AMAZING TALES #2
Story & Art: Dave Dye
Reviewed by Glenn Lumsden
To those who are unfamiliar with the comic work of Dave Dye, his is a meat-and-potatoes, old school style of story telling.
In an age of high-end computer enhanced razzle-dazzle graphics, Dave is dedicated to doing the complete opposite. Amazing Tales #2 continues this approach, with 3 hard-boiled sci-fi fantasy tales plus one odd-ball humorous piece set in the Gold Rush era (more on that later).
By and large, Dave’s approach to story telling is this: dialogue is unadorned and utilitarian; the visuals are just the essentials and movie-storyboard clear. His focus is on clarity and economy, and there are no apologies for this stance. In fact, it fits in perfectly with the type of bare knuckled stories he tells. It also makes for an effortless and entertaining read, for which I am very thankful.
One of the greatest services a storyteller can do for their reader is to make the ride a smooth and comfortable one, and Dave does this admirably.
The unsentimental and objective handling of the characters and the actions reminds me of the early underground works of Richard Corben (Fantagore, Slow Death, Rowlf) which as a kid used to disturb me, because there was none of the overt moralising and good guy/bad guy dichotomy of a comforting superhero comic. Corben’s territory was more the murky and often brutal world of real people, and their not-so-nice behaviour. Similarly with Dave’s tales. If you are a fan of the works of SCAR and DECAY, then Dave Dye’s Amazing Tales will suit you nicely.
Which brings me back to the odd inclusion of the “Gold Rush” story. Set in the 19th century, and co-starring an Orangutan, it’s a fine story; funny, colourful and breezy….but just so out of place in this collection!
In the early days of any anthology comic, it takes a period of trying different things before figuring out what works, what feels comfortable, and what the unique “voice” of the book will be. The weight of sci-fi to humour… three stories to one… suggests that sci-fi is the way Amazing Tales wants to go. The dominance of “Dropship 15” tales… fifty percent of the book… suggests an even stronger urge to have tales set in just this one particular universe.
The “Dropship 15” stories were the ones i personally enjoyed the most, and i was kind of hoping the final future story, “Tar Pits of Doom”, would somehow shoehorn back into the world of Troopers Lee, Ocker, the Jube and Burgturdler. I have no doubt that as future issues emerge, the identity of Amazing Tales will become more defined and consistent.
Positive criticisms I would add would include:
- dump the hand lettering for a nice comic book font,
- brighten the colour palette of the book to give it some pop,
- and jazz up the design factor – logos, cover and inside cover layouts look pretty ordinary.
- Also, i would like to see sharper inking on the cover art.
I think with very little effort making these four simple adjustments would increase the “wow” factor of this book several times over.
With the meat and potatoes so well cooked, i think Dave should serve us up just a bit of fancy gravy to make his “Amazing Tales” a meal to remember.