The first time I saw Wordsmith, I was struck by the imagry…the whole “Pulp” look. It reminded me of soem kind of cross between The Shadow and the Green Hornet (we’ve covered my affection for these characters way back in Top Five Favorite Superheros) so I was intrested right away. It didn’t hurt hat teh publisher was “renegade” which happened to be the same as a game shop I went too. I don’t remember if I found this in a discount bin or not. I probably did, but it was alone. The single issue.
When I opened it up, it wasn’t what I had expected. The story wasn’t about the masked hero on the cover….not exactly. It was about the person writing the story, a pulp writer back in the golden age of pulp novels.
It took a few years for me to track down all twelve issues of the series, and I paid a good price for a few of them, but it’s really one of the most movie series I’ve ever read. We follow the main character through the heights of the pulps to the genesis of comic books. Along the way we watch his relationship fall apart, then see him meet and marry the woman of his dreams. We see the beginnings of World War two in the background….it’s just magnificent.
One of the great strengths of this series is knowing when to quit. We meet the main character in his twenties, in a bad relationship, but still doing what he loves for a living. I could feel like I was there, looking over his shoulder as he typed up westerns, mystery men and romance pulps. Seeing him successfully transition into married life, fatherhood and comic books, you feel a sense of closure – you know the story has been told. It’s one of the reasons Violent Blue will be coming to an end next year.
You’re going to have to hunt for this one. Individual issues are good, but to really be satisfied, you need to read this entire run.