Saturday, March 14, 2009

Maintaining Bohemia Zuda review/ demonstrate absurdity by being absurd

Maintaining Bohemia is another comic this month done by Harold Sipe, and Buster Moody (Buster being one of Patrick Morgan's of Bayou fame's alternate personalities), on Zuda. Speaking as someone who used to go by a number of different aliases, it just makes things more confusing than need be. Unless of course your planing to rob a bank or something, or pulling a Ed Mcbain ...
Here is the synopsis:
Who keeps order in the land of total indulgence? Who cleans up after performance pieces that involve dead fish and stagnant water? Who keeps a conceptual art school tethered to Earth and functioning on a day-to-day basis? The janitorial and security staff of the New Academy of Art and Design are all that stand between clean, well-maintained hallways and pseudo-intellectual chaos. Maintaining Bohemia follows the support staff of NAAD (New Academy of Art and Design) as they navigate a campus filled with immature and uninformed examples of conceptual art from students more concerned with thrift store t-shirts and hair care products than any higher pursuits. The staff provides an outsider’s view to the workings of the modern art school. A man-on-the-street’s view of lame and fake crucifixions, slightly pornographic videos of puppet suicide, and the same footage of animal slaughterhouses that show up in sophomore performance class year after year.


This comic I think has reminded all of us of our Art school/ Art class memories which I'm now going to wander into: I went to a community adjunct satellite school for a pretty well respected university in my state. I took a number of art classes, cause I like art. One piece we had to do was a mixed media/ collage and my options were limited. I had my art boards, political magazines, old comic book price guides, some cheap metal, and a baker's dozen of glow in the dark skeleton Halloween novelties. So I put something together I had a cutout of the Punisher holding a gun in his hands, and to his left various political leaders. Not to mention pictures of tanks, planes etc; -this is after 2001. I used the metal to link the various boards together, and tied the skeletons to them hanged man style. Believe it, or not it actually turned out quite well, until it came time to display it. I wanted to do the best I could with what I had, and make it look as cool as possible. The other students at the school soon divided up into two camps. You had the folks who thought it made an anti-fascist statement against TPTB. The other camp thought it had a pro-security counter terrorist message. This would have been fine, except you had some students who thought if it was pro-fascist it should be taken down, and some thought if it was anti-American it should be taken down. My reaction: WTF??? -it's just art class. The administration of the school was so worried about the images I used and what could be implied from them (the revolution starts here in art class -I guess was the fear), they even had a nice long talk with my teacher. Who being a fine teacher assured them I was not some gun toting radical with idle hands. After this I decided to say the hell with it. You want something to piss your panties about, you'll get it.

Serial Killer Bedroom

Whatever you may think of Rush Limbaugh he has a damn accurate quote: "you demonstrate absurdity by being absurd". So I went to work on my next piece, which as you may imagine involved a lot of red paint. We did a diorama(sp?) of a room. So I got a lot of little doll furniture to look like a bedroom. My little sister gave me one of her seldom used dolls, and I went about ripping it's arms, legs, and head off. Bless it's heart it never had a chance. I painted the room all white. I then glued pieces of the doll all over the place. i think I put the head under the bed, but I can't remember for sure. I poured red paint all down the walls, and all over the floor, and doll furniture. I ripped out a lo of the dolls hair and had it matted with red paint stuck to the walls. It did look gruesome as hell I have to say. Then I stopped working on it, and left it out where every student could see it for the next week, until I was back in class to finish it. My teacher told me everyone was talking about it, and the general consensus was I needed to be dragged off to a padded room.

It was all a set up. I finished the piece by posting these words on it:
Just because this is gruesome, bloody, and ultra-violent!!! Doesn't make it a declaration of future intent.
It's me doing a parody of me.
Hitler painted roses, and we all know how that turned out now don't we?

I actually had a fellow student come up to me and tell me before she read that she thought I was a psycho, but after that she thought I was a really cool guy.

Maintaining Bohemia reminded me of those grand moments, so thanks again for that.

The review I bet you thought I forgot about.

