Comic Reviews of the Week: 12/16/2009

24 12 2009

Freddie’s Pick:

Chimichanga #1 (of 3)
By: Eric Powell

Looking for a last minute stocking stuffer? Well, if your kids like the strange eclecticness of Tim Burton, they’ll love Eric Powell’s Chimichanga #1.

The story follows a bearded little girl’s adventures at a traveling circus and looking through the first couple of a pages, my mind immediately went to movies like Eragon, My Pet Monster, Big Fish, and Monsters Inc. Although the story of Chimichanga isn’t the most original, it’s still great fun to read.

Chimichanga is a kids book, so if you read it expecting the crude, vulgarity of The Goon, you’ll be sadly disappointed. On the other hand, if you read Chimichanga hoping for a fast paced book that’s packed with strange characters, drawn gorgeously in black and white, with an array of delightful fart jokes, you’ll be happier than a pig in a poop pile… and isn’t that what Christmas is truly all about?

Art’s Pick:

Underground #4 (of 5)

story JEFF PARKER
art & cover STEVE LIEBER

And rounding out this week of written reviews is Jeff Parker’s and Steve Lieber’s latest part of Underground, the low-key mini-series that’s wrapping up next month. Haven’t talked much about this in awhile now since I was waiting to talk about the whole thing from beginning to end. But since it’s such a nice series to talk about (and ’cause it was slim pickings last week) I figured now’s a good a time as any.

If you haven’t read it, here it is in a nutshell:

Stillwater Cave is the major topic of discussion in the small town of Marion, Kentucky, especially now in these dire times. Most of the town thinks the cave should be opened up to the public for some much needed revenue while some, like Park Ranger Wesley Fischer, believe that this is a bad idea. Turning things from bad to worse, locals have begun blasting to make it more suitable for tourism and when Wesley and fellow ranger Seth Ridge investigate the disturbance, they find out they’re in more trouble than they can handle.

Now that’s a decent synopsis, but it really doesn’t do the series justice — Jeff Parker’s amazing words and Steve Lieber’s pitch-perfect art do. And that’s the thing; this book is so hard to describe. I mean, saying “Underground’s well-written and the pacing isn’t rushed” doesn’t mean much ’til you see it for yourself so I’ll say this, and don’t take this the wrong way fans…

It’s a series that doesn’t try so hard and that’s really refreshing to see. Take the relationship between our two leads Wesley and Seth, for example:

I don’t think I’m giving away too much by showing you the morning after the couple’s one-night stand, but it’s important to note how much breathing room Parker gives his lead character and how effortless it took to do it. Here he takes two pages to show you twenty minutes in the mind of Wesley Fischer. Show, not tell. And speaking of Wesley, look at the those vivid expressions… Steve Lieber has definitely upped his game since Whiteout.

But going back to Jeff Parker for just a moment: this is a side of him I’ve never seen before. I’ve mentioned his lighter superhero affairs before with Agents of Atlas and Exiles and they have always been so evergreen, but this level of maturity that I’m seeing now in Underground, it’s… and allowing myself for more hyperbole (like I haven’t already) real poetry.

And to be a honest, it’s kinda a curse too as the book skews more towards the action, knocking down the enjoyment for someone who really loved the lighter side of things with Seth & Wesley. Luckily the penultimate issue, brought back a lot of the charm I saw in issue one.

Case in point:

So if you haven’t given this series a shot, do yourself a favor and please do, although I’d suggest you wait for it to end. To further hit on the Whiteout parallels, besides having artist Steve Lieber, Underground is a series that’s really part of a whole. Also the cliffhangers are so good, you’ll go crazy waiting for the next one, so check it once it hits the trades.

Chimichanga #1 (of 3)
Bagged: 1 Total votes: 1 Burned: 0
73
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By: Eric Powell
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7 02 2010
UNDERGROUND » Another Big Review Round up.

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