Cold Cut Distribution's Feature Spotlight #4 - January 1995
Publisher: Pen & Ink Comics
(now Sirius Comics)
Story & Art: Teri S. Wood
Cvr Price: $2.50 ($2 on #1-7)
Wandering Star is the story of a teenage girl named Cassandra, the daughter of Earth's President and the first earthling to attend a galactic college. While she's there, enduring both racial prejudice and college life, galactic war breaks out, with the college a pawn. As Casi escapes and fights aboard her friends' homemade starship, she comes to terms with changes in her life and feelings.
Another reviewer said it best: no one should be allowed to write a first book this good. I've called this book a "cross of Anne McCaffrey and Jim Starlin" in the past, and it still holds up - humanistic yet still plot-oriented (as in, things happen. Battles are fought. Insults are hurled. People are killed.).
Teri spent a few years bringing her crisp, occasionally odd-angled and thick-lined style into focus. Read Mu's Rhudiprrt for examples of her earlier work. She's now honed it to look almost effortless; second-nature. First-class stuff.
Wandering Star is an epic space adventure, and as such may attract Starlin fans of Dreadstar and Warlock. Meanwhile, it is also a tale of a young girl growing up in a strange environment, and will therefore attract readers of A Distant Soil and even some mainstream books like Anima and Wonder Woman (fans of the Perez run especially). WS is a miniseries, due to end in 1996. It continues to garner incredible grass roots support from the fans - and you can capitalize on this. Make sure you have at least one copy of each issue in stock at all times, since WS is the type of book people will buy an entire run of at once.
Later note: Teri never did manage to finish her miniseries in 1996 - what was originally scheduled to be a 12-issue miniseries expanded to 14, then 18, and finally 21 issues before it completed in the spring of 1997, having switched publishers to Sirius Comics with issue 12. Now complete, Teri has moved on to begin work on her new series, Darklight, due out from Sirius Comics in the fall of 1997.
Second prints of #2-6 all have "Second printing May 1994" in the inside front cover indicia. Second prints of #1 are hand-stamped with the date "FEB 1994" on the inside front cover. Third prints of #1 are not stamped and are distinguishable from first prints in two ways:
No second printings of issues 7-21 exist. No printings of #2 with hand-stamped dates exist, despite the rumor to the contrary. A trade paperback of 1-7 exists, but had only two printings, and was done back in 1995; there has been no collection of later issues yet, though issues 7-11 are now out of print.
- The shading of the stars on the cover - 2nd and 3rd prints have light purple stars, while first prints have dark, blueberry blue stars.
- First prints also are the only Wandering Star issue to print the "missing child alert" on the back cover with the title running along the left (non-stapled) edge of the book. All later printings and later issues have the "missing child alert" title along the stapled edge on the right.
If you like Wandering Star, take a look at:
Buck Godot: Zap Gun For Hire
Publisher: Palliard Press
Art/Story: Phil Foglio
Cover Price: $2.95
Frequency: Roughly quarterly (3 or 4 times a year)
Issues: 1 - 4 available. Issue 5 is due in March.
Buck Godot is a private detective from the planet Hoffman, a high-gravity homeworld for humanoids. As such, he's heavy, rotund, and very strong. He's also smart, witty, and very good at his job. Set in the far-flung future as humanity has expanded into space and met a plethora of alien races, this tale features the same wonderful cast of characters found in Phil Foglio's series of Starblaze Graphic Novels. In this 8-issue miniseries, Buck stumbles upon an apparent inter-galactic conspiracy to wipe out humanity by eliminating our sex drive. While investigating the problem, he avoids the tax notifier (on his "Tax Notification Day"), and discovers something's fishy with the garbage system at the Gallimaufry (the Galactic version of the United Nations). We can bet there's only more weird twists and turns in store as he works his way to a sure-to-be-fascinating conclusion.
Somebody, please explain to me why this book isn't in the Diamond Top 100? It's by an established creator with a fan-following, who's
done lots of work for DC. It's really well drawn, has a great storyline, and is scripted so tightly it makes you think Phil wrote this for two or three months for each issue, going over it and over it and smoothing dialogue and polishing scenes until they shine.
This book is top-notch science-fiction. Phil puts incredible thought into the details of "humanity in space" - how we bring many of our foibles with us wherever we go, and are constantly inventing new ones. It's also fantastic humor. It's not stupid or insane - it's humor that follows from the situations (true "situation comedy").
Phil has been drawing for years and has this wonderful, free-flowing feel to
his art that can't help but grab fans. His earlier work in DC's
Stanley & His Monster, Angel & The Ape, and Plastic Man miniseries as well as Apple Comics' Mythadventures and other series
(as well as his own adult series: Xxxenophile) has garnered him a faithful fan following. Set some of these out, and people will follow.
Fans of humorous science-fiction (fans of the TV show "Red Dwarf" for instance, or Robert Asprin's "Phule's Company" novels) will love
Buck Godot. Likewise Foglio fans and general humor fans
(of Groo, for instance) will find a lot to enjoy in this series.
What may surprise you, though, is that some fans of "straight" science fiction will like this book as well. I know of one friend who does not like comedy at all, but loves Buck Godot due to its incredibly fascinating science fiction
universe and wonderful concepts. Try this on with readers of
Wandering Star for instance, or A Distant Soil or even
Robotech. Fans of the Star Trek comics (who are already used to science-fiction humor as a relief valve for hard SF) will also enjoy Buck.
If you like Buck Godot, take a look at:
Cold Cut Distribution
220 N Main St. - Salinas, CA 93901 - (831) 751-7300