Suspended Animation by Michael Vance

Thursday, September 21st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

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Digital Digimon Monsters

Seven children with huge eyes and shoes ace teleported from camp to a "digital world". Neither they nor readers know what a digital world is (although I suspect it is television), but it is populated by cute, small digital monsters (available at a toy store near you) known as Poke- mon, Digimon.

"We're Digimon!" they say for clarity. "Digital Monsters!"

"We're kinda cute," adds a pink one like a rabbit without limbs. "And very loyal," adds another.

"With beautiful hair." "Or maybe no hair at all." "We can be funny! Ha!" "And adorable!"

When attacked by giant monsters, Digimon "dig-ivolve" (i.e., change) into larger but still adorable digi-creatures to defend their defenseless human guests.

Motimon becomes Tentomon. Yokomon becomes Biyomon. Tsunomon changes to Gagmon.

And this reviewer becomes Gagmon. Gagmon's secret power is the ability to gag.

In defense of Digital Digimon Monsters, that is probably because this comic book was created for Young children. There is nothing wrong with that. But I am not a young child, or even an old child.

But I do not gag because this comic book based on a card game is poorly written. It is not poorly written, although it is certainly light on characterization, metaphysics, or political analysis.

When I was a young child, I did not care about any of that stuff.

Nor do I gag because this new title is poorly drawn, It is not poorly drawn, although I can't understand why all Japanese humans have huge eyes, all their monsters look like a poorly crossbred shellfish and insect, and all of their cute little characters look like round little balls of marshmallow.

I gag because my power is to do so when confronted by too too much cute.

Digital Digimon Monsters #s1, 2 & 4 are priced at $2.95 and are 20 pages each. From Dark Horse Comics. The comic is drawn by various artists and no writer credited.

The Crusaders #1

Published by Loud Comics. Half-human, half- alien babies become super heroines in a new comic with slick paper but amateurish art and story.

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About Michael Vance

Michael Vance was first published in The Professor's Story Hour chapbook at the age of eleven and became a professional freelance writer in 1977. Vance has been published in dozens of regional magazines and as a syndicated columnist and cartoonist in over 500 newspapers. His history book, "Forbidden Adventure: The History of the American Comics Group," has been called a "benchmark in comics history".

His magazine work has been published in seven countries, and includes articles for "Starlog," "Jack & Jill" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation".

He briefly wrote the comic strip, "Alley Oop" and his own strip for five years called "Holiday Out," that was reprinted as a comic book. Vance also wrote comic book titles including "Straw Men," "Angel of Death," "The Adventures of Captain Nemo," and "Bloodtide". His work has appeared in several comic book anthologies, and he is listed in the "Who's Who of American Comic Books" and "Comic Book Superstars".

His short stories about a fictional town called Light's End have been published in "Media Scene," "Holiday Out Comics," "Dreams and Visions", "Maelstrom Speculative Fiction" and "Infinity Press."

With novelists Mel Odom and R.A. Jones, he co-wrote "Global Star" a tabloid in a world where werewolves and babies born with bowling balls in their stomachs are reality, and the New York Times and Washington Post are "trash journalism".

In addition, he worked in newspapers for twenty-two years as an editor, writer and advertising manager, creating three successful newspaper magazines.

Michael Vance is currently communications director of a nonprofit agency, the Tulsa Boys' Home, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.