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Espey, Eamon – Death Deals


Death Deals

That sample below is the first page of this book, just so you know. Fans of Eamon’s work already know what to expect, but for everybody else “proceed at your own risk” seems like a helpful tip. It’s not the story picked up from there, as I think it was just setting up what’s to come. Things start off in a coherent if disturbing fashion: a man dressed up as Santa Claus charms the owner of a house into letting her guard down, and he then proceeds to pull a gun out and shoot her in the head. After this he enters the house, shooting everyone he sees, even the baby and the cats. Then he heads upstairs, kills a couple having sex, a woman jumps out the window to get away from him… and then things get weird. That’s right, everything up until then, in this context, WASN’T weird. From this point on I’m not even going to try to interpret it (something about being thought a fool if you keep your mouth shut and then opening your mouth and proving it, and yes, I know I garbled that quote in a big way), but I will tell you that it included aliens, a rabbit, bird royalty, a walking vagina creature, more Santa, and plenty of murder. Eamon is one of the more visually inventive folks working in comics today and his comics are always worth a look. Often a re-look after that just to try and piece together what you’ve just read, but the deeper you try to interpret his stuff, the darker it gets. Hey, this one does have “Death” in the title, after all. He’s still an irreplaceable voice and everybody out there who isn’t squeamish should still buy his stuff. $4, but I just saw that this is listed as out of stock on the Secret Acres website, but maybe you can still get a copy if you run into the guy at a convention or something.

Espey, Eamon – Asbestos Wick


Asbestos Wick

I have no idea what the fuck is going on in this comic.  There, I said it.  Anything that I say from this point on will be babble, my attempt to make sense out of something that is most likely not in any way meant to be taken literally.  First, let’s get one thing out of the way: my “not getting” a comic is in no way meant to imply that the comic is bad or in any way not worth reading.  On the contrary, there are several pages of this book (picking just one sample was difficult) that will haunt my dreams, and that has to be considered a good thing.  It’s just that a silent comic where most of the pages resemble that sampled page below and rarely have any of the same characters sticking around for more than a page or two is going to be immune to any kind of conventional analysis.  Look, Eamon has been around for a bit now, and I’m guessing the smarter and more refined among you have already checked out his Wormdye series or graphic novel.  If you already know his name, good news!  He has a couple of new books out.  If not, OK fine, I’ll try to make some sense of this.  Things start off with a creature with the giant head of an owl sitting atop something that looks like a house of worship.  Standing outside is a creature with a baboon head, a creepy smiling face throwing up what appears to be spaghetti for a body, and fat old man legs that are naked except for shoes and socks.  This creature is holding a woman (who is terrified) over its head, and somehow the woman has her breasts clearly visible even though she seems to be wearing a t-shirt.  On the next page the woman has had her head torn off by the baboon creature, and what appears to be an assembly line is picking out a new head for the woman.  Or it is pulling all the possible heads out of her body.  On the third page the head of the woman seems to be shooting energy beams from its eyes, with a snake crawling through its ears, as it is either vomiting fire onto worried people or helping them out through vomit.  Shall I go on?  Things eventually make more sense, then they don’t, then they do again, but it might all be a lie.  Check out the samples on his website or other reviews on this site, that should give you a clear idea of what you’re dealing with.  If you prefer your comics simple, go elsewhere.  If you like a challenge that is at the very least visually rewarding, read Eamon Espey! $4

Espey, Eamon – Wormdye #2



Wormdye #2

That cover is just gorgeous. I don’t think this scan does it justice, and this is a pretty decent scanner. Again, I have to commend the sheer level of detail in this, as it’s the little things like that that always impress me. So what’s the story here? Well, you have a new race of people, a power mad Pope (like there’s any other kind), Medusa, and an island. Seriously, this one is more about the visuals, as there are more than a few pages here without dialogue and I could just stare at this for hours. Well, OK, lots of minutes anyway, as my attenion span has been severely shortened with all this computer time. $3

