I’m writing this post not only to celebrate Wizard* in particular, though he is cool. What I really want to do is to be the millionth person to recommend the original Lee & Kirby run on Fantastic Four, particularly the stuff from somewhat later in the run (the image at left is from FF #81, for instance). The run’s been collected in various forms, and if you want to save some money, it reads perfectly well in black and white. If you’re dirt poor, but have a surplus of crayons and time, you could even color those Essential collections yourself. With modern crayon technology you can finally outfit the entire team in stylish Purple Pizzazz.
Kirby’s art is full of energy and weird little idiosyncracies. I’m trying to conjure up an appropriate metaphor, but I keep wanting to compare it to a delicious fruit salad**, and that’s doesn’t really (at all) do it justice. It’s so bold that, as you’re reading it, you wonder why anyone since has even bothered. It’s the same way some people feel about the Beatles, I think. Probably not the way most people feel about fruit salad. Maybe some fruit salads.
If you want to read something that stands alone more than Fantastic Four, or if you just want your bookshelf to look a little hipper, I’d suggest Kamandi. Particularly the first bunch of issues with Mike Royer inking.
Anyway, Wizard. I find it amusing that his alias is “The Wingless Wizard,” as I’ve never heard of a wizard with wings. At the very least it’s not much of a distinguishing feature for a wizard to be wingless. It’s like if my alias was The Man Without A Tail.***
If you want to check out any of these comics, or ask some more knowledgeable than me about them, and you’re in the Boston area, consider visiting the good people at New England Comics. The Allston store might have a copy of Wizard Planet laying around, and maybe if you promise to buy some expensive hardcovers they’ll put it on for you.
*Read that biography if you dare!
**One more example of why I am not a writer.
***Spoiler: I don’t have a tail.