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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

J LHLS Archives: January 2008

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Essex County, Vol. 2 Ghost Stories
Art and Story: Jeff Lemire
Published by Top Shelf Productions

Review by Chad Denton

In a strange way, "Essex County: Ghost Stories" reminded me of a very different yet somewhat similar work, David Lynch's perennial film, "Eraserhead." Both are stories where an individual's emotional isolation is reflected in the physical isolation imposed by the landscape. In Lynch's vision, that abyss exists just beneath the industrial wasteland of Philadelphia. For Jeff Lemire, the void his protagonist, an elderly deaf man named Lou, inhabits is the open spaces of rural southern Ontario, which is a more than suitable subject for Lemire's sparse, subtle art. [more]

Posted by Chad Denton @ 11:51 AM PST [Link]

Will Eisner's The Spirit
Art: Darwyn Cooke with J. Bone and Dave Stewart
Story Darwyn Cooke (Spirit #1-6), Jeph Loeb (Batman/The Spirit)

Review by Chad Denton

Arguably Will Eisner's "The Spirit" was the definitive prototype of the modern superhero, perhaps even more so than the protagonists of pulp novels like Doc Samson and Tarzan. Guided by the eclectic imagination of Eisner, the "Spirit" strip, which ran through the 1940s up until the early 1950s, deftly transcended genres in much the same way as the contemporary superhero tale. Unfortunately, while "The Spirit" has remained a popular classic, the title character, a masked vigilante who has allowed the world to presume the death of his civilian self in order to have the anonymity he needs to fight crime, has been overshadowed somewhat by his successors. Even compared to his peer Batman, who was created near the same time, the character of the Spirit lacks a certain melodramatic complexity. However, I think there is the charm of this character, and the reason why, in the era of a superhero genre hobbled by over-indulgence of its fan base and obsessed with its need to present "dark" and "edgy" stories, Darwyn Cooke's revival of "The Spirit" actually looks like something entirely new and revolutionary. [more]

Posted by Chad Denton @ 11:48 AM PST [Link]

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Heroes, Volume One
By Various authors and artists
Published by Wildstorm

Review by Allan Landow

The format of the entire comics collection was well done, indeed. If you recall, the whole TV series seemed to be based on a comic book style of genre, which was converted into some form of reality. However, one of the great faults of the TV series was that the gap was never bridged between the comic book fantasy and the so-called reality, in which our characters inter-acted in the every day world. The TV series focused on a little too much action-oriented activity, most likely in an effort to appease the tastes of our adrenaline addicted teens and young adults. This collection of comics delves much deeper. It takes us into the thinking of our characters and the deep psychological reasons for their actions. For the most part, it provides good background as well. [more]

Posted by Allan Landow @ 09:32 PM PST [Link]

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