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Ms. Tree (Trade paperback)
Hello Dwellers and Welcome to the Basement
Last year I took a look at a Ms. Tree comic, and since then I came across a rather unique trade paperback collection that collects three of the comic's major storylines from 1985!
The Mystery Of Ms. Tree
Published Date: July
Paperjacks (listed as part of Bogie’s Mystery)
Last year I reviewed
a copy of Ms. Tree issue #26, and I had a great exchange with Deni
Loubert and the history of her company Renegade Press which continued
to published the comic book series after her split with Dave Sims.
However during the run an prior to the closure of Renegade Press… A
Ms. Tree trade paperback collection was released through Paperjacks,
a publisher based out of Canada
I have found very
little on the publisher itself, other than it was around at least
twice, one from 1974 to 1977, and then again from 1980 to 1988, and
it has an online reputation for having some rather ugly covers. And
that this little paperback is the only comic listed with their
company (at least according to comics.org). One thing that is quite
clear, in the introduction written by Max Allan Collins is that if
readers responded favorably to Ms. Tree in an actual literal graphic
novel, that a second was already being prepared for. Needless to say,
the second wasn’t ever produced
That said, this
paperback is perhaps rather unusual in terms of presenting a
collection of issues. Normally comic book trades are about the same
dimensions of the comic themselves or if they are in a digest format,
the panels fit the whole page. With this, we have the panels somewhat
shrunk down to fit the dimension of a 4 X 7 page with new lettering
and go-over over the artwork by Terry Beatty with the assistance of a
Gary Kato to help present the stories in readable format.
And yes I said
stories… as this trade contains three story arcs that cover Ms.
Tree tales from issues #16 to #23 of the comic book run (or basically
the entire run of 1985).
(issues #16 & 17)- Ms. Tree enters the world of runaways when her
stepson Mike disappears, her search takes her in several directions
including something rather… icky… for lack of a better term.
Death” (Issues 18 to 21) – Ms. Tree investigates a murder that
ties into her original back story with a feud dealing with a mobster
who killed her husband, putting an ‘end’ to that part of her on
“Right To Die”
(Issues 22 & 23) – Ms. Tree investigate someone who is looking
to do a very bad thing to an abortion clinic, this was a rather
controversial story arc at the time it was published, getting
criticism and praised because of the stance the character was
presented as having on the issue of abortion.
All three stories
are very well written and that even with the conversion of a standard
size comic to that of a small trade paperback is done reasonable
well. In addition there is an introduction written by Max Allan
Collin explaining the history of Ms. Tree as well as profiles on all
the primary characters, so if anyone was to pick up a copy of this
little book, they would get all the info they need to understand who
people are and why they act like they do, so in a way it’s a
perfect introduction for new readers.
That said finding a
copy of this is rather tough, I consider myself lucky to find it on a
fluke search last year. Personally I would recommend getting the
actual comics if at all possible, but if you can find a copy of this
by some small miracle, then it’s a nice substitute.
Next Week… I
finally turn my attention to Image Comics in 1993… and Rob Liefeld…
with Prophet #1
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