Nov 15, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 264: The Art of Dodging Shadows #2, 2003

I got a really nice email from Nicholas Johnson, who, in his own terms, executed this comic, after I reviewed the first issue a few weeks ago. I dropped him a line to let him know I'd read it, and he was happy to see that the comic is still in circulation. He's hoping to collect it into a trade, and I'd urge anyone who can to grab a copy. So I thought that since he'd been nice enough to write back, I'd read some more of his excellent comic.

And it really is excellent. I noted last time that the art style and the story are an interesting mix, but I'd like to speak a bit more about the art right now. Mr. Johnson has a really great grasp of the cinematic quality that the comic book page affords. Though that's not really the right way of putting it. It's a quality that is purely comics, but the closest I can come to describing the way we've seen this quality before is to call it cinematic. It's the equivalent for that in comics.

Anyway, there's a great action sequence at the beginning, lots of bullets and blood flying, and Gabe, our focal character executes some cool acrobatics to take down the hitmen who are, literally, gunning for him. The bends and lines of Gabe's body as he jumps and flips through space are really lovely, especially in contrast to the vertical lines of the background and the horizontal trails of the bullets as they barely miss him. Late in the comic, we have a pan-out from Reggie's sleep-deprived eyeball that perfectly conveys the state of mind Reggie is in, half in and half out of the world. Not only are the designs of the characters well-rendered, but so is Mr. Johnson's use of the form.

The story moves along at a similar pace to the first issue. It moved in a direction I sort of saw coming, but I'm interested to see how the caper gets pulled off. Interested enough to probably read the third issue tomorrow. Join me then to see if I'm a big liar!

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