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WHAT I'M READING: COMEBACK AND FOSTER

Comeback coverThe stunning clarity and clean simple lines of artists like Aja and Chris Samnee (in Daredevil) and Tonci Zonjic (Lobster Johnson) may have inspired a trend. In Ed Brisson’s Comeback, Michael Walsh attempts a similar simplicity but falls a trifle short in clarity, perhaps because he’s deploying a juicier brush. The story, which confronts the inevitable difficulties to be encountered in time travel, is provocative but not easy for a literal-minded non-sf geezer like me to follow. And because in Walsh’s hands, facial distinctions fade into simplicity, it’s sometimes hard to tell which character is which—a complication that time travel (when are we anyhow?) compounds, alas.

Foster coverNoel Tuazon also seems an off-shoot of the “new simplicity” style in Brian Buccellato’s Foster. Tuazon’s brush is even juicier than Walsh’s: blacks splash across the drawings, and shadows, rather than defining shapes, seem to distort them. He varies the splashing with thin-line touches (I think he draws first with thin lines, then adds brushwork just as Noel Sickles taught Milton Caniff to do in their celebrated chiaroscuro technique), and while the linear contrast adds visual interest, the over-all effect is undercut with his deliberately sloppy shadowing.

Buccellato’s protagonist, Foster, is a down-and-out alcoholic in a dystopian world through which lurk “dwellers,” man-eating monsters from the sewers below. Buccellato says he’s exploring fatherhood in the relationship between father and son when he has Foster “adopt” Ben, the 8-year-old offspring of a prostitute living down the hall. But in the second issue, we learn that Ben is a hybrid, half-dweller himself, and what that will do to the father-son relationship is anyone’s guess.

Buccellato, who is also writing DC’s New 52 Flash, could use an editor for this Dog Year Entertainment title. He says the story takes place in “a nameless metropolis” called “Vintage City.” If it’s called Vintage City, it ain’t exactly nameless, is it?

Then again, to reconsider my recommendation, it was probably an editor (if not Buccellato) who captioned a photo of the writer by calling Buccellato “a former High School of Art and Design dropout.” If he’s a “former dropout,” what is he now? Has he enrolled again? FosterComeback0001

For more Rants & Raves with its comics news and reviews, gossip and cartooning lore, visit www.RCHarvey.com

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