The Comic Queen

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Single-Panel Reviews: Rock 'N' Roll, 10, Loveless, Something So Familiar

Rock ‘N’ Roll
Image $3.50
By Fábio Moon, Gabriel Bá, Bruno D’Angelo, Kako
In some senses this comic is excellent, another example of how the comics medium can truly be whatever the creators want to try to make it at the moment. But pushing the conventions carries some risk. In this case, though, I think Moon, Bá, D’Angelo, and Kako pretty successfully handle the risk of something a little bit different. What’s different you ask? For one, the story is told in three parts – each part illustrated and told by a different creator. The three parts work together to tell a story, but I get the sense that the story was created like a campfire tale, in which one kid in the circle starts a story, then the next kid adds to the story and so on, until the circle (and story) is complete. This is what Rock ‘N’ Roll felt like, the parts worked together to tell a greater story, but each was distinct in both art and story direction – especially the trippy third part. To add an extra measure of experiment, the story is essentially wordless. The group of creators is clearly talented, and there’s definitely some beautiful artwork. I’m especially fond of Moon’s second part – he’s got the cleanest and sexiest lines of the group, but the third part, by Bá, was also a definite treat. That’s the saddest thing about a one-shot comic like this – it leaves you wanting more!
Bottom line: B+

Boom! Studios
Writer: Keith Giffen; Artist: Andy Kuhn
10 is a thriller/suspense tale following a group of people who receive a letter essentially informing them they are part of a “game” forcing them to kill or be killed in a simultaneous hunt and race to see who will survive. Andy Kuhn’s art is great as usual – I’m looking forward to seeing his work continuing for a long time. Giffen’s story, though suspenseful, was a little light and semi-confusing. I think there’s a bit of an error in the letter we see that was sent to the contestants – the error is regarding the math of the 10 contestants -- but besides that, the book is a good read. The cover’s very nice, too, I have to say.
Bottom line: B

Loveless #1-3
Vertigo $2.99 each
Writer: Brian Azzarello; Artist: Marcelo Frusin; Colorist: Patricia Mulvihill
More gritty, earthy storytelling from Azzerello, which I personally like. The plot could be moving a little faster, though. After three issues, not too much is revealed about the main character, Wes Cutter, who comes back after the end of the Civil War to find that his land and town have been taken over by the Union. I’m hooked for now, mostly because of the beautiful art by Frusin. I have to admit I haven’t read Hellblazer at all, so I wasn’t familiar with Frusin’s work before Loveless. But in this comic both the covers and the inside art are incredible, so a little Hellblazer’s now on my reading backlist.
Bottom line: B+

Something So Familiar from
Something So Familiar
The New Radio $4
By Alex Cahill
Telling a good story without any dialogue is a unique challenge. Cahill more than meets the challenges inherent in such a comic, though, with this Xeric Foundation grant-winning comic. The story follows a man who lives with the deep sadness and guilt associated with the death of his wife and child. A depression that affects his work and pushes him to a suicide attempt – one that has a very unexpected result. I won’t ruin anything here, but suffice it to say that in our deepest moments of grief, sometimes hope reveals itself in beautiful and unanticipated ways. Cahill shows insight and talent with Something So Familiar. In the perspectives and details especially, he showcases his talent. Keep it coming, Alex, I’m looking forward to reading more.
Bottom line: A-
(More preview pages are available on The New Radio website)


  • At 12:01 PM, March 16, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    erin, hi, it's alex cahill from the new radio. i'm pleased you liked something so familiar, and i'd like to send you a copy of our latest book for review. would you please email me with your mailing address and i'll send it off to you.

    my address is



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