Monday, August 19, 2013

Review: Supermag

I have a lot of time for Jim Rugg - his Street Angel was one of the first independent comic books I collected. Recently, Adhouse Books has released Supermag, a magazine-sized 58-page collection of various drawings, strips, stories and (seeming) excerpts of Rugg's work. What did I think of it?

It is definitely a mixed bag. For most of the book, it reads like someone's tumblr account set to print. A page of story here, a pin-up there, etc. There are appearances by a few of Rugg's familiar characters (Bald Eagle of Street Angel and Afrodisiac of Afrodisiac). There are some short strips such as "USApe," whose adventures are told in the style of a 1980s action movie (similar to how Afrodisiac is everything 70s). It's only in the latter half of the book that some stories are permitted the space to be told in full.

It's in the latter half that I finally warmed up to the book; one of the longest features - "Captain Kidd" - I'd read before when it was published in Image's Next Issue Project#1, but as it was the easily the best entry in that comic, I don't mind seeing it printed again (likely in a place more of Rugg's fans will see it). There's also a charming "Duke Armstrong: the World's Mightiest Golfer" story which relates the saga of a very good golfer defending England from the Nazis.

At $10, it's an expensive luxury; if you're a very devoted Jim Rugg fan who doesn't mind paying for a few items twice (and with colour!), it's worth checking out; otherwise... well, I can't imagine you'd give this book a second glance.

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