i went downtown yesterday with my brother-in-law, a nice trip, we wandered around aimlessly for the most part, he went to a little pub he wanted to try out and i went into a store i read about online called “the beguiling”.

it has been endorsed by the likes of chester brown, seth, jeffrey brown, apparently even robin williams has stopped in before. they also do tcaf (the toronto comics art fair) and that’s a big deal for me, i’ve only ever been for a few minutes but those minutes were a big highlight in my life.

while there i picked up something i definitely did not expect to find, a signed and numbered edition of the first tick omnibus (from 1990!) and the sequel omnibus, now i’m only missing the final four issues of the original run of the big blue hero of my childhood.

i enjoyed it so much i decided to change the pace of my blog and make a little review about it, i don’t do that too often especially in any great detail…ofcourse i’ll try to keep my details short and sweet…don’t want to bore you.

i enjoy everything about the first omnibus, it’s got a good length, a well told story and the actual creative efforts that went into it…genius! the cover is a wrap-around that has the tick and his sidekick arthur looking for change to get on a bus filled with their first bunch of villains and a few cohorts. it’s some of the very little tick colour art you’ll find and even the title: sunday through wednesday is ingenious because the first six issues (collected here) only take place in four days if you’re paying attention (plus i think it mentions that somewhere in it!).

the story itself is well put together. it’s very coherent. everything that’s happening in the background comes into the foreground and gets tied up while intertwining with everything else, it’s positively brilliant, i won’t give away the story but…i probably couldn’t if i tried, there’s ninjas and plots and ancient relics and great references when you start off thinking the tick is a story about a super muscled bug dude fighting a clark kent ripoff.

the art changes a bit as time progresses but for the most part it made me rethink how i make my comics, if i should add more detail and pay more attention to background and pay ridiculous attention to the character art while leaving the backgrounds sketchy but filled with hatching.

a great book always challenges you on some level and this definitely did that with it’s writing, art and presentation. usually i see the writing as somewhat of a throwaway but in this it definitely fueled it just as much (maybe even more than, yeah i said it) the art. it made me eager to jump into a comfy seat, get out my supplies and draw up the next couple weeks of “markham tales”.

the second tick omnibus was also quite fantastic. it had a bit of a different tone than the first bunch of stories, but definitely not a bad one. it seemed to be taking the tick to new heights while trying to keep the energy of the first story arc.

it succeeds in some ways, fails in others. it lacks the connections the first one had, it tries to continue the streak of unexpected foreshadowing and crazy stories that keep you guessing but falls ever-so-slightly because the first one seemed like a game of jenga, barely keeping itself together, every new idea associated with an old one around since the intro but the new one simply introduces something, and it happens to come up later and then cause it’s own bit of story, that doesn’t fully factor into something else. however it succeeds in adding on to the tick and his crazy cast, flashing them out, making them realistic, you feel less and less like you’re reading a comic and more like watching events unfold as times progresses. it doesn’t need to be conceivable it just needs to not distract you with what’s obviously fantasy.

the second was shorter and seemed to have a bit more extras but i wish it would have told something a bit more complete, the upside however is that it tells more individual stories because it has gotten away from the idea of the intertwining arc for the most part, there’s a bit left in the air at the end but you don’t fully care, good or bad.

the art is better generally but the effort isn’t as present as the first volume, it looks like it is from a real comic and not from an individual with great personal drive and passion for his creation.

anyways, i hope you enjoyed reading  this more than i enjoyed writing it (and i happened to enjoy writing it quite a bit!)

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