1985: The Unknown Worlds of Frank Brunner

The Unknown Worlds of Frank Brunner (1985) #1-2 by Frank Brunner et al.

I guess it makes more sense to regard the onslaught of artist-focused microseries from Eclipse in 1985 more as a single series with ever-changing focus instead of an attempt to flood the market, which I thought they were at the time. There’s basically a new microseries every month or two, and the issues are released with a two week gap between them, so in total they only vaguely add up to more than a single monthly series…

As usual, this microseries reprints a bunch of early-70s work from an artists that’s quite well known now, and as usual, the editor neither mentions when the work is from now where it was originally printed. But at least the writers are mentioned this time, and that’s a strange bunch. Phil Seuling? Buddy Saunders? Aren’t both of them comics retailers?

The first story is kinda original: It has three different endings, but the storytelling is so choppy that neither of the endings seem to make much sense.

Brunner’s artwork’s quite nice, even if it’s a bit on the amateurish side here (look at the angles on that tractor in the first panel above).

His forte is drawing pretty, but spooky people. These stories were originally printed in black and white, but were coloured by Brunner himself for this edition, and he stays pretty muted with lots of browns, greens and oranges. A very 70s palette, which suits the material well.

The comics.org database claims that half of these stories are from various Warren magazines, but wasn’t that the mascot from a different anthology? The Web of Horror? Which was pre-Warren, I guess… So perhaps they’d already been reprinted by Warren?

The stories are all… uhm… Like this.

The newest piece was done in 1975 for one of the Star*Reach magazines, and has the most assured layout. And you have to love that freak-out posture of that bearded old guy there.

I think Brunner moved into animation in the 90s.

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