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excellent writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 2
total score 7
Psychotic Adventures Illustrated #2
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REVIEW SCORE 7
Only Printing / October, 1973 / 36 pages / Last Gasp Eco-Funnies
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After the debut of Psychotic Adventures Illustrated, publisher Company & Sons fell on hard times (well, they were barely ever out of hard times) and soon went out of business. But Ron Turner and Last Gasp picked up the title created by Charles Dallas and published a second issue, printing 5,000 more copies than were printed of the first.

Psychotic Adventures #2 features a single, untitled story that's fairly unique in Dallas' body of work. It's about a small group of a primitive arctic tribe (the Snow Bear Tribe) who acrimoniously split off from their tribemates to venture south and find better hunting grounds. Their long journey is grueling, dangerous and deadly: the group dwindles from ten to six and eventually down to three. When the surviving members, Brulik, Gromnar and Ildra, finally reach a more bountiful land, they are soon captured and held prisoner by a (relatively) technologically advanced civilization known as "the city-state of Xamon."

Things go from bad to worse for our trio of prisoners, but they are strong and brave and battle enormous odds to win their freedom. Alas, even then they cannot escape danger, leading to only one of them surviving and eventually traveling back north to the Snow Bear Tribe. Lamentably, the Snow Bear Tribe no longer enjoys the same freedoms they once did, either.

Psychotic Adventures #2 is unusual for Dallas in that it is a wilderness adventure featuring simpleminded—yet brave and crafty—protagonists. It takes a while to develop empathy for these characters, who voluntarily abandon their tribe and pursue a fatal expedition. But eventually we are certainly rooting for them and hope they triumph over all their adversity. Dallas also turns some fine phrases in the script, like "The river finally spits them ashore, as a beast might disgorge undigested bones" and "She is barely alive—her back having been roasted to a veritable crisp!"

There are minor convolutions in the plot and the slightest dip in the quality of the artwork that prevent Psychotic #2 from achieving the same level of the best from this series, but the fast-paced, high-action adventure still provides solid entertainment.
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keyline
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HISTORICAL FOOTNOTES:
Last Gasp printed approximately 15,000 copies of this comic book. It has not been reprinted.
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COMIC CREATORS:
Charles Dallas - 1, 3-36
Larry Todd - 2 (comic strip ad)