Sean Maher's Quality Control

Friday, June 09, 2006

Bullet Reviews

BAM! Tag #1 is pretty much the exact book I'd come to think Keith Giffen should write. He's been doing humor and horror independent of each other for Boom! over the last year, and this tale of a man undergoing a slow, painful zombification combines elements of both, though the humor isn't prominent enough to spoil the mood. Like Fossen, I've been a fan of Kody Chamberlain since seeing the Punks preview art, and while the style here is totally different I'm still grooving on the atmospherics. I'd like to see the coloring switch up styles a bit; there's a lot of full-panel washes here, and maybe they can switch to more detailed "inside the lines" colors to distinguish between Our Hero's zombifying perspective and the outside world looking in on him.

BAM! Liberty Meadows #37 was my first exposure to the series. Finally cracked after doing the Frank Cho spotlight on my Ladies Night post last week. I like how Cho takes the three-panel episode format to tell longer stories (like when Calvin lost Hobbes), but being that these are all published at once, he can also do full three-panel strips of quieter moments without punchlines, building subtle tension. Some of the big boobies get pretty ridiculous-looking in profile, but outside of that particular angle the women are gorgeous. There's a back-story here, but the thing was still totally accessible. Does that mean Cho's a great storyteller or that the previous 36 issues were really light on content and forward momentum? Maybe a little of both. At any rate, I enjoyed this. There're some cheap collections coming out (soon) and I'll be buying 'em.

BAM! Toupydoops #2 was really strong. Like Liberty Meadows, a series with a comedic gimmick that drives everything and keeps the book entertaining, while allowing the characters' more complex emotional lives a breath of air now and then to give the book a little gravity. Every bit as good as the first issue, and a bit of an improvement, actually, because we get to see creator Kevin McShane flesh out the characters a bit more.

BAM! Emissary #1 was awesome. Jason Rand writes some of the best dialogue around anymore. It's a wordy issue, but it feels rich, not slow. We're setting up all the pieces, meeting all our characters and getting some backstory in our pockets so we care about them going forward. Really, though it doesn't move the bigger story forward much beyond introducing some of the main issues at stake, it's a dense, brilliant issue. Juan Ferreyra's improved as an artist with every month since I first noticed his stuff in Small Gods #1, what, two years ago? Between his work there, his continuing run on Rex Mundi (re-launching with Dark Horse soon) and his stuff here, the man's a true rising star. The big spreads here - new territory for Ferreyra - are full of impact and shock and grandeur. Why these guys aren't both millionaires is beyond me. I was worried about this, not being much of a Jim Valentino fan, but I think it's gonna be really goddamned good.

*****

Happy Friday, kids. I'm off to go hang out on a yacht out in the bay, breathing the sea air and feeling the wind in my hair and calling it work.

1 Comments:

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