Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This week, Bennett focuses on "other" comics he’s looking forward to in 2020.
There's currently a deluge of comic book "Best Of" lists and listicles all over the Internet, and I don’t mean just for this year, there are also some for the entire decade, but as I mentioned last week (see "Confessions Of A Comic Book Guy - He-Man Returns Again") I just don't have the organizational skills to compose one of my own. Not to mention sufficient long-term memory; I’ve always kind of forgotten my life as it happened but I’ve reached a point where if I want to know what I was doing five years ago I have to consult old posts on Facebook. I know this sounds like a comic exaggeration, but I even wasn’t entirely sure exactly what day New Year’s Day was this week until I consulted the calendar.
I know that it calls into question my qualifications as a fan, but to be honest, I also just don’t have the fire in my belly to go around ranking and rating things at random, then routinely railing about my choices online. And though I know looking back is what we’re supposed to do between Christmas and New Year’s, I’d much prefer to look forward, which is exactly what I’m going to do. And while there are a number of superhero comics I am looking forward to reading, I’m going to focus on comics that fall under the category of "other."
Given that this year, the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 10 and 11, I’ve been writing extensively, some would even say obsessively, about astronauts, it’s nice to see both Marvel and DC have some high-profile space titles coming in 2020.
Back in 2017 (see "Confessions Of A Comic Book Guy - Back Off The Injured List"), I wrote about how much I enjoyed Heavy Vinyl (formerly HI-Fi Fight Club, until someone noticed there was also a novel and movie titled Fight Club), a wonderfully written and beautifully drawn comic about an all-female record store staff who after hours worked as a crime-fighting crew (through an online description of it still, perhaps defiantly, refers to them as a "fight club"). Well, I completely forgot all about it, but now I can’t wait to read Heavy Vinyl: Y2K-0! It’s a BOOM! original graphic novel coming out in March that reunites series creators Carly Usdin and Nina Vakueva.
Al Fagaly had an energetic signature art style, distinctively different from anyone else drawing funny animal comics at the time, and while his stories had conventional enough plots they also had an anarchic quality and were loaded with wild cartoon violence. I know the new Super Duck can’t possibly be anything like Fagaly’s version, but I’m willing to give it a chance -- Archie deserves a lot of credit for trying to do a new version of a character this oddball and obscure. And hopefully, it will do at least well enough to encourage the publisher to do some collections of the Fagaly stories.
In 2019 Marvel did an issue of Ziggy Pig - Silly Seal Comics, now Archie does Super Duck. I can only hope that this means by next Christmas DC will finally release that collection of their Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer comics I’ve been waiting decades for.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.