Eddie Campbell

Dark Horse Presents 100 2 (August 1995)

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The opening Hellboy story has, just on the surface, one major problem. Hellboy wrote Abe a letter, the text of that letter is the story’s narration. Hellboy writes letters where he sounds like an expository narrator. How uninteresting. Then it turns out the story’s actually Hellboy’s secret origin (he’s the son of a demon and a nun). Should be interesting. Isn’t. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t have any dramatic oomph.

Campbell’s got a sort of creepy, sort of not Alec story. It’s well-done if somewhat pointless.

Apparently Dark Horse thought they needed some cartoonists in Presents so they get three. Pollock’s Devil Chef is stupid (being vulgar doesn’t make a comic strip good). Neither does ripping off Ed the Happy Clown like Musgrove does in Fat Dog Mendoza. Gregory’s Bitchy Bitch art isn’t good, but the writing works.

The issue ends on a sublime, lovely note with Pope.

CREDITS

Hellboy, The Chained Coffin; story and art by Mike Mignola; lettering by Pat Brosseau. Alec, The Snooter; story and art by Eddie Campbell. Devil Chef, The Shining; story and art by Jack Pollock. Fat Dog Mendoza, The Secret Life of Leftovers; story and art by Scott Musgrove. Bitchy Bitch, Dream On; story and art by Roberta Gregory. Yes; story and art by Paul Pope. Edited by Bob Schreck and Scott Allie.

Dark Horse Presents 99 (June 1995)

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Campbell finishes Doreen Grey here and it’s an awkward installment. It’s almost like he would have been better not resolving things. He’s got a lot of expositional dialogue here from the Eyeball Kid and it really just doesn’t work. It’s maybe his least successful Presents entry and story (the story gradually getting weaker over time).

Delano and Oakley have a weird, very long supernatural story. It’s convoluted and Delano doesn’t have an ending, even though it initially starts really strong. Oakley tries a lot of stylish stuff, but he never really just sits down and draws a compelling page.

Kabuki Kid finishes here too. Instead of going for humor, Rennie and Langridge go for one joke (the duo unknowingly interrupt a movie shoot) and a lot of action. I didn’t realize the sidekick was female.

Pekar’s one page piece, illustrated by Sacco, is kind of pointless. I mean, who cares?

CREDITS

The Crack; story by Jamie Delano; art by Shane Oakley; lettering by J. Robbins. Kabuki Kid, Part Four, Movie Madness!; story by Gordon Rennie; art by Roger Langridge; edited by Greg Vest. The Eyeball Kid, The Picture of Doreen Gray, Part Five; story and art by Eddie Campbell. My Mentor; story by Harvey Pekar; art and lettering by Joe Sacco. Edited by Bob Schreck and Scott Allie.

Dark Horse Presents 98 (June 1995)

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I’m tempted to mention Cooper’s one page strip first because it’s a page and I don’t really have anything to say about it. Oops, there I went and did.

Brubaker and Gaudiano finish up Here and Now. It’s got a bit of a surprise ending, which makes perfect sense, but for whatever reason (probably a combination of Gaudiano’s realistic illustrating and Brubaker’s occasional summary storytelling), it works perfectly. The story really deserves to be collected (though the private detective angle detracts in some ways).

Rennie and Langridge’s Kabuki Kid features a story about Japanese products and their dismissal of the human worker. I’ve read three of these stories and I can’t tell if they’re really supposed to be socialist propaganda or if it’s another joke.

Campbell’s Doreen Grey has a strange installment. There’s some great stuff, but it feels incomplete. I can’t believe Campbell can tie it up next issue.

CREDITS

The Eyeball Kid, The Picture of Doreen Gray, Part Five; story by Eddie Campbell; art by Eddie Campbell and Hayley Campbell. Kabuki Kid, Part Three, Assembly Line Apocalypse!; story by Gordon Rennie; art by Roger Langridge; edited by Greg Vest. Nude; story and art by Dave Cooper. Here and Now, Part Three; story by Ed Brubaker; art by Stefano Gaudiano; lettering by Sean Konot. Edited by Bob Schreck and Scott Allie.

Dark Horse Presents 97 (May 1995)

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I wonder what Rennie’s Kabuki Kid scripts look like. This installment has a setup, introduces some villains, then it just goes wild. Langridge has the Kabuki Kid and his sidekick fighting an army of adversaries (though it does get weeded through fast). It’s funny and fast, even better than the first installment.

