Sunday, March 12, 2006

Bits of assorted Geeky Opinion Business

1 - Read ICE HAVEN by Daniel Clowes. Easier to admire his craft than enjoy his work, I tend to find. Plus the bastard has a character in the book who reviews comics on the internet. Damn self-reviewing comic book guy!

2 - Read JUDGE DREDD MEGAZINE #243. Great Clint Langley cover. It strikes me that the looser P.J. Holden drew his Dredd story, the more I enjoyed it. Alan Barnes' text piece on the Fu Manchu stories by Sax Rohmer was a nicely didactic bit of journalism: I always enjoy a writer rather quixotically championing a horribly out-of-fashion cause (see also - the entire career of Lester Bangs). The best two things in this issue? The ad for the next issue points out that the cover price is dropping from 4.50 to 2.99. That's more like it! And the MEGA OLYMPICS Dredd strips, reprinted from THE METRO freesheet: obviously riffing on an old Nigel Kneale play title and a recurring sketch from BIG TRAIN, it's an obvious gag but a doozy. Gag by Dave Bishop, art by Andy Clarke. Which brings me to number...

3 - Came to the opinion that Andy Clarke may be the most under-appreciated artist from the current generation of 2000AD talent. His work reminds me somewhat of a Travis Charest inked by a Brian Bolland, and his not having achieved comics superstardom is a real shame, probably caused by the fact that the writers of both his big breakthrough strips at the weekly (13, with Mike Carey, and Snow/Tiger, with Andy Diggle) both pissed off to exclusive contracts with DC before they could furnish Clarke with second runs of these two promising strips (13 especially - seek out the collected edition).
He's starting a finishing gig for DC, teamed up with Leonard Kirk on the DETECTIVE COMICS arc James Robinson's writing. The preview pages up here look great: Clarke's instinctive inner-Bolland gives the work a nice KILLING JOKEy resonance that raises the layouts of DC superhero journeyman Kirk to something spectacular. Hell, he even makes (lame-o red-scare eighties villain) the KGBeast look cool. For about two pages, before the commie Gotham-botherer gets wasted. Hopefully a gig this high-profile makes the cat's name internationally.