Random Ramblings about Things and Whatever

Random Ramblings about Things and Whatever

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Random Comics Review: Nexus #21,1986

Nexus was a superhero science-fiction comic written by Mike Baron and drawn by Steve Rude. The basic premise is that Heratio Hellpop has been been granted super powers by a being called the Merk. Nexus's mission is to execute mass murderers,but who's truly evil isn't always easy to determine.

This issue's main story concerns an attack on Nexus's homeworld of Ylum by the Sov. Nexus previously killed their general and they have sworn vengeance. The Merk has cut off Nexus's power because Nexus is behind on his execution schedule. Nexus has to figure out how to fight the attackers without his powers while diplomats from Ylum decide maybe negotiations won't work in this situation. The back up story is Tales from the Clonezone by Baron and art by Mark Nelson. Clonezone is a lizard-like comedian/performer who has wacky misadventures and...stuff. I only skimmed this story so um, I don't have much to say about it.

The main story is very interesting and compared to today's comics much is packed into 20 pages. From the attack, to the diplomat's trials, to Nexus confronting the Merk...a lot happens, but none of it feels rushed. Interesting ideas abound,there's characters who are basically just floating heads, four armed aliens, and actual discussions of the price or power and violence and retribution.Baron is able to strike just the right tone between drama and humor with his script.

Steve Rude's art compliments Baron's story perfectly. It's lighthearted and whimsical,while still maintaining a decent level of mystery and drama at the same time. Rude's storytelling is very kinetic and keeps the reader involved. He's more than capable at drawing dynamic figures. Sometimes his compositions are a little busy, but not so much that they're distracting.

I think I remember reading some years back Baron and Rude shopped Nexus around as a possible TV cartoon. After talking to some industry people, they realized they would have had to water down the concept so much that it wouldn't have been worth the effort. I'm glad they didn't persue it and we're left with this version of the character.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Random Comics review: Cerebus #25,1981

Cerebus the Aardvark by writer/artist Dave Sim started as a parody of Conan the Barbarian which Sim eventually turned into a long complex meditation on religion,politics,and gender. The earlier issues are more light-hearted and mostly focused on pop-culture and comics spoofs.

This issue is actually light on plot but definitely worth a look. Cerebus is accompanying Professor Charles X Claremont across the countryside with the Prof's apocalypse beast (which looks suspiciously like Marvel's swamp monster). Before he wrecks havok on the world,the Prof intends to steal a castle from an unsuspecting home owner. Of course,the issue ends which the bad guy perishing by his own plan.

The story is very funny. What's notable is that most of the humor steams not from one-liners and random gags,but from the dialogue and interaction between Cerebus,the Prof,and the Castle owner. One nice bit is that the owner is a serious artist whose commentaries on society always involve drawings of big breasts. Another hilarious scene is how the Prof meets his demise when he gets caught between his beast fighting, then copulating with another apocalypse beast (who looks suspiciously like DC's swamp monster).

The artwork is wonderful throughout. Dave's layouts are dynamic and varied. They tell the story in a clear and breezy manner. The pacing, which is everything in humor, is perfect. Dave's figure drawing is kinetic and fun. Another thing,the art is black and white,but marvelous just the way it is. Stark blacks,clear whites,and just the right amount of zip-a-tone and cross-hatching for the grays and mid-tones. Color wouldn't add to the visuals at all. THIS is how you do black and white comic book art.

Cerebus #25 is a funny and well drawn comic that reads well on it's own. If you can find it at your local comics shop,it's definitely worth a look.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Look outside the window...

It's a rainy and dreary day in Chicago....
But after hearing this,it's gonna be alright...