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excellent writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 3
total score 8
Slow Death #9
Back Cover
Back Cover
(click for larger image)

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All-Atomic Comics
Only Printing / August 1978 / 28 pages / Last Gasp
Slow Death #9 is the "Special Issue!" about atomic power, which is essentially nuclear weapons and power plants. This topic was explored in Leonard Rifas' All-Atomic Comics a couple years earlier (though that comic was more focused on the power plants than the weapons) and sold about 50,000 copies, so little wonder Ron Turner was intrigued by the subject. Not that his motivations were anything less than altruistic. Slow Death and his other titles, especially the feminist comics, prove he was willing to go out on a limb for his principles.

Like the previous issue, Slow Death #9 begins with a story by Greg Irons called "Our Friend Mr. Atom," which weaves a tale of post-nuclear disaster around factoids that convey the disturbing history and destructive power of the atomic bomb. Though "Mr. Atom" is illustrated with less jaw-dropping inkwork than "The Honour & Glory of Whaling" from the previous issue, it's also well researched by the author and proves to be no less compelling.

Four shorter, multi-page stories follow, including solid tales from Dennis Ellefson, Errol McCarthy and Tim Boxell. Boxell's "The Common Good" reprises the same two characters from "Perfect Evening" in the previous issue, to good effect. Slow Death #9 is only 28 pages instead of the usual 36, but it's another solid issue and a great companion piece to All-Atomic Comics.
Last Gasp printed approximately 10,000 copies of this comic book. It has not been reprinted. Due to its single, low-volume print run, this issue may be somewhat harder to find in the collector's market. Not that any of the standard issues are actually rare.

Ron Turner - editor
Greg Irons - 1-21, 38 (art), 52
M. Irons - 9-13 (research)
Elvis Costello - 9-13 (lyrics)
Kangaroo - 9-13 (one-liners)
Dennis Ellefson - 22-23
Guy Colwell - 24-31
George DiCaprio - 32-37 (script)
Warren Greenwood - 32-37 (art)
Janet Abbey - 38 (script)
Vungtau Vince - 39-46
Tim Boxell - 47-51