by Joe GentileAs big (and forgiving) a fan of Moonstone's Kolchak: The Night Stalker comic book series as I am, Kolchak the Night Stalker: Bare Bones is not a collection that I would recommend reading.I fear it will test the patience of even the most die hard of Kolchak's many fans.
The back cover of the edition I have claims that the book includes eleven scripts.Three of those scripts are for early "stand alone" graphic novel adventures, another seven make up the entire run for the far too short lived (I think) comic book series, Kolchak: Tales Of The Night Stalker.The eleventh script is supposed to be a brand new story, one that was written "specifically" for the book.
Three plus seven plus one equals eleven, right?The table of contents even lists eleven scripts, so why does the book itself contain only ten?Because a copy editor needs to be fired, that's why.The script for Tales of the Night Stalker issue #6, Proximity: Part 2, appears twice.Once in the chapter where the script for Proximity: Part 1 should be, and directly following it.I do not know if that error was corrected in later editions, if any exist, but I can't say that I care all that much to find out.I found reading the original comics far more entertaining than any of these "Bare Bones" scripts.
The selected "stand alone" graphic novel scripts, The Get Of Belial, Lambs To The Slaughter, or Eve of Terror, did not represent high water marks for the stand alone adventures.I think Devil in the Details, Pain Most Human and its sequel, Pain Without Tears, are far better "stand alone" Kolchak adventures.
I loved the Tales of the Night Stalker series, though, and hated to see it end.In a short afterward commentary, series writer Dave Ulsanki tells of how the comic book series tried to invoke the "shorter, faster paced, and sometimes goofy television show."I think it succeeded admirably in doing just that.The Tales series also featured two of my all time favorite expanded universe Kolchak: The Night Stalker adventures; the monster choked Creatures of Habbit and the exquisitely crafted ghost story titled Scratch.The former is just one hilarious misadventure after another, while the latter manages to generate as many legitimate spooky chills as it does comedic laughs.
My edition of Bare Bones lists its publication date as 2006, which means it has taken me seven years to get around to reading it.(While seven years is definitely a long time, it is by no means a record for just how long a book has sat on a shelf, collecting dust, before I finally got around to reading it.)At some point after its original publication, the "brand-new script" written "specifically" for the book, One Foot in the Grave, was made into a comic book of its own.I do not know when this happened, but I do remember reading it.I also feel no strong inclination to dig through my long boxes and find out.It's a cute story, but nothing more than that.
In addition to the scripts, there are some brief commentaries by the writers on the process of creating the comics.While an interesting glimpse into the creation of both the graphic novels and comic book series, there just is not enough information of interest.(I know rights and such are no doubt prohibitive, but it sure would have been nice to have gotten a look at the unfilmed Kolchak episode scripts, for Belial and Eve, that Gentile adpated into comic form.)
Unless you are really curious about how a comic script is formated, I recommend skipping this anthology and just reading the stories in their finished forms.
|Title||Kolchak the Night Stalker|
|eBook format||Paperback, (torrent)|
|File size||4.5 Mb|
|Book rating||4.41 (7 votes)