Sunday, February 20, 2011

Comic Quickies or Attack of the Albino Alligator

Sweet Tooth #18:  Writer/artist/creator extraordinaire Jeff Lemire continues to find new ways to work within the comics medium with this horizontal issue.  For a lot of this issue Lemire forgoes the typical panel and word bubble format in favor of large illustrations and lines of text, sort of like a children's book.  To some this may come across as a gimmick, but I think the alternative style is a cool way to go about showing the events of this transitional issue. 

After escaping the militia camp Jeppard and Gus are reunited and they have now formed a bit of a strange rag-tag fellowship of traveling companions.  Along on the journey are fellow hybrids Wendy, Bobby and one of the feral dog-boys, also Johnny, the Militia camp lacky and Doctor Singh are in tow and rounding out the group are Lucy and Louise, two former captives of the militia camp.   Together they are traveling to Alaska in hopes of finding some answers about what caused the apocalypse. 

This issue has a sweet feel to it, which is vastly different from other Sweet Tooth issues.  The change in format makes for a nice interlude between story arcs, and I'm looking forward to the next set of stories.  

The Sixth Gun #8: Drake Sinclair might have four of the six guns in his possession, but he's looking for ways to rid himself of the bond, which normally, can only be severed by death.  Hoping to find some information, he travels through a haunted swamp to visit a man who might have some answers.  Discovering more secrets than anything, Drake attempts to return to New Orleans, but is attacked by a gang of demon alligators. While Drake is on his little fact finding mission, Becky appears to be getting increasingly friendly with new comer Kirby Hale, whose intentions are foggy at best. 

 So far this story arc hasn't been as action packed as the first arc, and instead seems to be focusing a bit more on character development.  Writer Cullen Bunn seems to be keeping his cards pretty close to his chest, as I'm still a bit unsure where this arc is headed.  Sure, the Crossroads story arc is off to a slow start, but I expect things to pick up next issue as more plot threads are revealed. 

Memoir #1: Another debut issue from Image Comics, who recently cranked out solid first issues of Who is Jake Ellis and Infinite Vacation.  In Memoir, ten years ago everyone in the small town of Lowesville lost their memory.  The protagonist, Trent, is a young hot-shot investigative reporter who has decided to travel to Lowesville and find out how the people there have recuperated their lives after the incident.  Trent comes across as a bit of a self-assured cocky douche, which makes him sort of an unsympathetic lead.  He certainly stands out as a stranger in the small town and it is interesting to see how he struggles to connect with the townsfolk of Lowesville and get interviews and information.  On the surface, Lowesville seems like your typical small town, but the residents we meet in this first issue are distrusting of outsiders, a little bit crazy, and confrontational to boot. 

It's impossible to say what exactly happened to everyone that made them lose their memories, as there is only one small clue in the opening page.  On top of erasing their memories, whatever happened also seems to have make everyone in town ugly.  This could be an unimportant detail, but with so little to go on, it is hard to say.  the events of the last few pages are pretty tantalizing though, so I'll be interested to see where this one goes. 

The black and white art work is solidly done and I was especially impressed with the fact that artist Nikki Cook managed to make the Lowesville residents so damn ugly, yet also make their faces so expressive.  All in all, a well done first issue, though I am a little concerned about how much I initially dislike the main character.  Still, at the end of issue one I find myself wanting to know more about what happened in Lowesville, so I'll be sticking around for a bit more.

Dracula The Company of Monsters #6: Dracula is on the loose and has decided to make America his new home.  Evan, the poor guy who brought Dracula back from the dead, has been offered the opportunity of a lifetime: to become Dracula's apprentice.  A pretty sweet internship if you ask me, but for Evan, sentimental guy that he is, it would mean turning on his family.

Why Evan is still loyal to the family and their corrupt business is beyond me, as his Uncle Conrad, the C.E.O. is a gaping asshole, and the one who got Evan into this mess in the first place.  Oh, and did I mention ol' Uncle Conrad is a vampire too?  Yeah, and he's using his powers to make Barrington Industries into a powerhouse corporation.  As the cherry on top, Conrad has also started shacking up with Evan's power hungry fiance.  What a dick. 

I really hope Evan picks a side soon, (fingers crossed that he teams up with Dracula), as his fence sitting is starting to get tiresome.  Initially, this issue didn't do much for me, but after giving it another look, it is actually pretty sweet.  Lots of interesting things going on. The vampire-hunter crew is in out in full force now too, so that should make for an interesting triangle.  I expect Evan will somehow get mixed up with them as well, thus having some sort of vested interest in each group, making whatever outcome there is in this series a bitter-sweet one for the poor bastard.

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