Thursday, July 16, 2015

Funny Picture Stories v. 2 #1

Centaur was right to start a volume 2 here, as they must have been infused with enough cash to pay Chesler for more, better material. We're still not talking about a lot of quality here (I suspect we've seen the last of Will Eisner from Centaur already), but some that was better.

Case in point, the first of what was promised to be a continuing serial of Jack Strand. Here, we get a good story set-up, with a dying man handing off a valuable item to the Hero of the story, and his Supporting Cast Member.

Here, poor Jack's player just can't roll well enough to find secret doors, no matter how long he searches that closet. Time to switch dice, Jack!

The item, a magic pin, can transform into a gem that serves as a Crystal Ball.

And here's where things start to get Eisner-/Ditko-esque funky.

Possession of the mystic pin seems to make Jack Strand a Magic-User. He engages in a contest of wills, which was already given game mechanical form in The Trophy Case v. 2 #3.  Only a contest of wills can, apparently, open the magic gate through which Diana fled. The gate opens onto some sort of magic realm/dimension with a giant, echo-filled forest and, on following pages, fantasy trappings like a castle with a moat and drawbridge. These are the places Editors will rely on more and more as Heroes advance in level, and fighting ordinary hoodlums just isn't challenging anymore.

I include this page from the Shore Club Window Mystery, not because I expect Editors to run full-blown murder mysteries as scenarios (every player I've ever had would balk at the challenge of this), but because the detail of a sniper replacing a pane of glass with cellophane in advance is remarkably clever and worth re-using.

(Scans courtesy of Digital Comic Museum)

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