Unlike the other comics I've been discussing, this one wasn't in my collection. But I once owned a copy back when it came out in the bygone year of 1977. I'm pretty sure I didn't buy it for any particular reason, as my selection of comics was pretty limited in a city where English is a second-language. I think it just showed up at a local used book shop and I bought it with some of my allowance without cracking the cover. Like the other roughly 30 or 40 other Marvel and DC comics I owned at the time it got read literally to pieces and thrown out years ago.
But yesterday I came across another copy of it in a local junk shop and, remembering it, decided to buy it and re-read it. This goes against the general rule of never revisiting a childhood story as you'll almost always be disappointed. In this case it's not least because in the years since I've developed my own fantasy chops up to the point of writing and selling fantasy for role-playing game supplements and the like. I've got pretty high standards for the genre now. A fantasy hipster, that's me.
Much to my surprise Weirdworld's held up pretty well. Doug Moench's writing is derivative, but not in a bad way. Pay no attention to the cover blurb's invocation of Lord of the Rings
, as rather it mixes equal parts Robert E. Howard with the more baroque stylings of, say, John Brunner or Clark Ashton Smith. I strongly suspect some Marvel editor was trying to ride the wave of the Tolkien craze, which is sad because it was largely confined to the 1960s. Marvel's had an abysmal record of trying to jump on bandwagons just as they screeched to a halt, caught fire, and then fell into the swamp -- see Dazzler, a couple years later, or Storm's tragic attempts at punky leather. I can nitpick the names Moench gives his characters, but the infliction of bad fantasy names is endemic so I'm inclined to forgive it if the rest holds together.
The art, by Mike Ploog and Alex Niño, is above-par for the era, and Glynis Wein's colours are stunning for 1977. Compare and contrast with the ham-handed work in my post of Matt Wagner's Demon
Eleven pages of thirty-one (is that OK, mods? The rules didn't say how to handle fractions, so I rounded up) now follow...( Weirdworld is weird. So it's fortunate they named it that. )