a Bulletproof Coffin: The 1000 Yard Stare
Publisher: Image Comics © 2017
Story/Script: David Hine
Art: Shaky Kane
Lettering: Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Design & Production: John Roshell of Comicraft
Forgive me, but what the hell is this? I dare say this comic is something meta and commentary on the comic book industry, but it feels so random and meta for the sake of being meta it is hard to tell. The comic follows a pair of comic book creators who end up in the dumps, as we follow one at his own small, personal panel at a comic-con. We go into a comic of his that reads like a B rate sci-fi/horror film of the 70’s, where characters go to see a B rate sci-fi/horror film of the 70’s. Meta – right? Meanwhile, the comic is littered with references to other comic book publishers and characters. A fun nod it is. Then the ending is reference, line-for-line from a classic black and white 1960 Hollywood film. When I got to this, it felt so forced to the point that the writer said “see, see a cool movie reference for a movie I really like!”
The art is hardly anything gorgeous. Instead, Shaky follows this old pop art appeal, with a bit more edge. We have lots of smooth and rounded lines, with lots of popping, primary colors on top. It makes the comic feel somewhat dated, though that is not bad to say. Going back to the B-rate 70’s bit, I could almost buy I am reading a comic from that era as well. But the visuals littered throughout this comic is beyond perplexing – a Wolverine banana, Rorschach in a sombrero, Shaky in a captain’s hat and a John Wayne Gacy mask, what the hell is going on?
If the creators want to make a B-rate kind of comic, great! If they want to provide commentary on the comic industry and the fan-base, great! But do it next time with a bit more subtlety and less drugs. Otherwise, I feel the only way I can make sense of this comic is with drugs.
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