Sweet Sweet Releease
Everything Old is New Again
Those in the Australian comics community who have a fondness for the explosion of creativity in the 1990s are being very much spoilt of late.
Dark Nebula is back. The Southern Squadron is back. Reverie is back and is becoming a universe.
Of course, for those of us, like me, who missed the 90s wave for various reasons, these are all new and exciting comics to discover. For many, these revivals will be their first look at characters and creators known very well by others. This means of course that the stories must satisfy both groups. Whether they do is for the reader to judge. Still, it’s a good time to be an Aussie comics fan.
But wait. There’s more!
Greener Pastures is back!!
It’s About a What Now?
My first thought on being given the rare honour of a sneak peak at Greener Pastures 8, via a limited release special edition, was to go back and read all of the back issues that I had only recently managed to track down. Then I thought, no. I’d see what it’s like to come into the series fresh, as so many new readers are likely to do.
And what’s it like? It’s fun. Creator Tim McEwen has turned this return issue into a jam session for comics artists. A veritable Who’s Who of comic talent from home and abroad has come together to re-launch the big bovine.
The big what? I hear you say. Oh yeah. New readers. The central character of Greener Pastures is Trevor, an anthropomorphic stud bull. Apart from an origin in a conventional stud farm alluded to in this issue, Trevor seems to be just another member of society, unremarked by those he encounters. If there’s more to the origin story you (and I) will have to read those back issues to find out.
Words and Pictures
For now, it’s enough to enjoy the ride as thirty (count ‘em, thirty) artists combine to celebrate Trevor’s return. Yes, the story advances from the previous issue (in 1997!), but the true value of this issue is in giving us all a quick (re-)introduction to the main characters. The artists included have a wide range of styles and this draws attention to itself a little at first. However, a smoothly flowing story (as scripted by Louis Purdy) and McEwen’s smart decision to ink each artist himself soon has the reader forgetting about the changing styles. McEwen also lettered all pages, adding further uniformity of style.
The Future is Greener
In his introduction to this edition, McEwen foreshadows many future adventures for Trevor and his cronies. In fact, a rough timeline/progress report of several future issues is provided at the back, to show that this is no idle boast. Given this welcome news, it seems fit to consider Greener Pastures #8 as a bridge from past adventures to future ones. So far, the beginning of that bridge is anchored smoothly and firmly to the tales of the past. How it connects to future tales is eagerly anticipated.
This is a fun story and a quirky, fun premise. If I were you, I’d jump on the Kickstarter – happening right now!
Me? I’m heading back to issue 1 to read the lot in order. And you can too – they’re in the Kickstarter.