Episode 1693 Talkback - CGS Goes to War!: Enemy Ace: War in Heaven and Vertigo Visions: Tomahawk

WAR has been declared! CGS opens a new front in its podcasting campaign, as Chris and Murd sit down at the strategy table to discuss a couple of their favorite comics in the war genre: Enemy Ace: War in Heaven, a German view of World War II brought to you by Garth Ennis; and a Vertigo-style take on the origin of DC's hero of the American Revolution, Tomahawk! War may be hell, but this new format is anything but! (1:19:29)

Listen here.

Comments

  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,556
    edited April 10
    First off, great idea for a series! I've been a big reader of war comics since I was a little kid. I inherited a big pile of comics from my babysitter’s kids when I was seven—somewhere between 100 and 150 books, and probably a quarter of them were DC war comics from the early to mid-’70s. Enemy Ace and the Unknown Soldier were my favorites, but I liked ’em all.

    Those Vertigo Visions books came out sporadically over a period of five years or so, back when Vertigo was still very much about trying to update obscure and/or out-of-use characters in the DC stable to make them more marketable as potential films/TV shows. Vertigo Visions: Tomahawk was one of the last of them. I found them to be pretty average on the whole—none of them particularly bad really, but none of them particularly standing out either—though The Geek (the first of the bunch) was probably my favorite. I remember Tomahawk as being one of the better ones, but not quite what I was hoping for.

    One correction to note: Tomahawk was not created by Fred Ray. He was created by Joe Samachson (co-creator of the Martian Manhunter) and Edmund Good. Ray took over as artist three issues after Tomahawk’s debut, though, and was the primary writer and artist of the Tomahawk solo title from when it launched in 1950 until its cancellation in 1972. Ray was also a history buff. In the ’60s he served as art director for Civil Wars Times and American History Illustrated, and often painted covers for the magazines. And in his later years he produced booklets for various historical sites, like Fort Ticonderoga, so he was very well acquainted with the clothes, weapons, etc., of the era, and he was a stickler for accuracy.

    I haven't read much of the original Tomahawk series, but there was definitely very little shamanism involved in the stories. Actually, during the late ’50s/early ’60s you were more likely to see aliens and mutated animals than gods or magic. But Pollack is also a teacher and writer of divinatory tarot, so it’s no surprise she added the mystic elements to Tomahawk’s origin.

    It’s funny you should reference Prince Valiant in regards to the artwork in VV:T. Tom Yeates is a devotee of Hal Foster, and has been drawing Prince Valiant the past several years, after taking over from Gary Gianni. He also did some excellent Tarzan books for Dark Horse several years ago.

    And of Tomahawk’s “modern” appearances, my favorite is Swamp Thing #86 by Rick Veitch and... Tom Yeates.
  • David_DDavid_D Posts: 3,612
    PS- "My Babysitter's Kids" is my new Unsigned Indie Band Name (UIBN)
  • David_DDavid_D Posts: 3,612
    Also excited about this idea/format for the episode. Looking forward to diving in later this week!
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,556
    edited April 10
    I'm not a big fan of Ennis’ writing, but I do love Enemy Ace, so I picked up War in Heaven when it came out. While I had some problems with it, overall I liked it well enough. It’s no War Idyll, though.

    Russ Heath was always very meticulous in getting the details accurate when drawing anything historical. But the true master of aviation war comics was George Evans, who was called upon heavily in EC’s shortlived Aces High series.

    The original Enemy Ace stories are indeed great. There were actually two volumes in the Archive Editions format. You can find them for under $25 each. There’s also one volume in the black-&-white Showcase format for $17. Well worth the price of admission.

    Personally I was a rather disappointed with Guns of the Dragon, and normally I like Truman’s work. Dropped it after three issues.

    Blazing Combat, on the other hand, was great stuff—a very worthy successor to EC’s war comics. Fantagraphics put out a collection several years ago.
  • PeterPeter Posts: 442
    Pants said:

    From the Pants collection - two consecutive pages from Tomahawk's appearance in Fury of Firestorm #42:

    Crisis crossover issue! Donna Troy! Oh that Rafael Kayanan artwork! It was always so fluid and round and watery (for lack of better descriptions) to my young eyes. The thick inking probably added to it. The artist was constantly changing in that book.

    But I digress... :blush:

  • PantsPants Posts: 551
    Peter said:

    Pants said:

    From the Pants collection - two consecutive pages from Tomahawk's appearance in Fury of Firestorm #42:

    Crisis crossover issue! Donna Troy! Oh that Rafael Kayanan artwork! It was always so fluid and round and watery (for lack of better descriptions) to my young eyes. The thick inking probably added to it. The artist was constantly changing in that book.

    But I digress... :blush:

    Maybe later I’ll post the other pages I have from this issue that have Donna in costume...
  • matchkitJOHNmatchkitJOHN Posts: 1,009
    I really enjoyed this episode. I have NEVER been a reader of war comics but this was a nice introduction. My only prior exposure to Enemy Ace has been Batman: Brave and the Bold believe it or not. I'll have to find that on Comixology.
  • aquatroyaquatroy Posts: 441
    That was a GREAT episode! Thanks guys.
  • My experience with war comics is pretty much limited to Larry Hama's G.I. Joe A Real American Hero but you two gents have certainly sold me on these books and I will be reading them in the near future. Thanks for helping to expand my comic book horizons again. Magniconte.
  • ChrisMurrinChrisMurrin Posts: 138
    I enjoyed this episode, and while I'd be happy to hear about more war comics, I think this is a format that can be used on occasion for a number of other genres, too. Detailed discussions of back issues significant to the geeks would always be welcome, I would think.
  • CleafusCleafus Posts: 5
    Great episode, nice change of pace. Perhaps you could do other themes like horror, westerns, crime, etc.
  • KeeganKeegan Posts: 20
    Great episode! The covers to G.I. Combat were some of the best on the racks back in my childhood. I would try to redraw G.I. Combat 280 over and over in class instead of doing my school work.image
  • BionicDaveBionicDave Posts: 345
    edited April 20
    I'm another comic book reader who's never been a war comics fan, BUT listening to you guys discuss war comics is something I'd happily do until my dying day, AND Murd's Time Bubble already prepped me for half this episode - because he praised Ennis' Enemy Ace: War in Heaven on a past MTB, so I acquired it/read it back then, and re-read it yesterday for this new podcast :smiley:

    Now I might sniff around Tomahawk too, sounds like another cool premise and setting.

    This show had me at hello - just hearing Chris' dramatic read of the title, I was already smiling. And like Murd said, Chris' knowledge of military history is also a terrific reason CGS Goes to War! is now something to which I'll look forward.

    P.S. It suddenly dawns on me that I should give this Enemy Ace story to my dad. His birthday is in May and he's a huge WWII nut. I bet he even read some Sgt. Rock comics as a kid.

    P.P.S. Almost forgot to thank you guys for entertaining me (again). Thank you!
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