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Go out with you? Why not... Do I like to dance? Of course! Take a walk along the beach tonight? I'd love to. But don't try to touch me. Don't try to touch me. Because that will never happen again. "Past, Present and Future"-The Shangri-Las

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Because You Demanded It!

We live in interesting times, indeed... but rather than textually fret, I'm going to use my blog as a respite from, rather than a sounding board for, my worries Re: current events. So now some poorly-bibliographed nerdnotes on the comics I read the other night. These little reviews grew out of control, but I've tried to scale them back to terse yet informative blurbs...

Doom Patrol: Celebrated comics scribe Grant Morrison made an early splash with his run on this superhero team book by sprinkling esoteric occult lore and college-eddicated poesy over the usual superheroic shenanigans. It established the basic template for his later works like The Invisibles, yet is basically familiar food with exotic spices, while Invisibles is like exotic recipies with familiar utensils. The artists were on their learning curve, delivering uneven but often clever cartoony art; landscapes and original character designs are often imaginative, but facial expressions are often crude, more indication than expression.

Drawn & Quarterly Showcase Volume One! This came out a few years ago and features work by two different artists, Kevin Huizenga and Nicolas Robel. Huizenga's three stories center around a guy named Ganges, but feature a diverse array of topics. Two thoughtful comics essays (one on missing child notices, one on starlings) and one italian legend retold with hilarious gags and gloomy contemporary detail. Robel tells the story of a gloomy girl musing on her life to date; it is remeniscent of Debbie Dreschler's luminous early comics, but I don't think I've ever seen comics that communicated internal feelings and inclinations so effectively without sacrificing the sense that the story "takes place" in the world outside the protaganist, never shifting the "story space" to a purely internal space.

Marshal Law: A Judge Dredd writer and the artist of Alan Moore's way-better-than-the-movie series League of Extraordinary Gentlemen produce ultra-violent tales of science-fantasy mayhem with a cheeky drunk-testosterone-rage sense of humor. It's notable mostly for Kevin O'Neill's almost sculptural art. His oddly chunky compositions are allowed more flow and overlap here than when following Alan Moore's infamously detailed and rigourous scripts, and the whole thing feels like a visionary version of the kind of comics that guy you knew in high school who drew monsters might have gone on to do.

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