The Compleat Cannon
by Wally Wood
(Fantagraphics, 2001)

The ancient Greeks believed that human beings are composed of mind, body and soul. The human mind is the link between body and soul, and mind and body perish, but a person's soul endures forever.

Christians believe that a war wages between the mind, body and soul. I agree with both Christian and Greek.

I (Mind) believe comics legend Wally Wood was among the most versatile and talented of all comic book and strip artists. I (Body) especially love the way he draws women. I (Soul) wish he hadn't drawn The [misspelled] Compleat Cannon.

Wood created, wrote and drew Cannon, an adventure comic strip, for two years (1970 to 1973) for a newspaper distributed only to military bases. Cannon was meant to cash in on the enormous popularity of James Bond, the spy genre, and the basest emotions of males.

Cannon is male animal fantasy: promiscuous, beautiful women, hard drinking and even harder men, fast cars, big guns and an unshakable belief in the fist. It is hard to find a page without a naked woman, an explosion or bare, bruised knuckles.

Cannon gets three reviews.

Mind recommends this compilation as a worthy example of Wood's deft control of every technical aspect of comic strips. Although uneven in quality, Cannon at its worst is better than many other titles at their best.

Body recommends Cannon for the lust produced by the beautiful, naked women in seductive poses on almost every page.

Spirit recommends that readers buy something else by Wood. The macho philosophy rampant in this title is a lie that is destructive to men and women, and should not be celebrated in any form.

[ by Michael Vance ]
Rambles: 23 November 2002

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