Well, Tischman proves me wrong and wraps everything up nicely.
The issue ends with a beautiful page from Bond and Hahn—not extraordinary content, just extraordinary execution—and all is right.
The characters each get their moment, though I suppose Tischman does have some major pacing issues. He inserts a year into the present action at the last minute, then apparently flashes back to resolving the protagonists’ story. That missing year would probably make an entertaining sequel.
Finishing the series, even with its one weaker issue and the logic gaps this one (I didn’t mention the glaring one because it would spoil too much), it’s an impressive little piece of work. The conspiracy genre—the comedy conspiracy genre—is one underrepresented in comic books and Tischman , Bond and Hahn certainly show the medium does well with it.
I do wish there’d been some acknowledgment of the wacky character names though.
In an apparent attempt to spite my compliments, Tischman turns in his weakest script. It’s not bad, it’s just not as good as it should be. He finished the previous issue with an earth-shattering reveal… this issue he moves along as though it’s not important.
So maybe it isn’t. But by making it unimportant, pretty much everything else is now unimportant too.
He also goes a little crazy with the flashbacks here, layering all the plot twists, making it even more jumbled. It’s no longer clear who the good guys are working with and who they aren’t working with and if they’re working with anyone at all.
Unfortunately, the large cast isn’t working out either. Tischman still has the cast members appear, but their activities are somewhat boring. It’s like he’s building toward something grand… which means next issue has a lot to do.
Still, it’s far from bad.
Oh, look at Tischman go—he totally turns Red Herring on its head at the end of this issue. He might have turned it on its head a few pages earlier too, but it’s too soon to tell.
This issue does make clear the situation with the aliens. He finally goes close third person with the head of the evil corporation and clears it up. Unfortunately, the handling of that aspect has become a weak point. Everything else in this issue is strong, whether it’s the character stuff or the comedy stuff, but the scene with the corporate guy… it’s unimaginative.
It’s like Tischman didn’t want to push too hard (or date the series). So he plays it safe and it comes off weak. I do think he’s been watching “American Dad” though, especially Patrick Stewart on that show.
Still, it’s another solid issue. Easily the best Tischman I’ve read.
Okay, Tischman’s starting to confuse me. The problem with Red Herring is the narration. It’s this close third person—with a bit of second mixed in—narration and it’s never clear who it’s talking about.
The problem is clear this issue, as I have no idea if aliens are real or if they’re just a big business ruse. Tischman moves from a guy who believes in them to someone who doesn’t….
Otherwise, the issue is pretty straightforward conspiracy stuff. It’s an action issue. Complications are ensuing, something to get the issue to its six issues. They aren’t bad complications and, actually, it’s maybe the best comics padding I’ve ever read.
The point of a conspiracy thriller is—to some degree—compelling padding. The answer is always at the end (presumably) so it’s the trip. Tischman gets it.
Hahn’s taking on more chores here and does fine with them.
Okay, I forgot to mention the alien conspiracy thing.
Tischman comes up with this great explanation for Area 51 and so on—well, it seems like he’s come up with one (he might have the little green men show up in the last issue anyway). The U.S. government is so stupid, they were duped by big business into believing aliens are real and after us… so give big business trillions of dollars.
It’s probably true, who knows….
Regardless, it’s a great idea and Tischman explores a lot of it this issue. His character names, which I noticed first issue a little, are a lot clearer here with “Penny Candy.” Tischman’s having a lot of fun, the reader’s supposed to being having fun too.
Nice art from Bond and Hahn. Who knew a mall could be so much fun to see rendered?
My only compliant is the issue ends too fast.
It’s hard, from the first issue, to guess where David Tischmann is going with Red Herring. As it turns out—unexpectedly—it appears to be a comedic political thriller, something along the lines of a national Carl Hiaasen novel (instead of just Florida).
Also of note is how little Tischmann seems to care about making the characters likable. He’s got Philip Bond on the art and Bond’s good at making people look amusing. There’s a complete disconnect between tone and art (except when the government witness gets attacked by pigeons) and it works really well for Red Herring. Tischmann makes it impossible to take the issue for granted.
He introduces something in the neighborhood of fourteen characters this issue—though at least five of them are supporting. It’s a nice big conspiracy-sized cast.
The issue’s all setup, so it’s hard to get too involved, but it’s certainly starting well.