I always begin an issue of Arcadia having no idea what’s happening, find my bearings, and then end having no idea what just happened. This is one of the most complex books out there, and it takes the ability to really pay attention to follow everything. Not a word here is wasted, and not an image doesn’t matter. It’s 24 pages of a cohesive dream state.
Writers Bradford Winters (Oz, The Americans) and Larry Cohen (Borgia), two television vets, throw us into the mix of some illegal border crossing, only we’re seeing Americans cross into Buenos Aires, where there is a portion of the city known as Americatown. We’re not sure what yet has led to this migration and why they aren’t doing it legally, but the social commentary at play is easy to spot. What if white America became the illegal immigrants?
The title character is a sleuth, much like what Sherlock Holmes would be like if he were solving X-Files cases in 1924 Istanbul. (What an interesting location for this story!) Seyfettin Efendi has to use his brain and can’t rely on our modern science. He’s a smart guy - a step ahead of everyone at most all times. He has a team at his side, more like soldiers who do whatever he asks of them without argument, mostly. They trust him, mostly.
What does a man do that cannot sleep? Ever. What if that man were perhaps one of the good guys. And, by having his ability to sleep taken away, two things were to happen: first, he entered into a constant dream state in which reality and fiction became a little jumbled; and second, he was able to see patterns that went unseen by the rest of the world. There, you are introduced directly to John Flood on the first page of Justin Jordan’s first issue.
I got tripped out reading this issue. Seriously, one of our leads is put into a hypnotic state, and I sort of lost my bearings. That is an effective comic.
With all of the ideas James Tynion IV and Noah J. Yuenkel are exploring (along with Matthew Fox’s trippy, surreal art, Adam Metcalfe’s dream-like color palette, and Collin Bell’s subtle, penciled-in lettering) and the small-town characters dealing with events well beyond their understanding – they all reach a level of cohesiveness that confirms how excellent this book is. All of the threads built in begin to pay off and elevate.
If you love science fiction and you’re not reading Past Aways, then you can’t say you love science fiction. Have you ever seen someone have a conversation with an intelligent staircase? You will now. That’s how this book works, on various levels. The surface level deals with science that doesn’t exist and pokes fun at science we have now and what it could become – the absurdity of it all, the beauty of it all, the fear of it all.
It was announced at SDCC that ComiXology was going to publish books from Delcourt Group (Delcourt-Soliel in English), a French comic publishing company. To me, this was very exciting. I’ve recently really been curious about the comic book industry in other countries, and this felt like the perfect way to let readers explore what is out there, to explore what’s in the minds of our fellow humans in other parts of the world. Lofty hopes, I know.
Elves is written by Jean-Luc Istin, who has an extensive bibliography in fantasy titles including a series about Merlin, and is drawn by Duarte who has been around since the mid '00s.
Some of the best stories have very simple beginnings. In Power Up #1, Amie seems almost okay with her life. Waking up late, going to the local mini mart for milk in her pajamas, working at a not-so-busy pet store, where her boss Karen takes the job far too seriously for Amie’s sensibilities. You can tell, however, that even though Amie doesn’t say it out loud, she feels something is missing. She isn’t as happy as she could be. She most likely agrees with her boss that she’s not living to her fullest potential. This marks the strongest element of the book, the dialogue and how the creators use the visual medium to say the things left unsaid. Kate Leth (Adventure Time, Smut Peddler, Bravest Warriors) is simply a really good writer. Her dialogue is natural and unencumbered by pesky things like exposition. The characters speak like real people. We learn about them by their doing of things and reacting to others.
With Issue #3 of Sons of the Devil, we’re entering territory in which the best person that could score this would be the one and only Carter Burwell. So, I threw in a little No Country for Old Men soundtrack, and everything gelled beautifully. Not that there’s been anything missing from Brian Buccellato and Toni Infante’s series. It’s exceptional.
Predator: Fire and Stone brings the Fire and Stone cycle full circle with what started in the excellent Prometheus: Fire and Stone as we head back to LV-223, thanks to an extremely dedicated Predator. This hunter is after his Moby Dick, with which writer Joshua Williamson (Aliens: Colonial Marines - No Man Left Behind) smartly draws a comparison. I won’t say what that Moby Dick is, but for a Predator story, there are some nice twists and turns.