Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 07/19/06
week we look through the upcoming releases to offer our two
cents as to what's hot and what's not. You can agree with
us or not, but spend your money wisely.
brought to you by FanboyPlanet.Comics
of Santa Clara
writer: Richard Starkings
artists: Moritat and Jose Ladronn
the rain-drenched streets of Santa Monica can be lonely
business. Even when the neon lights reach out to you, if
you're not in the groove, it means nothing. It also has
to be worse when you're an elephant.
Welcome to the
world of Elephantmen, one first established in the
pages of an erratically released book called Hip Flask.
Even more oddly, creator Richard Starkings started this
all as advertising for his Comicraft lettering fonts.
But that minimizes
the strangely enjoyable result. Elephantmen mashes
vaguely dystopian sci-fi with something deliriously pulpy
- creating real men's men out of African wildlife.
the nicely precise artist Moritat, Starkings makes this
future world surreally familiar. An elephant stands outside
a Hooters advertising $25.99 Tuesdays. Okay, so inflation
has continued apace, and the menu has changed. But even
in 2259, sex sells. (Weird that this should appear in the
same week as the Hooters originator gets found dead, and
hard-boiled author Mickey Spillane dies. Coincidence or
elephant, one Ebony by name, wanders lost, tormented by
memories of a dark and bloody past in Africa. The product
of an unholy cloning experiment, Ebony is clearly one of
many animen, bred for violence but bound for something more
rears its head as he befriends a human child, Savannah.
Yet through her innocent questioning Starkings reveals all
the bigotries of this future world, and all the fears Ebony
the flip side (literally), Starkings and Moritat (possibly
Jose Ladronn -- I can't be sure if that's a co-creator or
active credit) present it solely from the human point of
view, as a guy grumbles through the streets reacting to
these bestial changes.
All of it adds
up to a book that feels different and cool this week. Moritat's
work vividly portrays the future and animal worlds with
equal alacrity. It also has all the subtle grace of old
pulp covers. Can a book be a cutting edge throwback? Moritat's
art may fit that bill.
It's a world
that stayed with me a while, and one I'd like to visit again.
So give Elephantmen a chance.
Also on the
#2: The second issue defies description just as well
as the first, only it has even more sex. Somewhere in there
is also a strange metafictional conceit involving a comic
book adaptation of the villain's life, written and drawn
by the villain. If your head doesn't hurt yet, then like
me, you're going to dig Casanova #2.
The Luna Brothers continue churning out a strange survival
horror epic. It's not exactly easy to leap into blindly,
but its premise upends that whole last man on Earth trope.
When illustrating themselves, the brothers' art fits perfectly,
and you can easily get sucked into their world. Why hasn't
this one been bought for a film yet?
Hellblazer #222: Denise Mina ends the arc in a way that
sets up a whole new terrible status quo. It looks back to
the history of Hellblazer while firmly establishing
new territory. You want subtle, clever horror, the kind
that creeps up on you when you've had a little time to think
about it? That's what Mina does here.
and the Freedom Fighters #1: Still unclear exactly who's
who here. Father Time claims he's using disused identities,
but elsewhere in the DCU it looks like the other Ray is
still alive and kicking. Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and
Daniel Acuna have put together an interesting book, but
even spinning out of Brave New World and Battle
For Bludhaven, it's still maddening trying to put together
how it all happened.
Bearers of the Blade #1: Just in time for Witchblade
#100, Top Cow releases this compendium of the history of
the title weapon, also absorbing the coming anime version.
For someone like me who never read the comic nor even watched
the TV series, it's a good way to get some bearing if I
wanted to jump aboard.
Sword of Atlantis #43: Despite Andy Mead swearing that
I'm not as intrigued as I think I am, I'll stand by my interest
in what's going on, though it seems like it's been forever
since the last issue.
#3: Whether you buy into the premise or not, the book
has been extremely well written, and that's worth the price
He can walk into any book, with his pony pal Pokey, too.
Rather than walk into just any book, though, Gumby returns
in his own title. So, really, if you have a heart (and an
extra bit of cash), then Gumby's a part of you.
of America #0: A multitude of artists comes together
to help the brilliant Brad Meltzer mess with our heads.
Drool, fanboys, drool.
Infamy #4: Carr D'angelo of Earth-2 Comics turned me
onto this book last year after Comic-Con 2005, so I feel
that things come full circle this week.
Monkey #2: I have no idea. Every now and then a title
just makes me wonder…
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