Espey, Eamon – Wormdye #3


Wormdye #3

This comic is for people who have always wondered: just where did women come from anyway? Sure, you have the loons who think woman was created from a rib of Adam, and you have the more reality based folks thinking that woman evolved over a period of millions of years, like man, from a pile of goo in gradual steps. It turns out that Zeus created woman “in an attempt to increase population while simultaneously bringing about the ruin of man”. This comic tells that story, from Zeus pushing a woman onto a reluctant man (well, his brother was reluctant anyway, at least at first) on to the birth of a fantastical box that hatches a stunted dog, which does indeed seem to bring about the ruin of man. The second part of the book is a creepy retelling of the Red Riding Hood story and yes, it’s even creepier than the original fable. It also deals with voyeurism and the continued presence of the stunted dogs, in case you were curious. Once again this is a gorgeous book, and while it may not be kosher to sample the last page of a comic, it was too beautiful not to and it doesn’t give away the ending or anything, so stop being so damned uptight. $3

Espey, Eamon – Wormdye #1


Wormdye #1

Is Renee French still doing comics? I ask this because Eamon’s work reminds me just slightly of hers, and I can’t remember the last comic I saw by her. Anyway, for the short version of this review, just skip the text and check out the sample. If you like that, you’ll love the rest of the book. If it doesn’t make any sense to you and you hate it, well, chances are the rest of the book isn’t going to do much for you either. I thought it was brilliant, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen that much attention to detail in every single panel. Really, if he took any shortcuts here at all, they were well hidden. So what are the stories about? Well, King Tut, pee, suicide, cockroaches, Most Valuable Employee, maggots, and a robot. Then there’s another, smaller book connected with a rubber band (called All Green Places Are Lost) that’s all about an incident from the reign of King Stephen involving a couple of green skinned children who were lost. The story of their life ensues, sort of, but I don’t want to ruin anything. I’m curious to know how much of it was based on true events though, not that’s very possible to check the veracity of a story that over 800 years old. This one is a steal at $2 and you can send the author an e-mail if you’re interested.

Espey, Eamon – Wormdye



You know, this is the type of book that probably would have never been made without the new publishing group, Secret Acres. Not that I want to make this a commercial or anything, but they’re pretty new at this and have put out a few incredible books so far and I think that people should give them as much money as possible to encourage them. Take Wormdye. Maybe one of the “big” publishers would have given it a shot, maybe not (I have no idea of sales figures or whatever else those folks take into account when publishing a book), but it’s all rendered irrelevant by the fact that Secret Acres was able to do such a tremendous job on the production value. The book looks gorgeous and it’s affordable ($13 for I believe 7 collected issues). What more can you ask for? What about the contents? Well, the first few issues are reviewed below, although I seem to have been rushed for at least one of them. I didn’t remember the first part of things though, the parts involving a cat, a microwave, and a confused teen girl in a bathroom, nor do I remember the man who pretended he was dead so he could go have the time of his life. Also, in case I didn’t make it clear enough in the earlier reviews: the bit with the power mad Pope and the ten virgins to be sacrificed was delightful. Next up are a couple of silent pieces, all with full pages layouts, that I’m not even going to try and review. I’ll just say that it looks like most of the images from Cremation of Care and Giants in Heat are up on his website and mention that these are the sorts of drawings that deserve to be blown up and studied, the sorts of things that you could randomly open a book and turn to at any moment and discover something that you missed completely the first time around. This all brings you to the biggest story of the book, The Blood is the Cow. A two part story, this tale involves milking, two brothers, a secret conspiracy (although that’s probably the only kind of conspiracy), slavery, sacrifice and an old man trapped down a well. This would all be fantastic enough if some yokel was drawing it, as these stories are completely unique in their own right. Luckily for the reader Eamon is in a class by himself when it comes to the drawing business, with an uncanny knack of finding just the right expression for the humans and able to plumb some serious depths of imagination when it comes to everything else. A guided tour through his brain would probably do you some serious damage, but you’d also come away a lot wiser. Great stuff, in other words, and here’s hoping that new publishing company ends up taking over the world. $13