Tuesday, October 18, 2011

OCTOBER COMICS: A Glimpse of Crime & Terror

It’s October, which means I have an obligation (self-made though it may be) to recommend some cool “autumnal” comic fare (i.e. horror comics in honor of Halloween)

Anything Scott Morse is involved with gets my attention. He is one of those cartoonists – like Los Bros Hernandez or Frank Santoro – whose work I will buy without hesitation. Since he landed at Pixar, his comics work has been rather limited. So, when I read online about him and Steve Niles doing something together, I was interested.

The series – co-created and co-owned by Niles and Morse – is called Crime & Terror. Morse described the book on his blog as a book where he and Steve can create the stories they want. In his initial post, Morse wrote that Crime & Terror would have an over-arching narrative following detective Mike Fallon, along with a number of short stories – both prose and comic – in whatever genre they chose – sci-fi, horror, noir, whatever. I’m a sucker for great anthologies, and when you have creators of this caliber writing and drawing whatever they want – I’m in!

As a teaser, Niles and Morse have created a limited edition oversized board book of A Glimpse of Crime & Terror that includes two short stories. I read this a couple of weeks back and thoroughly enjoyed it. Morse’s artwork and storytelling are spot-on here, and the stories were novel for the fact that they weren’t what I was expecting.

I expected a crime story and a horror story, but instead, Morse and Niles offer a mash-up of these two genres, and it works amazingly well. The plots hearken back to noir films of the 50s – with the requisite sprinkling of the fantastic and zombified accents. They aren’t necessarily world-shattering. But the beauty of this book is in the way the stories are told. Despite the “dark” nature of these two genres, there’s a fun aspect to this book that is never missing in anything Scott Morse does. I imagine it has a lot to do with the animation style Morse incorporates. His work is distinct, and, despite the “cute” aspects of his art, Morse continues to exhibit a range in genre and tone that is remarkable.

And, if you order this limited preview, each copy will be signed by Morse. So get on it.

The regular book will be a series of 80-page hardcovers, and I cannot wait for the first one to drop. Be on the lookout, because these are going to be some fun, entertaining, and well done comics.


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