There’s something very intimate and personal, even beautiful, about Issue #10 of Matt and Sharlene Kindt’s Dept.H. It feels almost like a really great Michaelangelo Antonioni film, like L’avventura, placed gently within a taut underwater thriller. Part of that has to do with the beautiful black-and-white imagery Sharlene creates on the page. The other part is the quiet way in which Matt explores memory and its questionable reliability and fragility.
Two realities, two bases for said realities: one science-based and the other magic-based. Boone Dias is a scientist who has found a way to travel to this land full of magic. It’s a land of nonsense and absurdity, one that has very little concern for logic. Boone has spent his time here using his knowledge in science to help solve mysteries. He’s almost like an Indiana Jones/Sherlock Holmes of Candyland. His Watson is a sarcastic and brutish, monkey-like creature called Glum.
Postal is a story set in a town unknown in location and filled with criminals attempting to start over without any ties to the rest of civilization. This sanctuary, Eden, does not eliminate the threats of these criminals or their associates still wondering in the real world, as writer Bryan Hill clearly provides a summary of events leading up to this point in the series. These highlights inform the reader that Laura, the leader who nearly killed Isaac Shiffron, former husband and founder of Eden, wants to transfer her duties as Mayor to her son, Mark.
Image Comics presents the sixteenth installment of the science fiction series, Drifter, with a dazzling cover that sparkles with color and death. Artist Nic Klein draws an astronaut with a realistic skull inside of the space helmet. The imagery is intense with these remains at the center; however, the splattered multitude of colors provide an essence of gazing upon millions of stars, and perhaps staring for so long that death comes before reaching the destination. In searching the page, lines intersect one bright star fixated in the center of empty space where an eye would be, perhaps the place this traveler meant to journey to.
Ever since the magnificent and insane God Hates Astronauts, I have been a fan of writer/artist Ryan Browne. The absolute craziness of the series struck a chord with my sensibilities, and when I first heard about Curse Words, Browne's new project with superstar writer Charles Soule, I was pretty thrilled. Browne's ability to create ridiculous and bizarre worlds along with Soule's storytelling abilities was a match made in heaven, and this new Image series doesn't hold back.
Southern Belle is one of the most terrifyingly sadistic and perfectly unstable characters ever constructed. She, along with the other beloved superheroes of Megalopolis, have been twisted into something else entirely after they succumb to some kind of evil after a battle. The resulting perverse psychosis has never been made more apparent than with Belle’s presence throughout these pages. A dominant glare, a determined expression, tattered clothing, scars, and dark shading around her eyes highlighting her insanity showcase an intimidating force leading the way in this hardcover edition of Surviving Megalopolis.
The fact that Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer has an annual when most Dark Horse comics don’t shows just how fully committed he is to his superhero-driven world which pays homage to Golden Age comics, while turning the idea of what a superhero is later in life on its head. This world is almost analogous to what it’s like for an older ballet dancer or football player. In your prime, you were amazing. As you age, once all of those beatings your body has taken set in, you just don’t work as well. In Black Hammer, for this group of aging superheroes trapped on a strange farm, it’s both physical and psychological scars they have to deal with.
Long before the time of books, radio, television, and video games, people were telling stories. So many of these stories have been told so many times that they share common elements, but the twist of one fact could change the course and create an entirely new tale. That’s part of the difficulty of trying to bring one of these old tales to light, as people can sometimes lose focus, feeling that they know just where the story is going and may miss the truth that lives within it.