Monday, October 20, 2014

Hero Sandwich Collection: The Works

Hero Sandwich Collection: The Works is a trade paperback collection of comics books from SLG (formerly Slave Labor Graphics), a publisher based in San Jose, California. Among their best known publications are Milk and Cheese, Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, and My Monkey's Name is Jennifer. SLG has been around for decades now, and they have been a place for interesting and off-beat comics, a launching pad for a number of creators.

This book follows the adventures of a detective agency/motley crew of characters: Rachel Ashley is a smart and sly woman who seems to be the leader. Allison is her compatriot who has a thing for large guns. Silver Scorpion is an aging ex-CIA type with a mysterious past. Lee is an alien (I think, he's "not from around here") who has a round, almost featureless face, and Richard is a hero with stretching powers a la Plastic Man.

This volume contains two storylines, one where the detectives take a case from a coven of vampires who are seeking out a man who is trying to become a vampire by taking drugs, filing down his teeth, and savagely killing random people (that's the connection to this month's theme, BTW).

The second is a caper that follows when Silver Scorpion meets up with one of his compatriots from the old days. To be honest, neither story was excellent, though I thought they were fun and entertaining. Mostly, they are great for looking at the time period, as 1980s fashions and style are pretty prominent throughout, for good or bad.
80s fashion!
These comics are also good for looking at the early days of some comics creators. Writer Dan Vado is also the publisher of SLG, and he is also known for a run on JLA for DC Comics, though I think the best book he did was The Griffin. He won an Inkpot Award for his long-standing contributions to comics. The first story arc about vampires was drawn by Chuck Austen, who has worked on various comics over time, including some semi-autobiographical porn books, Miracleman and X-Men, though his work became reviled by fans. He also created the animated series Tripping the Rift. The second story arc was drawn by Peter Krause (yes, his name is misspelled on the cover) and Aldin Baroza. Krause went on to draw many comics for DC, including Superman and Shazam! He also collaborated on the Irredeemable and Insufferable series. Baroza mostly works an an animation storyboard artist nowadays but he also does a webcomic called Rose Madder.

I could not find any reviews for this book online, and it is mostly exists for comics completists, or as Vado put it in his introduction, "the 500 of you who will eventually own this collection." Instead of reviews then, I will take this space to talk about SLG and its current plight. The publisher has been in business for three decades now, and the comics business is not what it used to be. Publisher Vado has established a gofundme project here and is looking for donations to get his company back to speed. They are an established publisher with a long track record of contributing to the comics industry, and I contributed to their drive, so won't you consider helping them out as well?

Hero Sandwich Collection: The Works was published by SLG Publishing

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