Friday, October 20, 2006

Favorite Panel Friday was raised by an Admiral solid-state television

Some good stuff came out this week, and I know the latest issue of 52 is probably just some more of Keith Giffen trotting out his favorite whacked-out creations, but today's panel is all about two words: Ambush Bug.


52 #24: Writers, Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid; Artist, Phil Jimenez

Friday, October 13, 2006

Favorite Panel Friday drops anchor

As mentioned in a previous post, the panel picked for FPF isn't necessarily from my favorite comic of the week - which is the case with The Pirates of Coney Island #1. But it was a comic that sure stuck with me, rolling around in my head and poking me in the brain until I read it again.

A big part of that is the art. Strong, fluid, indie-style drawing just jumps off the page thanks to a thick inking job and a color pallette that's bold without being distracting. This is a book that actually seems to have honest-to-God art direction, and the almost garish coloring enhances the action and mood of any given panel.

There's a definite old-school vibe going on here; check out the classic dot-screen used for shading. Bits of the 70s, 80s and 90s are mish-mashed with a Britcomic aesthetic and a sprinkle of American thrift shop; weirdly, it works. The grittily intriguing story about gutter punks and brutal street gangs is solid, and meshes perfectly with the razor-dangerous art.

That's not to say it's all peachy. The Pirates of Coney Island is very hip ... and sometimes feels like it's trying just a little too hard. There's plenty of influence from "street" sources like graffiti and tattoo art, but hitting people over the head with it (especially in the notes from creators Rick Spears and Vasilis Lolos) is a little bit of overkill. You know how when people keep telling you how cool they are, the less you believe it? Sorta like that.

And while the art is great, faces tend to be hard to tell apart sometimes (particularly the women), and there's one character I didn't realize was supposed to be older than the teens until it was mentioned in the dialogue. The work is unique, but don't be surprised if you suddenly find yourself thinking of Tank Girl comics and Gorillaz cover art.

Still, it grabbed me, with a grip strong enough that I had to re-read it, and will probably re-read it again. Let's cross our fingers that this doesn't turn out to be just another book with great art wrapped around a story that goes from good to crappy halfway through (I'm looking at you, Supermarket).

The Pirates of Coney Island #1: Writer/Letterer, Rick Spears; Artist, Vasilis Lolos