Dark Horse Presents 76 (August 1993)

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Madwoman sort of whimpers off to its end. Jordorowsky tries to do way too much–he introduces two new characters and kind of changes up the point of the story. He also introduces the possibility its all about getting a drug princess out of jail. It doesn’t even have a solid ending, instead making a joke about the protagonist’s sexual promiscuity. It’s a weak finish… but the art from Moebius is good.

The Chairman finishes up too. Moore introduces more characters and major plot point. It’s exceptionally poorly written. All I can think is the editor knew Moore personally. Robinson’s art continues to be bad.

However, the issue opens with Hermes versus the Eyeball Kid, which is a delight. Campbell is having fun this entire first installment. It’s funny but there’s also his delicate plotting–Campbell sets up the many characters with complex relationships. He’s off to a great start.

CREDITS

Hermes versus the Eyeball Kid, Part One; story and lettering by Eddie Campbell; art by Campbell and Peter Mullins. The Chairman, Part Three; story by Charles Moore; art by Andrew Robinson; lettering by Pat Brosseau. The Madwoman of the Sacred Heart, Part Seven; script by Alexandro Jordorowsky; art by Moebius; lettering by Dave Cooper. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 75 (July 1993)

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Another mediocre issue.

DeLint and Vess’s Savoy story, about a woman masquerading as a highway robber to confirm her man’s fidelity, ought to be a lot better. Vess has some great panels, but he occasionally will have some indiscernible action sequences. With DeLint writing a “ballad,” he doesn’t exactly make things clear. Once the narrative clears up, it’s a lot better. But never anything special.

The Chairman is even worse this installment than the first. Moore apparently feels the reader doesn’t need any introduction to the new characters this time–and Robinson doesn’t make anyone look different, so it’s a miserable eight pages. Every time I feel like I’m being hard on it, Moore’s writing gets even worse. Not to mention the concept–sort of Dune with the Catholic Church–is idiotic.

This issue features one of the good Madwoman installments. It continues to be a roller coaster of quality.

CREDITS

Savoy; text by Charles de Lint; art by Charles Vess. The Chairman, Part Two; story by Charles Moore; art by Andrew Robinson; lettering by Pat Brosseau. The Madwoman of the Sacred Heart, Part Six; script by Alexandro Jordorowsky; art by Moebius; lettering by Dave Cooper. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 74 (June 1993)

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I think Madwoman would read better as a single narrative, instead of sectioned off into installments. Jordorowsky makes a major plot addition this installment–the protagonist hallucinates his younger self as an advisor when it comes to being inappropriate with one of his students–and it just changes the tone completely from the last entry. The content might more fit Moebius… but the writing is nowhere near as strong.

Then there’s The Chairman, from Moore and Robinson. Robinson is not ready to be illustrating professionally. His figures are loose, his action is awful… Dark Horse has been publishing good artists in Presents (or at least recognized ones) for quite a while. Robinson is step back. Of course, Moore’s writing is really dumb, sci-fi stuff; they just don’t care.

The Eudaemon story finishes here. Nelson’s art will have these fine panels, then terrible ones. But the writing… wow, it stinks.

CREDITS

The Chairman, Part One; story by Charles Moore; art by Andrew Robinson; lettering by Pat Brosseau. The Madwoman of the Sacred Heart, Part Five; script by Alexandro Jordorowsky; art by Moebius; lettering by Dave Cooper. The Eudaemon, Night of Fear, Part Three; story and art by Nelson DeCastro; lettering by Steve Dutro. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 73 (May 1993)

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The Madwoman is growing on me. Moebius’s artwork is solid throughout, maybe not the best thing for a talking heads story, but Jordorowsky keeps getting better. The story–and the reason for the title to include Madwoman–is becoming more and more clear. It’s no longer a boring academia story, it’s now a quirky academia story. I’m not sure how many installments are left, but it’s getting good.

Hopefully, Dominique ends this issue. Balent’s losing the ability to properly show perspective–the first page of the story is almost incomprehensible, as he also is making his male characters appear female. Not intentionally, just out of laziness. It’s wrong to blame Balent for Dominique being awful though… the writing is at fault. Charles and Lisa Moore are inane. The story couldn’t end fast enough.

As for Nelson’s Eudaemon? It’s just as dumb as ever, with lots of lazy art. Icky bad.

CREDITS

The Madwoman of the Sacred Heart, Part Four; script by Alexandro Jordorowsky; art by Moebius; lettering by Dave Cooper. Dominique, The Hardest Part, Part Three; story by Charles Moore and Lisa Moore; script by Charles Moore; art and lettering by Jim Balent. The Eudaemon, Night of Fear, Part Two; story and art by Nelson DeCastro; lettering by Steve Dutro. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 72 (April 1993)

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What a disaster.

