Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Jagged Edge Explosion Balloon!

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After those one-and-a-half pages of rousing action, we're gonna take a breather while Mister Kline tries to set the alarm on his clock radio.

Listen... I wanna get "real" with you now. Can we "rap"? We can? Good. Thank you.

Over the course of gouging a ragged, bloody hole in this comic's neck and shitting down its windpipe examining this comic, I've grown to enjoy the figurework of George Tuska. His looming, lumbering characters have a warmth somehow lacking in the work of the similarly-styled Don Heck. (Heck's characters tend to have odd, leering, Pan-like faces that make them look like they've endured some seriously botched rounds of plastic surgery.) Sure, Tuska's characters tend more toward the "beetle-browed and oafish" end of the spectrum, but here it's softened by the exquisite inking of Jim Mooney. I just wish that Tuska's backgrounds just once would have had anything at all to do with his figurework. Take this panel. It's as dramatic as any "turning that one knob" panel could every hope to be, and Mr. Kline's immaculately-manicured hand is rendered beautifully. And yet the background is practically a collage. What is all that crap piled up back there? I see a picture frame (not sure there's anything in it), a scrap of wicker, a windowsill air conditioner, a two-by-four... just where th' heck is he? May I expect Fred Sanford to wander in at any moment? ("Kline, you dummy--!") And are all those hundreds of lines radiating from that magenta lightbulb or blister or everlasting gobstopper or what-have-you meant to indicate that it's glowing or just really anxious? (Performance anxiety!)

Oh, and mister letterer guy? Artie? I'm pretty sure a caption about a guy turning a knob doesn't merit the Jagged Edge Explosion Balloon. (My new rock band!) I'm just sayin'.

3 comments:

MaGnUs said...

Blockade Boy, nothing to do with this post, but remember thos "Mustache Rides" we talked about (only five pages ago, but about two months past)? Here, another great mustache.

Anonymous said...

The exploding caption box makes the panel, lame chiaroscuro and all. It's like the artist drew it in and left it to Conway, who hadn't been consulted on what might be going on.

"Hm. Well, it's a guy at a desk. I guess I could mention that. Or maybe that he's futzing with the knobs. Yeah. Add a dozen or so irrelevant adjectives, and that'll work great!"

Blockade Boy said...

MaGnUs: It's a beauty, alrighty...

Anonymous: I love the idea of Tuska drawing that explosion shape in there just to screw with Young Conway!