A picture is worth a thousand words but sometimes those words are difficult to find. In Cameron Stewart’s Sin Titulo, the main character Alex Mackay isn’t totally connected with his own life. After going to visit his grandfather at a nursing home for the first time in months, Alex is told that he’s too late and that his grandfather passed away a month ago. “We tried to notify you, Mr. Mackay, but your number was– hang on a sec–,” is all the explanation he’s given as to why he’s just learning this now as the home’s receptionist is distracted by a phone call. Given one of those office banker boxes with his grandfather’s belongings, Alex sifts through what little the old man had at the end only to find a mystery– a picture of his grandfather being hugged by a young woman. “Visit from D.” is all that’s written on the back. Waiting to ask someone who works at the home questions about the picture, he hears grunting and cursing from one of the rooms. An orderly walks out zipping up his pants, winks at Alex and proceeds down the hall, whistling. Later, as he visits his grandfather’s grave, he sees a car leaving the cemetery with the orderly driving and the woman known only as “D.” in the passenger seat.
There are many ways that Mike Mignola’s young Hellboy is just a normal kid in Hellboy: The Midnight Circus. Set in 1948, when Hellboy hears someone warning the closest thing he has to a father that the boy is dangerous and should be dealt with, he does what any kid would do: he runs away to join the circus. This being a Hellboy story, it’s no normal circus as a Pied-Piper-like clown and his dog lead Hellboy down the road to the circus which runs “from the clock strikes midnight… to the fearful crack of dawn.” The clown recites incantations to summon the rest of the circus folk into a magical center ring and of course even back in 1948, Hellboy is the inquisitive sort and can’t look away from the wonders in front of him. If Mike Mignola’s shadowy art hides the world around Hellboy in most stories, Fegredo and Stewart’s shadows part ways to reveal more and more mysteries to Hellboy in this circus.
Flipping through The Shaolin Cowboy #1, a book full of violence, zombies, weaponized chainsaws and a main character who has been buried underneath a boulder for six years, you can see that Darrow finds peace in those details. For Darrow, those details are life and energy. The details are the story more so than any dialogue or plot are. Darrow makes sure that every detail he can fit can get into the page but he knows how to construct those details. Darrow’s eye for details in this violent and bloody story reveal a world that has many wonders in it if you just spend the time to really look at them.
Matt Kindt knows a secret and he wants to tell it to you. Two years ago on Flight 815, everyone lost their memories. They didn’t know who or even where they were, including the pilots. Once the plane safely landed, all the passengers were accounted for except for one; the mysterious Henry Lyme. He got on the plane he supposedly never got off of it. Well, that’s not quite how the book begins but it’s close. In the actual first pages, Kindt shows us mayhem and murder. He draws what looks like a war with no actual context and leaves us with these haunting words, “You’re creating the dream.” In Mind MGMT Volume 1: The Manager, Kindt tells us the secrets of Flight 815, Henry Lyme and Meru, a successful first-time author who is trying to figure out what her second book will be. He just hopes that you don’t remember their secrets in the end.
It should be no surprise that Wood can capture the rambunctiousness of a young Conan. With Demo and Local on his résumé, Wood has been able to capture all of the pride and uncertainties of kids who think that the entire world and future is theirs. He’s captured that sense of invulnerability that we’ve all felt at one time or another when we’ve believed that the future was ours for the taking but he’s also shown the fear that accompanies that unknown future. With his whole future ahead of him, Wood’s Conan believes that the world is his to conquer. In Wood’s story, we follow as Conan moves from one situation to another with the grace of a man who has nothing to lose but his life and everything to win, including the world.
You know that commonly held belief that every even numbered Star Trek movie is great and ever odd numbered on is a dud? I’m starting to think we can apply that rule to the latest version of JOHN BYRNE’S NEXT…
Richard Burton over at the Forbidden Planet blog wrote “Don’t ever go back to a first love they say. And it’s so true,” in regards to Grendel Behold The Devil #1. His basic argument against the book is that it…