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solid writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 2
total score 7
Realm #7
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Only Printing / September 1977 / 52 pages / Everyman Studios
The seventh and final issue of Realm is a measurable improvement over the previous issue. Richard Berry's four-page, illustrated adaptation of Lewis Carroll's famous nonsensical poem "Jabberwocky" leads off the book and, not surprisingly, Berry's drawings don't live up to Carroll's verbal innovations, but it's a respectable effort and we should always be tickled to read a classic snippet of Carroll.

Artie Romero follows with what may be his strongest comic-book story yet, "Artie Stick in Mad Scientist Plot." The eight-page story, bisected by a four-pager from by John Peterson, demonstrates Romero's affection for the absurd and whimsical while delivering a capricious tale about an alien hiding out in an Arizona cave, plotting to take over the world. Artie Stick foils the "mad scientist" alien's plans and we get a few laughs along the way while enjoying a new level of proficiency in Romero's cartooning design and execution.

I haven't read nearly everything produced by Darrel Anderson, but his sci-fi adventure "The Quasi Hydro Effect" is the best comic story I have seen from him. This 15-page epic suffers occasionally from Anderson's wooden efforts to portray action sequences with human figures, but the writing is quite good and his depictions of space ships and interplanetary scenes hit some high notes. The story is about a woman who escapes her carefully monitored society in a colonized stellar system to launch a huge business enterprise with a parallel universe. She is pursued by two government agents to a distant planet, where they engage in deadly conflict. It's a solid and entertaining story that only slightly falters at its conclusion.

After an amusing two pages of single panel cartoons by Al Greenier about future body part transplants and implants, Kirk Kennedy returns with a 13-page sci-fi adventure that's significantly better than his efforts in the previous issue. "Captain Wesson Smith" is about a star-station captain who overcomes enormous odds and near death to complete a rescue mission for an abducted young woman. Like Romero and Anderson, Kennedy is more assured with his illustration and this time, unlike in Realm #6, he's working with a decently plotted script (his own) that provides an effective story arc.

Romero, Anderson and Kennedy, who contribute 40 of the 52 pages in this issue, all have a little trouble devising powerful and compelling finales to their stories, but their overall storytelling, touches of detail (or humor), and artwork are well displayed here. Realm, which began as a sci-fi fanzine that evolved into one of the better of its type, then hit a dip after it paused on behalf of other Everyman projects, provides a satisfying and fairly appropriate closing chapter on its history with this final issue.
Everyman Studios printed approximately 4,000 copies of this comic book. It has not been reprinted. Realm #7 also features full-color pages scattered throughout the book, which the creators leverage to good effect.


Artie Romero - coeditor, 1, 8-10, 15-18, 52 (color separation)
Darrel Anderson - coeditor, 3, 19-34, 51, 52
John Peterson - 2, 11-14
Lewis Carroll - 4-6 (poem)
Richard O. Berry - 4-7 (adaptation, art), 35
Al Greenier - 36-37
Kirk Kennedy - 38-50