I’ve looked forward to every issue of This Damned Band with each passing month almost more so than any other comic, because it’s radically different than many comics out there and done exceedingly well. The writing (Paul Cornell) is clever and cheeky, working both as sharp satire and character-driven comedy athletically jumping the gap between genres without falling into a pit of convolution. The art (Tony Parker) is wonderfully alive, capturing a vitality that borders the line between the realistic and ridiculous gracefully.
I’m currently in the midst of gobbling up Paul Tobin’s other currently running series, Colder: Toss the Bones, like melted chili and cheese on a hot dog. I love me some coneys. And, as I finish Issue #2 of his new series, Mystery Girl, there is no disputing that he can tell impressively good yarns starring characters with really interesting skill sets. Trine Hampstead, for instance, can solve any mystery just by being asked to solve it. She just knows the answer. She will give you the solution – to literally anything. So, she sets up out on the street like a palm reader and simply solves people’s problems. But, she doesn’t know how she came across her power.
I have high hopes for Eric Heisserer as a writer. A few years back while working as a Production Assistant, I had the pleasure of reading one of his original screenplays, and it really captured my attention. There was depth of character, an intriguing plot, and it was extremely well executed. He’s gone on to write some pretty high-profile movies, all of which have been enjoyable, and the script that I read was also turned into a pretty decent film. I know I’m only one issue in to his new series, but this feels like a blatant attempt to take advantage of a brand name without it really being anything like the original. In fact, Lone Wolf 2100 #1 feels more like your common virus-mutation storyline that seems to crop up every now and then, usually creating zombies. Here, it’s more like gargoyle-like creatures dubbed Thrall. So, there’s nothing really original about the premise.
Like Hellraiser, Colder: Toss the Bones is a perpetual nightmare state, both beautiful and frightening in its content and imagery. It’s like the Catcher in the Rye of horror stories; it reads like stream of consciousness, flowing fluidly from one terrifying element to the next, and yet there is purpose. Nimble Jack, the villain of the series, has an agenda, even if we don’t quite know what it is yet.
With Arcadia #7 you start to see all of the parallel stories in Alex Paknadel and Eric Scott Pfeiffer’s twisty, internet-as-utopia, epic converge. All of the players begin to take their places for the final act. (Maybe!) As this occurs, a single through line becomes clear, a final attempt to save the inhabitants of Arcadia falls into place. From what? I won’t reveal, because the twist is really interesting, and the journey to get there even more so.
It’s nice seeing Grant Morrison simply being silly. To me, there is something inherently silly about Santa Claus to begin with, so for Morrison to treat Klaus as a kind of lighthearted Assassin’s Creed meets Robin Hood with a hint of magic seems fitting.
James Tynion IV and Eryk Donovan end the world for a second time in Cognetic as they did in Memetic. Similar themes permeate both stories, with similar functions. Humans become the tool, figuratively and literally, for the next step in not just human evolution, but more of an intergalactic evolution. It’s frightening to think about for a lot of reasons. We aren’t just here to serve ourselves, but something beyond our understanding and beyond our control. It’s almost code-of-the-Samurai kind of stuff but on an epic level.
After reading Harrow County #7 last month and then with the release of the first TPB detailing the first major arc of Emmy’s journey (which I just read and reviewed), my fingers have been twitching to turn the pages of a new issue. Harrow County is ghoulish fun that reads less like a horror story and more like a dark fairy tale – the real fairy tales from the imaginations of Grimm and Poe, not what our Disney-loving pop culture has turned fairy tales into.