Complete Terry And The Pirates Volume 6: 1945-1946 Hardcover – Mar 3 2009
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
My only advice is to read R.C. Harvey's foreword as an afterword. Much of the plots and surprises are given away by Harvey in his description of how Caniff drew the strip to a close before embarking on his next feature, 'Steve Canyon'. So, read the strips, then Harvey's essay, and then, if you haven't already, check out Harvey's Caniff bio, 'Meanwhile...'.
I associated Milton Caniff with Steve Canyon and although I became aware of his much-admired work on Terry over the years, I only read some of the early 1930s continuities. They were okay, but they didn't impress me like Mr. Caniff's Steve Canyon.
So being able to read all of Mr. Caniff's Terry continuities from late the 30s through the end was more than treat--it was almost humbling.
The last five years worth of Terry and the Pirates is a magnificent epic and Mr. Caniff's powers as a story-teller, an artist and a dramatist are still absolutely at the top of the peak.
It's quite the startling experience to look back and realize that the best work in the "graphic narrative" form was done at least two generations ago.
Wonderful, magical and immortal work.
We get our last visit with several characters done by Caniff. Terry is the main focus of the strip now. Pat Ryan is seen a bit at the begining before he leaves. We once again see Connie or Big Stoop, but without Ryan. We twice see the Dragon Lady, and in her second apperance, she seems to be going after Terry like she used to go after Ryan. We also get to see Hu Shee at the begining, and a final, brief appearance of Burma. We see a few other characters, good and bad, from previous years.
April Kane returns before Terry moves on.
The ending of the war is handled in the first third or so. Because of the delay between creating the strip and when its published, Terry & friends are stuck on an island in the Pacific and think the war is still going on. With little fanfar we learn its over, and we move to the post-war Occupation. Terry returns to China and further adventures.
One does wonder what happens with these characters under Wunder. The fate of several characters are left up in the air. Others have asked for a reprint of those years, and another publishers, Hermes, will be doing them. They have put out one reprint of Wunder Terry, with a second on the way.
It's also interesting how much the final year is to Steve Canyon. While I knew of Terry and the Pirates, I never got to read it until IDW/LoAC did this reprints. I had read the earlier Steve Canyon thanks to Kitchen Sink Press. While Terry is a undercover agent of the Air Force, he is working for a small airfreight service in China and getting into adventures. This is very similar to how Steve Canyon started out before Canyon re-upped into the Air Force. I assume Terry also probably rejoined the Air Force as things changed in China, but don't know, having never read any of the post-Caniff Terry.
IDW/LoAC is now reprinting Steve Canyon in a similar series of books, 4 of which are out so far.
I have been reading and collecting Terry for a long time, I had found some reprints of various parts of the Terry series, but I had never saw a integral reprint. As such, this is already an achievement, welcomed by all the Terry's fans.
The first thing to salute is the fact that the editor could go to the end of the task. So many, in the realm of Comics, starts an integral reprint and give up in the middle ?
The 6 volumes of the series covers the complete cycle of the adventures of Terry. The best editing feature is that the publishing chronology is respected, that is the color Sundays pages alternate with the black and white weekly, which allows a chronological reading. Those who had only the color Sundays had problems to understand the story.
An integral edition allows to see the evolution of the characters, the style and the scenario. This implies that some volumes are not as good as others, but you have the whole thing to choose from.
I have compared the editing characteristics with several older editions :
NBM-1992 Color Sundays, Nostalgia1977 and the French Futuropolis-1985.
Those three chose a format of two strips per page, rather than 3 for this edition.
This choice reduces the panel size from a 83*70mm to 66*55mm (example comparing the same panel), a reduction of almost a third of the surface. This is a pity, but I have to agree that the total number of volumes would have been bigger with a two strips per page option.
Print quality is excellent, the paper quality as well, the book binding is strong, which is a good point for a 350 pages volume.
The header and trailers parts are very informative, lots of pictures and useful background information on Caniff and the development of the serie.
To conclude, a collection worth buying, which should also be proposed as one ordering item, easy to order and delivered as one item.