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solid writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 2
total score 7
Premium Crackers 1 _ Premium Crackers 2
Premium Crackers #1
Premium Crackers #2
Premium Crackers

1974-1978 / John A. Adams
The first issue of Premium Crackers was created in 1974 as one part of John Adams' master's thesis show at the University of Colorado. The comic book featured Adams' pop art illustration style and helped him earn his fine arts degree. In 1975 and '76, Adams produced additional comic pages in the same style, intending to publish a second issue of the title, but he didn't complete the cover artwork until March, 1978. Premium Crackers #2 was subsequently published later that year.

In 1976, while the pages of Premium Crackers #2 were presumably stuck in a drawer, Adams launched a series of minicomics entitled Pure Art Quarterly, which actually were published quarterly (except when he missed a quarter) and ran for a dozen issues until 1979. The concepts underlying both Premium Crackers and Pure Art would provide inspiration for Adams' future creative works, at least in the realm of comic-book art.

Both issues of Premium Crackers are printed on flimsy newsprint, but their cheap production only obscures the examples of Adams' stark yet ambiguous comic art. The comics don't provide linear storytelling through conventional scripting, but they do offer sets of sequential art that engage the eye, convey action and themes, and sometimes progress through an irregular (and enigmatic) story arc. For the most part, Adams delivers well-crafted eye candy for comic art and pop art aficionados. This description is not meant to denigrate Adams' work; I find it quite magnetic and enjoy slowly paging through his comic designs.

The second issue of Premium Crackers is especially enjoyable, as Adams' artwork has advanced to a higher level and provides some exquisite and often highly detailed comic art illustrations.