I had the same reaction to some of my fellow students earnest nonsense as the staff of the school. I really enjoyed the way the script took the piss out of art class. What i didn't like was the impossible to read letters in small screen mode. That's my only real compliant though. For some reason the ink work reminds me of some of Robert Crumb's stuff. The puppet/muppet with family/masturbatory issues was funny as hell. I really liked the way you set it up with the T.V. panels. The hand manipulating the Elmo look-a-like (colored red instead of brown might have gotten you a lawsuit), visible throughout was a nice touch. On top of everything else poor production values. Ending with the 'blood' thrown on the camera, in spite of Omle riding the lighting was even funnier. The story is very well written, and the art really does have that underground comix feel to it. Screen 4 panel 6 It looked like Joker laughing gas mixed with melting glass skin, to give him that facial expression. The flashback to the teacher being just as lame in panel 5, was a nice bit of cultural insight. I liked one of the staff used to be a student, and the way he talked was such a tip off. You could also say look at him now. I love the character of Reg, great written dialogue. I loved panel 5 on screen 6. This comic has some of the smartest written dialogue on Zuda, screen 6 is a real stand out. I liked the power tools joke, and also the serious/humorous element of the psyche meds. I really enjoyed the way you introduce all of the main characters and do such a good job on their characterization in only 8 screens. I enjoyed the pace Harold and Buster established for the comic, it really fit Zuda well. I loved the layout of screen 8. The effect panel 2 had on the rest of the page, with Reg looking up at a 'fish' in the last panel, very impressive work from these two creators. Their is even a little cubism thing going on with the character art work. The colors were damn well done, no real surprise there. One of the best written synopsis's ever.

4/5 stars and a fav. Great work from these two creators, an amazing read.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dave Sim Ousider Artist/ What have Wikipedia wrought?

I do not think Dave Sim is a misogynist.
I read Cerebus by Dave Sim. How big a fan am I of that comic??? I am currently buying my way into having a complete (16 volumes) Cerebus Library.
In this economy.
Yeah I know call me crazy too.
I don't think they're gender wide conspiracies by mind reading women to take my and every other guy's God giving testicular fortitude away from us. If you've been burned more than twice by the opposite sex in a major way, I do understand being jaded and cynical as can be. The fact of the matter is a certain percentage of the human population is just born sorry as hell, and this crosses gender lines. If you've got hooked up (pun intended) with more than your fair share of lying bastards, or lying bitches -as the case may be, you have my sympathy. Turning a individual asshole (or three) into a universally representative stereotype isn't fair or right. Bitching, ranting, raving about it, or working your feelings into a story your writing is understandable. If the story in question happens to be a damn fine read, you can get some entertainment out of it, if not catharsis.
That's my view on the sexist issue in general, which leads into the religious issue when your taking about Sim's various comments.
Which also leads into a discussion of political views, one things just leads into another and then another... Do the never ending tangents (links) remind you of Wikipedia??? it's what got me started on this as a matter of fact.
Dave Sim's religious views are not anyone's traditional doctrine. That being said in the last volume of Cerebus Sim wrote this about a religious parody in the comic: "Only God knows who has sufficient faith and who hasn't and it could be that all, some, or most of the adherents of that church run rings around me in the faith department. We'll find out on Judgment Day." [The Last Day, page 255] I agree with Sim's view on this, no if, and, or but qualifiers needed. You believe what you believe, by the time you find out for sure it would be a moot point to say I told you so -if you could.

Now let's talk about Fletcher Hanks

I've read and enjoyed some of Fletcher Hanks stories collected in 'I shall destroy all the civilized planets' and a new collection coming out later on. Their is something impressive about the singular vision of a single creator. [Dave Sim had great help from Gerhard, but it was Dave's vision that got everything started.] Hanks had his own voice in stories he wanted to tell that is just as unique as Dave Sim. Unique being a code word for 'this shit is crazy' -but used in a complementary way.

