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Dark Cloud Comin’
posted June 11, 2009
Ed Choy Moorman
Bare Bones Press, comic book, 20 pages, 2009, no price given
It's not like any of us needed another obligation of this type, but I would suggest paying attention to what Ed Choy Moorman does over the next few years. Dark Cloud Comin'
gives us a cartoonist clearly working several paces ahead of what his art chops are able to deliver. It's the story of a small child whose younger brother is sacrificed to a local monster, in this case a giant. That child goes after the child seeking its return, and fails in a way that changes the status quo. The strengths are in the pacing, always assured, and in the details that sprinkle elements of complexity into the through-lines enjoyed by antagonist and protagonist. The giant is indulgent and cruel but seems to be penning on his walls a volume of moral despair including concern over the actions we've just seen. The child rejects her female identity, one imagines as both a repudiation of her mother and as a sign of jealousy directed at her male sibling. While stronger, more evocative art -- the figures other than the giant are clumsy, the scene work fails to spark the imagination and it takes some effort to meet Moorman halfway in terms of what he's trying to depict -- may have made this one of the more dramatic stop and notice mini-comics (think Eleanor Davis' early efforts), I'm pretty sure it would have rattled at the top of the story's limitations as well. Dark Cloud Comin'
feels at its heart too much like a stock story decorated with creative flourishes and not enough like something from the artist's deepest well of creativity. I hope we'll see better work in future comics, and expect to.