Several years ago I sent one shiny new green American dollar to Jim Pack at the above address for a copy of his zine Comet Tales. I think I received back a copy of issue #8, or it might have been #9. It was a long time ago, and my memory isn’t as good as it once was. But I do remember that I haven’t sent another buck to Jim since. And Jim still sends me his zine. He’s cool that way. Comet Tales is a labor of love, and Jim just wants folks to read his comics. So at his own expense, he sends copies of each issue to those of us lucky enough to have jumped on his zine. I’ve always really enjoyed the zine; no matter what Jim puts in it, the zine is all about what Jim wants to say. The real pleasure comes from watching Jim explore his creativity. Of course, it helps that he’s a pretty decent artist, too.
I enjoyed Comet Tales #15 just a little bit less than preceding issues. For one thing, there was no Vaughn Bode-inspired bar story; those always crack me up. I love the way he draws the bar chick, it reminds me of women I’ve always wanted to meet.
But this issue is still fun. The main story shows Major Revenge, the hero with “911” on his full-face mask, and the commando squad TAPS, taking on terrorists who have brought an atomic bomb through the Mexican border. The story’s a light fun revenge yarn, similar in some ways to the anti-Nazi comics of the 1940s. It’s fun how Major Revenge’s identity is a secret; that’s something that’s made me pick up each issue with interest. And Jim’s art style is fun, especially for a fan artist. He’s good at using toning to give a sense of depth and energy, something many artists with professional credits don’t really understand.
Backing up that comic story is a five-page text story by Joseph Pack. Most issues of Comet Tales contain text stories, usually with humorous twists at the end. This story read a bit more straight than most stories. The twist ending in this one just seemed a bit more forced than in previous stories, I guess.
Don’t let this lukewarm review stop you from ordering this zine. Jim Pack is pouring his heart and soul into Comet Tales, and he wants to share. Isn’t that worth a buck?