I understand just because a creator puts a negative element in a story it doesn't mean the writer shares those views. If I enjoy a story well enough the personal history/views of the creator won't make me not read on, page after page. I wouldn't go as far as Norman Mailer did though.
The limits of reason, and having the good sense God gave a piss-ant is not a bad thing.

According to Fletcher Hanks Jr. he and his mother were abused brutally by his father. Others have already asked the question, but it bares repeating: "What would happen to Fletcher Hanks in a Fletcher Hanks story?" Could some of the quarters that give Sim hell, be giving Hanks more of a Pass? Ask yourself what's worst: a sexist pig who traces (the hater's view of Sim), or a rat bastard who abused his family? (my view of Hanks)
If your answer to that question was sexist pig who traces, you deserve to be dragged out into the street and shot BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! Sin City style.
Everyone has opinions your not going to like, not everyone beats up their wife and children.
I still enjoy Hanks comics work, but it's in a the man was a S.O.B. perspective.

Outsider Artist

According to Wikipedia an outsider artist is/does:

art created outside the boundaries of official culture, think insane asylum inmates
self-taught or Naïve art makers
a successful art marketing category

That last one bears repeating don't you think:
a successful art marketing category

Reading about Hanks lead me to Wikipedia which led me to 'outsider art' which led me all over the place...
Labeling someone with the term outsider makes it okay to go fanboy with no grand questions given to if I like the work do I endorse by proxy the creators views/actions/ or treatment.
A writer could punch babies for kicks *ahem ;)*, just because you like their work doesn't mean you endorse that kind of behavior. You can and I do separate a creators work from their personal life. In some blog posts I've read people tie their conscience into knots , to get out of moral loop-holes, that don't even really exist.
Or to go all Matrix on your ass: Their is no spoon.

An outsider artist is self taught-
Dave Sim check.

An outsider artist has a idiosyncratic viewpoint in the extreme-
Dave Sim double check.

An outsider artist usually has a history of mental problems-
Dave Sim triple check.

An outsider artist also happens to be the toast of the town with certain critics.
If Dave Sim had wrapped himself in the cloak of Outsider Artist; instead of just an outsider, he could have had a ton of support, instead of just a ton of bad press.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Rejects Zuda review/ please continue to kick ass

The Rejects is a Zuda comic by kingofsnake, and slidestudios.
Here is the synopsis: When Ultra-man, the world’s greatest superhero, is diagnosed with terminal cancer the government launches a secret black ops program designed to create a new generation of superheroes from abducted children. The program is soon scrapped as, “a terrible idea in the first place” and the children they’d been experimenting on are deposited back in their homes with no memory of the ordeal. Chris and Eric are two of these rejects. Chris quickly discovers he has some invulnerability and super strength. Unfortunately he has no control over whether or not his powers will work. Eric wakes up with control over electricity but using it drains his mental and physical energy like a battery, leaving him to pass out from exhaustion. Eric has been a fanboy his whole life and is eager to try to become a hero himself. All Chris ever wanted was to blend into the crowd, and suddenly it’s like trouble is just following him around. Now being normal seems to be out of the question, and being a superhero is a lot harder than they ever thought it would be. Chris and Eric find themselves thrust deeper into the world of heroes and villains they’d only ever read about. As they discover more about their powers and super heroism in general, it seems only a matter of time before they begin to run into other rejects. For better or for worse.

It's a fun young kids learning to use their powers super-hero story. Their are also some nice comic fanboy acknowledgments throughout. We have at this point the expected shout out to the "with great powers" line. The most interesting part of the story for me however was the various Superman-esque subplots established on screen 1. Ultra-man who gets his powers from the sun has been diagnosed with terminal skin cancer. The Lex Luthor stand-in Max Mercer sees his company stock prices skyrocket, on the news. The expected to be funny (and it was) inept super-hero face off was very good, but the wee bit of foreshadowing on screen 1 was what really got my attention to seeing where this story goes. Screen 1 also had the worst layout of the whole comic, but Slide improved on that by leaps and bounds (vague early Superman reference) by the end of the 8 screens.

