Welcome Computer Pals!

*Sit down! Have a Pop Tart! Check out LAST WEEK'S REVIEWS:

Bricktop A1 Special

Hulk and Thing: Hard Knocks #1 (of 4)

Street Angel #3

Sof’ Boy and Friends #3

Wash it down with a hard cider and you've got it made!

*I went diving into quarter bins the other day, and I found some very sweet treats. There's a good little 1986 number from NOW Comics called "Vector" issue #1 by Jim McGreal and Rich Mrozek. It looks like three subsequent issues were produced in the same year, and then nothing else. Regardless, I think the contents of this fine book warrant a close examination!

Henry Vector is a successful mystery writer, but his life is going to become far more mysterious with the mysterious introduction of that most mysterious machine of mystery: the personal computer. Henry's love-bunny Alice picks the machine up at a mysterious going out of business sale, and the mystery soon begins! This computer is not like the benign Internet boxes you and I know and love, it makes scary 3D shapes pop out of the monitor, and blasts poor Harry with pixilated power. That's the draw of the book: portions of the art and color were created with the finest blocky graphics that 1986 had to offer. Sometimes the lines of the art themselves are rendered in CG form, and sometimes computerized coloring simply covers traditional inks. Oddly enough, I still prefer this sort of charming EGA Sierra-chic to full-blown 3D modeled mannequin graphics. Call me old-school ("Ok, Old-School!")

As any Computer Science undergrad could tell you, there's only one thing a computer that zaps people with colorful pixels is good for: predicting elevator accidents. And true to form, the monitor of magic produces some wiggly-line portraits of disaster that Henry uses to save several tenants of his building from certain elevator-related injury. A later visit from a part-time computer store clerk confirms that this is no ordinary Tandy 1000. And upon closer examination, Alice discovers that the keyboard is not adorned with only the good old alphabet, but with Ancient Druid Symbols. The easy-going clerk (perhaps unwittingly revealing why he only gets part-time work) brushes it off: "You probably just got an old machine they don't make anymore." This is of course a timely reference to IBM's ill-fated PC Pagan Black Magic launch which scandalized the world of computing back in the day.

Secure in the knowledge that their pixel-blasting oracle box was once used to play "Space Quest 2" at Stonehenge, Henry and Alice relax on the couch to watch some Dick Van Dyke (really). Then their apartment is smashed down by a hulking pixel monster who arrives to get them to accept the Red Pill, and by 'Red Pill' I mean 'monstrous beating'. Maybe it's a Druid who caught them pirating his elevator disaster prevention software? I may never know, because that's the only issue I found in the box.