Friday, November 26, 2010

Forgotten Books: Schlomo Raven by Bryon Preiss & Tom Sutton

Anybody remember Schlomo Raven? This was the first volume of Fiction Illustrated, a graphic novel experiment from 1976. This book and the second in the series, a sci-fi adventure called Starfawn by Byron Preiss and Steve Fabian, were published only in this weird little 5 x 6 1/2" format, and printed on cheap comic book paper. Volume 3, Jim Steranko's Chandler, appeared in both this format and in a larger deluxe edition, while the final book, The Son of Sherlock Holmes by Byron Preiss and Ralph Reese, was only offered in the large format. 

Schlomo Raven is a hardboiled dick, but played for laughs in the MAD comic style of Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder. If anything can be said to be more over the top than Kurtzman and Elder, this is it. The first of two stories, called "The Farx Job," lampoons not only the Marx Brothers but Karloff and Lugosi in character as the Monster and Dracula. The other tale, "Rosebug," takes on Orson Wells and Citizen Kane. Sophomoric humor, to be sure, but you're in the mood for it, this delivers.

More amazing Forgotten Books at Patti Abbott's pattinase!


Oscar Case said...

Never heard of Schlomo, but looks like a funny pub, my cup of tea, a comic book that's actually comic.

George said...

I have this somewhere. I always enjoyed Bryon Preiss' productions no matter what they were.

Cap'n Bob said...

I've heard of it but have no idea if I own it or not. But it reminds me. Did you know that Smoky the Bear's real name is Schlomo Bernstein? He changed it for show business purposes.

Todd Mason said...

Only you, nu?

Getting Kurtzman to introduce the volume was a coup...I'd certainly give it a try, had I come across it or if I find it...sounds like a very lost production, indeed.

Richard R. said...

I only have the Chandler one, but this looks a little too parody for me.