(Old School Comics, 2014)
The Revisionist: 10 Years Gone The DWP Collection
Writer – Chad Lambert
Art – Roberto Corona, Steve Powell, Jeremy Freeman, Jean-Paul DeShong, Nadir Balan, Ryan Scott
Colors – Michael Langdale, Roni Setiwan
Letters – Jaymes Reed, Kel
It’s time to start collecting web comics. For a guy who treasured his He-Man action figures, who remembers seeing VHS for the first time and thinking they “look all long and weird” compared to our Beta Max, this is a sign of the passage of time. I’m getting to an age where I feel like I can start to appreciate the times when my parents wonder at the new developments in technology. I can see that I’ll be experiencing the same thing with the same amount of wonder sooner than expected.
In 2004 the idea of a web comic was in its infancy. There was no Comixology, and even if there was, the ability to read such comics was not nearly as handy as it has now become. You had to sit at a console and scroll down through pages, probably at your desk, all the while keeping a vigilant eye out for spying co-workers.
Chad Lambert (Dark Horse Presents, Bloodrayne) published The Revisionist from 2004 to 2008 exclusively for Digital Webbing Presents, an early digital anthology. The five stories in this volume, including the first appearance, are for the first time gathered here in print. Print I tell you! But, why, you ask? Should I pick up the collected issues of a comic I never knew existed from 10 years ago? Listen, grasshopper, and learn.
The Revisionist is everything we love about comics. It’s got a vigilante. It’s got humor. It’s got fantastic art. It’s so good that I could see today this being published again…”the all new adventures…” or something like that, and selling out. It’s a great comic.
Jon seems like just a normal guy, going about his days at the office, flirting with the pretty girls and getting shot down, all the usual. At night he dons a grey jump suit and a pair of killer goggles and takes down criminals. But don’t look for any namby-pamby code of ethics here. The Revisionist kills, making the criminal justice system shake in their boots and the criminals flee the country. The bad guys get what they deserve in these shorts, and probably sometimes in the shorts, and it is completely satisfying every time. Lambert has a great sense of the genre, and plays with common comic themes, such as the vigilante and the secret identity, to often explosive and always funny results.
The art in each of these shorts is provided by a variety of artists, each distinct and all great. The great thing about never nailing your story to one artist is that through different interpretations of the character we are able to discern slight changes in the personality and story arcs. In one he’s thin and wiry, in the next he bulges with muscle, but each time Lambert’s distinct voice comes through and ties each of the incarnations together.
With an introduction by Jamieson Newlander (Alan Frog from The Lost Boys) this is not only a retrospective of the early days of web comics, but a solid and enjoyable comic book in it’s own right. Chad Lambert reminds us that the old stuff can still be good and that it still works. The Revisionist: 10 Years Gone will easily make it onto my bookshelf.
For information about getting your grubby hands on a copy go to www.digitalwebbing.com
Brad Gischia is a writer and artist living in the frozen Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He is married and has three kids and a dog, who all put up with his incessant prattling about comic books.