Okay, I know. This poor column has a pretty craptacular track record but, dern’it, I’m not giving up on it yet. As such, submitted for the approval of the
Midnight Society Strange Kids Club, I offer these books as being worth opening your wallet for this week.
Not being that familiar with either John Arcudi or James Harren I didn’t know what to expect from Rumble. It was with a lack of expectation that I was blown away by this first issue. Even with an enigmatic intro that makes no sense (yet), I’m still hooked. For starters there’s Harren’s artwork, which I finally recognized from Dark Horse’s B.P.R.D. series, which is both dynamic and hyper-detailed. No realistic, just detailed as no panel is wasted. Then there’s the two demons near the end of the story; part goblins, part hellspawn and full on abominations.
Speaking of the story, Arcudi (B.P.R.D., Major Bummer) excels at creating characters that are interesting and flawed to the point of being caricatures of themselves (ie. the fishermen in the swamp). Even the apparently straw-filled warrior from the cover, despite lacking dialoge, is given a presence on the page. Given the cliffhanger at the end of this issue, I’m excited to learn more about who these characters are and how their tale unfolds. Plus, there’s always the promise of dumb demons and severed limbs.
Garbage Pail Kids Puke-tacular (One-Shot)
As if we didn’t know what to expect, the cover assures us that this book is “suggested for immature readers 13+” which translates into scatalogical humor, blatant nose picking and more scatalogical humor. No really, out of the five stories featured, two involve poop. Don’t worry, they’re both totally hilarious. One (“More Roughage, Less Suffrage”) involves $#!tting a brick—literally—while the other (“$#!tstorm”) finds the world awash in a $#!t tsunami thanks to a pair of toilet-themed superheroes… before they’re forced to suck it back up their bungholes. Yeah.
The anthology-like one shot pretty much bounces around from skit to
shit skit similar to Cartoon Network’s MAD TV series with various creators (Peter Bagge, Bill Wray, Joe Simko, Jeff Zapata) passing the reigns. The result is a perfect storm of crude comics and sordid storytelling that works much better than a single story with all the GPK characters ever could have. Best of all? There’s a new issue coming out in February!
Gotham by Midnight #2
Despite not covering the first issue of this new series, it’s worth picking up, here we are. One of the few titles set in Gotham that takes advantage of the city’s naturally supernatural (oxymorons be damned) elements—Simon Dark being the only other one that comes to mind—Gotham By Midnight really stands out in mostly the right ways.
Picking up where issue #1 left off, Det. Jim Corrigan (aka The Spectre) and his team of eccentric outcasts are on the trail of something wicked that’s been kidnapping kids and taken them to Slaughter Swamp. The monster, THE freakiest interpretation of a “ghost” I’ve ever seen, is revealed to have ties to a case Corrigan worked on in the past involving a demonic cult and an indecipherable language. Interestingly enough, writer Ray Fawkes seems to have Corrigan holding back on The Spectre persona, instead having him outsmart the baddie. Perhaps it’s to differentiate this story for your standard superhero title, but I for one can’t wait to see what Templesmith’s Spectre looks like.