comicbookGRRRL Do not offend the chair leg of truth; it is wise and terrible.

7Aug/150

First Look: ‘The Puma Blues’ Returns in Complete Form

The first First Look of August spotlights a newly finished classic.

Fabulous manta rays soar across open skies in this formerly forgotten classic, a labour of love that succumbed to distribution difficulties now fondly restored by Dover Publications.

The original cult series, an environmental sci-fi experiment in visual narration by Stephen Murphy and Michael Zulli, ran for twenty-three and a half issues between 1986-89 to great critical acclaim. Ostensibly following the work of government agent Gavia Immer, stationed in a Massachusetts cabin in the woods, as he is tasked with displacing the transmuted creatures that have thrived in a post nuclear fallout America, the comic soon turns into a weird and wonderful passage of creativity.

As Immer struggles to find his place in the world, haunted by videotapes left behind by his late father who sought some incredible truth, loose narrative moves further into the background allowing Zulli to take the reins on a comic that becomes more poetry than prose as the lone puma stalks the edges of the shadows of man.

The melancholy puma is in stark contrast to the joyful swooping mantas, freed from their oceans to touch the clouds, and several sequences dispense with the need for humans or dialogue completely, simply following the unfurling nature that surrounds Immer – taking what is usually confined to the background and promoting it firmly into the fore.

Zulli is perhaps best known for his Eisner-nominated work on The Sandman, as well as his fan favourite run on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but his black and white portrayal of nature and wildlife within The Puma Blues is a highpoint of the comics medium, and deftly captures the environmental chaos and threat of ecological ruin that lies within the loose threads of narrative. Stream of consciousness meets dream sequences amidst more traditional fare, with startling layouts, epic gutters, montaged panels and breath-taking transitions.

Best of all, this deluxe 480 page hardcover contains a brand new 40 page ending from the original creators – the tale of The Puma Blues is finally complete.

Read the full preview here: ‘The Puma Blues’ Returns in Complete Form

Puma Blues

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