Both Jog and Greg Burgas are moved to write long essays on one of the strangest — yet best — comic books of the decade: THE WINTER MEN. This miniseries written by the enigmatic but talented Brett Lewis and drawn by John Paul Leon started at Vertigo, ended at Wildstorm, started at 8 issues, ended at 6 and took three years to come out — counting development time, it was at least seven years.
Considering the book’s long, puzzling journey, it is still a singularly excellent comic, according to both Jog and Burgas, who both write posts of a length and depth befitting the series. Jog:
But at least the new comic is here. And 40 pages long! With no ads! A real ending, just as promised! It’s a rare thing for a seemingly dead series to even get such a chance, and rarer yet that it’s not only VERY GOOD, and a very logical, satisfying part of a whole, but oddly contemporary too, as if it somehow had to show up in 2009, even as it bears the marks of earlier times.
Burgas even sees life through the lens of WINTER MEN’s shipping schedule:
And so the world turns. Your younger daughter, who was fourteen months old when the first issue came out, turns three. Your older daughter, who was about to turn three when the first issue came out, turns six. A Mr. Bendis chronicles the sinister infiltration of our world by shape-shifting aliens. Your favorite baseball team wins the championship after a wait of 28 years, and you rejoice. All seems well in a Winter Men-less universe. Like a wound that heals, leaves a scar, and occasionally bothers you in the night, the lack of a conclusion troubles you occasionally. You daydream about a day, years hence, when you will sit on your porch and regale the youngsters about tales of the lost masterpiece, which becomes better and better each year, until the youngsters beg you to change the subject and complain about how the younger generation is a bunch of punks or something, just please stop talking about the incomplete Winter Men, old man!
Kevin Melrose also has a WINTER MEN tribute at Robot 6,
What’s left? The big question — one The Beat is highly vested in since we have no idea where issue #4 is — is will Wildstorm print a WINTER MEN trade? Please say yes, please say yes, so that this strange, never-to-be-repeated comic can live on, instead of vanishing under the cold snows of Siberia.