Sunday, August 1, 2010

Comics Reviews - Aug 1

The Artist Himself: A Rand Holmes Retrospective
by Patrick Rosenkranz
Fantagraphics Books

Canada's revered and preeminent artist of the underground comix era, Rand Holmes contrasted a beautiful Wally Wood inspired illustrative style with subject matter lauding outlaws and scofflaws like his hippie hero Harold Hedd and glorying in the humiliation and downfall of authority figures.  His beautifully rendered brush stroke could throb with paranoia or add a density and panache to hilariously scatological funny animal epics.

This book serves double duty as a biography and a collected edition of the bulk of Holmes' creative output in comix, covers and later painted work including the complete hippie high adventure epics Wings over Tijuana and Hitler's Cocaine (Think the Freak Bros. epic Mexican Odyssey but with a real world gloss to the druggy antics.) along with a frank appraisal of the unconventional life of a hippie dropout contrasted with a painstaking craftsmanship.  Recommended.

Hotwire: Deep Cut
Written and illustrated by Steve Pugh
Radical Comics

Continuing the character and story he co-created with Warren Ellis in Requiem for the Dead, Pugh brings us the continuing adventures of Alice Hotwire a police exorcist in a future where ghosts are a powerful and dangerous electromagnetic phenomenon requiring high technology to fight.

The art is beautiful and the story retains the inventiveness of Ellis with perhaps a little less of the horrible cynical bastard pose that is his trademark.

Still enough of a futuristic Ghostbusters with a hungover bad attitude to make a very entertaining read.

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