Bottom of the Stack
SPACE was three days ago and I’m still only halfway through the phat stack of comix I picked up. That’s a good thing.
And what a stack it is — the box I took to the show is about two-thirds full of them. I reckon I spent less than $15 in actual currency on books, getting the rest by trading issues of the Nightchild and Panel. That’s like getting them at wholesale, kittens. Can’t beat that with a stick.
So far, it’s been an interesting mix of the good, the bad and the not-quite-there. I enjoyed “Last Laugh,” a surreal and evocative tale hampered only by its sub-Tony Goins-caliber art. I enjoyed “Street Angel,” a well-drawn tale hampered only by its sub-PowerPuff Girl-caliber story. And “The Wang” was so damned wrong it made “Arsenic Lullaby” look like Pam Bliss. I liked it a lot.
One of the most charming near-misses is “Dead End,” which is well-paced, features some good character development and grapples with some Big Ideas. The eight-page structure makes each individual issue seem incomplete, but after reading several at a sitting, the overall impression is good. But it’s hobbled by its premise, which is “Man with blue skin and wierd nose leads group of funny superheroes.”
Reading through the stack, I notice I need to pick up my game. The percentage of Xeroxed books goes down every year, and I think it’s time to go cardstock, if not glossy. And reading “Dead End” has convinced me the eight-page format may actually be a “dead end.” It’s time to consider 12 pages, if not 16.
I’m looking forward to the bottom half of the pile — I put the known quantities down there. I still have “Askari Hodari,” “The Ineffables,” “Stories of Kiwi” and “Null & Void” to look forward to, all favorites from past SPACEs.
Next year, I’m including “The Wang” and “Last Laugh” at the bottom of the stack — and hopefully I’ll figure a way to get my books to the bottom of someone else’s stack.