Okay, The Mask is supposed to be incomprehensible. Badger’s first line in the story is about it being incomprehensible. In a lot of ways, it’s the best continuing serial in Dark Horse Presents so far. I can’t understand it, not with Badger’s art purposely intended to confuse, but at least the writing is ambitious. It’s ambitious in a really, really small way–this issue it’s showing realistic dialogue at a party–but Badger’s definitely trying something.
On the other hand, this issue’s Concrete is pretty tired. Chadwick’s showing how lonely it is when you’re stuck in an enormous alien, stone body. He could have done something akin to Chekhov’s Misery, but doesn’t because he’s got to keep the comic relatively upbeat. Nice art at the beginning though.
Nelson’s contribution is a five page time travel story. The plot’s decent if predictable and familiar, but the art is exquisite and beautiful.
Concrete, Next Best; writer and artist, Paul Chadwick; letterer, Bill Spicer. The Portheus Project; writer and artist, Mark A. Nelson. The Mask; writer and artist, Mark Badger; letterer, Tim Harkins. Editor, Randy Stradley; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.