APE’ing Chick tracts

Elayne Riggs

Elayne Riggs is the creator of the popular blog Pen-Elayne on the Web. She was a founding member of Friends of Lulu, an organization dedicated to increasing the involvement of girls and women in comics, as readers and creators. She is married to inker Robin Riggs, with whom she shares two cats, and has odd love/hate relationship with Hillary Clinton.

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11 Responses

  1. MARK WHEATLEY says:

    Again – Credits for this week are:Written by Mike Oeming & Mark WheatleyPenciled by Ethen BeaversInked by Mike OemingColored & Lettered by Mark WheatleyColor assisted by Matt PlogAnd here ends HAMMER OF THE GODS: Back from the Dead

  2. Russ Rogers says:

    The image of the Ogre barreling through town looks like Ethen Beavers is channeling the muse of Jack Kirby. I find Beavers' clean lines and cartoony style very appealing. You can see the influence of Jack Kirby and Bruce Timm. Beavers' art compliments Oeming and Wheatley's very well. I doesn't feel like he's mimicking their style directly, it's just seems that Beavers has a similar aesthetic.Nice story. If I think about it too much, it's hard for a town to be confused about what attacked it, an Ogre or a Dragon. So I won't subject the plot to too much "logic" or "critical thinking." I don't need to criticize. I really LOVED the reunion of Modi and Skogul: that "If you love me, you'll let me run you through with my sword" moment, followed by the passionate kiss. Sweet.Hammer of the Gods remains the most consistently entertaining read in ComicMix's current roster of stories. Thank you.

    • Russ Rogers says:

      Crud. Mark's comment wasn't up before I started composing mine. "Here ends HAMMER OF THE GODS: Back from the Dead"I was hoping for another week or two. (sighs) Oh well.Hammer of the Gods is a great addition to ComicMix. Thanks to Mike Oeming, John Staton and the other guest artists. Special thanks to Mark Wheatley, not only for providing the words and images, but for also for the regular commentary on this page. No other artist has been so gracious and generous with my nattering here on ComicMix. No other artist has provided the regular dose of insight and responses with their own comments. THIS near instant dialog and sometimes revision of the work (minor mistakes were–ZAP!–fixed before you knew it), it has been amazing and personally gratifying. Thanks Mark. It shows a dedication to the art and an profound understanding for the power and potential of this Instant Digital Medium, Comics on Internet. Thanks, Mark. Way back in the comments of Hammer of the Gods #1, Mark mentioned how the first book, HAMMER OF THE GODS: Mortal Enemy, Book 1, was out of print and nearly sold out. Mark hinted that they were pondering how to get it "out there for readers." I inferred that Wheatley and Mike Oeming were considering republishing Mortal Enemy here on ComicMix. I hope they do. I hope they get that chance. This would give thousands of new readers an opportunity to find and read the book. And it would tide me over (even though I've bought it and read it!) until HAMMER OF THE GODS: Book 3 makes it to ComicMix!

      • MARK WHEATLEY says:

        I can't just go blabbing about everything. But I can say that both Mike Oeming and I have been dreaming up ideas for the third act of HAMMER OF THE GODS for a long time. The real trick is to work it into both of our schedules.And BTW Russ – thanks for your thoughtful comments on the entire HOG run.

    • MARK WHEATLEY says:

      My feeling about that confusion over the identity of just what attacked the town is that the comic is showing far more than anyone involved in the actual event ever saw – at least anyone who survived. I hold out the possibility that all that happened is that the town got hit by a hurricane!Also – you just don't know how strong that GROG is.

      • Russ Rogers says:

        The Hurricane/Grog explanation makes perfect sense to me. Or even meteor storm/grog. If a group of men wake up to find their town in ruins and the only man standing is Modi, well then Modi would get the credit for saving the town or the blame for wrecking it, depending on your point of view.

        • MARK WHEATLEY says:

          I don't know that I've ever even mentioned this to Mike – but I have always tried to place the HAMMER stories in that gap in knowledge about events that allows legends and myth to be born. I think of these stories about Modi as "actually" having happened. But I try not to go over the line where you couldn't imagine some less impressive event that might have inspired a series of oral tales centuries ago that have now become far more impressive in their retelling. Just one of those little mental games I set for myself when I work on a project.

          • Russ Rogers says:

            I really like that philosophy. I understand it perfectly. I've heard the story of Noah's Ark explained as the breaching of the Bosporus Strait, which caused a massive flooding of the Black Sea Basin, creating the Black Sea. Thinking that there might be rational, scientific explanations for miraculous, Biblical events doesn't test my faith as a Christian or my belief in the miraculous! It affirms it. I believe Miracles are the meaning behind natural events and the belief that natural events are set in motion to have meaning. It's the meeting of synchronicity and synergy with poetry and design; a loving creator with a continued active interest in their creation!I think this element of the story (that the stories of Modi could have natural explanations) could be played UP here with very small revisions to the dialog. Have the BEARDED SAGE mention that neighboring towns were affected by terrible storms at about the same time this town was devastated. Then have the villagers claim that the Gods must have been enraged by Modi's actions and took out their displeasure on the countryside. Obviously, it could have been the reverse. The town was devastated by a storm and Modi ends up with the credit or blame.Finally, in rereading this, is the BEARDED SAGE supposed to be Snorri, from the Introduction to "Back from the Dead" (Issue #1)? Give the SAGE a mustache and a crucifix around his neck (I'm actually suggesting you do this) and you've got Snorri! Suddenly the book has bookends and a thematic device that ties it all together. The Snorri in this story is far more hale and healthy, but the Snorri in the Introduction is older and weighed down with the conflict of documenting and retelling the stories of Modi or concealing them because they test his faith.Anyway, I do love the final image in this book, of the statue with the SAGE declaring that now the town can know he is a stranger no longer, "They call him Hammer of the Gods–Men and even Gods know his name is Modi Son of Tyr!" That's a perfect coda to this lengthy, grand and wonderful symphony of a comic book.

          • MARK WHEATLEY says:

            No – the old guy with the beard is not Snorri. Snorri is a real person, documented in history and he lived a very long time after Modi had his Viking Adventures. But I do appreciate what you were shooting for there.

          • Russ Rogers says:

            Snorri Sturluson (1178 – September 23, 1241). Thank you, Wikipedia.Is that the guy?Around what years would Modi have been trudging about in the snow? Again, all I know of the world now comes from Wikipedia (it's sad, I know), and it places the Viking Age between 790 and 1066. But, I guess, the Legends of Modi might be older than that.

          • MARK WHEATLEY says:

            You are correct, sir – as Ed once said. And I have been working with the idea that Modi's adventures took place very early on – and that even during the heyday of the Viking culture his stories were legend. But ultimately Mike Oeming has the final say this. He is the primary on HAMMER.