1987: Contractors

Contractors (1987) #1 by Ken Macklin.

Ken Macklin was a regular contributor to Fusion and an irregular contributor to The Dreamery, and Eclipse also published the Dr. Watchstop collection later, but this is one of his rare solo books.

And it’s a total delight. Macklin’s creature design is so charming, and his pencil-soaked art style is so engaging.

The artwork does veer off into the very dark sometimes, but it’s so pretty.

The storyline is surprisingly clever for such a silly book. It has a twist ending, but nothing I could see coming, yet it’s completely logical… and utterly amusing.

The indicia indicates that this was supposed to be a monthly book, but I’m guessing that was never on the table. But it seems like more work and thought went into this than a one-shot would entail, and it’s called “summer special”, so I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Macklin meant this as the start of an occasional series.

That didn’t happen, which is sad.

This is such a surprising find. It’s a little lost gem of a book, because it’s apparently never been reprinted. It’s funny, smart and beautifully drawn. Perhaps somebody could publish a Macklin retrospective and include it?

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