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posted December 20, 2005
Gary Spencer Millidge
Abiogenesis Press, $2.95
I'm going to be nice, and guess that the seventh issue of Gary Spencer Millidge's self-published and critically lauded title is the wrong place to jump on. Nothing about the comic seems terribly lousy, but nothing really seems interesting, either.
In issue #7, protagonist Alex stumbles down to the beach after complications in his relationship with Janey, a young girl he met in the town of Strangehaven. Alex meets Steve, a surfer who provides some hints as to the nature of the village: "The Village, Alex. She's a living thing, just like you or I. She has her own needs and desires..." The rest of the story finds the now-perceived-to-be-eligible Janey deferring requests for dates from several of the town's inhabitants (she finally accepts one from a young person named Bobby).
The story's reasonably well paced, and the dialogue's a bit plaintive and smoothed-over but fine. One thing that distinguishes Millidge's art is his use of photo-models from which at least the faces are then copied. It's a jarring, unappealing process; in addition, most of the models turn to the camera even when they don't have to, making for an odd style of storytelling: the always-present faces of Strangehaven.
Mystical stuff is hinted at without being shown, by the way, which is probably a good thing as the story itself isn't well-observed enough that it could sustain image as straight, realistic fiction.
This review was written in the late 1990s as part of a then-ongoing freelance gig; I apologize if it reads oddly or seems incomplete.