Thursday, May 7, 2015

Review- LEONARD STARR'S MARY PERKINS ON STAGE VOL. 4


LEONARD STARR'S MARY PERKINS ON STAGE VOL. 4 (Classic Comics Press, 2008; Softcover)

Collects Mary Perkins On Stage strips originally published on June 13, 1960- September 17, 1961

Writer and Artist: Leonard Starr

Another outstanding read! This time out Mary Perkins finds a maid, or rather the maid finds her. Daisy Collins becomes Mary's self-appointed maid, and while it seems like she is up to no good at times she ends becoming a good friend of Mary's. Mary gets a big break when she ends up on the Julep Tandy Show. This leads to a quick vacation for Mary where she and husband Pete Fletcher run into Johnny Q.

From there we get some occult-tinged fun by way of Amory Goodfellow, a writer who consults tarot cards, zodiac signs and all other manner of gobbledygook that was entering the mainstream lexicon in the 1960s. I know that my Mom still had a badass zodiac sign wall hanging in our living room in the '70s and '80s. Then Mary meets film legend Coby Kincaid, a country boy at heart who is reluctant to play the game and wants out in the worst way.


Starr's sense of pace is brilliant. He writes in arcs while introducing an element for the next one, building it up so that by the Sunday strip an entirely new storyline is under way. His artwork is also beyond great. I am sucker for photo realism, and he delivers it in spades.

I started reading this series around the same time as my friend, and while I have been bouncing between this and many other things he has been plowing straight through, unable to read anything else. I can certainly see why. It is difficult going from a strip that is the whole package to reading other, often inferior comics.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 5 out of 5.

The OCD zone- Like most strip books, this is presented in landscape format. It takes some getting used to reading a book this wide, but the material more than makes up for it. Plus the artwork is much larger than it would be if they released it in a standard format book.
Linework restoration: Compiled from many sources such as original art, proofs, etc. The nipple line is removed and many of these strips are more complete than they were at the time of original publication. There are some rough spots here and there, undoubtedly the result of a lack of quality source material. Things look good for the most part but there are a few spots that are not up to the restoration quality found in the first three books.
The Sundays are presented here in black and white. They were originally printed in color.
Paper stock: Uncoated stock paper.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: Cardstock coating has a matte coating that is resistant to scuffing.

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