Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Jonny Quest - The Comico Comics!

I do not know why after so many years that Jonny Quest finally at long last got a comic book series, but thanks to the little company Comico he did. And it's a cracker too. Doug Wildey was involved deeply with the early days of the strip, drawing amazing covers and even giving Quest fans three lush and beautiful adaptations of vintage Quest episodes in Jonny Quest Classics. Oh that he had been able to do a comic adaptation for all of the original twenty-six, but I'll enjoy what I have in all its beauty and be thankful.

The main comic book was handled by a who's who of comic book talent from the era with covers by Dave Stevens, Ken Steacy, Dan Spiegle, Ernie Colon, Wendy Pini, Carmine Infantino and others gracing the comic. The interiors were done for the most part by the team of Marc Hempel and Mark Wheatley. I'll confess that at the time their offbeat and kinetic style was not my ideal of how to present the Quest universe, but over time I have more and more appreciated the light and fresh approach they brought to the book. They managed to tap into the luster of Wildey's world without mimicking it in a mawkish or constrictive way. The series ran for several years, thirty-one regular issues with two special editions. All of it had at least a mote of the classic Quest magic and it opened the Quest universe up in a number of creative ways. It's astounding that these comics have never been reprinted in any way, especially in a world in which nearly all comics have been reprinted. They certainly deserve to find a new audience. For now, we have only the back issue bins. Me, I was lucky enough to be there when they arrived on the stands and I was savvy enough never to let them leave. They are worth the quest.

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  1. Loved the Comico Jonny Quest comic. A frequent comment from readers in the letter column was "I could hear the characters' voices in my head as I read the comic" ... and that was true in my case!
    Issue 1 had a story drawn by Wildey, and an interview with Hanna and Barbera. Next issue, with the Wendy Pini art, had Jonny revealing what happened to his mother - and how he met Race.
    The Dave Stevens covers are great. I believe he modeled the Peavy character in "The Rocketeer" on Doug Wildey.

    1. You're right about Wildey and Peavy, I'd forgotten that detail for a moment. Jonny Quest as imagined by Wildey distilled the adventure saga up to that point and then went on to inform other creators who grew up on its pure essence. They nailed it, it's that simple.

      Rip Off

  2. As mentioned previously, i loved this series and getting to see Doug Wildey working on the Quest team again. Also, his western title he did for Comico - Doug Wildey's Rio.

    But - the WAS a Johnny Quest comic before this, back in 1964 from Gold Key. However, it only lasted 1 issue, so easy to miss it.


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