COVID COP. Art & script by Dean Haspiel. Dean Haspiel Deep Cuts. 28 pp. $15.
Dean Haspiel is in fine form with this short work in comics that transforms the Covid pandemic into a surreal parody of a sci-fi/horror story. In this scenario, the virus has completely taken over to the point that the government has clamped down hard on anyone disobeying protocol. It’s a take-no-prisoners battle plan and one police officer, Lincoln Bio, is doing his best to follow orders. If you’re a fan of Dean Haspiel, then you can expect that kooky sense of humor, bathed in pathos, made famous in the Billy Dogma comics series.
Our anti-hero Lincoln Bio is aware that he’s living in very strange times making very strange demands on him. How he comes to terms with his marching orders and how he confronts an insurgent group out to kill everyone makes up a good part of this dark comedy. Drawn in the mock heroic style that Haspiel is known for, this comic book will deliver a weird and entertaining jolt right to the jugular and then some. You probably won’t have nightmares from reading this but I can’t guarantee it. And, if there’s a sequel, all bets are off. This comic, by the way, is the first in the developing line of indie comics, Dean Haspiel Deep Cuts.
This comic will defy your expectations, especially if you don’t really know what to expect, and offers up the most recent example of a cartoonist at the top of his game. The winner of a recent Kickstarter campaign, this comic book is making its way to its backers and will make its way to you. Keep up with Dean Haspiel for more details.
Ellen Lindner has a wonderful way with prose and composition. Her intricate artwork and distinctive voice give life to her latest creation, “The Black Feather Falls.” This is a webcomic told in four parts, which you can view at ACT-I-VATE here. The first part is now collected and will be published by Soaring Penguin Press.
The beauty of Lindner’s work is on many levels, not the least of which is her dynamic composition. We begin with the main character, Tina Swift, juxtaposed by her striking view of two pyramids that act as visual and symbolic thrust. They lead us to more energetic play with geometry of body language and setting.
Take a closer look at Tina Swift. On Page 2, we see her face is a crisp collection of lines and angles with a few accenting curves. We take in the rest of the page: in the first panel, we see a typewriter rendered to the last detail acting as a still life accompanied by Tina’s sharply rendered hands. The last panel caps off with another view of those pyramids. In the span of time that we’ve read the first two pages, we already know a mighty adventure is about to be retold.
And, by Page 3, we have entered a new world. Tina is an American abroad. She’s in 1920s London. As engaging as Lindner’s artwork, her prose charms you and immerses you in the customs and logic of another time. Lindner was an American abroad herself and you sense a loving attention to her past home byway of this murder mystery. It’s as if Lindner travelled back in time and is reporting to us her observations with a fresh vitality. She provides a somewhat similar treatment of Brooklyn in the early 1960s for her work, “Undertow.” The writing for this story is quite fun and feels in step with such British writers of the time as Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and the Mitford sisters.
Our team of brash young American, Tina Swift, and young British spinster, Miss McInteer, are delightful as polar opposites that manage to attract. They do have quite a compelling murder mystery to solve that apparently will turn into another cold case if not for them. All the elements are in place for a delicious read.
You can read the latest installments of The Black Feather Falls at ACT-I-VATE here. Be sure to pick up the first collection of The Black Feather Falls from Soaring Penguin Press and look for updates here. And do visit Ellen Lindner at her site here.
This is definitely exciting news for fans of Dean Haspiel, Mark Waid, and the legendary comics series, THE FOX, which dates back to 1940 with Blue Ribbon Comics and as recently as part of The New 52 at DC Comics. This new version is being released by Red Circle Comics. Red Circle is an Archie Comics imprint for its superhero comics that began in the ’70s. It’s a very interesting bit of comics history. Blue Ribbon was to become Archie Comics and, subsequently evolved into Red Circle. Archie Comics leased its superhero lineup to DC Comics in the ’90s. And now, we come full circle, as it were, with Archie Comics back in control of Red Circle. What happens next with this new digital lineup of superhero comics should be fun to see.
From the official press release:
Award winning creators Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid will collaborate on The Fox
New York, NY – Eisner Award winning writer Mark Waid (Daredevil, Thrillbent) and Emmy winning writer/artist Dean Haspiel (Billy Dogma, HBO’s Bored To Death) are teaming up to launch a brand new series – THE FOX. Taking place in the Red Circle universe, this exciting creative team will deliver an innovative, action-packed superhero story starring the fabled pulp hero.
This thrilling new addition is a shake up to the Red Circle lineup. The previously solicited New Crusaders: Dark Tomorrow will receive a new release date in early 2014. The critically acclaimed New Crusaders series received high praise and year-end “best of” acknowledgements, dubbed “one of the most enjoyable and surprising books on the stands” and response to THE FOX will no doubt echo that sentiment.
The first volume, New Crusaders: Rise of the Heroes, is now available for order in Previews. In addition, this summer’s forthcoming New Crusaders: Legacy TPB features both new and iconic stories including Alex Toth‘s run on The FOX, and contributions from comic book legends Steve Ditko, Carmine Infantino, and more.
For more information stay tuned to RedCircleComics.com
Here is the cover to one of the last collections of American Splendor with art by Dean Haspiel, one of the last great cartoonists to illustrate Pekar’s unique poetic observations of everyday life.
You can pick up American Splendor: Another Day at Vertigo Comics.
My first look at American Splendor was the first collection, American Splendor: The Life and Times of Harvey Pekar, 1986. That was a breakthrough in comics as it easily became a staple in mainstream bookstores. By 1986, Harvey was already pretty well known through his appearances on “Latenight with David Letterman.”
That book is still around and fairly easy to find. You could pick up a copy through Amazon.