Saturday, April 26, 2008

Love and Capes

A couple of years ago, I discovered a way cool Indie comic entitled Love and Capes. over the past couple of years I’ve managed to snag a couple of issues of the comic due to Free Comic Book Day and have always throughly enjoyed the book.

Well, this past weekend, I managed to run into Tom Zahler the creator/writer/artist of the series at the NY Comic Con. As I was able to tell by the type of book he creates he was a very nice guy, and we got to chat for a couple of minutes. While I was there I acquired a copy of his lovely book and yep, I enjoyed that one as well.

Tom is writing what is ostensibly a cross between a superhero book and a romance book, cast as if it were a TV SitCom. The series is a really wonderful slant on superhero life all done up in a unique perspective. The series centers around The Crusader (Mark Spencer), a Superman-like character (hiding out as an accountant in the “real” world, and his interactions with his girlfriend Abby Tennyson. All of the other superheroes and supervillains in his world are all essentially modeled after mainstream characters from the DC and Marvel universes. However, we don’t so much get to see the superheroics of that world as much as we get to read about the lives that they all lead.

Back in the ‘80s I had a conversation with Keith Giffin who expounded on how The Justice League could be made for TV. His concept was to treat it as if it were the TV show, Barney Miller. That is to say, the JLA would simply never leave their HQ. Whenever it came time for them to catch the bad guys they would exit the stage, have their superheroic fight off-camera, and then return with the bad guys in cuffs. (he then hilariously detailed how Flash and Hawkman would go to capture Mr. Freeze, only to return with Flash frozen in a block of Ice and being wheeled in with a hand truck “Put him over in the corner by the heater until he melts”).

Zahler writes Love and Capes just like that. Sure we get to see some superheroic stuff, but this is mostly like reading Terry Moore’s Strangers In Paradise. it is all “relationshipy” (not that there is anything wrong with that).

The series is light-hearted, delightful, and way more fun than I’ve had in comics since the start of Back In Black. So, as you can tell, I’m really enjoying this series, and I wanted to tell everyone that they should deluge Tom’s site to purchase back issues. I love all of his delightful “insider” references (like the Ditko hands bit in the right).

The thing that made me pick up the comic initially (besides the whole “Free Comic Book Day” thing, was that the issue that I recall picking up first had “The Arachnerd” in it. Obviously the character is Tom’s take on Spidey, so you had me right there. Needless to say, I came for the Spidey spoof, and stayed for the wonderful story,and I’m not at all sorry that I did. Now I just need to acquire more copies of it for myself.


Reggie White Jr. said...

Thanks for blogging about this book, Robbert. I may have remained oblivious to it otherwise. Sounds like some really funny stuff. I bookmarked Tom's site and I'll add it to my links in my own blog.

Robert J. Sodaro said...

I’m sure that he’ll be happy to hear that.

Tommy said...

This looks extremely cool!