There’s just too much comics news to keep up with. I’m still trying to unravel threads from the NYCC, and the next thing I learn is I missed out on news from the SDCC! Did you know that Oni Comics is going to collect Scott C.’s AMAZING webcomic Double Fine Action Comics, starting in April of 2013? And they’re also going to be printing R. Stevens’ Diesel Sweeties? YOU KNEW? Why doesn’t anybody tell me?!
Still, this makes perfect sense. Sometimes trends can only be identified in hindsight, and sometimes we are walking in the middle of a trend and cannot see the forest for the trees. Double Fine Action Comics falls right into the very modern trend of Adventure!
In the Adventure genre, archetypal characters have never-ending, fantastic adventures across genre lines. These characters often become blasé about the mind-blowing nature of their deeds and accomplishments.
Obviously, the clearest example is the cartoon show Adventure Time, which also has a spectacular comic book out this week. Adventure Time #9 captures this spirit well, and is almost as awesome as the show… I say almost because it is a pretty awesome show to have to try and out-awesome.
Another book on the shelves this week that does a fine job with this concept is Shaolin Cowboy Adventure Magazine, a pulp mag printing stirring prose with illustrations from today’s top talents all centered around heart-stomping ADVENTURE!
After their success with The Matrix movies, the Wachowskis a.k.a. Andy and Lana Wachowski funded a small comic book label which printed some dang fine comics. One of these was Shaolin Cowboy, written and drawn (as only he can) by Matrix concept designer Geof Darrow.
Darrow is a master, plain and simple, layering ultra-violence with ridiculous minute detail. In his robot smash-‘em-up epic, The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot, he will depict the nastiest, snarling monster-punching in a building and find a way to render every re-bar, every eviscerated victim and every pigeon flying off of the collapsing roof of said condemned structure.
Shaolin Cowboy was nuts, one of the most bizarre and intense action comics of all time. In Shaolin Cowboy, a silent Asian in flannel shirt and sandals wields twin katanas as he slices his way through countless thugs. These slay-rides are usually narrated by his talking mule.
What makes these books particularly mind-blowing is the characters. In Shaolin Cowboy, the cowboy might easily kill 50-100 flunky thugs in one issue, yet each and every single one of them will be uniquely rendered with their own peculiar dress code, grooming habits and quirks.
“UNKIEDEV, have you been sniffing white-out out of a corpse’s navel? ADVENTURE as a genre?” you may ask. “How is this different from this week’s Avengers #32, Amazing Spider-Man #696 or Superman #13?”
The biggest difference is setting. These stories almost always take place in alternate worlds, post-apocalyptic futures or featureless landscapes unrecognizable as our own.
NEXT WEEK: We’ll learn more about the new VS genre. Until then, go buy Superman #13… someone dies in it!
More musings from Unkiedev, Earth’s own sidekick, can be read at unkiedev.blogspot.com