Pielli, Morgan – Indestructible Universe #7
Indestructible Universe #7
No, the pages aren’t that strongly yellow, but a new computer means trying to figure out how the scanner works all over again. Three stories in this one, and I wish that Morgan would make the titles a little more distinct so that I know that a new story is starting. I was a few pages into the second story before I understood that this was an entirely new thing. It’s also possible that I’m just dense and he’s doing it fine, which is the most likely answer. The first story is a creepy little tale of a man and his apprentice building a long set of stairs. The master tells how the steps are numbered (gold, silver, and death) and what it means to step on each one. I didn’t understand exactly why the ending went down the way that it did which, again, is more likely due to my denseness than anything else. It just didn’t make sense to me who the apprentice was in relation of the master, but it’s entirely possible that it wasn’t supposed to. The second story… holy crap, I think there are actually four stories. Yeah, he does need to work on his title placement. There was no clue that there was a third story starting. Anyway, the second story deals with a new venereal disease that appears to remove the lips and leave only a patchwork mouth. The afflicted are also drawn to other people who share their primary number, which I shouldn’t get into too much without blowing the story. The third story is a shorter piece about a man who breaks in to the home of a long-time adversary and ends up on a horrific, inescapable trap. Finally we get the continuation of the Driftwood story from the last issue (you know, the one that I was already confused about due to the lack of any kind of a recap of previous entries) and things start coming together a bit this time around. Frankly, it’s still too jumbled for me to be sure, so I’ll refrain from saying much, but it looks to be going in an innovative direction. Frankly, all of his stuff is innovative and deeply weird (which is always great in my book). The only troubles I have are with the technical aspects. Maybe a table of contents? That would have shut me right up about anything wrong with the book. I don’t see this listed on his website, but I think the last issue was $5, so this one must be close to that.
Pielli, Morgan – Indestructible Universe #6
Indestructible Universe #6
Would you like to know exactly how far my annoyance at people who can’t spell extends? Well, not so much people who can’t spell, as they can always ask friends who can spell to proofread their work, or use a spellchecker, or even plug a word into Google to get the correct spelling. When the comic with the terrible spelling is crappy anyway, the whole enterprise is easy enough to dismiss. For a comic like this, it gets a little more complicated. Morgan is a graduate of the Center for Cartoon Studies and studied under Jason Lutes, Steve Bissette, Eddie Campbell and James Sturm. That’s an impressive group of teachers right there, and this book is gorgeous in many ways, from the basic images to the inventive use of panel layouts. But is there no class at that school where they stress learning how to spell? For me that simple act of laziness at best or willful ignorance at worst makes me question the whole comic. Yes, I am aware that I’m getting all worked up over a “little thing” like proper spelling, but it takes a book that could easily pass as a professional comic from Fantagraphics or Drawn & Quarterly and makes it instantly amateurish. Feel free to chuckle if the culture has passed me by on this and nobody gives a shit about such things, but I’ll stick my curmudgeonly ways on this one, thanks all the same. So after that rant, what about the actual comic? Like I said, this book is gorgeous. I’m always up for a smart science fiction story, and this one either has potential to be that or is already there (this is the first issue I’ve read, so I have no idea what happened in the previous issues). The first story deals with some holy men and their task of keeping people from turning into werewolves with lanterns that they carry around, while other citizens get addicted to moonlight and have to be “healed.” There were more ideas in this eight page story than there are in many comics and I’d love to see them expanded upon, if they haven’t been already. The next story deals with the evolution of man and their constant efforts to control or curtail death. Next is a fantastic little fable about a group of animals combining their resources to reach the moon and steal back the piece of everybody that was left there to hold us all back. Finally there’s the ongoing story called Driftwood and, while I loved that “the story so far” page, it didn’t do a whole lot to explain what happened in previous issues. Still, it had another great fable (this time about a bird that outsmarted a hunter) until all of the characters get trapped in a traffic jam, which is apparently a bad thing. Logs are also involved, but I’m clearly not caught up on the story to make a coherent judgment on it. All in all I loved most of this comic, and if there were only a few spelling errors I could get past it, but there were several. If Morgan can do better in that department I think he’ll be an important voice to watch. Well, he’ll be that either way, but I’m not the only person in the world who tunes out when the spelling flies off the rails. At least I hope I’m not, although with the way the world is going it’s entirely possible. No price listed, but this beautiful and hefty book is at least $5.