Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tiny Explorers and Warriors

By Alex Ness 
June 26, 2017

While it is true that I am a fan of this franchise, I am less saying that it is a good thing, as something else, something less exciting.

I remember being too old to be interested in the Micronauts as toys when they came out.  I loved all things Japan even way way back then, so finding out that they were toys from Japan, I was interested in them, even if not as toys, from the first.  And one way I applied my interest was to buy the comic book with that amazing Michael Golden art.

I bought issues as well as a person in a small town could.  Between the drug store, IGA grocery store, and trips to my family's relatives in Mpls/St Paul, I tried to collect a number of comics.  I had the money, I just didn't have the access.  There was never a guarantee that I'd get the comics that were supposed to come out.

The original series had an energy that any other media adaptation didn't.  This was a really unusual combination, of being a toy, without my knowing any backstory and being really good.  I have longed for a tpb or 3 of the many different runs.

And IDW would be the best company to reprint them, if possible.  They do a wonderful job capturing previous works, of licensed works.  However, I don't see it being announced anytime soon. Three series happened at MARVEL, each having quality and worth collecting.  I loved the Micronaut Special Editions, they were reprints but with wrap around covers...

When I next saw them they came out from Devil's Due Pres,  but through the publishing help from IMAGE.  With this run I was very happy to read the issues, I found the art to be superb, but the series was really wanting for a single, strong, focused writer.  As such you got a little here, a little there, and the art was good.

DDP took over Micronauts as the publisher too, and attempted to reboot the series.  It was really not anything special, but for some ok art.  It didn't last, either.

And then IDW announced that they were going to play in this publishing game.  And their books are always consistent, and the first run, while good, was a drink of water, when you needed a beer.  It was good, even satisfying, but you wanted more.

So what is my big deal with writing this?   I wonder why so many of the comics on the shelf are either mainstream superheroes or media adaptations.  Intellectual properties are great, but, just as someone can make a better living working for the big 2 (Marvel/DC) or create a portfolio by working at lesser rewarding jobs, there used to be tons more to choose from.  I love the Micronauts, but they keep coming back.  I wonder what comics didn't happen when a publisher was searching for a quick dollar by publishing a well recognized media product.  I wonder this but probably know the truth, comics sell at such a rate that a publisher doesn't feel it can take a risk.  And the independent comic writers and artists don't have a shot to impress, because in order to be in print you need a background of being in print.   That is, in order to get the job you need experience, and you can't get experience unless you have had the job.

(Description from wiki: THE MICRONAUTS 

The Micronauts comic books featuring a group of characters based on the Mego Micronauts toy line. The first title was published by Marvel Comics in 1979, with both original characters and characters based on the toys. Marvel published two Micronauts series, mostly written by Bill Mantlo, until 1986, well after the toy line was cancelled in 1980. In the 2000s, Image Comics and Devil's Due Publishing each briefly published their own Micronauts series. Byron Preiss Visual Publications also published three paperback novels based on the Micronauts. In July 2015, IDW Publishing announced that they would publish a new comic book series.)

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