Monday, March 31, 2014

More Tex Arcana

Yippee!  Mr Findley has produced a few more new pages of Tex Arcana, for his fourth as-yet unpublished book.  After a couple years of inactivity, this is the second addition in several months, and I hope it means he'll keep working on it.

They're another terrific installment of his "now-quadfurcated tale" that I highly recommend you go see right now.  Mr Findley's style of finely hatched line drawing and otherworldly doings in an Old-West setting was some of my favorite work to appear in Heavy Metal.  I'll even link right to the new page, though I really think you should navigate the whole site and read through all of it:

I'm very grateful to Mr Findley for continuing this story and sharing it with us.  I hope he keeps at it, but even if he doesn't he still has my gratitude and admiration.  My only lament is that I don't expect to ever see these in print.  Sometimes Tex Arcana was published in the mag on lesser-quality paper, but it's still better seeing it on paper than on my crappy screen.  I would like for HM's new owners to bring Mr Findley back in and publish the new Tex Arcana serially, in hopes that it would be worth his while to continue, and to give me something to look forward to in the mag besides Animal'z.  I'm not holding my breath.

Thanks again Mr Findley.  Hope to see more soon.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Heavy Metal #267

Heavy Metal #267

Cover by David Millgate - 6 - a nice looking cover with a scene that's interesting on the surface, an explorer dude encountering giant tiger women, but loses depth the closer you look.  Looking for interesting detail I only find afterthoughts, and lower resolution than I'd wish for in a cover. 

We are gifted with a Publisher's Note, from Mr Eastman himself.  It's been a while, a couple years he says.  He makes references to the times good and not so good the mag has experienced, has a mention of the new ownership, and offers praise for the staff.  He promises more from himself and the new owners in the coming months.  It's a statement about upcoming changes with hints of goodbyes.  Like all things HM, especially from Mr Eastman, I'll believe it when I see it.  Mostly I hope for the print mag's continued existence, and continue to wish for the spark of imagination and mystery that brought me to Heavy Metal fanhood in the first place, and keeps me buying the damn thing.  Perhaps the occasional glimmer we've seen in recent years can grow to a gleam or even a glow.

Animal'z by Bilal - 8 - Part 6, it's actually a continuing series, a story seems to actually be developing.  It's still obtuse and sketchy, but some "good" guys come together and fight some "bad" guys.  There's butchery and action.  I'm amused by a translation of a semiautomatic pistol as a "revolver".  It might go on forever, and that might be fantastic.

Deviant Strain by Jim Webb - 7 - I guess we can't have an issue go by without some zombies.  An ex-cop takes out some zombies in a church, one of them brings back horrible memories.  She's so shaken she makes a prayer to a god she stopped believing in long ago, and inconveniently forgets to free some victims.  Stylish art and a decent story.

E.V.A. by Marco Turini - 7 - This feels like it could have been in the magazine 30+ years ago.  A dystopian techno-future shown with nicely composed art and a sometimes incomprehensible story.  Electromechanically augmented humans fight, characters appear and disappear, rebellion against the established order, this and more.  I wanted to like this more than I did, I wanted it to be more intriguing than confusing.  I still enjoyed it though, and it says to be continued.

Gallery by DPI Studios - 5 - Not bad for a couple "self-taught artist" guys doing game cards, but not so interesting to me.  Some neat technique but poses for cards can be kind of static.  I'd bet they could do some neat stuff in a story format, but why should they bother if they like what they're doing?

Heaven's Inferno by Scott O Brown and Ferran Xalabarder - 8 - Continued from the previous issue, this is also the story's conclusion.  The protagonist searches for his lost son and endures scrutiny from inside and outside himself.  There are references to gods and the heavens, and I'm even more intrigued by the depictions of seraphs and wheels upon wheels.  This is a touch better than the previous installment, and makes me wish all the more that the whole of the story was available.  I did some exploring and found no indication that's it's been produced, though I did come across what looks like Xalabarder's website,

Thracius the Seeker by James Hudnall and Mark Vigouroux - 6 - A slave of the Romans is a scout sent to investigate the slaughter of Roman soldiers.  He encounters a conjurer and his demon, and with wit and luck escapes.  The art's pretty nice, the story is told well but it's not very substantial.

Mia by Fabio Ruotolo - 7 - Wordlessly told in style and tone very reminiscent of a Mobius or Caza.  A traveller encounters a floating rock and reacts poorly to its entreaties.  Another visits the rock in a more friendly manner and fares better.  We're left to imagine much of what's actually happening, and that's part of the fun.

Artist's Studio by Frank Turco - 6 - a few digitally composed images of models in spacescapes, nicely done.  Some may like them more than me.

Drifting Wolves by Jonathan Jay Lee - 6 - A man and a boy traverse some sort of wasteland.  They encounter corpses, jungles, and ... babes (!) by a stream.  The man hits on the babes, the boy goes swimming, a giant fish eats the boy, man fights fish, babes leave.  The art looks pretty nice with an interesting and colorful style, the story is barely there and doesn't match the art.