Friday, October 26, 2012

Dark Horse Presents #17

Written by Carla Speed McNeil, Phil Stanford, David Chelsea, John Layman, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Edgar Allen Poe, Richard Corben, Michael Avon Oeming, Tony Puryear, Erika Alexander, Robert Alexander, Colin Lorimer, and Michael T. Gilbert
Art by Carla Speed McNeil, Patric Reynolds, David Chelsea, Sam Kieth, Tony Akins, Richard Corben, Victor Santos, Tony Puryear, Colin Lorimer, and Michael T. Gilbert

I don't know if it's just my mood when I read this anthology this month, but I came away from it feeling a little less than impressed.  There are still some great comics in this book, but somehow, it became much less than the sum of its parts this time around.  Let's review:

  • I love 'Finder', Carla Speed McNeil's epic comics series.  The DHP stories are usually excellent, as they are beautiful.  This month's could have benefitted from the annotations that McNeil has filled her trades with; I kind of had no clue what was going on here, as Jaegar runs with some Laeske females, before being captured by some young people with horns, who appear to be poaching Laeske eggs.  I think.  Like I said, footnotes.
  • For the second month in a row, Phil Stanford's 'City of Roses' feels like a lot of set-up with no pay-off.  Something solid needs to happen here soon.
  • David Chelsea's 'The Girl With the Keyhole Eyes' finally finishes.  It's a cool idea - a free-form poem or stream-of-consciousness comic, but that kind of thing doesn't work in a serial format, and it got kind of repetitive.
  • John Layman and Sam Kieth's Aliens story ends as most Aliens stories do; there's never a surprise there.  This story had some potential, but it never quite reached it.
  • I think that 'Deep Sea', Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Tony Akins's ocean adventure series is very interesting, and one of the most effective pieces here, while still being a standard B-movie genre piece.
  • Richard Corben adapts another Edgar Allan Poe poem, 'The Sleeper'.  It's creepy and atmospheric, and less gender-ambiguously creepy as last month's.  Good stuff.
  • There is a story here by Michael Avon Oeming and Victor Santos, called 'The Sacrifice', which I guess is a one-off.  It's fine, if you're okay with stories about elves and magic swords in trees.  It's pretty.
  • I've been loving Concrete Park, by Tony Puryear, and I'm excited to see that the two storylines have finally collided (more or less literally), in this, the last chapter of the first 'book'.  Puryear told me that there is going to be more of this story coming soon, and I look forward to that.
  • I vaguely remember the first chapter of Colin Lorimer's UXB from six months back or so, and I remember that I liked it, but I found this new chapter very ambiguous (at the end), and totally lacking in context.  
  • I'm not very enthusiastic about Michael T. Gilbert's Mr. Monster.  Actually, I never bothered to finish this story.
Here's hoping that next month's DHP is a little more impressive.

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