Frank Cho is the creator of Liberty Meadows,
a syndicated comic strip, which he writes and draws. No, make that draws
and writes, since his failing is that his artwork is far superior
to his writing. Not that his writing is horrible, but the rigors of a
daily strip seem too much; the comics are beautifully drawn but his humor
tends to miss the mark or be predictable. His strip has been compared
to Calvin & Hobbes in its juxtaposition of real humans and
funny animals and due to his superb draftsmanship, but the strip lacks Calvin's
sharp wit and refreshing sincerity and originality.
Which makes this book, a collection of Cho's best artwork,
much more enjoyable than Liberty Meadows itself. Collected are
some of Cho's strips as well as his other comics works, and promotional
art for Liberty Meadows. But what really shines are his illustrations,
many of them done purely out of love for the golden age of fantasy and
adventure illustration. If you want to see sexy naked cave women battling
giant monkeys, Cho is your man. Several paintings are included in the
book, but Cho's forte is his amazing pen and ink linework.
My favorite sections of the book are his illustrations
of "From Africa to Mars" and his drawings based on the works
of Edgar Rice Borroughs. The chapter introductions are extra bonuses
in the book, penned by some of comics' best independent artists, including
Adam Hughes and Budd Root.