FAIR WARNING, PEOPLES: This is one more terrible inept confusing meandering pointless black-and-white boom comic that lasted one solitary issue, leaving its one or two readers confused and frustrated, lying dormant in bargain longboxes for decades, only to rear its black-and-white head once more to confuse and frustrate. Don't say you weren't warned.
So we have a mixed bag here with the cover. On the plus side, it delivers a big slice of cheesecake courtesy a traced lingerie model. On the other hand, she's about to be groped by a flying man in a sweater vest. Just some of the surprises no doubt in store here in issue #1 of... "Canmas"? "Favnas"? Let me look inside. "Tammas". That's what this comic is called. "Tammas". Thanks, calligraphy. You're a big goddamn help.
Page one of issue one begins with 'Hail And Farewell'. Okay then! See ya later!
Seriously though, can we go? Do we have to go through this comic starring a high school goblin mascot and Sweater Vest Hat Man? We do? Dang.
It's an arrow-tastic funtime as Sweater Boy trips and avoids the hail of arrows that, according to how we read comic books right-to-left here in the West, hits Goblin Boy, and then vanishes mysteriously in the next panel. Hey, if you're going to ignore panel-to-panel transitions, ignore the HELL out of them, that's what I say!
Take cough cough the ring cough and cough Tammas cough cough use it, find Brag, unite the three rings, cough, find Brag, help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, take the ring to Mount Doom, et cetera et cetera.
Hey, remember that time you had quadrilaterals in geometry class? Remember? Sure you do. Remember how teacher said that if you felt your comic book's script or art wasn't quite interesting enough, you should use quadrilaterals and crazy angles and weird panel transitions to disguise your storytelling shortcomings? You don't remember her saying that? No, you don't, because nobody EVER said that. Now END THIS WAR!
Our mysterious hunters have killed the last troll. The internet is safe again! Now to find "the manling"!
"Manling". That's what you're going with, comic? Really. That's more of a shitty George Lucas sequel sort of thing, don't you think?
Speaking of George Lucas, turns out the bad guy driving all this mysterious hunter action is named "Sith", just like the evil order in Star Wars. Well, let's be fair, Lucas stole that himself to begin with. There's a whole Laurel & Hardy thing going on here that I hate, and the panel border is a tree, which I also hate. To paraphrase George Lucas, I'm giving in to hate.
GODDAMN IT TAMMAS, NOBODY READS COMIC BOOKS CLOCKWISE! Stop doing this! What's your problem, the 6-panel grid isn't exciting enough for you? Doesn't quite capture the MAJESTY of your AMAZING ORIGINAL STORY involving magic rings and trolls and magical ponds and sweater vests? Or do you just hate your readers and the whole idea of coherence altogether? I think you do.
And FINALLY we get to Girl In Her Underwear, who lives in our normal non-troll world, as evidenced by the pop culture references and the painstaking isometric perspective that doesn't quite work and doesn't quite know why. That's the normal world, all right!
Hey, smacked in the skull with a big heavy book, I bet that sweater-vest man, whose name is Tammas, this comic is named after him, I bet Tammas is in sweet dreamland no longer thinking about trolls or rings or sweater vests. Lucky Tammas.
"Remember Erin, one day you will meet someone who shares my terrible taste in jewelery, and you will trust him and believe him in all things. Until then, enjoy the 1980s in all its Nagel-print glory!"
You can really see that flood of emotions playing across Erin's carefully rendered face, can't you? Sure you can.
"Thank ye". Oh great, this guy is going to have some kind of annoying quaint speech impediment. No thank ye.
Yes, yes it is all so horrible. It started on page one. Well, the cover, it started with the cover.
"So in 1918 I left Scotland to avoid serving in World War One." Ladies and gentlemen, we have here the only Scotsman in history to ever run away from a fight. Yeah, you'd better run, you white-feather-sporting slacker. Keep going, America doesn't want you either!
Once in New York, he found an old guy who was picking up young men on the docks. He was so friendly!
Tammas here worked his way up from shit-shoveller to Head Groundskeeper through sheer hard work, pluck, and determination, while the boss's son Alan wastes his time with DRINKING and WOMEN, two things no self-respecting Scots would ever involve himself with. No sir.
Alan's DRINKING and WOMEN scandals broke the old man's heart and he had to hire a nurse and so he hires one from Cornwall in England - AMERICAN nurses aren't good enough for Old Man Mustache here, he's gotta have a nurse from ENGLAND, it's not like nurses were needed in England for a World War or anything.
And then the sick old man died. "Mysteriously" the narrative says, because sick old men generally live forever, right?
The evil son attends the funeral with his earring and his long hair laughing like a "feind" indeed. And then he just starts right in beating the servants with a whip, because it's 1924 and that shit is totally legal! Right?
I FORBID YOUR MARRIAGE BECAUSE IT'S AMERICA 1924, AND THE LAWS OF FEUDAL EUROPE ARE IN EFFECT, LEAVING ME LORD AND MASTER OF MY FIEFDOM. This is what "The Great Gatsby" was about, I think.
Our amazing hero waits pensively for the evil to manifest. Dude, evil long hair bastard just forbid your marriage, I think that evil has done manifested itself plenty!
And it's Satanic Ritual Murder time here in the cellar. Why not put some spider webs in the corners of your comic book panel to really highlight the creepy evil? But surely now that Tammas is on the scene, he and his muscular Scots grounds-keeping body will be able to make short work of our drunken, dissipated, earring-sporting fop of a villain. Right?
Oh yeah, this is the guy who ditched a healthy World War to go shovel horseshit. And it's LIGHTS OUT for our hero! If only he had his sweater vest!
Sure, she was just sacrificed to the evil Bobahn Sith in a bloody ritual killing, but judging from that top panel, she was suffering from some sort of grotesque cranial enlargement that no doubt was causing endless pain and suffering.
Nope, I don't know what's going on here either. Skull faces, tears, bodily possession by the evil Bobahn Sith, it's all horrifying. And if you want a drink to steady your nerves? Sorry, Prohibition is in effect! DAMN YOU, 1920s!
Take a wide stance, assume the position, let Bobahn Sith occupy your fleshy vessel, and prepare to conquer the Earth! So let's just end the story here, in the middle of a flashback being delivered by a sweater-vest sporting troll-friend manling to a girl in her underwear. That whole "to be continued" thing is a lie - this is the only issue of "Tammas" ever published and this story ended right here. In fact Bobahn Sith is world overlord even as we speak! That's why he's on all our money.
Is there anything positive we can take away from this comic book? I don't know. Weak parts include art, story, page layout, lettering, historical context, coherence, internal logic, and spelling. I'd say the only real area Tammas excels are the staples, which are of standard wire and seem to hold the pages together adequately. And let's face it. Staples aren't enough.
So what have we learned? Once again, I think our main takeaway is, don't end your self-published 1980s black and white boom comic on a goddamn cliffhanger, because chances are good this is your one shot at publishing anything, and you don't want some sarcastic jerks to make fun of you in thirty years, now do you?
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