Man, I’ll try not to bury my lead here and just say that this didn’t work very well for me. I’ll try to explain why. The review copy of this book came with a personable letter from the creator and it’s obvious that DuCheny has a lot of enthusiasm for the project, which is great. However, I immediately started to get a little worried. His self-publishing venture is called “New World Imaging Comics,” which is kind of a generic mouthful. The URL if you want more info is www.myspace.com/newworldimaging
- which makes me uneasy. Does anyone outside of bands still use MySpace? Am I being too nitpicky already?
DuCheny indicates that he is “compelled by mainstream comics” to offer “fresh and raw characters with depth and realism” for the “average fan-boy.” It strikes me as an odd paradigm to project. It seems to me that “the average fan-boy” doesn’t really want “fresh and raw characters,” which is why they are “compelled by mainstream comics” in the first place, and if you want depth and realism, there might be better places to look than stock superhero archetypes, but ok, let’s see how this goes. I start reading the book and I find some very blatant knock-offs of Thor, Johnny Storm, The Red Skull, Wolverine/Warpath, The Hulk, Galactus, etc. to the point that I’m starting to wonder about copyright infringement. I know that you can ape characters if they’re done so for the purpose of parody, but that type of nebulous and subjective intent is difficult to prove in court.
I let that go and find a lot of Stan Lee style exposition, which (benefit of the doubt) could be simple homage for the beloved characters and narrative style of the comics of our youth. DuCheny is also working pretty hard at the humor. It’s lines like “Onward ho!” awkwardly inserted so that another character can follow up straight away with “Don’t call me a ho!” Hardy-har. Humor in which the punch-line is telegraphed in the set-up just never does it for me personally.
DuCheny states that he is “passionately enflamed with ardor for comics,” (this sentence feels like it was constructed with a thesaurus in hand) relevant to both drawing and writing, but then offers up a grammatical doozey like this: “No other person is as dedicated about comics then Laurence DuCheny.” Sigh. Regular Poopsheet Foundation readers will know that I have a thing for spelling and grammar, so my brain almost seized up on this sentence. First, you can’t be dedicated “about” something, you have to be dedicated “to” it. Second, when you begin with “as” in this sentence, you need to use a second “as” to complete the comparison. No other person is as
dedicated to blank as
blank…” Third, I’ve just proven that you should have used another “as” in that sentence instead of “then.” But, even if you were going to introduce the then/than choice, “than” should have been used and not “then.” I can’t stand when people confuse the use of “then” and “than.” The word “than” is used generally to denote comparison, “then” is used generally to contrast time. Por ejemplo, “I would rather read that book THAN this book; first I will read this book, THEN that book.” Anyway, there are some other typos, usually examples of poor verb/noun agreement, which I won’t belabor.
I think this is supposed to be some sort of Avengers type affair, wherein characters team up to take on The Hulk archetype, but it never quite seems to get off the ground. There are a lot of ideas at play, but no real focus. I’ll try to end with a positive and say that if DuCheny isn’t necessarily a strong writer, then the art itself is pretty good. It’s got a bit of the (better) 90’s Image “house style” to it, with dynamic, clean, and clear superheroics. Grade C.