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junkwaffel 4 1st
solid writing
skilled art
historical bonus 2
total score 7
Junkwaffel #4
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1st Printing / 1972 / 36 pages / The Print Mint
Junkwaffel #4 is a mixed bag of a comic book. On the one hand, it delivers the extraordinary second (and alas, final) chapter of Vaughn Bodé's "Cobalt 60"; a bone-chilling look into the dark, haunted world of its protagonist. Unfortunately, the rest of the comic doesn't live up to those six pages, nor does it give us the erotic escapism alluded to on the front cover.

14 pages in Junkwaffel #4 are devoted to "The Collector's Portfolio on Tibbits Tong," in which Bodé crafts the background and all the pieces to a planet 98 light years away from Earth. The premise is interesting, as the planet is inhabited by not-so-bright "bipods" known as Tibbits, who are enslaved to the "Central Core" being; a god-like ruler who developed the Tibbits over the course of centuries and wishes to conquer (or destroy) the 280,000 other planets in his solar system.

However, there is no actual story presented in the comic book. All we get are the studious descriptions and illustrations of the Tibbits, their creator, and their spaceship. Bodé certainly takes great pleasure in this type of preparation and draftsmanship, but without a story to go along with it, there's not much reason for us to be lured into this particular world.

The remaining content of the fourth issue is readable but not especially memorable, including a couple of one-pagers that are either parts of longer stories or should have been. If this was the best Bodé and the Print Mint could come up with for the fourth issue, I'm glad they didn't put out a fifth. That task would be left up to Vaughn's former wife, Barbara, who came up with more obscure work by Bodé over a decade later.
There are three printings of this comic book, all of them easily distinguished by the cover price. The 1st printing (20,000 copies) was published by the Print Mint and has a 50-cent cover price. The 2nd printing (10,000 copies) is by the Print Mint and has a 75-cent cover price. The 3rd printing (unknown copies) is by Last Gasp and has a $2.50 cover price.
Vaughn Bodé - 1-36