The Unwritten 33.5 (March 2012)


This issue’s exceedingly good. These .5 issues really do give Carey the ability to show off his talent; even though they relate to the main series, they don’t rely upon it fully. This issue’s about a soldier stationed at a great estate in the eighteenth century.

The story eventually ties into the regular Unwritten world, but for a while it’s just straight historical fiction. Carey shows the soldiers’ lives, he establishes their personalities, and then he lets his protagonist loose. And the protagonist gets himself into trouble.

The resolution to the issue, which features the big tie-in, is great. Peter Gross is really hesitant when it comes to visualizing the fantastic in this issue. It doesn’t have a place in the story, not how Carey’s telling it; Gross’s visualizations match the mundaneness. There’s never any glamour to it.

Carey, Gross and Vince Locke turn in a particularly great issue.


From The Lives of the Marionettes; writers, Peter Gross and Mike Carey; pencillers, Gross and Vince Locke; inker, Locke; colorist, Lee Loughridge; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Joe Hughes and Karen Berger; publisher, Vertigo.

The Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror 1 (February 2013)


In the past, I think I’ve referred to J. Bone as some kind of Darwyn Cooke wannabe. I take it back. I regret making those statements, though Hollywood Horror seems to be a breakthrough for him.

He mixes old animation styles with comic strips to wonderful success. Even though she’s cartoony, Betty’s anger is real (and, since it’s Betty, her figure voluptuous). Cliff might be a square-jawed hero, but he’s real too–panic, excitement, aggravation.

As for Roger Langridge’s script, it’s unsurprisingly divine. There’s humor, there’s a fantastic “dear reader” narrative device, there are cameos from Nick and Nora Charles. Langridge and Bone also throw in a Einstein stand-in and some Lovecraft.

It’s fast and fun, with some amusing Rocketeer heroics–which the creators use to subtly add in direct references to the subplots.

There’s a lot going on–too much to even identify the main plot yet.


The Rocketeer vs. the Hollywood Horror; writer, Roger Langridge; artist, J. Bone; colorist, Jordie Bellaire; letterer, Tom B. Long; editor, Scott Dunbier; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Swamp Thing 132 (June 1993)

16102 1

Collins can’t write a fight issue, especially not one where she desperately needs one side to win to progress Swamp Thing. Or maybe it should have gone the other way. She’s got Alec fighting clone Alec. Regular Alec now looks grey with antlers, clone Alec is the traditional green Swamp Thing.

They fight for seventy-five percent of the comic, then Alec ends the fight in a page. He just didn’t know his elemental powers.

It’s really lame and not just because Collins has made Alec so unaware of himself he’s a painful protagonist. The other lame things involve a former Nazi gubernatorial candidate trying to take TefĂ© away (through the law). It’s both odd and inept, with Collins’s attempts at social commentary flopping.

The best part of the comic is how fast it reads. I am not entirely which of the many options I would pick for worst part.


Home Body; writer, Nancy A. Collins; penciller, Scot Eaton; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, Vertigo.

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