Item description for Star Hawks The Complete Series by Ron Goulart...
Star Hawks The Complete Series by Ron Goulart
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 11.97" Width: 8.9" Height: 1.1" Weight: 3.8 lbs.
Release Date Mar 31, 2004
Publisher Hermes Press
ISBN 1932563636 ISBN13 9781932563634
Availability 0 units.
More About Ron Goulart
Ron Goulart is an award-winning mystery and science fiction writer who is also considered one of the leading experts on comics, both nationally and internationally. He has written numerous comics and published many books on the subject, including Great American Comic Books and Comic Book Culture. He lives in Connecticut with his wife.
Reviews - What do customers think about Star Hawks The Complete Series?
a missed opportunity Aug 28, 2006
If you're here, you presumably already know how great an artist Gil Kane was. Second only to Jack Kirby in terms of his influence on generations of comic artists, I've been hearing about his legendary newspaper strip 'Star Hawks' for years, and always wanted to read it in a deluxe format that did Gil's art justice. Unfortunately, "Star Hawks The Complete Series" isn't it. Gil's art is, of course, as dynamic and breathtaking as it always was ( as Mark Evanier says, Kane never disappointed ), and the stories, slyly satirical space operas written by SF author Ron Goulart, and later by Archie Goodwin, are fast paced and fun, and there are some great cameos, including Issac Asimov, Hagar creator Dik Browne, and Gil himself as the Jokeresque villain Smiler Tryce. "Star Hawks" really does live up to it's reputation. BUT publisher Daniel Hermann really has messed up with the production. Hermann is a huge Gil Kane fan, and I enjoyed his other books on him, ( The Art Of The Comics and Art & Interviews ), but the strips reproduced here are just too small! As the book starts, you get four strips to a page, which is ok, tho' some of Kane's visual dynamism is lessened, but as you go on, the stips get smaller and smaller, until, by the end of the book, you literally need a magnifying glass to even read the dialogue. I'm at a loss to understand why Hermann went this route, when he could've produced two, or even three, books that showed the artwork off properly, but here it is.I can only assume it worked out cheaper. To be honest, this probably is the only chance most fans are going to get to see the strip for the forseeable future, so I'd urge any fans of Kane to get a copy, just be aware, it isn't what it could've been.
Not the artist and writers fault Jul 29, 2005
My first review of this was 4 stars. That was when I had the book brand new. My enthusiasm has waned considerably when I see how muddled the reproductions are. The strips reprinted in this volume deserve much better treatment than they've recieved. I cannot second guess the reason that these strips are so small other than this was an effort to keep the book affordable.
Problems: 1) The strips are reproduced in 3"X 5" scale which cuts down on the clarity of Gil Kane's crisp, distinctive line work (on pages 20 and 21 there is a sample of the art in an 11" X 7" format and a WORLD of difference can be witnessed in it's visual impact!!). 2) The art appears to be reproduced from stats and not the original art which, further denigrates the quality of line work. 3) The written script is also terribly small. For those of us who read this strip that's a burden because we're now old enough that this fine print is annoying. 4) There are no pages featuring the Sunday color strips within the continuity presented in the book's format. At this tiny size a little color would have been something to distract me from the poor reproduction quality.
Nitpicks: 1) The cover art was one of the most boring images from Gil Kane's art for this strip. Much better and much more dynamic examples are all through this collection. A limited edition print was made some time ago with Jaxon engaging a huge bug beast and that image would have served better as the cover and would have grabbed people's attention to this collection. There are literally hundreds of better pieces of art to use for this cover. 2) The endpapers are just plain boring. The repeated, tiny image of the robodog from the strip making a page pattern was also very lackluster. 3) The book's format is roughly 9 1/2" x 12" running vertically. This format is common for comic strip reprints but the dust cover flaps are too shallow, popping off as soon as the book is cracked open, and the binding, while very accessable, is also somewhat loose feeling. I have to do a little routine to set this on my lap.
What's right: 1) Despite the lack of color strips presented within the continuity there are some examples of full page reproductions in the back of the book. Unfortunately they are reproduced from the newsprint strips and so the color is not very good, and the line work again suffers from cheap printing. One of those strips is actually very nice and clean, but one among fourteen is nothing to crow about. 2)The introduction however is the best part of the book. Again, though, there is a downside to this but this is a purely personal problem that I have. Ron Goulart and Gil Kane are creative innovators in SF and Fantasy. So, why are so many of the examples of art presented in these sections those from superhero comics? Gil tried very hard to expand on what comics could be. He experimented outside of the mainstream so often that it was lush life of creative ideas, most of which, sadly, saw little in the way of mainstream acknowledgement. Star Hawks was an excuse to push both comic strips and the graphic narrative beyond the cliche's that are rife in the publishing world. While not a glowing success Star Hawks deserves better than another rehashing of superhero driven nostalgia for Gil Kane's art.
Another of many chances to get something worth praise out to world has been a let down.
Great strip, great book, great value Aug 24, 2004
Just picked this book up. Was a big fan of the strip and this book does it justice. The printing is clear and easy to read, there is lots of documentary material, in addition to the strip reprint itself, and finally I got to read the whole three and a half years. I remember my local paper stopped carrying it after only a year and I wanted to read more, now I've got it all. Also, this is a big book, one inch thick on heavy, nice paper. All in all, great production, and a great value. In closing, the foreword and introduction essay were nice too, well written, accompanied by lots of Gil Kane's original art to boot, impressive.
A Fantastic reprint! Aug 23, 2004
I have been waiting for twenty-five years for this strip to be re-printed and Hermes Press has finally gotten it right. Ron Goulart, the strip's author writes a nice forward and there is a really comprehensive essay about the strip's artist, Gil Kane, as well. But seeing all the strips re-printed in one volume is fantastic. The strip is a classic and to have it so well reproduced with crisp printing is an added bonus. Hoorah, my dreams have been answered!
A classic strip badly manhandled Aug 6, 2004
Ron Goulart and Gil Kane created the classic Star Hawks comic strip 25 years ago, and since its conclusion, the strip's stories have been reprinted several times--but the series as a whole has never been reprinted (earlier reprints always omitted some of the strips). So when word went out that a publisher was going to reprint the entire strip, from start to finish, it sounded too good to be true.
It is. The production values alone on this book are incredibly poor. Strips are warped and misprinted, artwork is frequently, badly and obnoxiously retouched, spelling and grammar errors abound in the text portions. There're nothing like excellent production standards--and this book has nothing like excellent production standards.
To see the story complete after so long (I read it when it first appeared, and still have my original clippings) is great; I'm just incredibly disappointed that complete amateurs were put in charge of _producing_ it. The best bet would be to wait until a revised (and much-cleaned up) reprint might come about; unfortunately, that seems highly unlikely.
If you can find any of the more recent strip reprint books, buy them instead. You'll get better production on newsprint than these folks turned in on slick, distractingly-glossy paper.