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Terminal Comics _
pretty bad writing
skilled art
historical bonus 2
total score 5
Back Cover
Back Cover
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comic book
Comic Book
They Shall Not Perish
Only Printing / 1975 / 36 pages / Aero-Flyte Productions
They Shall Not Perish was published in Cincinnati Ohio by Aero-Flyte Productions. The book features several local artists, many who went on to professional careers in art, illustration or related fields. While there are flashes of good artwork to be found here, the story telling is mostly a jumbled mess.

The opening story by Michael Streff, a three-pager called "Easy Money," tells the story of a prisoner named Jim who is released after 25 years of incarceration. 25 years earlier, Jim had pulled a bank robbery and threw the $150,000 loot into an old car in an auto junkyard while trying to escape the cops. Now that he's been freed he goes to the junkyard to find the old car and claim his secret stash. If the fact that a bag full of money could remain untouched in a junkyard for 25 years seems illogical to you, so will the unlikely resolution of this story. "Easy Money" is fairly representative of the type of comics found in They Shall Not Perish.

Dan Biehl follows with "A Tale of the Sea," a two-pager that runs parallel stories of a man ("Honest Abe") catching an all-white fish in a stream alongside Moby Dick being found by the crew of the Pequod in the south seas. One story ends in disaster while the other ends with an epigram that I still can't decipher. Biehl does deliver some decent ink work and individual panels.

After a scribbly one-page story about deadly pollution from Henry Smith, Jay Weisman delivers "Detective Arlen, Case #43." It's a bizarre tale of a man who resurrects Walt Disney's frozen corpse to help "stamp out this wave of perversion that's threatening our country!" The story depicts the consequences of thawing out Disney as well as a private detective who investigates the theft of Disney's corpse. The zombie Disney goes a little berserk, which doesn't help the detective who solves the crime.

Among the multiple short stories that follow: Dan Britt contributes a couple of weak two-pagers, Mikel Schuerer offers a surreal poster that's pretty effective, Streff returns for a decent three-pager that portrays interrelated transitions and transformations, and Keith Kleespies delivers a three-page minimalist story about a blind man that makes little sense and seems to end with a rape that makes no sense. Despite the rape, Kleespies does possess simple, sophisticated line work that makes his cartoons pleasant to ponder.

Weisman, arguably the strongest cartoonist in the book, returns for a two-page science-fiction tale that leaves us hanging a bit at the end, but for once the ambiguous conclusion is effectively employed. Schuerer contributes a two-pager about a heroic Navy fighter pilot and the attack on Pearl Harbor. Kleespies closes the book with another elegantly drawn, seemingly spiritual story about Disney's Pluto character and a boy that features an abrupt surprise at the end.

The main problem with They Shall Not Perish is almost none of the writing provides effective conflict or satisfying resolutions. It's a hodge podge of fairly weak stories that make me wonder why they were produced in the first place, other than to get some decent artists in print.
Aero-Flyte Productions printed approximately 1,000 copies of this comic book. It has not been reprinted. Michael Streff did the front cover art, which features the Beatles from their Sgt. Pepper album cover. The musicians are standing in front of five dead historical figures: John Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. The entire group stands in front of a mountain of junk yard autos. The irony of the They Shall Not Perish title is that John Lennon would be dead just five years after this book came out.

John Kennard - coeditor
David Rauh - coeditor
Michael Streff - 1, 3-5, 15, 22-24,
Dan Biehl - 6-7, 32
Henry Holmes Smith - 8, 35 (photo)
Jay Weisman - 9-14, 28-29
Dan Britt - 16-17, 20-21
Mikel Schuerer - 18-19, 30-31
Keith Kleespies - 25-27, 33-34