Another Loveletter to Saturday Mornings Long Past

Posted by Dan Monday, June 26, 2006

Mike Allred/Lawrence Mavrit
US $2.95
Oni Press

Every Saturday morning my little brother and I would get up at five thirty and sit with our noses plastered to the television screen, consuming massive amounts of cocoa frosted sugar bombs and watching Saturday Morning Cartoons. Six hours later, our mother, "God bless her," would peel our hyperactive little bodies off the ceiling. Twitching with massive sugar buzz and phosphor dot induced flicker vertigo, we were then banished to the hellish wilderness of "outside" for the duration of the weekend. But that was okay, because for those six hours, every week, we could escape our miserable little lives. During those precious few hours we could soar into outer space with Space Ghost or The Super Friends. We could explore exotic jungles with Tarzan and The Herculoids. Or, we could just get stupid crazy with Blue Falcon, Dynomutt, and the rest of the Hanna Barbera psycho circus.

Pretty much every comic book reader that grew up in the 70's and 80's grew up this way. So, it's no fucking wonder that three of the top selling comic books are all nostalgia-based retreads. It's a damn shame that drivel like G.I. Joe, The Thundercats, and Battle of the Fucking Planets will sell like crazy, while a brilliant piece of work like Mike Allred's new one-shot, "Spaceman," will fade out and die.

It's a given that comic book readers don't want a rockin', brilliant, science fiction story. They don't want cool, weird aliens and kick ass animation style artwork. Fuck no! They want sloppy plotting and bad dialogue, with artwork churned out by a committee made up of cut-rate draftsmen who will never understand why Alex Ross and Jim Lee are brilliant artists. They all want the same tired pabulum we always get.

It just makes me mad that Mike Allred and Lawrence Mavrit won't make truckloads of cash off this nostalgic time warp back to one of the best parts of our collective childhood. Mad, because that means I won't get any more Spaceman stories. I'm never going to see this work in graphic novel format, printed on high quality slick paper that would really show off Laura Allred's mind bogglingly gorgeous colors. I'll never get extra pages of behind the scenes goodies that show me everything that went into making this book. I'll never get to see the cool alien landscapes that Lawrence Mavrit didn't use. I'll probably never learn how they got that nifty translucent effect with the word balloons.

Spaceman is too fucking cool! It's a love letter from Mike Allred and Lawrence Mavrit to all of us who miss Saturday Morning Cartoons. Go buy this book and give me some hope that maybe a few of you out there don't have crap taste in reading material.


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Im an essayist, critic, online blogger, short story writer and to borrow a descriptor from Peter David, "Writer of stuff." I love all things pop culture related: Music, Movies, Comics, Books, Politics... if you can label it I probably have an opinion about it, and I love to argue. All informed opinions are welcome here.
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