Saturday, February 18, 2012
Comics Review: The Myth of 8-Opus Prologue
A few years ago, on a whim, I picked up this crazy looking comic trade called Godland. Wow! It was like Fantastic 4 mixed with Austin Powers with some extra crazy. One of the things that struck me was the art by Tom Scioli, which even from my limited understanding of comics history, I knew to be in the vein of Jack Kirby.
Fast forward a couple years and I’m living in Virginia, attending the occasional comic convention, including SPX, where Warrior 27 is being unveiled by friends Dan and Chris over at On the Fly. And who should be there but Tom Scioli, who signs and does a quick sketch in my Godland volume 1 trade. But he’s also selling a couple volumes of a series he’s wholly responsible for called The Myth of 8-Opus. Well, it was early on in the day and I still had a pretty good amount of dough in my pocket, so I snagged a copy of the “Prolog” figuring I’d give it a look and see if it was my bag or not.
Now, here’s where I began to understand something about going to cons. Sometimes, you see a whole bunch of crazy things and you buy them because you think it’s awesome that they exist, and then you take them home and put them in a pile, a box, on a shelf, etc. and you never actually read them or look at them very much, because they’re crazy and they’re things that are cool at cons…but not so much otherwise. That first year’s SPX haul... Did I read ANYTHING I picked up? I don’t think I did. Not much, anyway. Same with Baltimore Comic-Con. I’ve since focused more on picking up art prints and the like, because all I have to do with them is pop ‘em in a frame and hang ‘em. Not to say I haven’t bought comics, but I try to be a bit more discriminating, and buy those I honestly see myself reading when I’m not riding the high of being at a con.
So, as new volumes of Godland came out, I bought them and read them, and I would see Tom Scioli at most of the cons I went to. I even bought a Godland t-shirt, and the first full volume of 8-Opus for some reason…I think mostly to more directly support an artist I liked, since I still hadn’t read the intro.
Several years later, I find myself with no internet and plunged headlong into a type of productivity. I am out of excuses, and I’ve started reading more and more of the graphic novels I’ve picked up over the years but not gotten around to before. And this week, my finger stopped on 8-Opus. “I’ve got to read this, dang it,” said I. Just a couple pages in and I was hooked. Pardon my French, but this comic is batshit crazy. There is a guy with a snake that is an unborn universe, full of all the potential of a universe…that’s his weapon/servant. An UNBORN UNIVERSE! It’s crazy, man.
Like the wildest of moments from Greek mythology combined with the most over the top 60s comic writing, and without a dash of irony or insincerity, Scioli just goes for it, both in writing and illustrating. My only complaint, really, is that the art begs for vibrant color. I know that color is a whole can of worms, both in making it look good and in paying the printing costs. But 8-Opus is made for intense color. I’d say Scioli’s art in general begs for bright, intense color.
This is one to track down and read. If you’re an 60s comic fan, it should be right up your ally. Like classic Silver Surfer, but not stuck on Earth. And not limited by Marvel. If you haven’t seen comics illustrated by Tom Scioli, do something about it. Go out and read Godland. It’s a blast and one of the more enjoyable comics I’ve read. And if you can get to a con he’s at, or hit up his website, get yourself a copy of the prologue to The Myth of 8-Opus. I can’t wait to read what happens in the comic proper. And I’m putting some money aside for the next con he’s at to grab volume 2.
The Myth of 8-Opus: Prologue
Author/Artist: Tom Scioli
Publisher: A-Okay Comics