Monday, August 20, 2007

Gredown, Atlas & Seaboard: The Brute


Published by Gredown Pty Ltd.

Date: $0:40 cent cover price, 1976
Date: $1:00 cover price (shown), early 1980s

CONTENTS: Night Of The Brute by Michael Fleisher, Mike Sekowsky & Pablo Marcos (The Brute #1)
Attack Of The Reptile Men by Michael Fleisher, Mike Sekowsky & Pablo Marcos (The Brute #2)
The Bog Beast: The Fifty Dollar Body by John Albano & Jack Sparling (Tales of Evil # 2)
Live or Let Die by Gary Friedrich, Alan Weiss (see below) & Jack Abel (The Brute #3)

More fun and games from the classic Atlas/Seaboard line, via the Australian reprint company Gredown. According to the The Atlas Archives web site, The Brute was "Atlas-Seaboard's homage/swipe of Marvel's the Hulk. A blue sometimes-giant caveman murders and suchlike, but the general idea of a off-colored wildman is communicated."* The same review then goes on to point out that the general story idea for the title was a lift of the movie Trog. I can't comment on that as I've never seen the movie.

The art was more than serviceable, with the great Mike Sekowsky and Pablo Marcos handling things very fine. This cover was an Australian only creation, Kevin Patrick, somewhat of an expert on these things, thinks that the cover is 'likely Phil Belbin'. I'm good with that. The third, and final, story is the one that interests me. The credits say 'Alan Lee Weiss', so I emailed Alan himself and asked him about the story. He replied that it was his only job for Atlas and that he'd been wanting to draw an issue of Iron Jaw. He then went onto confirm that both Jim Starlin and Frank Brunner assisted him with the art for the last few pages. Sadly this dream combination is hidden by some very heavy handed Jack Abel inks, not his best effort, although Alan did say that looking back on the story now he was "was less displeased than I thought I would be". Ahhhh, what might have been! But then that's the general rule of these Atlas books. Great combinations of amazing talent that just didn't quite hit the mark.

The book came out twice, as did a few of these Gredowns. It originally was issued in 1976 with a forty cent price tag, and then again in the early '80s costing a dollar. I've seen this with a few of the Atlas and Skywald reprint magazines done by Gredown, so it appears to be a common practice. Still you'd not read about it, I've gone for ages without a copy of this book and in the space of a few days three copies land in my lap - two of the re-issue and one of the original forty cent comics. Can't complain. As Gredown issued several of the Atlas/Seaboard titles, I expect that the rest are out there somewhere, it's just going to take time to track them down. More to come.

*Atlas/Seaboard Comics 1975 - Month by Month

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