12.08.10 Reviews (Part 2)

Echo #26 (Abstract Studio): With each passing issue, it’s getting more difficult to try and review this book without sounding repetitive. Yeah, it’s still got amazing pencils, particularly the facial expressions and body gestures that carry so much meaning. Yeah, it’s still a fine blend of intriguing story, fun personality antics, realistic dialogue and action/reaction. Above all, it really is a joy to see how effortless Terry Moore can make the act of “making comics” look and feel. I might see something a little new this issue. There’s an opening sequence about the interconnectedness of all living things, from the smallest most powerful atom, all the way up to a supernova star in the sky. They each function in a context and are capable of working as a cog in a larger mechanism or as a singular god-like force. Never mind the Phi, all things are capable of being the Alpha and the Omega. Moore reveals his hand with lines like: “The living see death as a stranger on a distant soil.” From flowers to stars, or the Fox to Julie, Moore seems to be at a point in his career where he’s reflecting on life, on humanity as a cosmic theme. It’s almost like the act of creating Echo is a catharsis for his own existential sense of being, all in addition to being an entertaining bit of storytelling. I like how there’s funny debate over what’s truly “The Last Frontier,” the alloy's intrinsic properties, and even an M. Night Shyamalan riff on fame and stardom, all while the cast chases the Phi Collider into the wild. It proves that humor can collide with drama as unpredictably as it does in real life. It’s yet another example of the realistic portrayal of human dynamics in Echo. And someone please introduce me to “Teddy Bear.” Grade A.

27 #1 (Image Comics): Charles Soule and Renzo Podesta deserve the advance buzz that 27 was receiving. From the format cues, like the “Golden Age” size and adornment of band and concert posters inside, it was obvious that the creators were rightfully differentiating this as something special. It’s very “design-y,” for lack of a more sophisticated description. Inside, the very first text box lets us know that the power of music can be captured in words on a page. The dark subversive art captures the grungy rock vibe and ethereal nature of another, more spiritual, even more sinister, world. As gifted guitarist Will Garland attempts to overcome the physical ailment roadblocking his carreer, he descends into a nightmarish fairy tale that becomes a basic morality play, selling his soul to a devil. The devilish figure is Dr. Hargrave Swinthe (a little over-the-top in my opinion as evil monickers go, but I wouldn’t be surprised it if was actually an anagram or something), whose evil visage looks a little too much like Gollum, but that’s hardly a showstopper. 27 is the odd age when other famed musicians like Hendrix, Cobain, Joplin, and Morrison perished, so I’m curious to see how much that topic is addressed here or if it’s just done as an initial hook for thematic effect. The amber coloring and general aesthetic in spots reminds me of Ben Templesmith’s Woormwood: Gentleman Corpse, particularly the one-shot issue that has a grand portrayal of his Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse interpretations. Yeah. It's almost like this book is a mash up of Brian Wood & Ryan Kelly's Local #3 (Theories & Defenses) and the Ben Templesmith book I just cited. It's an oddly compelling concoction. Then you have "The Device" masquerading as miracle, but oh, does Will Garland know better! It’s not often we get a new surprise on the stands as all around promising as 27. Grade A.


At 1:36 PM, Blogger Matt C said...

Was unsure whether to take a risk on 27. You've sold it to me now. So I blame you if I don't like it! ;)

At 1:48 PM, Blogger Justin said...

Ahahahaha! Well, I almost skipped it as well, but was glad I didn't. It's got heaps of potential.


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