Back in the late 1980’s Atomeka Press published a collection of short illustrative stories from (mostly) English authors under the title of A1. Just this last year Atomeka, in association with Titan Books, is bringing back the series with A1: The World’s Greatest Comics, Vol. 1. Inside this first volume are short illustrative stories and articles from comic industry greats like Joe Kirby, Alan Moore, Jim Steranko, Kevin Eastman, and many more.
As far as a review goes; this was a weird one. Though I enjoyed many of the stories (very much a pick’n mix of comics and comic insights) there was almost no context to the book. There was no introduction, or history, or anything under the cover that told me what or why this book was made or who made it. Which in an age where Google exists that’s not too big a deal, just a little frustrating. Moving past the none introduction though – there are several very well illustrated (and well written) stories each followed with a short bio of its creators. Two of my favorites from the volume are the comics by Sandy Plunkett (Tales of Old Fennario) and Jim Steranko (Frogs). Frogs was especially unique because it was followed by a short essay (about making Frogs), written by Steranko.
Volume 1 also has several articles including Image Duplicator, an excellent feature on the artist retaliation (by way of an art show) to the art work “appropriated” by Roy Lichtenstein. However, I was a little confused by the inclusion of several pages about coffee spread through out the volume. In the little (very little) research I did on A1 I didn’t come across anything that referred to coffee or it’s importance to Atomeka, so I can only hope this is explained later. Not that the coffee references weren’t interesting, just weird.
Overall, I enjoyed A1. Sure, I called it weird a few times, but this is Atomic Moo, and who the hell are we to judge on what’s too weird. I sincerely hope this a new start for an independent comic anthology and I’m looking forward to more volumes (hopefully) being produced in the future.
Okay, so here’s where I would normally throw down the links to where you can purchase this this volume. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a direct link to this book on the Titan Books website or an actual website for Atomeka other than their Faceook. I also can’t say for sure if this book is still available in bookstores. However, if you can find it, I do recommend it. Check out a small sample of images from the book below, but like always; This is just the tip of the iceberg.