The villains are suitably stupid, and I thought the dialogue amongst them was very well written, kudos Nate kudos. That being said Shemp is my favorite stooge, so watch that shit, 'ya hear me??? I loved the heroes big reveal was done standing on a stack of DVD's. I also liked the villains laughter at them. What was most impressive was the pace of the story and how these two creators worked so much into the story, the jumping around through time element was nice too. The art for the fight scenes was fantastic, I loved the use of sound effects throughout.

Some nifty examples from the comic to show you what I mean:

I loved the running joke of Punch-boy assuming everyone is just going to think he his Ultra-man's kid and the way you set it up on screen 4. I enjoyed all the dialogue between the not so dynamic duo, and the screen composition here.
The way 'electrify' was handled on screen 5 was very good, art and colors equally impressive.
Smack!!! down goes the Duracell kid!!! nice Green Giant reference on screen 6 too.
I loved the sound effects in the last panel here, to show Pea-boy's inept series of punches.
The action scene on 7 was well done all the way across the line.
Screen 8 really did have me laughing out loud, it was a nice kicker to end on. It also reminded me off all the bullshit summer blockbuster mega event ret-con's Marvel and DC have used to try to to con me out of my money since the early 90's. I'm just surprised you didn't have one of the badguy's think he was a Ultra-man clone...

Have I mentioned how much I freaking love the lettering.

But not in a unethical or immoral kind of way.
I always card'em first and everything is completely consensual.
King/Slide whichever one of you did the letters it really added to the enjoyment of the comic for me.
I enjoyed everything about this comic, even the humor was cool as hell, hence a 4/5 star rating and a fav.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Panda Force Zuda review/ Pink is not my favorite color in this context

Panda Force is another Zuda comic this month, done by Sean Causley.
Here's the synopsis: A tear in the fabric of time has allowed sinister futuristic forces to wreck havoc upon the citizens of the 21st century. A highly trained and secret force of infant warriors has been assigned to protect our vulnerable world by the Animal Command Alliance (ACA) -- the NATO of the future. These elite baby soldiers go by the name of Panda Force!
This is not my go to genre of choice. I've probably typed that about a hundred times since I've been following Zuda, so maybe I should say what those words mean to me. It means I think the art/dialogue is fine, but the story is not something I would be interested in following should it win. It goes without saying I wouldn't part ways with the money in my pocket to buy a dead tree edition should said comic make it into print. That being said Panda Force isn't awful by any means.

Panda Force's lettering is pretty much unreadable for me in small screen mode. You get visually assaulted by all the day-glow colors from screen one. I doubt Sean was saying to himself as he colored this: "I'm going to burn their mother-******* eyes out!", but you never know. The color scheme actually fit, but it just went a little too far into a 'rainbow threw up on the pages' territory. Having a lazy Panda Force fighter did a good job on bringing some characterization from screen 1 on -which I liked. It does have the powerpuff girl feel to the art which I also enjoyed. The cat-pee spraying villain was a nice touch, and Mee-ouch as a name got a laugh from me. I liked the full page shot on screen 3, but felt it might could have had more impact. I thought it ended on a nice line, it was a good more, or less self contained short. I thought the banter with the villain, and the fight scenes were some of the highlights.

Some nifty examples from the comic that show you what I mean:

he sound effects are very well done especially for the fight scenes, one of the funnest parts of reading the comic for me.
The fight scene starting on screen 4 was really well done panel layout-wise. Screen 5 was definitely the highlight Sean, the reaction shot to be peed on by the evil feline "ohhhh--no--you--didn't.." was damn funny. In the next panel with the Panda Power up I liked all the sound effects as extra gadgets went off. Rock, paper, missiles was another good line.
We managed to see the two other members of Panda Force worked into the story. We also see when it's not a giant panda robot, the suit of armor becomes a backpack. I thought the art on her parents was very well done, and I liked the break the fourth wall wink at the end.

Have your cats spayed, or neutered.

