What do you do when you are encouraged to revolt, but the revolution is not yours? What if the revolution you have produces offspring that completely usurps that sort of zeal which first bred it? What do we really fight for?
You Con-goers out there know that you’re bound to run into any number of up-and-comers hawking their wares and looking to make it big in the wide world of comics. This is part of what makes conventions great: The discovery of new works! Some of it has potential, some of it just plain stinks, and occasionally some of it will take your breath away. Recently at WonderCon, I stumbled upon the kind gentlemen at the Creative Mind Energy booth. Bolstered by banners baring brains (Seriously, their mascot is a human brain. Check it out: creativemindenergy.com.), they were hard to miss. But, it wasn’t the 8-foot tall posters that caught my eye. It was a simple sketch of a crane standing in reedy water. The bird: large and proud in the fore, almost as if it were pausing to listen, with ominous storm clouds on the horizon providing backdrop. It was rich with shadow and texture, and completely devoid of color. I knew I wanted to see more and after some engaging conversation with a few of the creators (including the artist himself), I picked up The Gifted.
On one of those rare, lazy Saturday nights not long ago while perusing the Netflix catalogue, I stumbled across yet another British gem of a film titled The Trip. It follows two middle-aged friends on a gourmet food-finding foray in the North of England. It’s a lot like Sideways only with more subtlety and nuance. Also, British accents and guys trying to mimic Michael Caine. Literally. It was a fascinating, little film which peaks into the psyche of the middle-aged man surrounded by grand vistas and delicious food. And, as British cinema so often does, it leaves you wanting a little more.
This, my friends, is good comic book writing.
Taking place in the aftermath of Final Crisis and the ensuing Battle for the Cowl, Red Robin bursts onto the scene journeying far to seek the one thing that can give him absolution. It is appropriate that this arc is called The Grail. Like a wandering knight holding onto the hope of something he has never seen, Tim Drake is on a mission to prove that Bruce Wayne is still alive. His faith is definitely tested, and Drake’s continuous internal monologue lets you know that it does waver from time to time, but he is relentless, even when it requires compromising his morals.
Vertigo’s Air (Wilson & Perker) is a solid attempt to mesh fantasy into a post 9/11 world, and while such a venture is to be applauded, it does so with mixed results. The narrative is at times jarring and disjointed, harkening back to the weaker episodes of Lost, except there are no sound or music cues and very few visual clues to let you know where you are in the sequence of events. It’s an interesting choice, which gives the audience the benefit of the doubt, but it can at times be confusing.