Jim Pack’s been self-publishing his zine Comet Tales for a bunch of years now, sending free copies to anyone who asks for one. Free stuff can be a bad deal when the material isn’t interesting, but in the case of Jim’s work, it’s a great deal. I always have lots of fun reading Comet Tales when it shows up in my mailbox, and this issue might be the most fun issue thus far.
This new issue features two stories. In the lead tale, Jim’s long-running character the Martian Cat meets another long-running character, Major Revenge. The Martian Cat is an immortal character that gets shifted between dimensions over various periods of time. As the story begins he’s a scholar, but soon finds himself in a world similar to ours. On that world he meets Major Revenge, a super-hero seemingly in the mold of Captain America, with “911” on his forehead, a stars-and-stripes uniform, and a Statue of Liberty torch as his main weapon.
But Major Revenge is a tormented man, who’s taken the brunt of a series of blows that started with the destruction of the World Trade Center. The events that happen between Martian Cat and Major Revenge help the Major to find some peace in his life, giving both characters’ stories a nice bit of closure.
The second story features another recurring Pack character, Manjack the Imperial Enforcer, as he touches down on planet Earth after his spacefaring vessel is destroyed. Manjack has the power to destroy planets, so it’s terrifying to the secret king of Earth for Manjack to be here. That tension fuels a really fun and action-packed story.
Throughout, Jim’s art is slick and appropriate for the stories. It’s not professional level art, but as with any cartoonist who’s been working his craft for years, Jim knows his way around a comics page.
The zine is free – just send an email to Jim and request a copy. It’s a great free comic with lots of interesting material.