June 8, 2008

Old Timey Hockey Tales

Freelance illustrator Robert Ullman contacted me in the spring of 2008 about his inaugural issue of "Old-Timey Hockey Tales."

Hockey Tales is a brilliant concept. Ullman tells the story of hockey legends, but presents it it in comic strip-style print. In issue one he looks at the tragic legends of Bill Barilko, Terry Sawchuk and the Rocket Richard riot. He keeps his biographies short and to the point, but somehow captures the legacies of the said players perfectly. He combines that with expert illustration, making for a most unique project.

Where Mr. Ullman is an accomplished cartoonist, and has found success with this cartoon format in other genres, notably bikini clad cartoon-cuties. Yet I can't help but think he's missing a golden opportunity here.

He is issuing Hockey Tales as a slight comic book (issue one has only 8 pages, 12 if you include bonus illustrations on the cover pages), almost newsletter style. What he needs to do is build up a variety of hockey history comic strips and approach a publishing house. With 50-75 legends profiled (or more!) Ullman could have the top hockey history book on the market in any of the upcoming book seasons. So many hockey history books regurgitate the same stories, but Ullman's presentation would make for a huge, huge hit.

Until then, we will have to enjoy Ullman's offerings issue by issue, at the small price of $2 (plus shipping). And it's only available through his website.


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