Schutz and Pander have three pages of filler set at a jazz club. Pander’s art’s good, but the entry’s pointless. Unless maybe it was a real place.

Then Brubaker and Gaudiano continue their dysfunctional private investigator in Here and Now. It’s an exceptionally depressing piece. I also wonder if it wouldn’t have been even more affecting to separate the two stories (the P.I. part and the dysfunctional family).

As for Campbell and Doreen Grey? This installment is even better, with Campbell sort of turning everything on its head. I love how he has characters discuss unlikely plot contrivances.

CREDITS

Kabuki Kid, Part Two, For a Few Noodles More!; story by Gordon Rennie; art by Roger Langridge; edited by Greg Vest. Tuesday Night at the Jazz Club; story by Diana Schutz; art by Arnold Pander; lettering by Sean Konot. Here and Now, Part Two; story by Ed Brubaker; art by Stefano Gaudiano; lettering by Konot. The Eyeball Kid, The Picture of Doreen Gray, Part Four; story and art by Eddie Campbell. Edited by Bob Schreck and Scott Allie.

Dark Horse Presents 96 (April 1995)

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I’m not sure if Presents has ever had such a good issue. They may have… but this one’s rather excellent.

Brubaker and Gaudiano’s Here and Now is a detective story, but one with an introspective, lost in his thoughts not his cases detective. Gaudiano’s artwork is fantastic–it’s basically a guy walking around most of the story, but he makes it compelling. Brubaker’s writing narration for the first half, then introduces a bunch of plot. It’s great.

Rennie and Langridge’s Kabuki Kid is a strange sort of samurai comedy. I’m hesitant to say samurai because Rennie throws in some Chinese stereotypes too (but Langridge doesn’t into the art). It’s violent and funny, with Langridge making his seemingly static panels fluid.

Then Campbell’s excellent Doreen Grey continues with two minor surprises and one major one. Lots of character stuff–I almost thought the Eyeball Kid was going to get a girlfriend.

CREDITS

Here and Now, Part One; story by Ed Brubaker; art by Stefano Gaudiano; lettering by Sean Konot. Kabuki Kid, Part One, A Pot Full of Noodles; story by Gordon Rennie; art by Roger Langridge; edited by Greg Vest. The Eyeball Kid, The Picture of Doreen Gray, Part Three; story by Eddie Campbell; art by Campbell and Peter Mullins. Edited by Bob Schreck and Scott Allie.

Dark Horse Presents 95 (March 1995)

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LaBan finishes Eno and Plum better than he started but not as good as the second installment. I think this one is the first I laughed out loud reading, but the story’s predictable and LaBan still doesn’t do anything to turn Plum into a character. Worse, he gives her these moronic thoughts. I’d say it’s him giving her character, but they’re so bland, it’s clear he’s just trying to fill blank space.

Campbell’s Picture of Doreen Grey continues–this time concentrating on a big battle scene and Joe Theseus and Ginny (an Amazon goddess, I think, much better character than Wonder Woman too) trying to be spontaneously romantic when he can read the future and they’re both immortal. Campbell again concentrates on the humor to good success.

I’m really hoping this issue is the last Too Much Coffee Man. Wheeler apparently thinks regurgitating “Seinfeld” as a comic makes him creative.

CREDITS

The Eyeball Kid, The Picture of Doreen Gray, Part Two; story, art and lettering by Eddie Campbell. Too Much Coffee Man, Too Much Coffee Man Meets His Coffee Maker, Part Four; story and art by Shannon Wheeler. Eno and Plum, Part Three; story and art by Terry LaBan. Edited by Bob Schreck and Scott Allie.

Dark Horse Presents 94 (February 1995)

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Okay, so the issue opens with Eddie Campbell doing an action story. It’s not all action, but there’s a bunch of action. It’s crazy—there’s a big fight scene. Campbell keeps all the humor and a lot of the thoughtfulness (he tones down the thoughtfulness a little) and adds a regular fight scene. It’s crazy and great.

Too Much Coffee Man also has a fight scene this issue, between the hero and an invader from Mars. Someone must have told Wheeler he’s funny and that someone was wrong. The installment even opens with Wheeler talking about his story being boring and pointless. Some nice art at least (except the fight scene, which is awful).

Surprisingly, as LaBan turns it into a workplace comedy, Eno and Plum gets good. It’s still a little broad—Plum, the girl, isn’t much of a character, though Eno gets actually depth here. An unexpected surprise.

