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.

B 

CREDITS

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.

Rocky and Bullwinkle 3 (May 2014)

Rocky and Bullwinkle #3

What a splendid comic. I’m not sure of any other word for it. Between the two parts of the feature story, involving Rocky and Bullwinkle having to go to the moon to stop Pottsylvania from claiming it (and taxing anyone looking at it or talking about it or saying it–oops, looks like I owe), and the Dudley Do-Right story, Evanier and Langridge hit a home run.

The only questionable joke–in a comic with NASA jokes, no less–is when they get to the moon and there’s a one liner about moon restaurants having no atmosphere. It’s one of the first moon jokes and it seems like Evanier’s going to go the easy route. Instead, it’s a one off and it works because of it.

Great plot twists too. Not just in the feature but in Dudley Do-Right too.

Also–nice June Foray reference.

Moon-rockin’ stuff.

A 

CREDITS

Writer, Mark Evanier; artist and letterer, Roger Langridge; colorist, Jeremy Colwell; editor, Sarah Gaydos; publisher, IDW Publishing.

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.

B 

CREDITS

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.

F 

CREDITS

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

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