War Stories 11 (July 2015)

War Stories #11

I wish Ennis had two parters and three parters in War Stories, because this arc–Our Wild Geese Go–doesn’t need three issues. Most of this issue has the big reveal talking to the closest thing to the arc’s protagonist (if only because he has an antagonist). Talking heads in the forest. Aira doesn’t do well with it. It seems like he’s trying to keep up with all the faces, but by the time the cliffhanger arrives… he’s lost track.

Of course, Ennis has kind of lost track too, which is why this arc would’ve been better at two issues. Ennis has a gimmick–that reveal–and once he shows his hands with it, everything in the comic becomes rather obvious, including the cliffhanger.

The gimmick itself, which I’m trying not to spoil, is a fine enough punchline for a certain type of story. Sadly, Ennis isn’t telling that story.

CREDITS

Our Wild Geese Go, Part Two: Falling Faintly Through the Universe; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Tomas Aira; colorist, Digikore Studios; letterer, Kurt Hathaway; publisher, Avatar Press.

Nailbiter 15 (August 2015)

Nailbiter #15

Is the explanation for Nailbiter’s town of serial killers going to be Nazi experiments in the forties? I think Williamson is going to go for it, meaning he’s always had an explanation in mind for the comic. He’s also getting even soapier as it (presumably) winds up.

The sheriff has a big secret, which the flashbacks are hinting at.

And Nailbiter can almost handle it. It can almost handle being “Twin Peaks,” “Beverly Hills 90210,” “The X-Files,” and “Criminal Minds” rolled into one. But Henderson’s art is all wrong for it. He can’t do the absurdity in the soap. He can’t handle it. He plays it straight and it makes Nailbiter flop. He does it on a full page spread this issue too.

Just flops.

The mood overpowers the narrative novelty and that novelty’s all Nailbiter has that this point so it’s a problem.

But, it’s okay enough.

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Williamson; artist, Mike Henderson; colorist, Adam Guzowski; letterer, John J. Hill; editor, Rob Levin; publisher, Image Comics.

Minimum Wage: So Many Bad Decisions 4 (August 2015)

Minimum Wage: So Many Bad Decisions #4

It’s an (almost) all dream issue. Rob wanders through a lucid dream, filled with his recent conquests and his fears and hopes, all of it very slimy and grotesque. Or absolutely gorgeous cheesecake. Fingerman has a great time with the art on this issue. It’s fully colored too.

But the comic, which eventually deals not just with Rob and his ex, but also with Rob and his ambitions for himself, feels like Fingerman directly addressing the reader. Rob is getting to the point where he’s starting his own Minimum Wage-type comic and Fingerman is finally giving the reader insight into what it’s like to do the comic itself.

It drags a little at the beginning, before the whole dream thing becomes clear, but once Rob is wandering his psyche and aware of it, the issue clicks and sails.

Fingerman manages to make a story about artistic panic entirely assured.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Bob Fingerman; publisher, Image Comics.

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