Friday, January 20, 2017

Review- ZAGOR: TERROR FROM THE SEA



ZAGOR: TERROR FROM THE SEA (Epicenter, First Printing, 2015; Softcover)

Collects Zagor #386-388 (cover dates September- November, 1997)

Writer: Mauro Boselli
Artist: Stefano Andreucci
Colorist: (Originally published in black and white) Not listed



Epicenter has been bringing European fan favorites to the English-speaking world over the past few years, and we are all better off for it. Zagor has been published in Europe for over 50 years but is essentially unknown to North American audiences.

Zagor is a pretty cool concept that borrows from so many places that it comes off as an original enough work. `There is a definite H.P Lovecraft influence with Dagon and it's respective cult. Andrew Cain, a puritan on a quest to kill all evil just like his ancestor, is a wafer thin doppelganger for Solomon Kane. There are other bits and pieces lovingly borrowed from other sources, and it all works when blended together.



I'm not sure when this series takes place. There are swords and firearms as well as blowtorches, although there is no electricity or telephones. There are no automobiles, as everything is horse and buggy, so my best guess would be the 19th century. It does take place in Darkwood, USA, so we know that it is after 1776 at least.

Since the series had been published for over 35 years when these issues (or albums, as the European comics are sometimes referred to) were originally published, there is little to no introduction to these characters. You are just thrust into the story and left to try and figure out who is who along the way. While all of the characters are given motives, ironically it is Zagor who seems to be the one without any real motive or explanation as to how he got to where he is.

Andrew Cain, not Solomon Kane.


Zagor is a fast paced, action packed read that is light on dialogue and heavy on fun. My friend gave me this book, and while I recommend it as a read please refer to binding issues which I've addressed in the OCD zone below.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 5 out of 5.

The OCD zone- This book is published in the GN-TPB size, meaning that it's trim size is the same as a Dark Horse Omnibus. The size has a lot of detractors, but I am not one of them. I enjoy books this size, as they are easy to handle and the material is not shrunk down so small that you cannot read it.
Linework and Color restoration: No comment on the linework, as I have no source material to compare it to. The computer recoloring of material that was originally presented in black and white is tasteful, using effects sparingly.
There are numerous typos and grammatical errors throughout this book.
Paper stock: Glossy coated stock.

It didn't look like that when I started reading it...


Binding: Sewn binding, which doesn't mean squat on a softcover. The signatures became separated from the glue piece and, as you can see here, this book was falling apart on the first read. I imagine that this is easily fixed with acid free library glue, but it is certainly a cause for concern.
Cardstock cover notes: Matte finish, resistant to scuffs.

3 comments:

  1. Wow, I had never, ever heard of this character before! This book sounds really interesting, and I'm glad publishers like Epicenter are making work like this available to American audiences. Is this considered a particularly good (or definitive) Zagor story? The issue range seems pretty random otherwise -- unless, of course, Epicenter is collecting this entire series?

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    1. It is a very good story, but I have no idea if it is important to Zagor fans or if it was just considered a good entry point for North American audiences. Epicenter is going to cherry pick various arcs from what the introduction states. I also recommend Magic Wind, another European comic that Epicenter has translated and published.

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  2. Hi! Thank you for your review Kris!
    I'm sorry about the binding! You must have been unlucky one and gotten the defective book. Honestly, this is the first time I've seen this happen to our Zagor book. If you send us your address at: info@epicentercomics.com I will gladly send you a new, perfect copy!
    Now let me explain about publishing Zagor...
    Our goal is to publish the best ever Zagor stories. We have quite a lot to choose from since the series has been going for 55 years in Italy! :-)) Each book will be an omnibus containing the full story. I chose Terror from the Sea as first, because I noticed that new readers of Zagor in other languages always highly rate this story, plus Andreucci's artwork is fantastic. This February, we are publishing our 4th Zagor omnibus, Zagor vs. Supermike which is (along with our second omnibus, The Red Sand) my personal favorite Zagor episode. By the way, next year, we will publish Zagor book that deals with Zagor's childhood and how he became the King of Darkwood.
    Thank you for the reading!

    -Igor

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