Life In Four Colors: Book Review
Getting' Jiggy With Mr. Jigsaw
When was the last time you laughed out loud reading a comic...not once...but once every other page or so? It's been a while, hasn't it? You know why?
Because comics are not fun any more. Sure they may be entertaining. They may be thought provoking. But the comics of yesteryear...that made you chuckle out loud as you read them...seem to be a thing of the past.
Luckily...sometimes...despite what other people may tell you. Despite what I may have even told you...sometimes you can go home again.
Writer and co-creator Ron Fortier...and artist Gary Kato...who came up with the idea of one of the most original characters ever...along with their good friend Rob Davis all three got together and proved that age old saying incorrect , with a resounding..."Bull Feathers!"
And if you want to come along for the ride...if you want a really classy, really entertaining, well written comic with great art bursting to the seams with the "F" word....FUN that is.....you need to pick up a copy of Mr. Jigsaw Man of a Thousand Parts #1....NOW ON SALE!
Love that logo!
I read this book yesterday...and from page one of story one I was hooked.....there's three stories in issue #1 All reprints of various Mr. Jigsaw stories that both Ron and Gary collaborated on some 27 years ago (Ron's favorite number of course). And if you didn't know better you would think these stories were written just this morning...they're so fresh, vibrant, and full of great humor and creative energy.
Fortier and Kato form the perfect team as Gary's pencils and inks...and even his lettering style compliment every aspect of Ron's script.
The first story in the book....which tells the origin of Mr. Jigsaw in the words of Portland Maine Police Lieutenant Boltz....first ran in Charlton Comics Scary Tales issue #38...back in 1983...
....love how Kato also signs Ron's name to the covers...a true sign of a true Comic Related partnership!
You know I hate to admit this...but as much as I enjoyed reading these Mr. Jigsaw stories today...if I ran across this book back in 1983... back when I was only 15 years old...I wouldn't have bought it.
I can honestly say I didn't know the book even existed back then...but even if did...I wouldn't have bought it. Back then I was very closed minded about what I bought and read. If the book didn't say Marvel on it....it better at least say Teen Titans or Legion of Super-Heroes somewhere on the cover or I was spending my hard earned allowance on something else!
My loss. I sure I missed out on several great stories just like this one.
I would have missed out on hoping that Mr. Jigsaw was in that bag on page one. I would have missed out on a great origin story, the hilarious doctor spanking the baby on the butt scene, the lifting weights while reading comics scene...and all the other creative ways Ron and Gary worked together to show off the unusual abilities of their zany super-hero.
Besides the origin story...the other two tales of wonder and amazement take our hero to the big city where he meets some very interesting characters...one being Amy "Buck" Boucher...a woman our hero, as Charlie Grant (aka Mr. Jigsaw) meets on his way to Portland...actually he was heading to Boston...Amy suggests he go to Portland...and even gives him the name Mr. Jigsaw.
Ron works an interesting concept here creating a strong character...who is handicapped (
Amy is missing her right hand and instead has a metal hook)...to interact with a character like Mr. Jigsaw, who can animate any body part...separately and independently from his own body.
Charlie meets Amy in the origin tale...but gets his first job...simply entitled "The Job" in the second story which first ran in a special one shot published by Ocean comics. (Blue paper and all) Spring 1988.
Gary's cover has more than a little Steve Ditko flare to it....which works for me.
Ron gets to throw in a little of his love for baseball as Mr. Jigsaw stops his first crime in Portland...and as Charlie meets new cast members ...Mr. Newcomb...his new boss...and Linda a fellow co-worker....and a very interesting customer named Mrs. Germaine.
Yowza. (bong chicka mauw mauw)
The last story reprinted in this book first appeared as a back up feature in the Great American Comic Book...published back in 1992. The cast continues to grow as Buck helps Charlie to find an apartment of his own. Mr. Jigsaw doesn't make an appearance in this story but as Charlie, Ron finds a very cool way to show off the characters unique abilities and personality. (a little like Plastic Man...but better!)
Ron, Gary, and Rob....will re-print the entire Mr. Jigsaw archive collection in issues #1-3 of this new series and hope to continue on after ward with brand new adventures of "Jiggy" starting with issue #4. That should be fun and well worth the wait...I've heard some rumors that Mr. J may be heading to Hollywood....in the comic that is.
Although a Mr. Jigsaw animated series has a very has a nice ring to it, don't you think?
Here's a preview of the brand new art by Gary Kato that will appear on the cover of issue #2.
Yes, I do believe that's Lt. Boltz in chains. Looks interesting. Until then...pick up your own copy of Mr. Jigsaw Man of a Thousand Parts #1.....right here.
Time for everybody to get Jiggy!
Bill Gladman - Bill is a writer and illustrator and currently working on several different projects including the first issue of an ongoing comic book series (Prodigy), an illustrated fantasy novel (The Book of Noheim), and the first of four illustrated science fiction/fantasy novels (Jack the Rabbit, Living Legend of the Purple Plains) as well as a light-hearted on going mini-comic (Three Wise Men). Bill also pens a column for Comic Related and will be doing a mix of regional convention coverage.
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