Saturday, 1 November 2014

TBC: Old-Timey Hockey Tales 2

I am actually writing this article under a cloud of embarrassment. I owe Mr. Rob Ullman a huge apology as I was going to review his latest work a while back, but I had misplaced my copy. After spending last week off, I decided to go through my work computer and purge a pile of old stuff I no longer needed as well as organizing my desktop. You probably already know what I discovered. In saying that, Rob, I apologize for the tardiness of this review, but Teebz's Book Club is proud and honoured to review Old-Timey Hockey Tales, written, illustrated, and published by Rob Ullman! If you picked up a copy of the original Old-Timey Hockey Tales, you're going to want to get yourself the second edition of these great comics illustrating hockey's rich history!

From the Atom-Bomb Bikini site, "Robert Ullman pays the bills as a freelance illustrator for a plethora of publications, such as Virginia Living, The Stanger and The Washington City Paper. He creates comics in his spare time (of which there never seems to be enough), including Atom-Bomb Bikini, Grand Gestures, Old-Timey Hockey Tales and the upcoming Sellout, which will see print one of these days." Mr. Ullman is a longtime friend of HBIC, and HBIC is proud to regularly feature his work when he has a new hockey-related idea. Much like myself, Rob's a Pittsburgh Penguins fan so you know he's a great guy! Rob's works have recently appeared in The Hockey News, on the Puck Daddy blog, and in Penthouse magazine!

Old-Timey Hockey Tales looks at eight historical NHL stories: "Ulcers" McCool's story, Gerry Cheevers' intense workout to prepare for training camp, Bill Masterton and why there's a trophy named for him, a legendary set of fights between Maurice Richard and Bob Dill, the famous Miracle on Manchester game, Chicago's drunken goaltender, the wacky Gilles Gratton, and a story on Barry Beck! These are all pretty well-known stories, but Rob's illustrations put them into such great context!

The image to the right is directly from the new edition of Old-Timey Hockey Tales, and you can easily see why this book is awesome. Rob has a few color comic strips in the book to go alongside the black-and-white strips, but it's the attention to detail that makes Rob's illustrations so great. In 1944, the Bruins actually did wear their numbers on their chests and back, and it takes a great hockey fan or a great researcher to put that into the drawing. Rob, to his credit, is both and his work is evidence of his love of the game.

The Bill Masterton story, for example, has an illustration of the North Stars and the Oakland Seals, and Rob's version of the Seals has the correct logo from when the team played in Oakland. Again, that attention to detail in the illustrations makes the stories that much more real, and Rob should be commended for his work, his efforts, and his eye for the little things.

Like the original set of stories, Old-Timey Hockey Tales is great way to learn a little about some of the NHL's rich history in a rather easy-to-read format. Having the illustrations in the book provides some excellent context to the stories, and all eight stories are beautifully illustrated. For $6, you won't get more illustrated hockey history anywhere else.

Old-Timey Hockey Tales is just 28 pages long, but it's well-worth the investment. Not only do you get eight great hockey stories, but Rob throws in an illustration and small story about the Pittsburgh Pirates and Montreal's Georges Vezina and he includes a top-ten that must been seen! Overall, you're getting more than your $6 worth in Old-Timey Hockey Tales, and because of that Old-Timey Hockey Tales absolutely deserves the Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval!

You won't find either edition of Old-Timey Hockey Tales in libraries or bookstores, so head over to Rob's site and pick up one or both there!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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