Eh, it falls apart. I don’t know much about pirate stories, so I don’t know if Delano’s making some kind of comment on them or if the supernatural element is a genre standard, but whatever the reason, it doesn’t work.
It doesn’t help the colorist seemingly forgot La Sirena is supposed to be black or Delano not killing off her girlfriend for the third time after seemingly doing so. It’s an iffy issue and a bad conclusion, without any real grounding. It’s a supernatural close, a considerable deus ex machina and it reveals the series’ defects. A solid ending wouldn’t have invited such examinations. But with this one, it’s clear the whole thing’s a ruse, a diversion, an exercise.
Worse is this issue’s nonsensical writing. It’s very wordy and Delano passes a lot of time in these pages, more than the other three issues combined. The result is very messy.
Writer, Jamie Delano; artists, Ryan Waterhouse and Max Fiumara; colorist, Digikore Studios; publisher, Avatar Press.
It’s hard to say whether Rawbone is better served by the abbreviation of a four issue series–reading it, one can see it going longer–or if it’s just going too fast. This issue is a mover. It’s an action issue, with the pirates attacking, La Sirena going for her lover (to unexpected result) and Delano does get in some good scenes, but there’s not a lot of heft to it. In fact, there’s a scene where Sirena explains herself as being anti-heft.
Ryan Waterhouse’s artwork is unfortunate. He’s apparently going for the ultra-stylization of Juan Jose Ryp at times, but only during the action scenes. Otherwise, it’s all very bland, with his characters looking alike (I couldn’t tell the Major from Billy, excepting the Major’s skin condition).
But Delano’s writing, with the exceptional, colloquial harshness, is where Rawbone‘s strength lies.
I have no idea where it’s going.
Writer, Jamie Delano; artist, Ryan Waterhouse; colorist, Digikore Studios; publisher, Avatar Press.
The second issue barely resembles the first. Between the change in artists (from Fiumara to Waterhouse) and Delano’s change in protagonists (still the pirate La Sirena, but this time with her sidekick being Billy Blue, an indentured soldier–it isn’t even until the end the girlfriend comes up; by that time, Delano and Waterhouse have made serious romantic implications between Sirena and Billy), it doesn’t feel connected. There isn’t a disconnect, since it does directly follow the last issue, but it feels different.
Except the futility, man’s brutality toward women, those remain. Rawbone‘s one of those angry, experienced comic books–it’s kind of like Promethea in this sense. You can feel, reading it, Delano’s distain for the standard characterization of female characters. Here, in Rawbone, he takes that standard comic book standard (the lesbos fascination, that sturdy link between porn and comics–even more than Greg Land), and goes wild.
Port of Dreams; writer, Jamie Delano; artists, Ryan Waterhouse and Max Fiumara; colorist, Digikore Studios; publisher, Avatar Press.
Why does Delano spell pirates “pyrates”? It’s kind of annoying. Actually, it’s really annoying, because it’s about the only thing I don’t like about Rawbone #1. The comic’s not up to Avatar’s usual graphic extremes, which raises the question–as always–why Delano didn’t try selling Rawbone to Vertigo. It’s a period piece about a star-crossed lesbian romance. There isn’t a single male character who isn’t something of a monster in the issue.
I’m not complaining, mind you. Rawbone‘s a fine comic so far (and at four bucks for twenty-four pages of story, I’m picky) it just seems like it could reach a wider audience (even with the heavy anti-Catholic sentiment of the story).
Fiumara’s art is good–he nicely makes the ample nudity uncomfortable, like there’s something ominous about it. We never get to see the two not in some kind of danger.
A fine start.
Writer, Jamie Delano; artist, Max Fiumara; colorist, Digikore Studios; publisher, Avatar Press.