- Posted by Johanna on May 25, 2012 at 9:10 am
- Category: Graphic Novel News
When I first got into indy comics and fandom, almost twenty years ago now, I hung out on the CompuServe Comics/Animation forum, where I had the pleasure of meeting Steve Lieber, Ted Slampyak, Jeffrey Lang, and Nat Gertler (among many others). That team is the group behind a comic called Roadways, now reprinted in collected form.
Roadways was first published in 1994 by Cult Press. The four-issue miniseries was written by Lang, drawn by Slampyak (Jazz Age Chronicles, Little Orphan Annie), inked by Lieber (Whiteout, Underground) and later, John Drury. It’s the story of a physics professor whose assistant goes missing. When he tries to find her, he winds up in another world, one where a river called the Road flows through the realities.
It’s a classic science-fiction adventure in the style of Heinlein or Burroughs, where an intelligent man finds out just what he’s capable of by being thrown into a world of tribes and evil rulers, where he’s challenged physically as well as mentally. It’s chock-full of ideas — more so than there’s space for, maybe — and gorgeous, well-realized art. I love the square stone monster in the first chapter!
I won’t part with my signed issues, because they’re a fond memory of a particular time in comics, the black-and-white boom that allowed creators to put out their own works before webcomics became the preferred medium for that. But for those of you who don’t have them, you may want to order the new collection packaged by About Comics (who has posted preview pages) and available only through Amazon.com.
I’m not sure how successful the strategy of avoiding the comic market entirely is these days — I suppose it depends on how effectively you can get the word out to the potential audience through coverage like this — but I know it allows for a lower price point, and on long-lost material like this, any sale is likely considered a bonus. If the book is print-on-demand, which Amazon also offers, then there aren’t even any storage or print costs. My gripe is, as always, that such offerings don’t allow me to get a deal or buy on sale or pick up a discount used copy, but that’s not a detriment in the publisher’s eyes.