Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Quick GN Reviews

The Originals
by Dave Gibbons
As teenages in a retro-future city, teenagers Lel & Bok want nothing in life other than to join The Originals, a mod gang who are all about style. They get their wish when they help The Originals in a rumble with their arch enemies, The Dirt, a biker gang of ruffians. Of course, once you get what you've always wanted, you discover that there's more you want, and that there are others who want what you have. It's a stylish twist on a classic tale with a dose of violence, and while the plot takes a while to get into full gear, it ends explosively. It's from Dave Gibbons, so you know it's going to look great, and his toned black and white illustration lives up to expectations. Gibbons' storytelling abilities are also in fine form, as he makes ample use of wide panels to give the book a cinematic feel, and his designs do a great job of evoking the retro-Avengers vibe he's going for. This is good comics.
Rating: 4 (of 5)

The Bunker
by Bruce Mutard
Next door neighbors Jason and Annie have been friends ever since they were little kids. But now that they are 14 and 15 respectively, their relationship is in that awkward teenage boy-girl stage. But there's a twist: Annie says that she can't sleep in her own room because it is haunted by a ghost, so every night she sneaks over to Jason's room and spends the night, sneaking back out again before daybreak. But even though they seem closer friends than ever, they are actually drifting apart. Mutard puts together a well-crafted story, though it goes in some fairly obvious directions, at least it does so interestingly. I had a problem with the very end though: the last two pages spell out explicitly what we had already figured out; had Mutard instead left this implicit I feel it would have made for a better story. He easily could have left out those two pages and ended it there, and it would have made for a better story. Mutard's art reminded me a lot of Jason Lutes, especially in his layout, line quality and backgrounds; however, his figure work was often weak and not quite up to par with the high quality of the rest of the art. Also, he makes ample use of flashbacks and the narrative jumps around a bit, but the time transitions were often not clear and it sometimes took several panels before I realized I was reading a flashback.
Rating: 3 (of 5)