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From Hell’s Heart

Joe McCulloch is here with his usual guide to the Week in Comics (new titles by John Hankiewicz and the Hernandez Bros.) and tops it off with an extended pictorial essay on Geoff Darrow.

Some may have gotten hold of La Cité Feu (“City of Fire”), the image suite he drew that was inked by Moebius, or the big Bourbon Thret album released in France, both in the mid-’80s. In English, there was one Bourbon Thret story published in Heavy Metal (Mar. ’85), and another published in Dark Horse Presents (#19, July ’88), but for myself and I suspect a many U.S. readers it was the 1990-92 series Hard Boiled, a collaboration with Frank Miller, that introduced Darrow’s approach. What you see above is what I think is most readily associated with “Geof Darrow” comics – a scene teeming with hundreds of small events, marks of life: from people to advertisements to cracks on the wall to litter on the street. The main ‘event’ of the page, a car crashing through a wall and careening toward an orgy, the book’s protagonist clinging to the front end, is given relatively slight prominence in comparison to its surroundings; there’s a word balloon, and a flash of yellow, contrasting with the rest of the image to draw the eye, but as Darrow himself is photographed distinctly amidst his studio, so does the action of this splash seem to occur as only one thing among many in the comic’s existence.


Meanwhile, elsewhere:

—The most recent episode of the best and least frequent non-TCJ-affiliated comics podcast on the internet, Comic Books Are Burning in Hell, is all about Hellboy.

—At the also too infrequent Mindless Ones site, Illogical Volume reviews the work of Julia Scheele.

For all that it’s a hip, well-designed package, capped off by a picture of a rakish girl Robin smoking like the baddest kid in school, IDLMHN#1 isn’t exactly short of drama. The first story ‘Positive‘, written by Katie West, deals with a panic about an affair and the pregnancy that might follow, and the rest of the strips that follow is of a piece with this opening.

Scheele’s flair for making her design tell the story impressed me to the extent that I was too busy looking at what she’d done to actually see it. Perhaps you will understand why I became such a poor reader if you observe the way ‘Positive’ moves from dreamy blues to raw autumnal colours, and overlays its action with graphical representations of the child that could yet be, literalising the protagonist’s idle speculation.

—Graham Nash is auctioning off his underground comics art collection, including the cover to Zap #1.

—This Facebook post (and subsequent ones) by Rich Tommaso on the dangers and difficulties of making a life’s career as a cartoonist is generating much-needed conversation.


One Response to From Hell’s Heart

  1. Amjad says:

    Hi Tim.

    There is a glitch on this page which does not let me see new pages on the blog. Only this one, with the darrow art. What’s happened.

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