocking the shelves with graphic novels and such and, technically, educating both staff and customers in the ways of graphic literature. he did a great job there too!
so i saw rocco this past weekend at the albany comic con and sat next to him at the sumptuous dinner after ward and he told me that, not only did he have a blog (i don't surf as much as i should...), but that he had written up a post about the perhapanauts:triangle trade a month or so ago. he said that he'd really enjoyed it and i was touched--as i said, i didn't think rocco gave out compliments haphazardly--and so i link it here, for you to take a look at.

thank you, rocco!
good to see ya, man, and thank you so much for such high praise!

be here friday for the announcement of the winner of the perhapanauts scary halloween contest, some new perhapa-news, and the return of the "five for friday"!
smell ya later!


Matt Wieringo said...

My LCS has been carrying STUFF OF LEGEND and I pick it up and look at it every week. I've been holding out for the trade (I know, I know...) but you're really weakening my resolve. This book really looks awesome and right up my alley. I may have to take the plunge if it's a slow week.

todd said...

hey, matt~!

wow--that sounds like a great shop!!
my new 'waiting for the trade' argument is that i still buy the monthlies (jonah hex, the spirit, etc.) and then pick up the trade when it comes out and give the monthlies to friends...

Brian said...

Always happy to hear and read about folks spreading the word about the Perhapanauts.

Christian D. Leaf said...

I remember reading some previews on STUFF OF LEGEND and then promptly forgot about it. Need to start the search at my LCS, which I happened to notice doesn't carry CASPER, so I'll be raising a stink next week...

Matt Wieringo said...

Crap! Mine didn't get CASPER either. And after Todd said such nice things about them. :)

The hunt is on!

And I did end up picking up both issues of STUFF, Todd. So your friends owe ya. :)

todd said...

you're gonna love those, brother--

~ Wendy ~ said...

I'll have to stop by my comic place and pick up my Casper copy and see if they have The Stuff of Legend. Sounds right up my alley!
Thanks for sharing ...