Screamland #1


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Screamland #1


  • Words: Harold Sipe
  • Art: Hector Casanova
  • Inks: Hector Casanova
  • Colors: Hector Casanova
  • Story Title: Andrea Silverman: Agent of Frankenstein?s Monster
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Mar 12, 2008

An old fish out of water story is as big a cliché as you will find, but what if instead of Jack Nicholson, the story focused on Frankenstein’s Monster?

You’ve seen this story before. It was called About Schmidt, The Bucket List, Grumpy Old Men, or any other number of countless other movies or books. Great story ideas are used over and over. Maybe this is because they are universal truths stuck in the collective unconscious. Maybe this is because all of the truly original ideas were used up long ago. Whatever reason... there are story concepts that meet the qualifications of tried and true. It becomes a good writer’s job to find a way to make it fresh. Sipe accomplishes this by replacing Jack Nicholson or Jack Lemmon with Frankenstein’s Monster. That’s the story. An old washed up actor, who just happens to be Frankenstein’s Monster, finds a new lease on life through a new job. What will he do with it?

Sipe takes all the alcoholism and financial ruin of the story’s template and infuses it with a scathing look at pop culture. He takes swipes at everything from the career of Ed Wood to the wasteland of loneliness that we call an internet message board and even throws manga into the mix. The outcome is a complete satire of the entertainment industry from top to bottom. His characters even feel real, which makes the accomplishment of the thorough spoof all the more remarkable, transcending caricature into literary feat.

Casanova reminds me very much of Ben Templesmith. Oh, I see a little of Ryan Ottley, Charlie Adlard, and Kieron Dwyer in there, but it is Templesmith that stands out. I am sure the loose lines have a lot to do with it, but if a gun where levied at my temple, I would say it is definitely from the computer textured coloring. He also seems to be able to morph his style and coloring to help aid the story. The coloring of the first shot of Andrea makes her seem like an angel and the concept for the film definitely plays to the style found in comics’ Japanese counterpart.

Folks, we have two major talents on our hands here and like Proof last year, this is an Image book that is going to be a must read and will be hard to find later. Get to the shop sooner than later.

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