David Chelsea has a wicked sense of humor and a wicked way of conveying it in his comics. The stuff here in this Dark Horse One-Shot, “David Chelsea’s Snow Angel,” is prime Chelsea, served to droll and surreal perfection. This is a guy who loves to draw comics and can easily whip up a snow angel as he can William Henry Harrison.
In this collection of stories, which first appeared in the mighty monthly anthology, “Dark Horse Presents,” (which you can check out here, next one out April 24) you’ve got as your main character, a little girl who can turn herself into a snow angel whenever she darn pleases. Well, there needs to be some snow around. Then she plops down on said snow and vigorously flaps her arms, all snow angelly, and just like Lynda Carter used to spin herself around silly, poof, the little girl turns into her version of Wonder Woman, a sweet little snow angel…and not all that sweet either since she can get into a lot of mischief. Very odd stuff that, I suspect, required some heavy drugs to inspire. Or maybe not. Maybe not at all. Could be that Chelsea is totally all Steve Ditko when it comes to that. No drugs required. It’s just the power of the mind, right? That, and maybe it has to do with a regular habit of drawing late into the night, if not right into the next morning.
I have grown to love 24-Hour Comics Day challenges and David Chelsea must be a master at it having done fifteen of these. He definitely has the chops for it and the wit. I don’t think he has it all planned out ahead of time. Some of it, but not all of it. That’s what I’m thinking. It’s the way I have approached it and the reasoning behind that is that this sort of activity is so process oriented. Don’t you think? I do. It simply cries out for it. What might strike you as profound or hilarious at three in the morning needs to make its way into the final work is what I say. You just have to admire good ole stream of consciousness. Not for the faint of heart. The more you bring to the game, the more you are likely to net.
This giddy feeling of accomplishing this controlled spontaniety is evident in all the little touches to his work: the quirky facial expressions; the unexpected poses; the abrupt changes in scenery. It is very dream oriented, which makes sense for a 24-Hour Comics event. A 24-Hour event, just so you know, in case you don’t, is when you stay up for 24 hours and draw a comics project, preferably 24 pages, if you want to be official and all. But the main thing is to creat some sort of comic. I don’t adhere to the need for it being completely finished. I just don’t think that is essential but, then again, if you can do that, more power to you. Chelsea is the sort who would complete the whole thing in one go. He’s crazy, crazy like a very talented sleep-deprived dreamy fox lost in Slumberland.
Check out this Dark Horse One-Shot which is currently out. You can visit Dark Horse Comics to get a real good look at it here.
And, then, go one step further, which you know you really want to do, and pick up Mr. Chelsea’s collection of his first six 24-Hour comics collected in a nifty hardcover edition published by Dark Horse Comics, due out June 5, 2013. Check it out here.