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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 25: The Tick #5

by  in Comic News Comment

Every day this month, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from The Tick #5, which was published by New England Comics and is cover dated August 1989. Enjoy!


Ben Edlund (who wrote this; Max Banks drew it and Polio lettered it) gives us an old-school splash page, although I suppose it wasn’t all that old-school in 1989. This splash page, of course, is part of the story, not just a symbolic representation of the story, but it’s still a nice splash. The District Manager there is upset because his establishment has been destroyed, and Edlund lets us know that this is a humorous book (in case the fact that the hero is called “The Tick” didn’t clue you in) by both the title of the story (and its “Oriental” lettering font) and the fact that the manager’s ninja minions are encouraging him to have a good cry. It’s a nice drawing, certainly, but because it’s a splash, Banks doesn’t have to worry about much with the art – he simply has to create a good drawing. The ninja lapel pin is a nice touch – all comics work better when the details work, but humor comics seem to work even better – as are the cigarette holder, the monogrammed robe, and the flowery pants. Edlund and Banks don’t need to do much else – we get a good sense of the silliness of The Tick from this image, even though our hero doesn’t appear in it. Even the name of the place, “Ninja World” (it’s a theme park), speaks to the inherent goofiness of the story.

This page introduces the reader to the weird world of the Tick without overloading us with information. It asks, “How can you resist a story called ‘Early Morning of a Million Zillion Ninjas”? The answer, of course, is that you can’t!

Next: Gaiman and Wagner? Unpossible! But at least there are the archives to peruse!