1987: Winter World

Winter World (1987) #1-3 by Chuck Dixon and Jorge Zaffino.

This is another 4Winds production (i.e., it involves Timothy Truman (who edits this) and Chuck Dixon (who writes this). It’s odd that Eclipse didn’t reflect the 4Winds thing in its trade dress… You’d have thought there would be a large cross-over in interest between these books.

Anyway, the real interest in this book is the artwork by Jorge Zaffino. It has that dirty, perhaps slightly Kubert-influenced look, but filtered through an Argentinian aesthetic. And there’s something Italian about it too, but, then again, in the 60s there were a lot of comics artists that went back and forth (like Hugo Pratt).

When Zaffino’s characters get angry, their faces snarl up like crazy.

Anyway, this book is a post-apocalyptic action thing; a genre that hadn’t been mined to death year in the late 80s. And Chuck Dixon manages to write a pretty interesting little story here… It’s not that it takes many unexpected turns in the large, but there are many small details that I didn’t see coming, and that’s always fun.

Zaffino’s layouts are very readable. He usually sticks to traditional panels, but allows significant characters to poke out to great effect: The guard there is what’s important for Our Hero to keep an eye on.

Is Johnny here?

While the series has a satisfying, real end, it leaves things open for a sequel, as they should.

In the backmatter, Dixon explains how he came to work with Zaffino: It was through his connection with Ricardo Villegran.

To no great surprise, this series has been collected by IDW, but the collected edition is in black and white and includes a previously unpublished sequel by Dixon and Zaffino called Wintersea. As Dixon’s web site says:

The one that started it all! Out of print for twenty years, this brutal and suspenseful tale of survival in a frozen future by Chuck Dixon and Jorge Zaffino is one of the most influential comics works of the Eighties.

One of the most influential comics of the Eighties. It says so right there, so it must be true.

There’s also a new ongoing series, apparently, but not with artwork by Zaffino.

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