Posted by: Brian Hibbs on March 8, 2008
Look, I made it a whole week!
I like comics that make me laugh. I also like comics that are smart and teach me something new.
Even better when they do both!
More after that ol’ jump!
EPICURUS THE SAGE is a clever little book. Set in Ancient Greece, in concerns philosophy, philosophers, and the Greek Gods.
Socrates is a jerk, Plato is a boob, and Epicurus tries to find a reasonable position based upon moderation. Throw in a young Alexander the Great, and quests from Hades and Hera and such like and you’ve got a pretty rich comic stew.
EPICURUS, by William Messner-Loebs and Sam Kieth was orignally published by Piranha Press, DC’s attempt at an “eclectic” imprint in the early 90s. Looking back at it now, they really did produce a great deal of interesting material: GREGORY, BEAUTIFUL STORIES FOR UGLY CHILDREN, I think that both WHY I HATE SATURN and STUCK RUBBER BABY were also Piranha books. Really, a great imprint, and a shame it never went much further.
You’re going to have your own opinion of which of Piranha’s books were the best (I know many will vote for SATURN or GREGORY), but my heart is with EPICURUS THE SAGE — its sorta really only in comics that you’re going to find a satirical comedy based on Greek Philosophy, and Messner-Loebs turned in some home-runs of scripts that are both whimsical, educational and absolutely hysterical.
It also has some of my favorite bits of Kieth art, where he’s doing super-zany big foot cartooning that’s also insanely feathered and cross-hatched like a Wrightson drawing.
When Messner-Loebs ran into financial troubles, Wildstorm reissued the previous EPICURUS material (2 OGNs, plus a short story from the FAST FORWARD anthology) in a complete collection, with an all-new story as well. As much as I love charities like the HERO INITIATIVE, I also think its great when publisher’s step up and actually bring those suffering creator’s work back into print so everyone can enjoy it.
Anyway, this is terrific top-notch stuff, and if you never thought Greek philosophy could be funny stuff, you’re in for an amazing treat here.