Hello, children of the four-colour gospel. Dr. Bones back with a brand new installment of IN-BETWEEN MAGAZINE, the only place where we go beyond the grimy comic shop stands to find the REAL comics, the ones hidden behind our own thoughts that speak to a larger truth. I’ve been absent the past few weeks after my dear friend, Izziburi Igduno (pictured) suffered a massive heart explosion. A pipe enthusiast and woman hater, his sculptures, which tended to focus on scenes of barely etched out figures building snow shoes, will ensure his place in the hall of immortality among us living. I think that’ll fit Izzi just fine. Even in life, he was often spoken about, never to. In lieu of flowers, morners are urged not to raid his rare LP collection.
Now, my darlings, onto the comics.
The madman himself steps in to take over art duties this month, after a fan letter led to a gig. Allred could never quite do what Rude pulls of so seamlessly – that is, taking influence from the long-shadows of Toth, Kirby, Caniff and others, while still creating a language of his own, and avoiding those cruel labels ‘retro’ and ‘pastiche’ – and that presence ends up taking over Daredevil’s world this issue. The story has ‘classic’ screaming all over it, with trouble being caused by a now-ridiculed rogue of DD’s called Stilt-Man, who is exactly what you’d imagine. The story’s a bit that way, too. A bit by the numbers, the sweetness injected into the spots you knew they’d be, flip to P 17 for the moving moment, flip to P 8 for a throwback fight scene, flip to P 20 for a reassesment of the status quo, etc, etc. In any other title, this issue would be memorable, but with a title that arrived with such a bang and took away more Eisners than true comics geniuses like Shaky Kane have their entire career, you feel cheated by something that is only…okay.
Now, I hate to claim myself a prophet, but old Dr. Bones saw this situation a mile away. See, when a first issue is so perfectley executed, in a plot sense at least, as REVIVAL’s first outing, you know issue two is gonna spend a loooong time building the world and adding side characters. A lot of books love to ‘throw you in’ the first issue, but they tend to panic and go the safe route in subsequent issues. That may be what’s spoken to so many people in SAGA. The book is courageous as all hell, never allowing itself to throw down or explain its own rules, and now we’ve all forgotten to ask. Now, I don’t mean to get cynical or picky. REVIVAL is good comics, with Mike Norton pulling out all the stops, putting out some of the best stuff of his career around the beginning of the book. And Seely knows horror, and he crafts a good story here that is worth getting invested in. But I’ll be damned if I wasn’t dissapointed with the slow halt that was this second issue.
THE WALKING DEAD #101
As one quite audacious fan letter put it in last months LETTER HACKS column, ‘I can’t believe ____ died!!! Wow! I mean, I know no one is safe in this series, but wow!!!’ Though we all knew someone had to go in issue one oh oh, and maybe some of us were sad to see who it was, it’s nice to see the series continue into the story of survival that has made it the success it has become. As always, gripping, suspenseful, and damn near perfect art creating a mood that will encompass all your senses and thought-dreams. This is one title that gets picked apart mercilessley, being accused of repeating its past or going nowhere, but all the critics are wrong. TWD is as perfect as comics get, and if you’re serious about ’em, you’d better catch up on this series ASAP.
WONDER WOMAN #12
The penulimate issue of the best superhero book on the stands, WW 12 damn near broke in my hands with an ending I’m not sure anyone saw coming. Twist upon twist, along with some beautiful Chiang artwork showing what Diana is really capable of…all while infusing classic Greek mythology with Kirby geek mythology almost seemlessly. A must read book.
The first part of our journey is over, as BKV and Staples bring us part six of their sci-fi epic. The Rocketship Forest is found, and it seems to symbolize the collected death-memories of all our childhood hopes and ambitions. As Marko gives into pacifism to reignit a dead rocket, the reader is left wondering what our childhood selves would think of us now, and what we could leave behind to flare up those long gone dreams. We also get a sense that this is but a small fraction of a very large story of one woman’s life, as well as connections being built between The Will and Prince Robot IV. One cannot stress enough that this is one of the few comics on the stands that feels like right here, right now. You don’t want another ‘reading PREACHER in trades’ situation. Buy this book now.
Well, that’s all the celestials sent me this week, kiddos. Hope you enjoyed your time in-between. Until next time,
Dr. Matti Bones
Wow, thanks a lot, Dr. Bones! Stay tuned for more comics reviews here on THE PURE MOOD!