Spinner Rack: Eureka #1, Blame, Manly

All reviews are based on preview PDFs provided by the publishers.

Eureka #1

Eureka #1

Written by Andrew Cosby and Brendan Hay
Art by Diego Barreto
Boom! Studios, $3.99 US

I hadn’t realized how I missed the TV show until I read this issue. It didn’t help fill that lack; I still miss the show, because the comic can’t capture the warmth of the performances, and instead of a quirky SF mystery, we get here something more “comic-booky”.

The sheriff’s daughter Zoe has been taken hostage by a crazy killer, who turns out to be an experiment with ties to Jo’s past. I like the idea of more focus on Jo, but “former Army sniper” doesn’t do much for me in terms of adding to her character.

The sheriff stops the threat, only for it to return. I’d say unexpectedly, but it’s not, not for anyone who’s read comics before. This story is less an ensemble, more a hero/vigilante piece, which is what I meant by “comic-booky”. Hero shows down against villain to protect his family, thinks bad guy is defeated, only to have him return — it’s all familiar. Especially since it all involves lots of guns instead of anything more clever or imaginative. This is an action comic, which isn’t part of the show’s appeal to me.

The likenesses are more reminiscent of the work of Don Heck than of the actors’ faces. They’re non-specific, just “blond hero guy” or the like. It’s not bad art, it just doesn’t really give me the feel of the show.

I see that a couple of intriguing cameos will be showing up in issue #2, which may get the story closer to what I’m looking for from a licensed title.

Blame

Blame

by Steve Butler
Henspace Comics, $3.95 US

A middle class couple’s child has died. The husband is having trouble coping, seeing his daughter everywhere, asking him whom he blames for her death. This stand-alone comic is an affecting piece exploring grief and other disturbing emotions.

For something that’s so focused on drawing real people and their reactions, Butler’s figures can have distorted heads and other anatomical shapes. I’m not sure that’s an effect that’s totally under his control; it may be a function of needing more practice with perspective, especially as it relates to faces. However, it also fits with the heightened emotions and hallucinations. That the wife sometimes resembles a skull-faced monster may be an effect demonstrating the husband’s perceptions, for example.

Butler explores the breakdown of what at first appears to be a normal man caught in the aftermath of a horrific accident, but his real theme is how far people are willing to go to lie to themselves. I don’t know that I buy the idea that life can be so casually violent, but I appreciated the way he follows through his assumptions to their ending.

Manly

written by Dale Lazarov; art by Amy Colburn
Bruno Gmunder, $28.99 US

Three silent stories about extraordinarily well-hung gay men getting it on make up this very explicit picture book for adults. A cop and his new friend play with handcuffs. Two boxers take their clinches out of the ring. Two guys meet at the library instead of a gay bar. There’s nothing to the stories beyond the sex acts: starting, engaging in, lots of spurting, and afterglow.

The cartooning is appealing and strong enough to support the lack of dialogue (which also has the benefit of allowing the book to sell internationally without translation costs).

As for the price, it’s hard to judge quality from an online file. $30 for an 80-page hardcover that resembles an art or coffee table book may be reasonable, especially if treated as a conversation piece and since the target audience is known for its disposable income.


6 Responses to “Spinner Rack: Eureka #1, Blame, Manly”

  1. Scott Grunewald Says:

    “since the target audience is known for its disposable income.”

    Really Johanna? Stereotype much?

  2. Johanna Says:

    I thought that was a positive statement, well-recognized in marketing circles as a reason to target the gay male audience.

  3. Scott Grunewald Says:

    Its a little ‘My, he’s well-spoken’ honestly. *shrug*

  4. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » Feb. 24, 2009: Love is in the air Says:

    [...] [Review] Various titles Link: Johanna Draper Carlson [...]

  5. Kristina Hubert Says:

    I’d say it’s not an unfair or unflattering statement. Of course, I’m a lesbian, not a gay man, so…I dunno if I’m qualified to say.

  6. Best TV Licensed Comics? » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] advantage was demonstrated in the recent Eureka miniseries (which was disappointing otherwise): they were able to use characters played by actors [...]




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