Our good friend Jay Piscopo and the folks at Nemo Publishing are once again teaming up with Capt’n Eli to introduce another action figure to the world! You may recall my love affair with Commander X, Piscopo’s other Mego-like figure. Jay has created a whole world of amazing characters that harken back to the days when comic books had more adventure and fun within the panels. Jay has worked with Dr. Mego to create several versions of Commander X in figure form, but now he is officially announcing the popular Sea Ghost figure!
What makes Sea Ghost so special, is that he’s such a great nod to Alex Toth’s designs. Jay has such a love and passion for these types of characters and Sea Ghost really seems to have an incredible appeal. I reviewed the first Sea Ghost comic a couple of years ago and I am so excited to see this character finally come to life as an action figure.
And if you pre-order now, you can snag this guy for only $16! That’s $4 off the regular pirce. You can’t hardly find any Mego figures for that price, much less one that’s so awesome. Sea Ghost is a completely original character that’s growing as a property all the time. Support independent artists and pick this figure up for yourself, your kids or anybody you know! I’ve already put in my pre-orders for a few! Quantities are limited so get this guy while you can!
And while you’re over at the Capt’n Eli Homepage, you can pick up some of Jay’s comics for discount prices. Sea Ghost #1 is there, along with the two Capt’n Eli Graphic novels, which feature Commander X and the Sea Ghost! Continue reading
Written and Illustrated by Jay Piscopo
Last month I mentioned the release of the Commander X All-Star Special, a new comic from the folks at Nemo Publishing. Longtime readers of Infinite Hollywood probably know that I have a soft spot for Commander X, the pulp inspired golden age hero. Jay Piscopo has a way about his work that doesn’t just seem like it’s influenced from the comics of yesteryear, but rather as if it was plucked right out of that era.
This 40 page special edition comic includes three stories and fans of the Commander will recognize these tales from other comics. That’s okay though because they’ve never looked sharper or more crisp than in this All-Star Special. This serves as a great launching point for new fans or kids who are just starting to get exposed to the world of comics. Although the Commander X stories are retro-inspired, there’s enough modern storytelling sensibility throughout that you never feel like you’re reading something that’s been dumbed down or is tongue in cheek. Because Jay keeps it old school, this comic is family friendly and safe for all ages to read. After all, it is approved by the Cosmic Code Authority!
The first story, The Guardian of Tantaus, takes place in Tibet in 1939. If you’re a fan of Indiana Jones and old movie serials, you’ll especially get a kick out of this one. Commander X is sent into the snowy climate to stop one of his old enemies, the Red Octopus, who is working with the Nazis to trap the abominable snowman. The Commander encounters Nazis, Tibetan monks and of course, the one big ol’ mean Yeti!
You may recall that I paid tribute to this story back in 2009, with my own little Commander X Figure Comic, so this one is definitely a classic. It was great reading it again and seeing the story just seemingly leap off the page with each turn. I must admit, this is still one of my favorite Commander X stories.
The second story is called Allies and recounts the time that Commander X first met Sea Ghost, who was going by the moniker Sea Raider during World War II. This story really oozes that classic Jonny Quest, Hanna-Barbera cartoon feel and it’s also heavily influenced by the old Aquaman comics. It definitely has some art nods to Ramona Fradon and Paul Norris, while the story is a fun underwater romp that also serves to make you want to buy the Commander X Undersea Knight toy.
The final story, Wake of the War-Beast, is one part Godzilla movie and one part 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. Piscopo manages to weave the genres together perfectly for a highly exciting nautical adventure. While the previous story was underwater as well, this one is all about submarines and naval maneuvers. There’s also a little bit of magic, sci-fi and superstition peppered in for good measure.
All in all, the Commander X All-Star Special is a nostalgic adventure through several Commander X stories all cobbled together into one big book of awesome. I highly recommend it, especially if you’re like me and are tired of the same short modern comics where you have to buy 4-5 comics to get a complete adventure.
At $3.99 you can’t go wrong with this comic. That’s basically 10 cents per page. Not to mention that there’s some beautiful pin-ups (as always in a Nemo Publishing book) and lots of fun, simple and exciting adventures for readers young and old. You can visit the Capt’n Eli Homepage where you can order the comic direct and learn more about the world of Capt’n Eli, Commander X and Sea Ghost.
