"Most of the comics in Wales' issues are the products of comics "challenges" like: "Draw a comic based on this quote," "Draw a comic using the lyrics of your favorite song," etc. In fact, Eclectic Comics is as much a learning experience for Wales as it is a reading experience for us. And that's probably what I like about it most of all--it has the same personal feel as, say, flipping through an artist's sketchbook or a writer's journal. But since it's a comic, it has the feel of both examples, making it a comic unlike any I've read. Most of the comics, though reactions to particular challenges, are based on personal stories, just as those featuring The Mighty Andar (Wales' superpowered alter-ego) are based on personal observations of comics in general. It's also interesting that Eclectic Comics appears to be a family affair, featuring comics by both his daughter Anna and son Daniel (who also helped with the "computer stuff" and colouring of the covers)."This is what I wrote when I reviewed issues 1 and 2 of Wales' series, and while quoting my own review might seem like a cop-out, I can't help that it can't really be said any better this time around. Wales' sense of pacing, frame, and humour is only getting better--I particularly like his families' involvement with his daughter Anna's "Fathers Day Roast" and son Daniel's strip jabbing at Wales' Photoshop ineptness (I have the same experience with my Media Arts major wife!).
One area this comic does differ is Wales' increased inclusion of comics about historical figures such as the chef who invented potato chips, Thomas Edison, and a slew of "Weather Wizards of Ancient Times." It's clear Wales is a teacher interested in teaching. As a kid I would have loved lessons like these, and as a teacher myself, I appreciate the way Wales is trying to push educational comics with efforts better than some of those coming from even the Hill and Wang publishing house (most of which just read like history books with hand-drawn pictures rather than photographs).
If I were to make one criticism it would be that the text of this issue has a few grammar errors. It's a minor gripe, but surely Wales knows a brilliant, ruggedly handsome university English teacher who'd be happy to give his text a once over!
Regardless, this is undoubtedly a superb work--I mean, the guy's gettin' fan mail from the likes of Usagi Yojimbo's Stan Sakai for Pete's sake!
You can purchase copies online here, and you can read more about Wales and his work at his blog, Panel Discussion.
Questions? Quibbles? Controversies?