A Few Good SPX Mini-Comics
Quick notes, because I have to get ready for the second day of SPX 2017, but I have had a chance to read a few comics so far. Reading comics at a convention? I know, normally there’s no time, but it was so nice, being in the same hotel as the show, to sneak away yesterday when the crowds got heaviest, go back to the room, put my feet up, and read a few things.
The Eternal Rocks
Amelia Onorato sums up her comic The Eternal Rocks on the back cover: “What if the movie 50 First Dates took place in the Edwardian Era between a proper English lady and a shape-shifting, gender-fluid sea-monster?” And that is precisely what this is, odd as it sounds (and plays out).
Except I didn’t read the cover before I read the comic, so I was highly entertained (and quite often astounded) by the strange turns the story took. It started with a quote from Wuthering Heights and a proper lady in a window seat bemoaning her restricted life. I had no idea to expect the wide swings of emotion that come, or the way Onorato draws the pleasure of riding hard and letting go.
I’m sorry I’ve ruined that sense of wonder for you, but the drawing is still impressive, particularly since on land, the sea monster resembles a centaur, only with both a person and horse head, and without any skin on. It’s a fantasy anatomical drawing come to life.
Robert Young captures how powerfully imagination can affect the young in his story of watching a wrestling show when he was 8.
Paul Bearer had an interview show, and the Ultimate Warrior appeared on it, only to be forced into a casket. They played up the danger while trying to get him out of it.
The simple lines are made more dramatic by the red tone used. The dialogue is the usual wrestling bombast, interspersed with the child trying to remember “wrestling isn’t real” while being carried away by the drama and knowing “there can always be an accident”. He’s ridiculed, but his belief in the fiction he’s watching is the sign of how much he is affected by an entertainment show. Making fun of that eventually loses something for us all. This comic is an gripping reminder of how powerful fiction can be.
Sarah Bollinger ponders what wearing her yellow jacket meant to her, and how one insensitive comment made her stop doing something she enjoyed. The clothing is a powerful metaphor (and visually distinctive) for how we present ourselves to others. Bollinger manages to tell a specific and yet universal story of growing up that shows real talent.