Current Reviews


Comic Effect #46

Posted: Thursday, February 1, 2007
By: Ray Tate

Writer/Publisher: Jim Kingman

It's been awhile since I actually sat down and read a zine. The expansion of the Internet pushed the zine format into the electronic frontier. Some might argue what we do at silverbulletcomicbooks is essentially a zine, but the format still can be found in print. Jim Kingman was kind enough to send his latest issue of Comic Effect. I'm quite happy he did.

This issue is a personal recollection on how Mr. Kingman became involved in the DC multiverse of the pre-Crisis. Specifically, the issue relates his love of the comics from the late sixties and early seventies.

Kingman's memories often reflect my own. I became well versed in the DCMU not through the breaking of the time barrier and going back to read the comic books from eras before my birth. I became knowledgeable thanks to the golden-age reprints in the back of the 52 Page and 100 Page Giants that DC once published. Like Kingman, I found these anthologies instrumental in comprehending the vast wonder of the now dead multiverse. The recognition of DC's past led to more investigation, and helped form the "bitter," cynical, jaded reviewer I have become.

Kingman and I grew up during a time when comic books were well written; when they acknowledged and embraced their history. Comic Effect details the way Kingman made choices. For a certain type of audience, this is an engrossing read. Others probably won't see the big deal, and it's with this insight that I realize how different the generations of comic book readers are. There's a difference between we who bought our books at a newsstand or a drugstore, and those who only bought their books at a comic book store. There's a difference in the way those books were published and marketed. There's a massive difference in the writing and the respect the writers and the fans had for the characters.

Kingman's writing is crisp and sincere. He reveals his loves for certain books and the reasons why he left others on the shelf. He recalls some great moments in comic books. He quotes some of the dialogue that gave comic books their mystique. He gives something personal of himself: which super-hero left him feeling "tingly." He briefly interviews others who became interested in comic books. Some of these interviewees became the writers and publishers.

The autobiographical account comes in digest form on sturdy paper-stock. The printing is of high quality, as are the miniature reproductions of comic book covers from the era. I'm amused that he picked most of the ones I possess. Recommended.

What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!