The colors hurt my eyes, couldn't read the letters, and the concept didn't thrill me. Nothing was really wrong with the story or art, I'm just not in the audience for this one. Little kids who fight in giant robot panda suits is a twist, but not for me. If you like younger aimed more lighthearted
stories as opposed to the ultra-violent graphic violence I usually favor, you should give it a read. 3/5 stars.

Monday, March 9, 2009

What's in the works/ If the flu don't kill me I'll....

Hello internet Land.
What you can expect forthcoming on the blog is more much more Zuda reviews my internet connection willing. That new script I got some help on the translation with (and feedback) from Andres artist of the comic Marshall and Juan of Re-Evolution fame, should be posted fairly soon. Later still than all that look for a rewritten script posted of this blog's namesake. A post about my 5 favorite artists/creators at Zuda who didn't win, or win enough times in Steve Steiner's case. I also as soon as I get it worded right in my head plan on putting out a rare non-Zuda related post about Dave Sim. It's basically how if he wants to restore his reputation he should just get someone to declare him a 'outsider artist' and watch the accolades roll in -It worked for Fletcher Hanks.... I'd like to avoid pissing off too many people, but maybe I'm aiming too high. Does anyone have a rough guess just how many knuckle dragging misogynists, or penis envying femi-nazis their really are??? I'm guessing the kind of people that give both sexes a bad name aren't that common really. Prove me wrong fanatical internet haters, prove me wrong...
How long will it take me to get around to all that??? How long is March again, maybe getting in April there...
My Zuda friends (or anyone) should also know if you got something you want to publicize, or get the word out about let me know. There are also a few people I would love to interview *croses fingers and hope they respond to my e-mails* on down the line -like maybe May.

Children of Armageddon Zuda review/ It's not the fall it's the cliche that kill's you

Children of Armageddon by Chris Meeks is fighting it out at Zuda this month with a current #1 rank.
Here is the synopsis: Eric Gray remembers very little about his life before the day he plunged twenty stories from the window of a New York City building. He remembers the orphanage but nothing of where he came from or who sent him there in the first place. All he knows for sure is that he miraculously survives the fall, leaving a massive, smoldering crater in the middle of the street where he fell. Soon after, the military becomes involved, covering up the incredible incident as a terrorist attack, and sending Eric away to an undisclosed location. Now, nine years later, Eric finds himself working for the government as a secret agent, his first mission leading him to Istanbul, Turkey to recover a mysterious briefcase. The contents of which will lead him on a journey to a Secret Defense Project that holds the answers to his disturbing origin.
Last year (I think) Grant Morrison opened an issue of Batman with a character falling to his death. Think it was the Joker, I could be wrong -that's not the point here anyway. The point is opening with a character falling to their death is such a great comic book story opening. It really goes a long way towards grabbing you into a story. A kid is falling to his death, yes Mr. Meeks you have my interest. I just hope you don't have some kind of R.I.P homage planed otherwise I'm just going to end up blanking it all out.

I'm done referencing Batman for no real reason here -I swear.

The colors are very well done, and the letters are very readable. The art gets a little less impressive towards the middle, but on the whole top notch. The story starts off very well (super powered kids have been done before, but not done well that often), but then nose dives into cliche country with 19 year old Eric.
By the title 'Children' I think it's a safe bet their are other super powered young people around, with a 5 to 1 shot one of them is a cute super powered babe fighting on the other side. "Make my arch nemesis a blond Russian please, or better yet twins" you see where I'm going with this.
By the title (I like the title a lot), I'm guessing Eric and company are going to be trying to save the world? I think this set up might have worked better for a young kid/teenager than a nineteen year old.. Yes college aged kids have their causes, but their just not a sympathetic as your average 12/13 year old. If Eric hadn't been aged you could have gotten a double, a triple play off the words in the title. If children of Armageddon doesn't just refer to the future, but also his origin. Given the choice: between a young super powered kid trying to save the world and maybe get his first kiss, vs. a super powered almost 20 something out to save the world and maybe get laid. I'd rather go with the younger kid's story I've already read the R rated Ultimate Justice leagu-- I mean Supreme Power.
That's really the vibe I got at the end of this comic Hyperion: without the supporting cast except for the Air-Wolf extras.
It could be and you probably do have any number of twists planned for the story. Nothing wrong with wanting to put your own spin on a really superpowered nice guy either. In any case the last few screens don't take away that much from the rest of the comic.

