Image © Carla Speed McNeil and Dark Horse Comics.
I can’t decide what I think about “Finder,” the cover feature and first section of this anthology. At times it seems easy to follow and entertaining, at others it goes off the rail for me. This episode makes sense internally, but I can’t figure out where it fits into what went before. Nice art, and I appreciate the hand lettering.
“City of Roses” Chapter 2 continues this dark crime saga. Not very appealing to me, and the art is kind of a strange mix of realism and impressionism that kind of works at a glance, but not so well when you look more carefully.
David Chelsea’s “The Girl With the Keyhole Eyes” has not really been a story, more a series of unfinished ideas strung together on a theme, reminding me of some old underground comix. It ends with an in joke for old cinema fans.
I haven’t cared for the new “Aliens” story, which also ends here. It does have a resolution that works, but for me the art style of Sam Kieth plays against the entire idea of Aliens, so I can’t say this was a success.
Part 2 of “Deep Sea” is a winner, finally something I can recommend highly in this issue. A deep-sea expedition that disappeared into the deepest trench in the ocean 50 years ago has returned suddenly with the explorers unaged. To them, it seemed they were gone only short time. This anomaly is only the beginning of the strange goings on here!
Richard Corben continues his quirky adaptations of Poe poetry (I think) with “The Sleeper,” adding lots of meat to the skeleton provided by the author. Great stuff.
MIchael Avon Oeming offers “The Sacrifice,” a well-drawn and well-told short story that seems to be one kind of fantasy quest, but turns into another.
“Concrete Park” is getting more science fictional, but still doesn’t appeal to me.
I’m not sure what I think of “UXB.” It’s quite dystopian in a British way, and could become something I enjoy, it’s too soon to tell. So far it hasn’t grabbed me.
Finally we have a “Mr. Monster” story from Michael T. Gilbert that’s also a “Munden’s Bar” story. I like both these things, and this was good fun. I wonder if it’s new or has been around for a while?
In all the enjoyment level of this issue was a bit low for me, but still recommended.