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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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09/06/2004 Archived Entry: "Between The Cracks -All Miracles Have a Price"

Between The Cracks - All Miracles Have a Price
By: Harris O'Malley
Published by: Studio Underhill

Review by Kathy LaFollett

According to the back cover:

"A dead woman awakes to the sound of gunfire.
A chance meeting of eyes across a crowded club lead to a whirlwind of secrets and lies. A cursed musician seeks to escape his immortal lover, while a writer's addictions force him to face creatures from myth. And a young woman's search for love exacts a horrible cost.

Welcome to Abbott."

What I found was closer to:

The Bride of Frankenstein becomes a prostitute.

Some guy with no personality and his smartass sidekick buddy hit the bars because Mr. No Personality remembers seeing this chickk at a bar last week that he wants to meet real bad, which he does within two pages and the chickk canít speak and ends up murdering Mr. No Personality and his old girlfriend after she finds them in bed because for some reason Mr. No Personality didnít much like Ms Canít Speak as much he thought back at that last bar and decided to bed his boss instead.

A musician with a bad haircut sold his soul back in the 1400s to an immortal female who became bored with his sex and started getting really kinky so he decides to get a random mortal chick pregnant in hopes of breaking the bond with Ms Immortal Sadist but it doesnít quite work out so Mr. Immortal with a Bad Haircut has to tell his mortal girlfriend that he knows sheís pregnant and that he nailed her to get away from Ms. Immortal Sadist and now to save her own skin sheíll have to join him in a plan to end the bondage. Alas, it doesnít quite work out. Ms Immortal Sadist blows his soul back down his throat and he disintegrates, mortal girlfriend has a miscarriage on the sidewalk (I think. The artwork suggests it.) and sheís left crying on the pavement over some selfish pig.

Some horror author who is an addict goes to his dealer only to run into a couple of vampires hiring a male prostitute to eat which ends up making Lestat mad enough that he calls all the local vampires out and puts a hit on Mr. Addictís head. All the while Mr. Addict is writing his fear and loathing of vampires out on his laptop while rolling on his juice in high paranoia. Ultimately we watch as the convergence of vampire hit men and Mr. Addictís final chapter in writing and suicide play out. His suicide leaves Lestat a bit unfulfilled as he had "wanted to see the expression on his face when he ripped his head off."

Finally we come full circle with a version of The Little Mermaid that ties back into the Ms Canít Speak back at the bar with Mr. No Personality. Ms Canít Speak is/was a mermaid.

Welcome to borrowed storylines regurgitated.

Iíll give credit where credit is due. The tieback storyline was solidly played out. As I was reading I became quite bored and felt like the writing, storyline, and direction of the whole book was unmoored and lost at sea. But the closing story tied a MUCH needed knot.

Unfortunately, the tieback isnít good enough, or the storyline strong enough to make up for the rest of the book. Generally, the characters are weak and lifeless; no time is given to their growth. The stories are, at best, borrowed.

There are moments I can glimpse the purpose behind this effort. We live in and amongst a parallel universe of inhabitants. Some of us come too close and lose. I can say that theme is a strong reason to create a graphic novel. I like it. I can also say Between the Cracks doesnít come close to carrying out the idea. It is shallow writing.

The graphics too are shallow, and at times cheap. They support the simplistic weightless writing, but do not express much more than the direction of the weak dialogue. Between the Cracks also proves out the theory that a simple render with Poser Version 4 3D software does not make a realistic human form. There are frames created with line art, photos, and negative montage that only serve to further convolute an already watered down graphical consistency. When you add in the rendered bald Posette on the back cover, plus the inside backcover 3D art, plus the self portrait done in Poser, it just doesn't add up to a whole.

There are a number of Black and White line art frames that show excellence in expression and illustration. The authorís ability to utilize negative/positive space in line art is impressive. Why did he only throw that startling ability in a few times, I do not know.

Iím left wondering why the author didnít follow the paths of his strengths. The moment we experience The Bride reliving memories from her different "donor" women via body parts attached was intriguing to say the least. And yet, once the idea of The Bride having to live with these multitudes of memories is presented it is never explored again. Quite a lose for me as a reader.

The Little Mermaid story could have been left out completely. Disney did a better job explaining the Sea Witch meets a naÔve mermaid. I found the two males presented in the duel story line tedious and simplistic.

Vampires make great stories. Iím all for a heavy dose of the sensual borderline sadistic nature of the beast. Yet the author foregoes the time tested literary angles of vampires and leaves us reading stereotypical Hollywood conversational lines. Why?

The Sadistic Immortal being and her soulless slave in and of itself had no depth to support the heavy supposition. We are asked to swallow a lot of facts with no water of supporting background; stale and chalky.

There are a myriad of examples that show the author is trying to go somewhere with this graphic novel; small tentative attempts at something grand which leaves the reader with more false starts than true ends.

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