Some nifty examples from the comic that show what I mean:

Let's start with screen 1. You know I love the opening the text box thought balloons all go along with what any kid who has played Superman thought just before they hit the ground. The text here was damn good, and went along well with the overall screen composition.
Screen 2 Loved the full page shot for the effects of the crash, and of course you do a fantastic job with the backgrounds.
Screen 3 The composition here was amazing. I loved the pull out from the shocked kid Eric's face, and the silhouette that turned into the General.
Screen 7 I really enjoyed the layout of this screen most especially panels 2 and 3. You got some real memorable imagery here. The fade in 'Eric's' to show him waking up was also a nice touch.
Screen 8 Giant robot smackdown coming up, nice action cliff-hanger to end on.

Like I said before the untrustworthy General with the suspicious character seems pretty typical and is a sub plot that doesn't interest me.
3/5 stars for now, but that could change.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Deadly Zuda review/ Everybody can't be Caanan but goddamit!

Deadly by James Fosdike is another comic fighting it's way through March at Zuda, currently ranked 3rd.
Here's the synopsis: When the earth became barren and the air toxic, almost all its people abandoned Australia. Only the indigenous population remains, refusing to leave while attempting to resuscitate a dead land. It is a dangerous task. The wildlife have become twisted and mutated with a taste for flesh. Breathing the air will either kill you or turn you into a living nightmare. A lone terraformer rescues a child that can breathe air. He wants to know why, but the kid's not talking. He'll find out before the week is through, if he can stay alive.
First off James said this comic was originally done to help indigenous kids with reading difficulties which of course is a very cool objective to have. Keeping the words sparse helped make it a easier read, and also helped the suspense filled pace. I have a speech impediment/ lisp and years ago my speech teacher used comics to help me learn how to 'talk right' as we say down south. I would read the comic to her and she would help me pronounce the words. I had a cool teacher I just hope she liked The Flash as much as I did back then. So I know first hand how useful comics can be to help kids learn.
You get extra 'warm my cold black heart' points for that.

The colors are great, letters readable, I enjoyed the script and premise, art is great just not enough of it. Too lite on the panels, but I liked reading your promise of more panels to come should you win. Everyone can't be Caanan and put all those panels on a screen, not have it feel cramped, and kick arse artistically speaking. Some stories just work better with the old stand by of 5-7 panels per screen/page. What's been tried on Zuda more than once and hasn't worked yet -is the 1-2-3 panels per page thing. Why should I repeat something that has been mentioned more than twice in your comment section -simple added emphasis. It's a suspense filled read the first time through, on repeat readings you wonder where the other panels are at. That's the biggest complaint I have, but it's a serious one.

Panel count aside their are some awesome images here.

Some nifty examples from the comic to show you what I mean:

Screen 1 both panels. We get a nice establishing shot that stirs up those feelings of dread, and a boy trying to make a fair instead of playing with his wii. That's kind of a tip off what direction this story is going in right there.
Screen 2 panel 2 the way this image was done was very impressive. You just had to click to the next screen, to see if the kid was going to be okay. Unlike with Dirty Mile and the baby anarchists, I want the baby geomancher to live.
Screen 3 now that's Art, I don't care who you are. Very impressive/ striking image. How many times will I use the words 'very impressive'? As many as it takes... as many as it takes...
Screen 4 Their is not much text box narration going on, but the panels we have serve a good purpose of moving the story along. Very impressive images here, great artwork. I also want to say neat sequential sequence in the second panel with the goggles reflection. The snake is showing in the reflections moving even closer to eating the kid, I enjoy stuff like that.
Screen 6 If James wanted to get all poetic on us saying how this image (being cut out of the snakes belly) was akin to the boy coming out of the womb/ being reborn. You could just go with Kick ass art too. Only problem with this screen too much blank black space.
Screen 8 ends with a cute image of the kid looking at his reflection and a 'had to be break a rule for you' mystery introducing line. Rules what kind of rules, vote for it to find out in screen 9!!!

