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Sobel, Marc – Starfish



I can’t find any indication on this issue that this is anything other than a stand-alone story, although I believe it is technically illegal to end a story like they did and then never follow up on it. Looking at the cover, you can probably tell that this story is about a post-apocalyptic world. Yes, that is often a cliche and a sign that the story is going to be completely predictable, but that’s not the case here. Seven anorexic patients are sent to an underwater lab for treatment, along with a doctor and some staff, when a nuclear bomb hits their city. They realize that they have to stay underwater for at least a year, but discover that their food supply will only last them less than half that time. So, the doctor comes up with an experimental drug called Starfish, and I’m not going to give anything else away. It was an interesting concept, but it seemed more than a little bit condensed at 12 pages, especially if this is all there is to the story. Leigh Gallagher is apparently an artist on a Vertigo title called “The Witching” and the artwork here is pretty incredible. It’s $1.50, you can check out the website or send an e-mail, whatever floats your boat.

Sobel, Marc – The Red Stiletto



The Red Stiletto

It’s hard to avoid getting a little nostalgic as you get older (kids, trust me on this one).  The farther away you get from childhood, the more you romanticize the whole time period, whitewashing the bad parts and honing in on the good.  Marc does an excellent job here of going back to the past but leaving it as it was, not as he wished it would be.  Um, in this fictional story.  This is the tale of an old friend reaching out after being out of touch for many years and the wave of memories the reconnection brings up to the surface.  Hey, this could be a true story, I just kind of doubt it and it really doesn’t matter for the sake of the story.  The main character (forever unseen) gets a letter in the mail from his old childhood friend containing an elaborate picture he had drawn when he was 5.  This sets off a retelling of the life story of his friend: how they had been inseparable as children, how her father had killed himself, how she had drifted away from him in high school and had never responded to his attempts to reconnect.  Good luck reading this without thinking of your own times gone by; in my book that means Marc has succeeded in this comic.  The only thing that was a little odd to me was the timing and inclusion of a short story towards the end of the comic.  I get it, the returning friend’s father had killed himself and his family was shocked to discover that he was actually a prolific (and unpublished) writer, and the friend was taking the time to read a story on the flight back.  It’s a decent little story, just an odd choice to break up the comic with 8 pages of text right at the end.  Still, a minor quibble.  If you’re the one person in the world who has never felt nostalgic you can probably skip this, for everybody else this is well worth a look.  $4