Monday, April 23, 2007

If you could go back in time, why not go with a coolass jet?
This would look friggin' great animated. Just sayin'.
Even though I love the quarter books, I'm not adverse to paying through the nose for books I like. And while I love Ken Steacy's Tempus Fugitive, it was definitely love I paid for: $4.95 a pop the first two issues (starting March 1990) and $5.95 the last two, ending July 1991. (For comparison, a Fantastic Four issue next to me dated October 1990 was cover priced $1.25.)

This is one of the first comics I can remember having to buy at the comic shop: before this, comics were plentiful at grocery stores, bookstores, Circle-K, everywhere. At best, for the first two issues at least, I hadda drive 80 miles to get them.
Steacy on Enemy Ace, would be money in the bank.
You may have notice the gap in publication there. I don't think a 15-month wait from start to finish helped the sales any, but I'm also not 100% sure I've ever seen this collected as a trade. Which is too bad: Steacy, a pilot himself, loves to fly and it shows (boo!) in the art; and it's an exciting and occasionally touching book. ("I've known him since he was a boy," still got me when I read it again yesterday.)

Of course, my only other complaint is that this was around the start of the glut of 'prestige' format comics. Fancier coloring, better paper, funky bindings that won't lie flat in a scanner...Everyone wanted to get the next Dark Knight Returns, but went about it like the packaging was the key to the product.

While I don't approve of slapping any old comic into a squarebound format and jacking up the price, I do have to admit the color in Tempus Fugitive still looks great. I also usually have no sympathy for late comics, but I was so grateful to have this series completed I let it slide. In retrospect, I think I may have even enjoyed it more with the long wait: I have read the first two issues many, many times; anxiously waiting to see how it ended.
If you like it, try for a collection, or you could be left hanging like this.
If this looks interesting, shop it around a little. I know I have another copy of issue #1, pulled from some cheap bin somewhere, so it's out there. Well worth a look.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm....I picked this up years ago, but just read it today, and I wanted to know what others thought. I'm of mixed opinion. The art looks great, but I found the story weak. Really weak. Ken Steacy obviously likes flying, as you pointed out. The whole thing is a bunch of aircraft paintings with a loosely stitched story around it. The ending was weak. It's close to 200 pages! When I think of 200 page stories, I think they should have a much more complext story than 'jump from time to time flying different aircraft'. Ah well...