What the hell was up with screen 5???

Were their formatting issues for Zuda or what??? That was a lot of blank black space letterbox borders for what real reason? If it's going to be a full screen shot why not go with bigger characters and take up more space on the page.

All that aside I'm glad your ranked as high as you are James, a very well done story just needed more panels and less blank space. 4/5 and a fav for being so very impressive.

DANGO LIVES!!!!! -and continues to eat everything in sight!!!

Love the dango, by Amber Stone was a competitor on Zuda a few months back, got my vote but didn't win. Well I am beyond thrilled something so cute and subversive has lived on you should really check it out if you haven't already. it's funny -damn funny.

Dirty Mile Zuda Review/ I hope all those kids get ran over by a tank

The Dirty Mile is a comic by Jason Smith III fighting it out at Zuda this month.
Here's the Synopsis: Concrete ecology. Post-Collapse. That sliver of city along the river called the Dirty Mile. What looks like a strip of empty brownstones is really home to a community of children. One of those kids, Martine, heads their ad hoc line of defense, the Angels. While Marine is busy fighting off attacks from thieves, predators and outcasts like former Angels Melvin and Tookey, Mayor Cruz has her eyes on the Mile. She's seeking re-election, and Housing Director Robert Hausman's going to give it to her with a massive urban renewal project. They're going to raise Phoenix Lane from the ashes of the Dirty Mile, even if he has to burn the place down himself to do it. But even if the citizens have forgotten those kids, the city hasn't. And they've been learning some damn hard lessons.

It looks like you have a bunch of kid rebels fighting amongst themselves and of course against 'The Man' in the form of Mayor Cruz. It reminds me of DMZ, Freak Angels, and maybe a little of Gulch in these first 8 screens. The letters are fantastic I really enjoyed them. The art really fits the story well, their can be no real complaints about it. The colors have the faded look I associate with Lynn Varney before DK 2. So far it's 4/5 stars and a fav.

Some nifty examples from the comic that show you what I mean:

Screen 1 Panel 1: We open on an establishing shot (OMFG!!!!) -I like establishing shots because they help a reader figure out right away where the story is. It always helps if your first panel is well designed, establishes a good pattern to follow.

The dialogue we get to follow between Karen and Hausman in these first few screens is very well done, great job on that part of the writing.

Screen 2 Panel 5 Love the letters here with the 'Bang' sound effect, and the coloring job. White is the color that most pops out at you in comics, so just a well put together panel and screen.

Let's talk about Martine and company, and how the story is going to be set up in the future if it wins, or lives on elsewhere. Gulch and DMZ do a great job of leaving the question of who are the good guys open to interpretation. If the story goes the angels with dirty faces poor wittle heroes route, that would be predictable and not much of a thrill to read. If it's more of a mystery, (or even better for a twist the mayor is the hero) who to root for that would grab me as a reader. The fact they have other lord of the files wanna-be's who have turned on them is a very nice story element. It is a credit to the writing all of these various forces are intro'ed in the 8 screen limit so well.

The color scheme is more or less impressionistic which suites the comic so well especially on screens 3 and 4. From screen 5 one of the kid's is named 'Spanky' Little rascals -meet- the little radicals. I enjoyed the rainbow hues on screen 5, and I really enjoyed the last panel on this screen. top notch screen composition throughout. Screen 6 set's up the Tookey side of the equation and shows the great pace of this comic.

Screen 7 shows us the Mayor, and screen 8 gives us a nice little cliff hanger denouncement. "We only have the boxes we live in, and die in" My questions about who the author intends the heroes to be aside, we get a lot of action in these 8 screens, Everything is very well done most esp. the pace of the story -it fit's the 8 screens allowed like a glove. If only I could know some of these wild boys brats would meet their fate....


4/5 stars and a favorite it should be ranked better than it's current 8th place.