CREDITS

The Eyeball Kid, The Picture of Doreen Gray, Part One; story, art and lettering by Eddie Campbell. Too Much Coffee Man, Too Much Coffee Man Meets His Coffee Maker, Part Three; story and art by Shannon Wheeler. Eno and Plum, Part Two; story and art by Terry LaBan. Edited by Bob Schreck and Scott Allie.

Dark Horse Presents 84 (April 1984)

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Let me try to think of something nice to say about Buoy 77‘s finale. Lopez is back to the weak art, so no compliment there. Boyd’s conclusion is all about how the white man ruins native peoples (I’m shocked they didn’t put in a prose notice of it), so not there either. All in all, it’s a waste of time. I’m surprised Boyd went for a lame, common point.

Barron and Barry have a humor strip–Judah–about a chili cook-off. Maybe it’s funny if you care about chili. I guess Barry’s art is fine for a way too long humor strip.

Swan and Talbot have a two page thing. Pointless, but nice art.

Hermes and the Eyeball Kid wrap up here. Campbell brings it all back to the fight, taking care of all his supporting characters quickly. Not the approach I expected, but it’s a good piece.

CREDITS

Judah “The Hammer”, Showdown at the Texas-Style Chili Corral; story by Mike Baron; art by Dan Barry; lettering by Gail Beckett. Buoy 77, Part Four; story by Robert Boyd; art by Francisco Solano López; lettering by Vickie Williams. Celtic Warrior; story by Lucy Swan; art by Brian Talbot. Hermes versus the Eyeball Kid, Part Nine; story by Eddie Campbell and Wes Kublick; art by Campbell, Peter Mullins and April Post; lettering by Campbell. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 83 (March 1994)

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Lloyd’s got a very well-illustrated story here. It’s a thriller–con artist out to murder his rich wife–told after the fact (guess what, the husband gets busted through a very Hitchcockian twist). The art’s more important than the story. Lloyd gets the tone perfect. If it were a longer piece, with more characterization, it might be more significant. As is, it’s just a fantastic little exercise.

Speaking of good art, Lopez finally improves on this installment of Buoy 77. It’s the same style, but he really gets more fluidity in his action here. It doesn’t hurt Boyd’s writing is stronger too. The writing approach is different from the second installment, more like the first (it’s no longer following one person in close third-person).

And Campbell’s wrapping up Hermes. Not as many awesome developments, just solid storytelling. The battle scene’s got some great panels this issue; very grandiose.

CREDITS

Lasting Impression; story and art by David Lloyd; lettering by Vickie Williams. Buoy 77, Part Three; story by Robert Boyd; art by Francisco Solano López; lettering by Williams. Hermes versus the Eyeball Kid, Part Eight; story by Eddie Campbell and Wes Kublick; art by Campbell, Peter Mullins and April Post; lettering by Campbell. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 82 (February 1994)

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Well, Hermes’s slump continues. Campbell’s problem might be the villains—the Eye of Fate (or something… the skeleton head guy) is a lot more interesting than anyone else in the story than the Eyeball Kid. So we want the Eyeball Kid to win (even though Eye of Fate doesn’t) and Eye of Fate to win… but he’s a villain. He’s just a really amusing one. Though there’s an actual fight between Hermes and the Eyeball Kid this installment, it’s still not one of the stronger ones.

Geary’s got a couple stories in here. Neither are good. Apparently he learned how to make his Presents stuff formulaic and he does.

Boyd and Lopez’s Buoy 77 disappoints too. Instead of Boyd writing strong characters like before, he writes lame ones here. Disappointing.

Itner’s got a JLA superhero spoof for a few pages. It’s awful. It’s not funny and the art’s really bad.

CREDITS

Hermes versus the Eyeball Kid, Part Seven; story by Eddie Campbell and Wes Kublick; art by Campbell, Peter Mullins and April Post; lettering by Campbell. Close Calls; story, art and lettering by Rick Geary. Buoy 77, Part Two; story by Robert Boyd; art by Francisco Solano López; lettering by Vickie Williams. Just Folks; story, art and lettering by Geary. The Legion of Justice; story and art and lettering by Steve ltner. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 81 (January 1994)

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I’m not sure what happens this installment of Hermes. It almost seems like a bridging installment. Hermes, who hasn’t really had a lot to do since the first installment, is preparing his attack and the supervillains are splintering. It’s a fine installment, but it’s the first one where Campbell didn’t “wow” me.

