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average writing
skilled art
historical bonus 2
total score 5
New Paltz Comix #1
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AVERAGE SCORE 8
Only Printing / 1973 / 32 pages / Moods Publishing Empire
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The first issue of New Paltz Comix was supposed to be published by Michael T. Gilbert's college newspaper at State University of New York at New Paltz, but the newspaper editors used the money in the printing budget to throw an end-of-the-year party instead. So Gilbert ended up publishing the book himself, which probably makes him proud today but had to be a bitch back in '73.

New Paltz Comix #1 features contributions from several other creators (presumably all about college age) besides Gilbert, including Raoul Vezina, who would collaborate on and off with Gilbert for many years.

The first story, "Confrontation," is about three exploratory space ships from three different worlds (one being Earth) landing on a small planet. The single attempt to communicate peacefully between one astronaut and another is short-circuited by a triggy-happy Earthling, and all three occupants of the ships end up fighting each other to the death. "Confontation" is one example of Gilbert and Vezina working together and it is graphically striking (looks like Gilbert's artwork), but the story is just a bit formulaic, at least from today's perspective.

Michael Conway co-wrote the next story with Gilbert and they each did half the artwork for "City," a fairly weak story about a jilted man in a post-apocalyptic world meeting his death...in the city. Meh.

The highlight of the book is Vezina's Warner Brothers cartoon parody, called "Hare-Brained Fox in Trooper Blooper." Featuring a pot-smoking cat and dog, a police pig and sort-of Bugs Bunny fox, Vezina crafts an amusing encounter between all four that sharply lampoons typical Merry Melodies plots and characters. Not to micro-analyze it, but I'm not sure what the payoff is at the end (is that a pair of panties or a jock strap?), but in any case it's a funny strip.

Overall, New Paltz Comix #1 has quite a bit of mediocre stuff and the weaker artwork almost dragged the "illustration score" down to "competent" instead of "skilled." The writing is pretty comparable to a decent fanzine, except for the solid script in Vezina's Merry Melodies spoof. But the first issue set the table for the second, which delivers a significant upgrade in quality.
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keyline
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HISTORICAL FOOTNOTES:
It is currently unknown how many copies of this comic book were printed. It has not been reprinted.
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COMIC CREATORS:
Michael T. Gilbert - 1, 2-12 (collaboration), 14-15 (script collaboration), 16 (art, script collaboration), 17 (script collaboration), 18-19 (art, script collaboration), 20, 25, 26, 27-30 (art), 31 (art collaboration, script), 32
Raoul Vezina - 2-12 (collaboration), 13, 21-24 (collaboration), 31 (art collaboration)
Richard Fox - 13, 20, 26, 30
Michael Conway - 14-19 (script collaboration)
Larry Hogan - 14-15 (art, script collaboration), 16 (script collaboration), 17 (art, script collaboration), 18-19 (script collaboration)
Lowe - 21-24 (collaboration)
H.A. Sobel - 27-30 (script)