Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Comic Update

I just finished Jill Thompson's At Death's Door and I recommend it highly. It's a different perspective on the events covered in the Sandman graphic novel Season's of Mist (when Satan abandons hell and gives Dream the key to its gates) and focuses on Death, Delirium and Despair. Thompson fills us in on what Dream's sisters were up to, but also touches back to the original story, making the comic accessible even to those who haven't read Seasons of Mist. The art is manga influenced (think black and white anime - all big eyes and perky noses). It's all just as cute as it sounds, but the subject matter is often a bit, um, gruesome, which contrasts nicely with the girly sweetness of the art. I wouldn't want to read a whole series done like this, but it's fun for something different, especially if you've read all the Sandmans and are familiar with the Endless characters.

I also picked up the last issue in Judd Winick's Blood and Water, and I'm a little disappointed by the ending of this series. It started quite strong, but I stand by my earlier assessment that Winick needed more than 5 issues to develop this story. We're meant to see the three main characters as inseparable best friends, but we didn't see enough of their interactions to know this - it's the old "show don't tell" problem, and with only 5 issues to work with and a whole lot of action to cram into those issues, Winick didn't really have the time to do much showing. Because I didn't feel the deep connection between these characters, key events didn't have the impact they should have. Also the build to the big action finale was too quick and consequently it fell flat. I like Winick's concept and I think he's doing something different and interesting with a potentially very tired subject - vampires - but ultimately it was not entirely satisfying.


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