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Friday, October 01, 2004
Limited Color Palettes Are Your Friend
Bad Mojo, by William Harms and Steve Morris, published by AIT/Planet Lar
I wasn't sure if the book was supposed to be funny or creepy, and that's a good thing as far as I'm concerned. The set-up for the story is fairly straight-forward: three friends, driving at night, one of them falls asleep at the wheel and gets into a car accident with a witch who curses him. It becomes a comedy of errors, jumping back and forth in time to show the consequences of one unlucky accident and the attempts by the three men in the car to get themselves out of the situation they've found themselves in. It's very easy to sympathize with the leads, as all the characters they interact with are alternately unhelpful, insane or simply malicious and vindictive. The art by Steve Morris is amazingly expressive, and the book is done in a blue-gray tone which highlights the supernatural/spooky elements nicely. I'm planning on putting together a Halloween themed display for the store, and this book will fit in nicely there.
Spaghetti Western by Scott Morse, published by Oni
I'm a big fan of Morse's work, and have been ever since I discovered the first volume of Soulwind. His art is very appealing and expressive and he's a master of subtle emotional expression both in his art and his story-telling. He's also got a great eye for design, and this book is no exception. It's bound on the side, and each page is one panel, with black "wide-screen" borders at the top and bottom of each page. Combined with the sepia tones, you come away with the overall impression of "reading" a movie. And that's an important point, as how movies shape us is a strong theme in the book. The story is simple: two men rob a bank, dressed as characters from old westerns. Things go wrong. The real story is revealed in a marvelously placed flash-back, which reveals why these two men have decided to rob a bank in cowboy costumes. Again, it's the subtle emotion that Morse does so well coming through. You understand why these men did what they did and sympathize with them, especially in light of the actions of the other bank robber who happens to be at the bank that day. There may be "no good guys," but there's still a difference between good men and bad men. All-in-all, an excellent book.