Friday, November 16, 2007

Occasionally Owesome Reviews: Atlantis Rising #1, Groo: Hell on Earth #1

Somehow, I only ended up buying two comics this week, and they both ended up with an environmental message: Atlantis Rising, from Platinum Studios (Words: Scott O. Brown, pretty pictures things by Tim Irwin and colours by Andrew Elder) tells us that we shouldn't be dumping crap on the peaceful aquatic life; and Groo: Hell on Earth from Dark Horse (Words: Mark Evanier, adorable picture bits, Sergio Aragones) reminds us that Al Gore would've been a lot funnier if only he hired Evanier to write all his speeches in rhyming couplets.

Attention, small publishers: Making your first issue of a new series .25 American cents will get me to pick up your book. Making it make sense may convince me to buy the next.

The premise of the series seems to be that diplomatic relations between the United States and the secretive, isolationist nation of Atlantis have broken down- the filthy "land motes" keep on dumping waste into the waters, establishing offshore drilling platforms, and denying Fish-Men basic constitutional rights. Guerrilla war ensues.

I'm kind of ambivalent about this issue: I kind of want to like it, just because books about Atlantis appeal to me on principle, but the dialog is choppy and uneven (sample: "We had no idea when we found it how much we would suffer. And now I want to return the favour... FOR ATLANTIS!") and the art employs a shading technique that makes everyone look like they have massive facial blemishes.

...I'm fairly certain the Plucky Girl Reporter character isn't meant to have Downs Syndrome.

Oh, and if you want to make your antagonists seem threatening: you shouldn't let a pasty, paunchy, elderly dude evade their guards for two and a half pages. I'm just, y'know, saying.

Result: Fail.

Groo: Hell on Earth, on the other hand, is a delight. Yes, Evanier and Aragones have been telling the same joke for twenty-six years now, but the fact that they can still find ways of making it work is a testimony to the skill of all involved.

The gag this time around goes something like this: Groo wanders into a country, kickstarts the Industrial Revolution, social commentary happens. This book is at once rewarding to long-time readers, and very very accessible to a new audience.

I swear, 90% of my job interviews go like that too. Truly, Groo is a comic everyone can relate to.

Result: Success!

I'll be doing these reviews about once a week/when the mood takes me, by the by. Please don't hesitate to let your own thoughts be known!

No comments: