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Tales to Astonish, Tales of Suspence and the like point to a particular Silver Age era of comics. They are mostly known for being the starting point for a variety of great superhero books, such as Iron Man, Daredevil, The Incredible Hulk, S.H.I.E.L.D, and others. Each issue was different and the stories collected inside could vary widely from month to month. So it is that Tales to Suffice, a new humor book from SLG Publishing, takes it’s cue from these books.
You can probably see why I would have been drawn to this comic right away. Hell, the cover could be the new banner for Robot Panic. But it’s more than the art or retro look that drew me to this particular comic. I’ve been a big fan of these “humor” style comics for a long, long time. In that monumental moment when I found my uncle’s Silver Age comic stash, I discovered a collection of issues from a Marvel series entitled “Not Brand Echh”. The comics were parodies of super-heroes, both Marvel and DC, and featured great art from the Marvel giants. It’s a topic for a different RP post, but let’s just say the zany humor, cartoon inspired art, willingness to poke fun and incredible use of satire made “Not Brand Echh” a great fit for me.
So, Tales to Suffice is definitely in this genre and does it better than most. It’s a rare thing when a comic book can get me to laugh out loud, but Tales to Suffice certainly did. And not just for it’s stories either. In and amongst the five tales that make up the first issue, there are a number of hilarious “advertisements” in the exact vein of what you may have found in an old silver age book.
My personal favorite being the John Oates Digital Clock Radio you see over there to your left. It’s a little hard to read but in case you’re wondering, the ad has a bullet point that reads “Mustache Is Also a Bottle Opener!”. The book is full of these things and they go a long way to making this book funny, even when you’re taking a break from the “main” stories.
Speaking of the stories, the writers do a great job of making use of the “left turn” in many of the short tales that make up the comic. The first story, “Love on the Rocks” features a hero by the name of “Ray Gunn, Space Sleuth” on the trail of a kidnapped girl in the clutches of a Love Robot gone haywire. It’s presented in an old school comic, half-toned style that works very well. It’s funny, wildly inappropriate and carries a great twist at the end.
Other stories include “Read At Your Own Risk”, where a comic book owner warns children of the dangers that comic reading can bring and “The Red Atom: Episode 1-Humble Origins” where a hero figures out the difficulty of getting off the ground in his first adventure. Tales to Suffice also includes a zombie story, entitled “Corporate Zombie”. As soon as I found that page, I felt like I’d won the comic lottery as Tales to Suffice combines two of my favorite things into one comic. Can’t go wrong on that one, at least for me. While I’m not sure if we’ll be seeing any more from these characters, I could go for this being a monthly title and finding out what happens to The Red Atom or if the Corporate Zombie gets a new job.
The book also introduces the Editor in Chief of the mag, “Uncle” Morty Finkleman, who seems to be a mash up of Stan Lee and DC Comics/Superman editor, Mort Weisinger. He gets a small story in the beginning of the book which sets up just what Tales to Suffice is and sets the tone for the book. Mention must also be made of another ad, featuring “Uncle Morty” that advertises other issues in Finkleman Line. My favorite of these being a tossup between “Oh shit, Bees!” and “Practical Love” which I find sadly more amusing now than I ever could have years ago.
While it’s not for everyone, Tales to Suffice is well worth a read if you’re into the kind of comics that are out to make you laugh. When all is said and done, the book does exactly that and if you’re in the mood for some lighthearted fun, go ahead and give Tales to Suffice a try. You can find it in your local comic shop this month!