1993: Soulsearchers and Company

Soulsearchers and Company (1993) #1-6 by Peter David, Amanda Conner, Jim Mooney, Richard Howell et al.

This is the third of the Claypool comics that Eclipse distributed during 1993/94, and it’s a supernatural comedy thing.

Having a lot of Pinocchio-like dolls tell lies to make their noses grow so they can stab their victim with the noses is a pretty, er, original? idea. I mean: I hope so!

The humour isn’t very incisive. It’s mostly a stream of low level bad jokes and puns, but that’s OK.

Microsoft II. Such topicality.

David takes the occasional jab at giving the characters some depth, and Conner’s on-point (and very readable) artwork helps quite a bit.

But it’s not… Hm. I find myself at a loss two write pretty much anything about this book, because I feel there just isn’t that much to write about. It’s a competent, somewhat amusing, nicely drawn, pretty inventive comic, but it’s just not very… interesting. At least to me, right now, but I may just be burned out on reading these comics now.

As a bonus, we get the original pitch for the comic book. David and Howell originally wanted to do it over at Marvel Comics, and using characters from Marvel’s super-hero/magical cast of characters, but they never let us know who those characters originally were, so half the letters try to guess.

Popular guesses are Scarlet Witch and The Vision, or Patsy Walker (Hellcat) and that guy who’s called… er…. De… I forget. Oh, yeah, Daimon Hellstrom. I think the latter sounds more likely.

As the series progresses, it becomes more of a parody book than a humorous monster-of-the-week (I mean six weeks) book, so we get a parody of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, who’s called Dream, or here: Dweeb.

Ok, they can’t all be winners.

This is part of the Fear City line of books, and the schtick was supposed to be that there’s a new book every two weeks, with lots of interconnections between the titles. That doesn’t really seem to happen a lot, though, so perhaps they changed their minds. We’re left with the occasional reference to the Deadbeats title (which I’ll post about tomorrow, I guess), but that’s about it. At least in the six issues I read.

Also, as the series progresses, Conner’s artwork (inked by Jim Mooney) gets progressively more attractive, with juicy blacks and more inventive (but still very readable) layouts.

And this is the best-selling of the three Fear City books. I’m not surprised, because that Phantom of Fear City was a bit of a dog.

And then we get an Image Comics parody issue, with about a page each to parody a separate Image title.

I love the Rob Liefeld. There’s something about this panel that’s just perfect, what with the two characters to the left, with their over-the-top outfits, staring blankly in different directions, with their mouths wide open (while not shouting) that’s quintessential Liefeld.

And with issue six, I say farewell to this series, because Claypool wisely stopped using Eclipse as distributors. (Eclipse went bankrupt a few months later of unrelated causes.)

Peter David continued writing this series until 2007, when it was cancelled after more than 80 issues. Which is an impressive run.

A couple of collections have been released, but most of the run remains uncollected, apparently.

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