Funnybook Babylon

September 2, 2007

A Random Comic off the Rack, or Adventures as a Mythical Unicorn.

Filed under: Articles — Joseph Mastantuono @ 2:00 pm

Usually, I only buy trades by big name authors and artists, and can’t be bothered to care about which alien species tried to conquer Earth 72 in a comic published twenty years ago.

On a whim, I decided that this week I would pick up a random comic. If you’ve listened to the podcast, you’ll know that Pedro acts as a filter, pointing me towards the comics that he believes that I’m most likely to enjoy. Unfortunately, he seems to think that I’m some sort of crazy snob, so he usually gives me highbrow comics with lesbians pontificating about Joyce when my only wish is that Busiek and Nord never left Conan in the hands of creators who were less than capable. Thankfully Greg Pak took over, cut Conan’s Hair and sent him to some weird planet, it’s just too bad the colorist fucked up and made him green.

So I closed my eyes and grabbed a comic. In my hands materialized Wetworks #12 by J.M. DeMatteis and Joel Gomes, coming from the Wildstorm imprint.

wetworks_12_001.jpg

I became the Mythical Unicorn that is the new comic reader grabbing some comic and reading it… and I was surprised.

My eyes almost immediately rolled all the way back into my head when I saw vampire art with a hint of the Liefeldian. The story begins in Flashback, or a ‘writer writing the story,’ which angry unsuccessful writers and directors tell you is what shitty writers do when they can’t be bothered to actually write properly- all while they’re teaching ‘How you’ll never work in film’ in Film School.

Around page 12 or 13, however, Joel Gomez’s art began to grow on me. I’m not crazy about his line art but he does have a good sense of pacing and layout. More importantly, the story coalesces into an interesting idea. This isn’t really a story about agents and vampires named after Greek gods. This is a classic noir story about a writer fantasizing about the girl who got away, and how his fantasy of the situation turns her into an angel. The guy with the boring job meets the exciting dangerous girl, and life seems dull again when she’s gone.

The conversation between the Tired Agent (TM) and the Bad Ass Chick (Is she a vampire or vampire agent? I couldn’t figure out who she was other than the fact that she kills people and used to be an agent) actually has some really well written lines, and they feel more natural than they have any right to. The agents don’t behave too egregiously and just seem like people with jobs to do.
writerman!

While I am too old to gush over this book and recommend it, my 13 year old self would have really loved this book (it would have been right down my alley at the time). I do think that despite the fact that I knew nothing about the deeper mythology of Wildstorm or Wetworks, I understood the basic story, I didn’t ever feel really too lost, and I didn’t feel disappointed by the 3 bucks I threw down.

It’s really somewhat heartening that some comic writers and artists I’ve never heard of are slaving away on a book that is pretty much doomed from receiving any critical praise or notice, but still take it seriously and letting the Mythical Unicorn that is the new reader into their world.

1 Comment »

  1. I love that “mythical unicorn” joke from the podcast!

    I’m glad to hear Wetworks is enjoyable, but without Whilce, I just can’t seem to care.

    Comment by Kenny — September 2, 2007 @ 2:29 pm

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