Adventure Into Fear 18 (November 1973)

Fear #18

It’s really bad art. From Mayerik and Trapani too. Maybe the inks are a little off but I think a lot if it must be the pencils. I really hope it’s not some new style they’re working on. Because it’s bad.

Gerber tries very hard with this story, which is sort of a talking heads disaster story, very self-aware microcosm of American life thing. He tries so hard and he fails. He fails miserably. The tone is off and none of the many things Gerber does to even establish one fails. It’s like he’s got an earnest idea and no way to honestly do it in this comic.

But then there’s the bit action finale and it’s great. It’s a classic horror problem with a modern, slightly askew approach to it. Gerber sort of saves the issue; he gets credit for the attempt.

That art is really bad though.



A Question of Survival!; writer, Steve Gerber; penciller, Val Mayerik; inker, Sal Trapani; colorist, Linda Lessmann; letterer, Artie Simek; editor, Roy Thomas; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Stray Bullets 18 (February 1999)

Stray Bullets #18

It’s an odd issue. Lapham does another Amy Racecar story to emphasize how Virginia is uncomfortable around sex, which makes sense since he’s constantly threatening to have someone rape her.

Still, it’s not bad. Lapham does a lengthy Chandler-inspired detective story, convoluting it more and more each panel. By the end it’s impossible to keep track of who killed who and why, but the solution isn’t the point. The joke at the end is the point, since it reveals something about Virginia, only it’s too much. Lapham writes the Amy character well. He doesn’t need to get all fancy with it.

None of the other characters have much presence and Lapham seems to get it so the big solution scene at the end constantly has people being identified by name. But there are ten or twelve of them. A lot of characters for a single issue.

Still, it’s moderately successful.



Sex and Violence (Part 2); writer, artist, and letterer, David Lapham; editor, Deborah Dragovic; publisher, El Capitán Books.

Madame Frankenstein 1 (May 2014)

Madame Frankenstein #1

I was going to try to temper myself, but I can’t. There’s a lot of self-indulgent drivel out there, but Madame Frankenstein might be the current prize winner. Maybe it’s because there’s never a moment writer Jamie S. Rich takes the reader’s experience into account. If it were just the bad dialogue or the unlikable characters or the purposelessly convoluted timeline, it wouldn’t be so bad.

But then there are little fairies only the protagonist knows about. They might be the straw.

Megan Levens is a perfectly decent artist, but the wrong one for this series. It’s set in 1932 and nothing about the art, besides some inserted details, sets it in that year. Though there’s only so much the art could do for this thing.

And it’s not just a crappy comic, it’s a really fast, superficial one too. Even being a fast read somehow makes it worse.



Writer, Jamie S. Rich; artist, Megan Levens; publisher, Image Comics.

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