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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 325

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!

Uncollected Classics week concludes with a hidden gem that I doubt many folks remember, despite it being only a decade long and containing work by a trio of notable creators. It is the 1999-2000 mini-series, Brave Old World, by William Messner-Loebs, Guy Davis and Phil Hester, about a group of scientists transported from January 1st, 2000 to January 1st, 1900 and what happens when they try to get back home.


Calling them scientists, of course, is a bit of a stretch. Really, I mean computer programmers. They were called in by the government for some last second Y2K prevention stuff (the first issue of this four-issue series was released in December of 1999) and they discovered that Y2K was also caught up in some temporal warping stuff (the hows and the whys are not important).

So the programmers try fix everything but at the stroke of midnight, they find themselves somewhen all together different…

They discover that their money translated to 1900 along with their clothes…

This later becomes important (although, someone who has read the comic – perhaps you can explain what the deal is with the check). As you can see, though, people were a lot more upfront with their racism in 1900.

After an altercation, the group start to formulate a plan to get back home and this is when things get REALLY trippy…

How do you handle something like THAT? You’re stuck in the past, but you’re also risking the future!!

Things do not go well for the group (well, worse than losing one of their members the very first night)…

Ultimately, the story comes down to following three of the eight. James, who cannot get a “proper” job because of his Irish heritage, ends up getting involved in the world of the Unions…

Max, who decides to build the world’s first super-computer in 1900, must first find work – he finds it at a bicycle shop…

and the people of the future know that this shop is important…

Finally, Teri gets stuck first as a nursemaid and then later gets involved in the early days of Black Harlem…

As each of these three people pursue their lives, they become further embroiled in a battle against the future while also battling FOR the future. Things get pretty crazy. Bill Loebs makes sure to work in as many famous people from the past as possible.

Guy Davis co-created the series, and appears to have done the design work, but the artwork (credited to Davis and Phil Hester) looks a lot more like Hester than it does Davis. Perhaps it is a matter of very loose breakdowns before Hester penciled and inked the comic? Either way, it looks like mostly Hester. Which is good, of course, as Hester is a great artist.

So yeah, look at the pedigree of this book! And the concept is a cool one – why hasn’t this been collected?


Thanks Brian, never even heard of this before today! Thanks

Wasn’t there a post that went up this weekend about Walt Simonson’s Fantastic Four run and the Dr. Doom storyline? I feel like I saw it and it disappeared and I can’t find it even using the search function.

I was mistaken. Those issues WERE collected. So I pushed it back until today, outside of “Uncollected Classics” (Arsenal took its spot).

I’m guessing you meant “a decade old” instead of “a decade long?”

This looks neat. Thanks!

This looks interesting.

The figure work looks more Davis than Hester, so I’m willing to bet that Hester’s inking style might have overpowered Davis’ pencils.

Here we thought no one would see that book once Y2K happened! ;) Phil Hester deserves a lot more credit for this mini-series, I actually wasn’t a co-creator~ just hired by Vertigo to do the character designs and layouts for it. I’m not sure why they wanted me to do layouts for Phil, I mean he knows his storytelling and doesn’t need my help.

My layouts were just breaking down Bill’s script too~ nothing you’d want to call “pencils”, just placement and pacing. So Phil definitely deserves the credit where credit is due!

Thanks for the information, Guy! It’s good to know that I wasn’t seeing things when it seemed like a lot more Phil than you in the artwork!

The designs of the future people (that I presume Guy did) WAS very cool, though! Besides the ones you see above, there are some more towards the end of the comic – it gets pretty crazy. Good stuff.

This was a great little series. William Messner-Loebs deserves a lot more work than he gets.

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