Comet Tales #13

A comic review article by: Jason Sacks
A mini-comic by Jim Pack
($1 from: Rocket Graphics, 787 Bay Harbor, Maineville, OH 45039)

Jim Pack's Comet Tales is a flashback to the days before the Internet, when the only way fans had to share their artwork and stories with each other was to create and self-publish their own fanzines. There was a time when dozens of creators produced their own self-published and personal literature. Some of those creators broke into comics, but still more creators had their fun, produced a few stories and moved on with their lives.

Jim Pack is one of those people who left comics fandom for years. But unlike many of us, Jim has revived his old fanzine, Comet Tales, and is producing new comic art for his fellow fans to enjoy. Comet Tales #13 has just been released and is a wonderful example of the fun that old-school fanzines can bring.

Unlike the last several issues of Comet Tales, this one has one major feature in it, a fourteen-page revival of Pack's old character the Martian Cat. The Martian Cat is a creature sent back from the future to our present day to find and kill the man who would trigger a war between humans and Martians. On present-day Earth, the Cat finds nothing but struggle and fights with hateful people before he is stopped by the police. In the end the polics bring the Martian Cat down and a cliffhanger leaves the reader wanting more.

As you might expect from a fan-produced comic, this story won't match what you might read in the professional books. Pack's art is inconsistent; some panels look terrific and others amateurish, but that's part of the fun. It's great to see a creator produce something because he wants to, to read a story that seems to be something that Jim Pack produced because he really cares about the story. There's real passion in these pages; you can see it in every panel.

There are two other short features in the 'zine: a clever one-page gag strip and a fun "science fiction bedtime story." This comic is a bargain at a dollar, and Jim will send future issues for that one thin buck.

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