Madwoman is probably the best entry overall and even it’s pretty weak. Moebius is drawing a melodrama–it’s a soap opera and not a visually interesting one. Once the talking heads section passes, there’s some nice design at least. He’s always capable, but it’s sort of pointless. Jordorowsky has one rather excellent scene, but he immediately follows it with a lousy one.

Nelson’s Highlander with monsters epic, Eudaemon, has decent enough art and terrible writing. Dark Horse Presents hasn’t published such bad writing in a while–it’s hard to get through a page without snickering. Nelson’s exposition is particularly bad.

The final story, Dominique, finishes the issue on a low point. Balent starts fine, but then gets weaker and weaker. First his anatomy goes, then his faces. It starts, visually, fine and ends bad. The writing is somewhere between weak and dumb.

It’s a very bad issue.

CREDITS

The Eudaemon, Night of Fear, Part One; story and art by Nelson DeCastro; lettering by Steve Dutro. The Madwoman of the Sacred Heart, Part Three; script by Alexandro Jordorowsky; art by Moebius; lettering by Dave Cooper. Dominique, The Hardest Part, Part Two; story by Charles Moore and Lisa Moore; script by Charles Moore; art and lettering by Jim Balent. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 71 (March 1993)

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The Bacchus makes up for any other possible deficiencies this issue. Campbell (and Bacchus) retell the story of the Minotaur and it’s simply wonderful. I’m not sure it’s historically accurate, though I don’t know. I’ve never read such an in-depth Minotaur story.

The other two stories aren’t bad, but they really don’t even come close to Bacchus.

The Dominique story is pretty dumb. I didn’t even realize it was Jim Balent and I don’t think I’ve ever read a story he’s drawn before. The art’s fine. It’s better than the writing. The Moores have an ex-CIA agent called back in to deal with a Japanese diplomat. It’s derivative and xenophobic. But whatever.

Jordorowsky and Moebius do better with the Madwoman this time–some great art from Moebius. The awkward humor is gone, but Jordorowsky is at least pacing the narrative a little more creatively. Still, it’s nothing special.

CREDITS

Dominique, The Hardest Part, Part One; story by Charles Moore and Lisa Moore; script by Charles Moore; art and lettering by Jim Balent. Bacchus, Bullshit; story, art and lettering by Eddie Campbell. The Madwoman of the Sacred Heart, Part Two; script by Alexandro Jordorowsky; art by Moebius; lettering by Dave Cooper. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 70 (February 1993)

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I didn’t know it was possible for me to care about Paleolove and I’m not entirely sure I really do. But I am mad at Davis for the way he ends this story. It seems like the last Paleolove (yay!) but he kills off a side character in the exposition and it’s a really weak move. He’s doing it for effect, to make the story seem poignant… while it would have been poignant if he’d just left it alone.

The story from Jordorowsky and Moebius is all right, nothing more. It’s an academic comedy, with a popular philosophy professor being cuckolded in front of his students. It’s not particularly funny–until the last page, all Jordorowsky’s jokes are fairly common–but I guess it’s painless.

Campbell contributes a number of Alec one pager strips. A couple are successful, the rest are not. It’s the first time I’ve seen Campbell stumble.

CREDITS

The Madwoman of the Sacred Heart, Part One; script by Alexandro Jordorowsky; art by Moebius; lettering by Dave Cooper. Alec, This is Your Lunch, William Tell, The Great Booby Outrage, Remorse and Position Vacant; pencils, inks and lettering by Eddie Campbell. Paleolove, Part Three; story, art and lettering by Gary Davis. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 63 (June 1992)

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Well, the Moebius story is pretty but I’m not sure it’s got much in the way of narrative. It’s a fine little diversion–I think it’s my first Moebius short story–but it’s got zero heft. No idea why they opened the issue with it.

The Creep gets near its finish with more great art and a rather big surprise in the narrative. Arcudi doesn’t just deserve credit for the concept, but the execution as well. While Eaglesham makes the series look perfect, Arcudi really does do excellent work here. It’s not just well-written in scene, he really does come up with some great plot developments.

Wheeler and Hoffman’s story about a boy being emotionally abused by his mother and grandmother brings the issue to a depressing close. Wheeler’s writing–specifically the boy talking to himself throughout–is somewhat problematic. Hoffman’s artwork is fantastic. The story is quietly devastating.

CREDITS

Marie Dakar; story and art by Moebius; lettering by Karen Casey-Smith; translated by Randy Lofficier and Jean-Marc Lofficier. The Creep; story by John Arcudi; art by Dale Eaglesham; lettering by Pat Brosseau. Abandonment Games; story by Doug Wheeler; art and lettering by Mike Hoffman. Edited by Randy Stradley.

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