I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got two new comic plus some comic bags:

  • G-Man: Cape Crisis – 5
  • Sergio Argon├ęs: Groo – The Hogs of Horder -2
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

  • “Dalgoda” 1-8 by Jan Strnad and Dennis Fujitake
  • The first six issues of this series have been sitting on my shelf since I bought them in 1984-85. I just tracked down and bought the last two issues this week. I don’t know why I never bought those last two issues. It could have been that the book suffered from lateness problems or it could have been that they came out in 1986 when I was at college and I never saw them. I just don’t remember.

    I also didn’t remember anything that happened in the whole series for that matter. I probably only read these comics once as I bought them off the stands. This is the first time I am re-reading them and it was like reading them for the first time again.

    “Dalgoda” is a sci-fi series. It takes place in the future at the beginning of space travel. The nearest planet with intelligent life is found through radio signals but it’s 36 years away by space ship. It’s the planet Canida where the people have evolved from a dog like ancestor. They are humanoids with dog like heads. Emissaries were sent between the planets over the years but there is distrust between Earth and Canida. Meanwhile a third more aggressive people are discovered who are threatening Canida. Dalgoda is sent to Earth to try and get help.

    That’s the large overall back story but the book is really about smaller stories than that. The stories are about Dalgoda and the people trying to help him. They all have their own things happening to them as Dalgoda tries to get on with his overall mission.

    Each character has his or her own backstory that is affecting the current situation. Plus there are still lots of crazy different factions on Earth. Some don’t want Dalgoda to succeed in helping his people. It’s not a dystopia but it’s no paradise either. It’s mostly like the Earth we know with some extra gadgets at times.

    I liked the writing. I haven’t read any of Strnad’s stuff in years but I remember him being a solid writer and that’s in evidence here. It’s written in a different style than today’s decompressed style so that might put off people who like to read a comic in three minutes but I like my comic books to actually have writing in them. That’s really neither here nor there but I’ve just been reading some forums where people complained there were too many words in some 1970’s comic book. If you don’t want to read then go watch TV.

    But back to “Dalgoda”. The art by Fujitake is nice. He says in the introductory material that he is most influenced by Steve Ditko and Moebius but I mostly see the Moebius influence in the way he draws. It’s well done and it’s too bad he never went on to do more stuff. He did a few things after “Dalgoda” but not a ton.

    The book is even in color. I had forgotten that. Being published by Fantagraphics I assumed it was in black and white. The color is pretty good for the most part. They were trying things that were a bit experimental for the day and things didn’t always work but mostly they did.

    My main criticism of “Dalgoda” is that the early issues were a little better and maybe more ambitious than the later ones. This probably had to do with deadline problems they were having as the lateness can attest to. That’s the problem, at times, with the periodical nature of comics. It didn’t ruin the comics for me it made me wish things could be more ideal.

    There is also a nice Kevin Nowlan drawn back-up strip in the first six issues called “Grimwood’s Daughter”.

    Overall “Dalgoda” was a good read. It’s worth it to track down this old series as they are cheap and it’s unlikely to ever see print again. Now I’m going to have to track down another Dalgoda mini series that I didn’t know existed called “Flesh and Bones”. It’s advertised on the back of issue eight.