Monday, April 1, 2013

A Comic Book Scavenger Hunt, A-Z: Atlas

Title: Atlas
Issue: #1
Release: 2001
Writer and Artist: Dylan Horrocks
Store: Drawn & Quarterly (Montreal, Quebec)
Image via I have good books

My scavenger hunt was pretty straight-forward: find single-issue comic books off the rack with titles starting from A-Z.

Atlas was a great find and the perfect way to kick off the challenge.  Dylan Horrocks, a New Zealand comics artist, is his own main character as he searches for information on Emil Kopen, a legendary comics artist from Cornucopia (artist and country are both fictional as far as I can tell).  This issue also includes "There Are No Words in My Mouth," a powerful, to-the-point story about a Jewish woman during the Holocaust, using only images and empty word bubbles.  Cartoonist James Kochalka, a Vermonter, also contributed a story: "Letter to Hicksville: 'Schoolbus.'"

Go check out the rest of the participants in this year's A-Z challenge.  The official site is here.

As today is A Day, it's also a fine time to honor Arlee Bird, the mastermind behind the A-Z Challenge.  Be sure to visit him at Tossing It Out today to thank him.

At least two of my real world friends are taking on the challenge this year.  Go check them out:

Mock is blogging about movies at What's up, MOCK?
Mrs. Mock has cooked up a storm and is posting the results, recipes included at Exclamation Point (!)

My Wife is not doing A-Z this year but she is launching a new project of her own: a reading of Dickens's The Pickwick Papers.  Follow her progress at Wikes! Hikes on the Long Trail.

44 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by. Does your list mean you're doing the challenge on three separate blogs? I'm impressed.

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  2. how big bang theory of you! i love the variety of comic book art there is. looking forward to more!

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    1. I will choose to take that as a compliment! Thank you for stopping by. Enjoy the challenge.

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  3. What a fun idea! Good luck with the challenge! I participated last year and had a blast!

    Donna L Martin
    www.donasdays.blogspot.com

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    1. Does that mean you're not doing it this year? This is my third year participating. It's fun but it is a lot of work!

      Thank you for stopping by. I'll return the favor shortly.

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  5. Looking forward to seeing what you do all month. This should be very interesting!


    --
    Tim Brannan
    The Other Side and The Witch
    Red Sonja: She-Devil with a Sword
    The Freedom of Nonbelief

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    1. In light of the name of the third link on your list, I have a couple of posts in particular you may appreciate. Thank you for visiting!

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  6. Makes me want to find this comic myself!

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    1. I hope you will! I'll admit upfront that not all of my finds were winners but Atlas is very good. Only three issues have been published in total

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  7. I love all the creative themes people are coming up with this year!

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    1. Thank you. I actually think the challenge would be a lot harder without a theme - for me, at least.

      Thanks for visiting!

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  8. Wow. what a great idea. Love it. I have my kids to thank for turning me on to comics. Such the perfect excuse to hang out in a comic book store.

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    1. Which are your favorites?

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. Your challenges sounds like a blast to research. Great to meet you! Happy A!

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    1. Oh, but we have met before... I did your '80s Crush bloghop last year. Mine was Ally Sheedy. That was a great hop, actually, as that was how I got to know my good pal, Suze.

      The research was definitely fun - A-Z was just the welcome excuse.

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  10. I'm sort of confused as to your criteria for picking issues. What do you mean by "off the rack"? It's not new issues since Atlas came out in 2001. And these are comics that are all going to be just single issues? Just making sure.

    >sigh<
    I miss comic books.

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    1. You miss them? Why not give them another try? More variety than ever, these days - if you know where to look.

      Okay, I shall do my best to clarify. I bought them off-the-rack rather than out of the second-hand boxes. So, while this 2001 issue isn't new to the world, it is a first-hand copy for me.

      You know, it only occurred to me today - before your comment, even - that my single-issue distinction might lead to exactly this sort of ambiguity. I mean not a collection, just one issue.

