I keep coming back to Tim Gibson's Moth City as there keeps being more to say about it, which is a testament to its conception as much as its execution. Issue six of this eight issue series has just hit the digital "stands" (as it were), and this one had me choking as it wrapped its fingers across my throat. Moth City has been a brutal series. As it careens towards its conclusion, though, the depravity of its brutality becomes far more than just two words with a nice end rhyme. When the acts of the living are more horrifying than those of the undead, you're treading on some thick moral carpet. Perhaps it is lime green shag and it hasn't been vacuumed in awhile. You don't expect me to sleep on that do you? I have allergies, and I fear what is certainly sloughed off therein.
As a storyteller, Gibson continues to demonstrate his command of his medium and his unique digital niche therein. His story unfolds like the linen your grandmother kept on the top of the closet for the “good guests”, creased but special, important and soft, tough but lace delicate.
There's the requisite action here, but this is really not an action comic, and, to be honest, Gibson draws a lousy fight scene. What propels Moth City #6 are the jarring moments when people do unspeakable things to those they hate, but more so, to those they love.
(Peter Milligan / Roberto de la Torre / David Baron / Dave Lanphear / Alejandro Arbona; Valiant)
The Blood. The Vomit. The Bodies. In the world of Shadowman, if you're Jack Boniface, you've got some problems. First off, you've got violent psychotic tendencies and you're possessed by the Shadowman Loa. Next, the people who are supposed to be on your side, the Abettors ... well, now they want to kill you.
What you need is a Mambo, a punk rock backwoods priestess whose spirit guide is Sid Vicious and whose ritual of separation involves sniffing glue.
Oh, and one more thing, “Before she helps you... she'll want a human skull.”
(Frankie Nowhere / Erika Lane / Sonny Joe Harlan / Alan King / Jamie Vayda)
Published by Birdcage Bottom Books, Loud Comix 1 is a collection of “tales of glory, humiliation, terror, and the abnormal” written by a group of leading lights from the Southern Punk Rock scene: Sonny Joe Harlan (Murder Junkies, Shitcan Dirtbag, The Sonny Joe Harlan Band), Frankie Nowhere (The Chumps, Eastside Suicides, Faster Disasters, Flash Boys), Erika Lane (DISAPpointed PARents, Early Graves, KILLZALL, The Stovebolts) and Alan King (Hellstomper, Polecat Boogie Revival, The Beer Drinking Christians).
Frank Candiloro may be the most prolific self-publishing comic creator around. In the interim since I last reviewed two is Australian work ethic (if there is such a thing), maybe it's the epic number of stories he has flying around in his head that urge him to get them all down while there's still time, maybe he doesn't need to spend any of his time on such mundane things as eating or sleeping or watching reruns of Home and Away.
Anyway, one of his three new books is Beyond The Moon. This comic begins with a quote from Georges Melies, the director of the famous 1902 film A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la Lune), "My friends, I address you all tonight as you truly are; wizards, mermaids, travelers, adventurers, magicians... Come and dream with me." Though these words may start this story, they are the last words seen, as the rest of this is a silent comic – a story told all in pictures. As an homage to silent movies, this makes sense as an artistic choice. It also provides an opportunity for Candiloro to experiment with the storytelling possibilities of his unique cartooning.
Well, here's a sentence I never thought I would ever write. “It's been awhile since I last checked in with what was going down at the Poop Office.” Remember when I found myself asking the question, “Has Ben Pooped written a 21st century update of Kafka's Metamorphosis?”
After reading issue two of Poop Office, I need to change that question to: “Has Ben Pooped written a Dadaist manifesto of survival in the bureaucratic structure inherent in modern life?”
My answer to this newly worded question is an unequivocal yes.
Sure Poop Office #2 still makes references to the use of “Compooters” to send “Peemails”, but where issue #1 focused on this sort of humor, issue #2 is all about absurdity. Ben Pooped is telling us that in order to have a chance of thriving in a world gone to shit, we must recast ourselves as turds, assimilate into the bowels of the social order, congeal our impurities, and be defecated back into the system. Otherwise we would go mad.