Monday I wrote about how wonderful the SHE-HULK comic is… and I thought maybe I would start pointing out a few books here and there that I really enjoy that fall into the superhero genre that is still the predominant type of comic in terms of popularity– but are different enough from what’s most popular today because of either the uniqueness of the creator(s) or the stories or the premise… or all of those. JACK STAFF by Paul Grist is one of those books that encompasses all those criteria. From what I’ve heard, JACK STAFF began as a proposal to Marvel for a UNION JACK series that wasn’t accepted, and so rather than trash his ideas, Paul decided to launch the concept as his own character. I’ve been following Paul Grist’s work for years. The first time I saw his artwork, it was in collaboration with Grant Morrison on the one-shot ST. SWITHIN’S DAY. Immediately I recognized that this guy was a unique and singular talent. I didn’t see much more from him until he began self-publishing his KANE series through his own DANCING ELEPHANT PRESS imprint. Amazingly, not only had his illustration skills only increased… he was a damned good writer to boot, as it turns out. Then he began alternating between KANE and JACK STAFF in his publication schedule.

Most recently, he’s taken both properties to IMAGE COMICS to have them published. Now admittedly, Paul’s publication schedule is rather spotty. But when you’ve got a talent as special as Paul Grist, who’s every page is a study in storytelling, bold simplicity and design– and who’s stories are as interesting with their myriad interweaving story lines and sub plots…. it’s well worth the wait. JACK STAFF is populated with an array of fascinating and quirky characters– from the title character himself, to THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS (a wonderful team of heroes JACK was a part of who’s adventures are told in flashback sequences from WW II) to Becky Braddock: Vampire Reporter. There’s simply nothing like this book on the stands…! And for those of you not initiated in the wonders of Paul Grist and his works– not only has IMAGE collected his self-published JACK STAFF comics into one huge volume entitled EVERYTHING USED TO BE BLACK AND WHITE — but they’re also re-releasing his KANE trades under the IMAGE banner as well. And the new JACK STAFF series is in color, for those of you who might be B&W snobs.

There was a recent poll on, I believe THE PULSE, that asked the question “Who do you consider to be some totally under-rated comics creators?” Paul Grist certainly falls into that category. In my humble opinion, if there’s any independent creator out there that doesn’t get nearly enough due, it’s Paul.


This is Entry 183.


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