Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Two Quick Reviews

Here are a few quick reviews to get caught up on some titles that I've recently read...

Weathercraft HC (Jim Woodring) - I've never read any of Jim Woodring's Frank comics before, but his latest addition to the universe he created, and his first full-length graphic novel period, features his character Manhog, whose luck seems like it can't get any worse.  He is tortured, stalked, and imprisoned as he makes his way through the crazy world he lives in, discovering fantastic creatures and ways to manipulate the environment.  He has some fun along the way too, but it's always short-lived.  This is a nice showcase for Woodring's beautiful art, which often dips into the grotesque, but is always interesting and somehow pretty no matter what is depicted.  He's a great cartoonist, which he shows off through his imaginative creatures and the curious monsters, and fully-realized alien world.  It's a whimsical journey, completely silent, but unforgettable and haunting.

Curio Cabinet (John Brodowski) - Another rather odd graphic novel is this book of shorts, done in soft pencils all throughout, and heavily featuring the iconic slasher Jason from the Friday the Thirteenth movies.  There are also guest appearances by Chip and Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast, and a dog who breaks through the panels.  This is a strange assortment of stories, but it's all very fun.  Brodowski produces some really nice illustrations, usually of crazy monsters and animals, but also of landscapes and the details of tools, buses and musical notes that he draws.  Some of the human figures can look awkward at times, and some shorts are better than others, but there's a wealth of creativity packed in here.  My favorite moments are always of Jason Voorhees in odd scenes that are quiet, like they took place between kills, or when he had a little time to reflect on things without the weight of a camp full of victims frolicking and screwing in the woods.  Good stuff.

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