You can also ask for this book by name at your local comic shop and give them the DIAMOND CODE: AUG12122 so they can order it for their shop. Plus be on the lookout here at Infinite Hollywood, as we’re planning a special giveaway of a Commander X comic coming soon!
Sea Ghost #1
Written and Illustrated by Jay Piscopo
Back in December I mentioned the release of a new Commander X comic for free online, Commander X-Mas, in what has become something of a tradition from the folks at Nemo Publishing. I love the pulp style of Commander X, who is a spin-off character from the Undersea Adventures of Capt’n Eli. Today I’m looking at a new print comic from the Nemo Publishing group, titled Sea Ghost. The character of Sea Ghost is a spin-off character from Commander X, allowing all three characters to share and inhabit the same universe, while also having adventures on their own.
While the Commander X Christmas comic gave us a little bit of info on the past of the Sea Ghost, the one shot comic that’s scheduled for release this month is a self contained single story about one of the many adventures of the Ghost by himself. It’s sub-titled “The Sea Ghost in the Machine!” and features the Sea Ghost being teleported to a strange world right in the middle of an epic everlasting war between a Planet of the Apes-like culture known as the Simas and an Atlantian undersea race known as the Phlan.
As someone who loves reading old comics from publishers like Gold Key or Charlton, the style that Piscopo exudes is right in line with the classics. This comic could have easily been on the shelves in the Silver Age of comics and yet, never feels dated or contrived. Jay has a love for the simple but fun storytelling style that has an emphasis on adventure. Sea Ghost takes us to many fantastic worlds and shows off some incredible creatures and battles, but unlike many modern comics that overloads us with complicated story or complex art, everything here is kept simple but effective.
Simple by no means equals weak. The Sea Ghost story is simple in the way that a Jack Kirby story is simple. It’s no surprise that Piscopo mentions that the “King” was one of his major influences. Another influence is Alex Toth and if you loved those old Toth cartoons, you’ll be right at home with the Sea Ghost. Piscopo keeps the art interesting, but never bogs it down with so much that you can’t follow the story. Each page gives you just enough that you want to turn to see what happens next. It’s a staple of the Toth style of storytelling.
Every one of the characters feels as though they could be made into an action figure, as well. WIth any luck we’ll see some of these guys in the Mego inspired toy line that Commander X has pioneered. Sea Ghost himself is rumored to be on the way to being immortalized in plastic sooner rather than later. I could honestly imagine a whole toy line of these great characters.
This is also an all ages comic, which I’m excited about. The story features violence, but also keeps it at a level that nobody would be afraid to show this to their kids. That’s not to say it’s a kiddie comic. It’s not. It’s a classic comic, done in the same sort of excellent tradition that got so many of us into comic books in the first place. There’s plenty of neat creations here, including a big Cthulhu-type god who plays an important part of the story.
I think everybody can identify with Sea Ghost on some level. He’s an inspired creation that feels so natural. One part Space Ghost, one part Aquaman, yet he never feels like some sort of clone. That’s part of what makes all of Jay Piscopo’s creations work… They’re genuine. There are hundreds of comics on the shelf today, from some of the best artists and writers and the biggest publishers in the world, but few if any have the heart and soul that Sea Ghost does.
Can the Sea Ghost solve the mystery of the war between the Phlan and the Simas? Can he defeat the Vorrgoth? Will he ever make it home? You’ll have to buy the comic to get those answers. Trust me, it’s $4 well spent for kids, adults and anyone that loves a thrill. Diamond is carrying the comic, so you can preorder and request your local comic shop get some of these in under the code JAN111269. As well you can visit the Capt’n Eli Homepage where you can order the comic direct and learn more about the world of Capt’n Eli, Commander X and Sea Ghost.
Although this is listed and advertised as a one shot, we can only hope that more will come our way. What’s great about Jay Piscopo creating this whole universe of characters is that they continue to cross over and team up. Sea Ghost is set to return in The Undersea Adventures of Capt’n Eli Volume 3 coming in the spring of 2011, so the story doesn’t end here.
As an added bonus, the comic contains a second cover and several bonus pinups of the Sea Ghost character. This is a staple of Nemo Publishing and something classic comic enthusiasts are sure to enjoy. The Sea Ghost comic has pinups from Danny Kelly, Robert Caine Jeffcoat and legendary Aquaman illustrator Ramona Fradon! Truly a treat for collectors and casual readers alike.