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pretty bad writing
competent art
historical bonus 2
total score 3
Spaced Out Back Cover
Back Cover
(click for larger image)

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Spaced Out
Only Printing / 1972 / 44 pages / Print Mint
Spaced Out provides a thoroughly uninteresting set of stories about intergalactic travel, alien wars and planetary doom. The first story by Thomas Byrd runs nine pages and is nothing more than an illustrated tale about a world destroyed by some evil alien invaders. There's zero dialog, no protagonists, and no interdependence between the words and pictures. It's competently if lightly illustrated but offers nothing to engage the reader or make anyone give a shit what happens. Absolutely abysmal.

The eight-pager by Ed Verreaux that follows is scarcely any better, as it depicts an international fast-food chain restaurant mobilizing an army of terrorist drive-through robots to annihilate the human race. It has nearly the same weaknesses as the previous story, with little dialog, no protagonists and nothing to root for or against. Entirely terrible.

Jim Pinkoski, already prone to wordy exposition, indulges his worst habits with "Perish the Thought," as the first three pages contain over 200 words of description and only four spoken words. The saving grace of "Perish the Thought" is that it at least has a kernel of an original concept (a dying man uses his subconcious to return home to safety), but that's not enough to rescue us from boredom. Utterly unexciting.

Ron Roach's "Space Bum" at least has the decency to inject some actual sequential art to the proceedings, but the story about a stranded space traveler is also fairly mundane. It's probably the most engaging thing in this book, though, so sink your teeth into it! Thomas Byrd closes the book with another strictly illustrated story with zero dialog and no compelling reason to exist.

Spaced Out is a nearly perfect specimen to demonstrate how the Print Mint, and to some extent the entire underground comix movement, grew into such a huge fad in 1970 and '71 that just about everyone was willing to publish anyone to get in on the game. A handful of skilled illustrations are the book's lone virtue, but they're wasted in the hands of faulty comic-art practitioners.
The Print Mint produced approximately 20,000 copies of this comic book. It has not been reprinted.

Thomas Byrd - 1-11, 35-43, 44
Ed Verreaux - 12-19
Jim A. Pinkoski - 20-26
Ronald Russell Roach - 27-34