The Comic Queen

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Thursday, October 07, 2004

Demo #10 Review

Demo 10 cover from www.ait-planetlar.com

Demo #10 “Damaged”
Writer: Brian Wood; Art: Becky Cloonan
AiT/ Planet Lar; $2.95

This issue of Demo tells of Thomas Martin, a seemingly successful, wealthy, and also troubled 20-something who just doesn’t quite know what to do with success. Thus, he’s the “Damaged” one.

Or is he?

Enter seemingly homeless mystery girl, whom he first encounters on a NYC sidewalk. She can eerily just know things about him.

Or can she?

She talks with him, acting almost as a counselor. The story from there out is seemingly predictable.

Or is it?

O.k., alright, I’ll stop doing that. But admit it the questions and “seeminglys” have you more than annoyed -- perhaps even intrigued?

The plotline works well here, but really the stand-out aspect of the issue is Cloonan’s art. I’m continually amazed by her work. (Note to self: pick up more Cloonan art.) The characters have a kind-of facial “manga look,” which isn’t completely my cup of tea, but she really does use the style nicely to pull out the emotions that are needed. Page 14, panel four is a nice rendering of the profile of the girl’s head – I want more of this. It’s just a bit different – more exact, a little more realistic, but really locked into the style I would have liked to have seen for the characters throughout the book.

Enough of my personal preferences, though. The most effective and well-employed artistic device in the book was Cloonan’s use of photographs of NYC given a photocopied look and incorporated with her drawings. It gave an immediate sense of place, and was integrated with the rest of the art, therefore giving the effect a distinct look, but kept it from being jarring. And the last page was just sweet. Cloonan uses simple lines to emote with the best of them.

If you haven’t picked up an issue of Demo yet, this is a good one to try. Each issue tells a separate, one-issue, story. Some have a distinctive A, B, to C plotline, others are more a moment-in-the-life-of stories. Some will ring truer than others for you, but I guarantee which issues those are will vary from individual to individual.

Bottom Line: B+

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