Monday, October 09, 2006

Captain Gravity and the Power of the Vril

Penny-Farthing Press is doing something that most, newly-established independent publishing companies are NOT doing: They’re creating stories of the fantastic that rival the best that the Big Three publishing houses have to offer.

“Captain Gravity and the Power of the Vril” should be a trade paperback on every comic book lovers’ shelves! It is a wild romp from the early Hollywood studios to the wind-swept sand dunes of ; from the streets of Berlin to the depths of Atlantis. From the first page to the last, readers are launched onto a fast-paced adventure that spans the globe and our imaginations and leaves them wanting more at the final turn of the last page.

Joshua Dysart’s writing is intelligent and well-versed. He depicts the best historical fiction of the time and embellishes well-known historical figures with intricate strokes of fine characterization. Even the most dastardly of characters can win over readers’ sympathies as Dysart expertly portrays and delves into the gradually unfolding past of the main villain’s life. I love how Dysart doesn’t portray the titular character in a minority stereotype of the period. Instead, we are drawn to Captain Gravity’s longing for love and passion for righting wrongs. Joshua Dysart is well-versed in American history and takes the most mind-boggling concepts of Nazi Germany’s attempts to rule the world to create a tightly-woven, well-constructed, exciting adventure filled with high concepts and high-octane action.

I’ve loved Sal Velluto’s excellent line work from his work from DC Comics. He is one of the most dynamic storytellers in the industry. One of my favorite pages portrays his unique cinematic story telling with the creative use of well-constructed panels. On page 73 there is a panel where Chase Dubois confronts a young Adolf Hitler for the first time. Their high-tensioned, confrontation is further highlighted by Velluto’s beautifully drawn panel which shows the reverse images of both Dubois and Hitler’s reflection on Hitler’s desk with the sharp, swastika-embossed letter opener dividing the two images.

Penny-Farthing Press is a force to be reckoned with in the comic book industry. They have created some of the best comic books on the market today. Moreover, they have not fallen into the trap of creative redundancy and have produced some of the most uniquely imaginative stories around. I’m grateful for their excellent production of trade paperbacks of recently collected stories. It gives a second chance for people like me who missed them on the first go-round to get caught up. Moreover, their reintroduction of the characters in this format gives me a chance not to make the mistake of missing anything that comes out from this publishing house in the future.

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