Sep 27, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 215: The Spectacular Shenanigans of Mr. P'Choka and Earl #1, May 2015

Before I jump back into Alien Worlds and weird mind of Bruce Jones, I wanted to read and review something that I bought at the Edmonton Expo, and Joshua Soren's bizarre comic fits the bill.

To be clear, I love this comic. The art style completely emblematizes the idea of abstraction that I've been wrestling with lately. The characters are weird-looking and barely human, but the removal of so much familiar detail makes their stylized postures and expressions all the more meaningful and accessible. And Earl and Mr. P'Choka's dialogue (so to speak) is wonderful and witty. I truly dig Mr. P'Choka's strange glyph bubbles, and Earl's clipped responses do everything they need to to explain to us what his compatriot has to say, without fumbling into exposition.

The story is great, dropping us in medias res and not bothering to catch us up at all. We don't need to be caught up. These two dashing agents are caught up in an iconic spy story washed over with a cool sheen of David Lynch. I am dying to know what's going to happen, where they're going to end up, who they work for, and what the deal is with the huge forest of trees growing out of the top of the city. I'd give more of a summary of the comic, but aside from Earl falling from a very, VERY great height, I really don't want to give anything away. I think this is a comic that needs, very much, to be experienced.

I guess what really gets me about this comic is that it's not set in any of the universes with which we, as comics readers, are relatively familiar. It's not done in an art style that screams "Vertigo," or "Image." It's not even the same size as a "regular" comic. And that's why it's special. It's new, and it's not like anything I've ever read before, and for a jaded old comics geek, that is truly a pleasure, and a wonderful treasure to have stumbled upon.

Mr. Soren's work is available in some comics stores in Edmonton. I'm not sure where else to get my hands on them, but after reading this first issue, I'm going to do my best to find out.

Back to some early 80s science fiction tomorrow. But tonight I'll dream of that strange little eyeball man and try to imagine what his language sounds like. Maybe Earl will help translate. See you tomorrow!

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