Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Greetings from Skartaris: "War Gods of Skartaris!" by Mike Grell

Y'know, Groove-ophiles, if Ol' Groove could only keep one issue of Warlord, it would almost definitely be Warlord #3 (July 1976). With this issue, Mike Grell became another colossus (up there with Jim Starlin) of the comicbook writer/artist  realm.. I've often thought that this ish must have made a huge impact on the guys who would go on to found Image Comics in the 1990s. Check it out: huge action splashes and double page splashes; entire action sequences with no dialogue; Grell was cutting way back (and would cut back even more in the future) on the flowery captions used by most comicbook writers of the Groovy Age. Now the difference between Grell and his possible future acolytes is Grell didn't go to excess in any area. He knew when to cut loose and when to pull back. He was in control, telling his stories in his own, personal way. As usual, many followers (myself included in my own modest way) too often picked up on the surface stuff, but didn't get Grell's depth. Anyway, Yers Trooly LOVES "War Gods of Skartaris!" Check out that battle! Dig those crazy Lizard Men (better'n Jolly Jack's Toad Men from last week's Sandman epic)! And does anyone draw cooler giant snakes than Iron Mike? Yeah, Ol' Groove really, really digs this ish!  Hope you dig it, too!


  1. I am 35 years old and have been a comic fan now for 10 years. I have a one year old son. Rather than read him your typical bed time story's that commercialize the shelves, I choose comic books and he loves them. I even managed to find him a pair of Spider Man sunglasses
    You have gained a subscriber :)

  2. Groove,

    I realize that this comment is a bit delayed but I simply had to chime in. My heart leapt when I saw this cover in my inbox. This is my favorite comic of all time! I cherished this book as a pre-teen and read it dozens upon dozens of times.

    This is quite possibly the perfect comic. It has action galore, multiple spreads, a dragon, a cover scene that actually occurs in the story, lizard-men, a complete story, a recap of the backstory, a twist ending, sword and gun fighting, a heroic rescue, beautiful (for it's time) coloring, AND fantastic Mike Grell artwork. Mike Grell is a great talent and his artwork, in those days, was my #1 favorite.

    Thanks for bringing us this great book, and I hope you continue on an do more Warlord in the future. This book is especially gorgeous because it is inked by Mike Grell. Later issues were inked by Vince Colette, which dampened my enjoyment quite a bit --- however (to end on a positive note) I read and enjoyed this book for years.

  3. This was my absolute favorite series when it came out. FIRST ISSUE SPECIAL 8, Then WARLORD 1 and 2 in late 1975 and early 1976. Then there was about 7 or 8 months where it appeared the series was cancelled (it turned out DC put the series on hold until they could evaluate the sales figures for these first 3 issues). I was crushed when a new issue didn't come out in all those months, I loved the series so much. I actually had dreams of going to a 7-11 and being thrilled to see issue 3 on the stands. When that issue 3 finally did come out on the stands some 8 months later, it was literally this 13-year-old kid's dream come true. Grell's WARLORD 1-50, then later STARSLAYER (1981-1982), then later JON SABLE FREELANCE 1-40 (1983-1987), no other series by Grell gave me a fanboy high like those first 14 issues by Grell. And all the sweeter issues 3-14, that looked like they would never materialize on the stands. These early issues were the ones Grell poured his heart and soul into. The series also benefitted that during that 8 months, Grell became a far better artist with a far more decorative line. And issue 3, pages 2 and 3, that double page spread is just to die for. Suitable for framing. And in my case, it is in fact enlarged to 22" X 17" size, matted and framed on the wall.



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