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Humongous Man #2
posted December 30, 2005
Dan Stepp, Jim Harrison
Alternative press, $2.25
A couple of realizations since reading issue #1 of this book, for which I wrote a negative review: first, the authors are basing their look at an impossibly magnificent city on Schuiten/Peeters "Cities of the Fantastic" series; second, a lot of people are pointing out the book's art as particularly worthy of note.
The first realization is promising. The "Cities" books are nicely done, and are one of the few comics fantasies that can easily hold an adult's interest over a long period of time. The second one is interesting, too, for a different reason. I don't understand why the art would be singled out. The only thing interesting about it to me is the grotesque quality of the normal (non-Humongous Man) depictions, evocative of real, imperfect bodies. But the blacks seem to me spotty and either ignorant of their light sources or reflecting non-existent ones, the faces seem simply-rendered and without character, and the buildings aren't worthy of Martin Wagner, let alone "Cities" books (most of the backgrounds are either solid blacks or lightly-realized, non-detailed drawings).
And I still think the story is cliched up until this point, with very few elements of surprise, despite how much time the characters spend talking or writing to one another. I can't work up a bit of interest. I wish I could -- any publisher who reads a review and then sends me a second issue with "Your favorite comic!" written on the bottom deserves something
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.