Comic book, 2011
I don’t read a lot of superhero comics, but I’ve been picking this one up. Only when Paulo Rivera draws it. I recognize that Marcos Martin is good, and he’s pulled off a lot of really cool storytelling trick shots, but I love Rivera’s work. It’s got an edge to it that really appeals to me. So I started picking this up, and as it turns out the story’s good too. I’m totally unfamiliar with Mark Waid other than some unreadable 90’s X-Men comics he did, so this was a pleasant surprise. There’s nothing groundbreaking or remarkable about it other than it’s quality. I like what Tucker Stone had to say about it in his recent Comics Reporter interview. He said that this book wouldn’t stand out to someone who doesn’t read comics because there’s nothing unique about it. It’s every other book that would stand out, because they’re all so ugly and vapid. Anyway, this is their Christmas issue. That classic bit where you stop pretty much everything else that’s going on and tell a story that conveys the spirit of the season. The twist on this is that it’s absolutely harrowing- Daredevil has to save a group of children under extremely adverse and rapidly worsening conditions. It’s pretty effective, but the big heartwarming payoff at the end is a little too far-fetched, so it loses a good deal of it’s emotional punch (and I’m a sucker for that stuff). Most comics have bad art and bad writing. Some have good art and bad writing. I can only assume there are ones with good writing and bad art that I’ve never been able to bring myself to look at. Daredevil has good art and good writing. Dig it.
Comic book, 2011
Okay, so, I really have to get over this thing where all I think about when reading BPRD is how the new artist, Tyler Crook, is not as good as the previous artist, Guy Davis. But I realized while reading this issue another big reason for that. Davis’ art was loose, from construction to inking. This left room for your imagination to participate in the horrors being depicted. (I mean Davis is also a brilliant designer and cartoon expressionist, some other departments in which Crook is falling short.) But Crook’s work is rendered in a concreate reality that leaves no room for your mind to play. He actually appears to be actively combating this, getting looser in his inking by tiny increments every issue. But I think the book’s editors are with me on this one- BPRD is about to be drawn by a variety of artists in its upcoming installments, a possible scaling back of Crook’s position as THE new BPRD artist. One of the upcoming artists, James Harren, is fresh off of Abe Sapien: The Devil Does Not Jest, where he turned in some of the best action scenes BPRD has ever seen. (His scenes of simple conversation were a bit awkward though.) Not to mention Tonci Zonjic drawing the upcoming Lobster Johnson series. His work on the last Madman annual knocked me out with sheer storytelling alone- his pitch perfect Moebius meets Herge art style is the icing on the cake. Anyway, BPRD still hasn’t found its way out of Davis’ shadow for me, and I don’t feel like I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel yet.
Additional: I found out today that I am not a completist when it comes to Hellboy, as I passed on buying a copy of Dark Horse Presents #7, featuring what looks like a little wisp of a Hellboy short. I will be buying Dark horse Presents #8, however, which features a BPRD short. Being less willing to miss out on anything BPRD is a direct result of how much John Arcudi has made me care about these characters.