The opening story, Buoy 77, from Boyd and Lopez, is good. Lopez’s art is a little unfinished, but the concept–a bunch of rural Brazilians trying to find a missing oil company buoy for the reward–is excellent. Boyd handles the Brazilians and their culture better than the oil company (I had assumed, from the oil company verbiage, it was a future story).

Moeller finishes off Shadow Empires. It makes very little sense–a day’s walk outside a war torn future city and you get rural, picturesque countryside? Moeller’s trying to be profound, but still comes off amateurish.

CREDITS

Buoy 77, Part One; story by Robert Boyd; art by Francisco Solano López; lettering by Vickie Williams. Shadow Empires, The Passage, Part Three; story and art by Chris Moeller; lettering by Vickie Williams. Hermes versus the Eyeball Kid, Part Six; story by Eddie Campbell and Wes Kublick; art by Campbell, Peter Mullins and April Post; lettering by Campbell. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 80 (December 1993)

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Are there Art Adams fans out there? He’s not bad, but his faces are awful. I’ve never seen someone vary his perspective of a face so much—it’s like he does these three dimensional faces, except the nose. The nose is 2D. I guess he drew the monsters well. Monkeyman & O’Brien is not terrible. It’s just mediocre.

Then it turns out I read the last Hermes installment wrong—I didn’t notice Campbell had a visual framing for flashbacks—so we do get to see the supervillains in their costumes. It also turns out they’re responsible for the fight between Hermes and the Eyeball Kid. Campbell puts in a “Simpsons” reference, which is odd, but it works. Very nice installment.

Shadow Empires continues to be poorly written and enthusiastically, if amateurishly, drawn. Moeller signs the last page and it’s a little sad. It’s a full page panel and the art’s awful.

CREDITS

Monkeyman & O’Brien, Tortorus; story and art by Art Adams. Hermes versus the Eyeball Kid, Part Five; story by Eddie Campbell and Wes Kublick; art by Campbell, Peter Mullins and April Post; lettering by Campbell. Shadow Empires, The Passage, Part Two; story and art by Chris Moeller; lettering by Vickie Williams. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 79 (November 1993)

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Ever have a friend who could draw really well? Moeller’s art on Shadow Empires is like a friend who can draw well. He takes time with it, he works at it… but it’s still totally not ready for the big leagues. It’s somehow even rougher than some of the worse art Presents has published. The writing’s pretty lame too (it’s like Dune again).

Campbell and company turn in another fine episode of Hermes here. While the Eyeball Kid is in hiding, Campbell concentrates on the supporting cast. It’s awesome how little the fight has to do with what Campbell does with the story installments. This issue a trio decides to become supervillains in a rather hilarious conversation (I only hope Campbell shows them in the costumes they discuss).

Davis’s writing hits a new low on Paleolove. Every time I think I’m through reading him, Presents publishes yet another dumb story.

CREDITS

Shadow Empires, The Passage, Part One; story and art by Chris Moeller; lettering by Vickie Williams. Hermes versus the Eyeball Kid, Part Four; story by Eddie Campbell and Wes Kublick; art by Campbell, Peter Mullins and April Post; lettering by Campbell. Paleolove, Part Three; story, art and lettering by Gary Davis. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 78 (October 1993)

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Yolen and Vess have an absolutely fantastic fairy tale story here. It’s not technically a fairy tale (it’s layered, a nursemaid tells the story to a child, who it directly concerns) but it’s just wonderful. Vess’s art here is superior–he’s able to convey action, antiquity and fear. There’s one moment where it confuses, then it all becomes quite clear. Yolen comes up with a great narrative though. Her writing is the real boon.

Paleolove continues. Davis is on the second of a third part story and there’s no reason for a third part if this one is any indication. Not because it’s bad (it’s not good, but like most Davis, not exactly awful), but because the narrative is already stretched then as this entry closes.

Campbell reveals another character’s backstory in Hermes this installment. It’s so good. The details are indescribable due to imagination and complexity. It’s outstanding work.

CREDITS

King Henry; story by Jane Yolen; art and lettering by Charles Vess. Paleolove, Part Two; story, art and lettering by Gary Davis. Hermes versus the Eyeball Kid, Part Three; story by Eddie Campbell and Wes Kublick; art by Campbell, Peter Mullins and April Post; lettering by Campbell. Edited by Randy Stradley.