Cold Cut Distribution's Feature Spotlight #1 - October 1994
Publisher: Gryphon Rampant
Art/Story: Lawrence "Gryphon" Klimecki
Cover Price: $2.50
Issue 1 (print run 3000): August 1994.
Issue 2 due in Oct.
Diamond refused to distribute Palatine #1, reasons unknown. Most other distributors did carry #1. Palatine #2 is available through all distributors (us too, of course!).
Casmir Zapolski is an ordinary man, leading a "passionless life": neither particularly good nor evil. When he's run down by a bus one day, he awakes to find himself playing a key role in some sort of Arthurian fantasy. He is guided by a spirit in the form of a griffin, who tells him this is his "second chance": a chance to be the hero he secretly wants to be.
A pretty interesting idea, executed fairly well. The actual scripting occasionally runs into predictable movie quotes ("Snakes. I hate snakes.") and the attempt at medieval speech towards the end of the book is a bit grating, but the plotline gets advanced reasonably well and is quite interesting. I hope that future issues will fill in more of Zapolski's life before becoming the Palatine - comparing city to medieval life (a kind of "Connecticut Yankee Syndrome") would be interesting to read.
Gryphon has a sharp grasp on the linework of animals (the griffin is wonderful), clothing and armor, which is a nice change of pace from artists who can only draw clothes as skintight leotards or shapeless blobs. His human faces and poses seem a little unnatural, but having seen some of the work for issues 2 and 3, I can see it's getting better each issue.
This series will attract those who are into "pictorial fantasy": people who like to read stories with pictures of griffins, unicorns, men in armor, and so on; and the storyline is decent enough to keep them coming back. Give this series a shot with readers of Elfquest, A Distant Soil, and Camelot books. The addition of the sexy Alina and the evil Amber Queen at the end of this issue (and the Amber Queen cover of #3) should attract more of the teenage male market as the series progresses. The fact that Diamond didn't carry issue 1 also means more people will be looking for it as issue 2 appears.
Mature Readers Advisory: naked breasts on page 1.
If you like Palatine, take a look at:
Publisher: Dark Visions
Art/Story: Rick Molchan & Eric Treadaway & co.
Cover Price: $2.95
Issue 1: June 1994 (Cold Cut is sold out)
Issue 2: August 1994
This is an anthology like DV's earlier series, "Dark Visions Presents" (which some thought was Paradox, due to the large Paradox logo). The main story is "Paradox", with chapter 5 appearing in issue 2 (Chap. 1-3 were in DVP). The second story is a Joe Phillips 5-pager about vampires and AIDS, and the third is the ongoing "Fever" story, a continuing tale about a hack-and-slash supervillain from a "nightmare realm." Warning: some gore.
Gorgeous covers by fantastic artists are the hook for this book - issue 1 had a killer Joe Linsner cover; issue 2 is a fully-painted, gorgeous Boris Vallejo original. The interiors are above average horror that will keep horror fans returning, but the covers really sell this series.
Try this one with fans of vampire books, general horror titles, and completists for Linsner or Vallejo.
Cold Cut Distribution
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