THE BOZZ CHRONICLES is going to appeal to those who love an offbeat story with an ooey-gooey weirdness rolled into a droll misadventure. Does that sound like you? More cheezburger, perhaps? Yes, you. And you’ll dig the vintage quasi-steampunk vibe too. We have been enjoying a comics reprint renaissance in recent years. And Dover Publications is doing its part by bringing back ole Bozz which was originally a six-issue series published by Epic Comics from December 1985 to December 1986. Set in Victorian era England, we follow a space alien as he solves crimes with the help of prostitute Amanda Flynn and American Salem Hawkshaw.
Written by David Michelinie (The Amazing Spider-Man) and drawn by Bret Blevins (New Mutants), this is a comic ready to regain the spotlight. The one thing I can’t help but focus on is how effortlessly quirky this comic is. And, of course, it’s steampunk before there ever was steampunk. It takes its cues from a long tradition of bawdy and oddball British humor going all the way back to Chaucer, and you thought I was going to say, Alan Moore. Funny, but there is a Moore connection. There usually is one if you dig far enough. Mr. Michelinie wrote for “Swamp Thing” before and after Alan Moore. Pretty cool, huh?
“The Bozz Chronicles” is one of those eccentric comics that goes all out and then sadly comes to an end, like a dazzling magic act. Not every weird and wonderful comic needs to become a perpetual series or franchise. Some of the best just do their unique bit of magic and that’s more than enough. That’s comics at its elusive and ephemeral best.
And if you like this reprint gem, you’ll dig other Dover titles like “A Sailor’s Story” by Sam Glanzman, originally published by Marvel Comics in two volumes in 1987 and 1988. “The Bozz Chronicles” is a 208-page trade paperback and will be available as of September 16, 2015. For more details on Dover graphic novels, visit our friends at Dover Publications right here. You can also find “The Bozz Chronicles” at Amazon right here.
“Nemo: River of Ghosts” comes to you from the universe of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, written by Alan Moore and drawn by Kevin O’Neill. This is the last in a trilogy of Nemo adventures featuring Captain Nemo’s daughter, Janni Dakkar. Here, you’ll find Janni, the grand matriarch nearing the end of her life, on a most urgent quest. With all her resolve, she knows she has no choice but to find and kill Princess Ayesha before it’s too late. Ayesha is a great threat to Nemo and, after all, Janni already beheaded her thirty years ago! Of course, most people find this quest rather absurd. However, this is a world of gods and magic, so it’s not out of the question.
Everything revolves around this elusive Princess Ayesha. But, whatever the prey, we’re off on one mad adventure. And you can’t have a good adventure without colorful characters. Stealing the show is one Hugo Coghlan. With Janni in a vulnerable state, 80 years-old and in bad health, Coghlan proves to be her most valued assistant. It would be difficult for him to do otherwise as he intimately knows the Amazon jungle they are heading out for and he can easily lift a 1952 Buick with his pinkie finger and simply sigh, “Just as easy.” Hugo also happens to greatly admire Janni despite her chilly rudeness.
Once Janni has her crew on the mighty Nautilus, she has to deal with such classic nautical obstacles as mutiny and stowawys. But when the submersible’s token stoaway turns out to be her own ten-year-old grandson, Jack, Janni is forced to rein in her temper just a bit. In the end, the boy gets a pat on the head and a front row seat, so to speak, to what is about to unfold. Jack provides some useful added perspective. In the bargain, Jack also holds the link to possible further Nemo adventures.
This last installment of Moore and O’Neill’s Nemo adventures is one spot on adventure. There’s some mature content so I would place this as appropriate for teens and above. Overall, it’s quite a ripping yarn. When was the last time you had an 80-year-old as your main character in an action adventure? I think we all know the answer to that one. Brilliant. Simply, brilliant.
“Nemo: River of Ghosts” is a 56-page full color hardcover, priced at $14.95, and available now. For more details, visit our friends at Top Shelf Productions right here.
Alan Moore in 2014! When Moore and Kevin O’Neill followed up their League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century trilogy with 2013’s spinoff Nemo: Heart of Ice, it won critical praise. Now, it’s time for another masterwork, The Roses of Berlin. This one follows four charismatic women in the midst of the intrigue and danger of 1941 Berlin.
Co-Published by Top Shelf Productions & Knockabout, this 56-page full-color hardcover graphic novel is priced at $14.95 (US) and ships in March 2014. Check out our friends at Top Shelf Productions here.