Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tomorrow Stories Special #2

With an upcoming League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic novel not withstanding, this here book is actually the last ABC offering and it is one hell of a swan song. After the big wrap ups in Promethea and, more recently, Tom Strong, the second Tomorrow Stories Special closes out the amazing and overlooked anthology.

The crown of the issue is the first story featuring a "reprint" of America's Best, and it nails the style and feel of what that comic would have actually been like. Rick Veitch is a artisan storyteller and coupled with an Alan Moore script it's almost too good to be true. The aged style put on the colors is a wonder to behold, I've had this book at my desk for weeks, just flipping through it again and again to decipher his methods. Stalwart letterer Todd Klein pulls it all together with a flawless integration of balloons and type that may or may not have been lettered on boards-- thankfully whoever was in control didn't cheese out since purely digital lettering would have been an eyesore. I don't discount lettering on boards in this case, although it's certainly possible the digital lettering was composited with the bitmap art scan and then sent off to coloring (which is how it should be done!!).

The second treat was a Promethea story illustrated by Eric Shanower, whom I've lauded before for his work on Age of Bronze. Coupled with Moore, he mimics the single page adventures of Winsor McKay's Little Nemo in Slumberland. The story is a delight in typical Promethean meta-story fashion, following the end of innocence for both a young girl, and what I think it was like coping with the end of the Promethea series-- but it's probably best read as a commentary on ending the ABC line as a whole!

I could never get enough of Art adams and Jonni Future, sadly here's the last we'll see of the sci-fi heroine as far as I know. The art is actually by Joyce Chin with finishes by Adams, but that's not bad at all. It's another great story and commentary on ABC as Jonni's reunion with her father in a timeless haven acts a metaphor for being able to re-read their adventures whenever we like.

Rounding out the issue is a First American tale, taking its usual jabs at pop culture and American politics. I don't know about most readers, but I'd always thought the First American scripts, while odd, were pretty damn funny.

If you're a fan of the ABC line, and especially Tomorrow Stories, you'd be a fool to have passed up this issue (it shipped a few weeks ago). Even if you've never read an ABC book, this issue and the first are two great comics. Overall it's a wonderful way to end the ABC era at WildStorm and I thank them for going out with class by delivering such a high quality book.

CORRECTION! Looking at WildStorm's schedule, it appears this is not the last ABC floppy comic, as "ABC A to Z" finds itself to shelves later this month.

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