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Note: This review is also available online at: Tony's Tips

David Yurkovich is one of the most original voices in comics. His forte is adult-oriented "super-hero" comics created from equal parts thoughtful inquiry and impish wit. He eschews the excessive profanity and labored sexual content of so many other comics which have traveled this road in recent years. In short, we need him now more than ever.

ALTERCATIONS #1 (Sleeping Giant Comics; $8.95) is the first of two 64-page, full-color issues in which Yurkovich explores "super-hero activity in 20th century North America" in concisely-plotted, fully-realized short stories. Each tale is prefaced by commentary by Yurkovich and "noted essayist Alfred Pinchley," giving a further historical context to these works.

There are five stories in this initial volume, with settings ranging from San Francisco in 1906 to New York City in the midst of World War II. Other stories touch on the coal shortage of 1917-18, prohibition, and the New Deal. Yurkovich blends the fantastic and the real to great effect, the coal shortage tale being especially effective in drawing the reader into an earlier time. I'm eager to see what he does with stories set during my own life.

Digression. In one of these five stories, Yurkovich touches on a serious topic also seen in Marvel's THE ULTIMATES. Yurkovich is far more subtle; his story is all the more poignant for its lack of sensationalism. There's a lesson to be learned here.

Each year since I discovered Yurkovich's work, I have hoped in vain that his works would be recognized, if only with a nomination or two, by the various awards given out in the comics field. Maybe this year will bring an end to my disappointment.

I urge you to read this amazing comic as soon as possible. If you can't get it from your local retailer, you can buy it directly from Yurkovich at:

On our scale of zero to five floating heads, ALTERCATIONS #1 earns the full five Tonys.

Order direct from Sleeping Giant Comics.
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