Cold Cut Distribution's Feature Spotlight #26 - August 1997

Mr. Nightmare's Wonderful World

Publisher:	Moonstone Comics
Story:		Dave Ulanski
Pencils:	Dave Ulanski
Inks:		Bill Halliar
Cover Price:	$2.95
Frequency:	bi-monthly miniseries


Mr. Nightmare is a charming little fantasy with dark overtones about the "cosmic being" who is charged with the duty to dispose of bad dreams after they've been dreamt. His name is Nightmare (though that's Mr. Nightmare, if you please), and he discharges his duties in his castle, assisted by his faithful bat-man assistants and his talking castle gate.

The first Mr. Nightmare series chronicles his adventures while chasing down another cosmic being, nominally in charge of reality itself, who has decided to start releasing old bad dreams, stolen from Nightmare's castle. This other cosmic being, named Real, ends up terrorizing a woman and her family on Earth and Mr. Nightmare has to come to their rescue (as well as rescue the very fabric of reality), with the aid of a boy who dreams vivid nightmares.

[ panel from Mr. Nightmare ] With nice, solid art, and a decent though occasionally confusingly complex storyline, Mr. Nightmare is a good read for those into dreams and dreaming (fans of Sandman, Rare Bit Fiends, etc). With really lovely covers, the book should sell well off the shelf to those willing to give an indy a try; though readers should be warned that it won't be possible to leap into the middle of a Mr. Nightmare series -- each issue builds upon the previous one.

Luckily, there have been three distinct stories in the three different Mr. Nightmare series - the first three-issue miniseries, the special, and the most recent miniseries, "Put on your Party Pants". Fans of dark fantasy and ethereal adventure owe it to themselves to check out Mr. Nightmare.

If you like Mr. Nightmare, take a look at:

Innocent Bystander

Publisher:	Ollie Ollie Oxen Free Press
Story:		Gary Sassaman
Art:		Gary Sassaman
Cover Price:	$2.75
Frequency:	quarterly
Innocent Bystander is a special, personal comic by Gary Sassaman, a long-time fan who expresses his love for comics and other nostalgic memories through this friendly little book.

Each issue is chock full of separate little memories and stories. No continuity is required, so any issue is as good a read and as good a starting point as any other - a welcome notion in today's complex comic world.

Gary is also a cat owner, so each issue features at least one tale (or should that be "tail"?) and usually two or more about his cats - or about cats in general. The panel below is from the one-pager where his cat, startled at the sound of an intruder in the house, panics and tried to call 9-1-1.

The first issue in particular is a series of wonderful short, one-to-four page memories, from "My Life In Film" (a catalogue of notable films he's seen and [ panel from Innocent Bystander ] remembered - and why - which includes moments like "1974: Unable to fully enjoy 'Fantasia' because I'm babysitting acid-inflicted friends. 'No, you can't dance with the hippos.'") to "Tales From The Tube", a funny litany of various flubs and goofs he's seen over the years while working at a TV station. Also included: a tribute to the Three Stooges, pages dealing with Christmas and Santa Claus, and a page of forehead-shots of celebrities labelled "Hollywood Hair".

Issue 2 follows up with "Political Hair", and other strips about memories and cats. Issue 3 is a loving tribute to the Marx brothers, with various stories, observations, and excerpts from the lives of the famous comedians - and with a Groucho cover, it catches customers' eyes well and has spurred it to be our top-selling issue of I.B. Handing a copy to readers who love Lord Julius in Cerebus would not be amiss - this fond memory reads nostalgically sweet.

A great book for the nostalgic, for the fans of golden-age comics and Kirby classics, and for fans of autobiographical works like Rare Bit Fiends or Chester Brown or such. A pleasant, fun read!

If you like Innocent Bystander, take a look at:

Fandom's Finest Comics

Publisher:	Hamster Press
Editing:	Bill Schelly
Story & Art:	Dozens of creators
Cover Price:	$17.95
Speaking of fans of Golden Age material, what fan wouldn't want to take a look at some of the earliest material by some of today's top creators - and also by other great unpublished artists of the early fanzines.

Fanzines at the start of comics fandom were almost a "farm team" - they were the only outlet for the creative energy which today flows into the self-published independents we support. Many of the top creators of the 80's and 90's got their start in fanzines, long before they were hired by the major publishers - and long before self-publishing was stylish, or even possible! [ panel from Fandom's Finest Comics ] Bill Schelly has compiled a huge (256 pages) magazine-sized trade paperback with a selection of what he deems "Fandom's Finest Comics", including full stories from:

and others, as well as pages featuring the fanzine work of John Byrne, Wendy Pini, Bill Black, Dave Cockrum, Jim Starlin and more. A fabulous collection, both historically and in entertainment value, well worth its inexpensive $17.95 cover price! A great buy for older fans and a fun read with great annotations by Schelly.

If you like Fandom's Finest Comics , take a look at:

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