Saturday, June 21, 2014

Guest Review - 1776 #1

   Sitting in the Guest Review chair today is Ray Hill. who's joined the team filling in while Chuck takes a short break.

   You never know what you'll find at a comics convention. I was at the recent Tri-Con in Huntington, W.Va., sifting through the 50-cent comics, and I stumbled on this comic put out by Charlton in 1973.

    It's an adaptation of the movie version of the Broadway show 1776. I was shocked, because I had no idea this comic existed.

   In the '60s and '70s it was normal to see movies adapted into a comic book, in fact, in those pre-VCR days, it was standard procedure. But since there's virtually no action in this play, it seems like an odd choice.

   But I'm not complaining - I've been a fan of this show since I saw the film when it was released. I've even been part of a couple of community theatre versions of it. (If that's not love, what is?)

   The adaptation is labeled #1, but it's actually a one-shot. They squeeze the entire movie into a single 32-page issue! This is accomplished by trimming bits of business furiously, especially as it gets down to the final arguments over independence.

   The adaptation is by artist Tony Tallarico (who provides some strong caricatures of the actors here) and writer Joe Gill.

   I love the show because it brings to life a crucial moment in American history, and does it with intelligence and humor - not to mention some terrific songs. It's loaded with great characters (John Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson - no slackers they) and clever writing.

   Like any adaptation, this is a pale version of the original - but it does a surprisingly good job of capturing the high points. And all for 20 cents!

   (Well, it cost me 50 cents.)

Grade: B+


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