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    2. Oh, because I don't have the money for them or the space. I used to be a collector and, actually, involved in the business end of comics, and I have a huge collection... in storage, even after getting rid of something like 35,000 issues.

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    3. Wow! I'm still a relative newbie. Part of my inspiration doing this was the desire to broaden my horizons, taking a chance on a few of the titles I see on the shelves but know nothing about.

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    4. Unfortunately, I can't suggest any newer stuff, because I haven't been reading anything for close to 10 years, now. I was very upset, though, to miss the whole Civil War thing from Marvel. And, now, the death of Spider-Man. However, if you want recommendations dealing with older stuff, I can offer those.

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    5. I'm always happy to hear suggestions! My favorite recent discovery is "The Walking Dead." I didn't expect to like it at all but the critical acclaim was impossible to ignore. Now I know why. I mostly find the zombie fad annoying but that is one compelling story.

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    6. I have not read it, but I know a lot of kids reading it. I'm not a zombie fan.
      Have you read Bone or Sandman?

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    7. Bone is on my to-read list - very popular with my students. Sandman - I have very mixed feelings about Mr. Gaiman's work. Sandman is certainly high quality but ventures too far on the gross scale for me.

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    8. I never thought of anything in Sandman as gross, not like Hellblazer or anything.
      Bone is one of my all time favorites.
      Oh, Strangers in Paradise?

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    9. In Sandman, there was a line about maggots in someone's eyes. That was when I decided I'd had enough. I'm kind of a wimp along those lines.

      Strangers in Paradise - that one I don't know, though I've seen it on the shelves. Good? I'm assuming Terry Moore is not related to Alan - just a coincidence? I'll add it to the list. Thank you for the recommendation!

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    10. Well, it's been a long time since I read Sandman; I don't remember that bit.

      As far as I know, there is no relation. Make sure you start with the initial 3-part story. SiP is pretty continuity reliant (from what I remember), and it's best to start at the beginning.

      There was also some good stuff from Chadwick with his Concrete stuff, but it wasn't always consistent.

      Astro City was pretty awesome, too.

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    11. Again, thank you for the recommendations!

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  11. I'm eager to see if you do all off beat or have any traditional "capes and tights" books on your list. I'm excited to be along for the ride!!

    I'm going to get around to blogging about it soon, but I am fairly certain I collect more non-traditional titles these days...

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    1. I did manage to avoid DC and Marvel entirely but some of the books are a lot closer to mainstream than this one.

      You, sir, deserve all of the credit for starting me along this path!

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  12. This sounds like a lot of planning and research for a unique theme.

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    1. Oh, but such fun...

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  13. Okay, I really dig the theme. I'm an odd comic fan. I especially love spin-offs and self-aware stuff like the Great Lakes Avengers and Marvel 1602.

    ROFL Initiative

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    1. Excellent! I read Marvel 1602 recently - clever idea.

      Thank you for stopping by and for following. I'll return the favor shortly.

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  14. Thanks for doing this series, Squid! It will definitely be educational and inspiring for me. I spent a lot of the 80s immersed in the comic book world (still have 4 long boxes stashed away), but much of it was catching up with the DC and Marvel of my childhood. I ventured into the indie racks only rarely. (Usually just to see what Alan Moore and Frank Miller were up to, once they cast off the shackles of the Big Two...)

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    1. It's been an educational romp for me as well. I still consider myself a relative newbie. My buddy Mock turned me on to comics a few years ago, then My Wife discovered a lot of interesting indies. A-Z was a great excuse to broaden my own horizons.

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  15. This could prove to be a real challenge. Have you already found all the comics you need for this or are you searching for them as the month progresses.

    Dropping by from A to Z. First year participating and very excited.

    Brett Minor
    Transformed Nonconformist

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    1. I've already found them all. Full disclosure: I knew going in that comics were a great answer to the X problem. I might have done this anyway but that was a definite advantage.

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  16. Great start for challenge! Good luck! :)

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    1. Thanks, Nan! It was definitely a fun little adventure I created for myself.

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