Joe Sacco

Dark Horse Presents 104 (December 1995)

35920.jpg

Musgove and Chamberlin have a Helen Keller joke in this installment of The Pink Tornado, presumably because they thought it makes them edgy. They’re really just incredibly stupid and rather terrible writers. Their dialogue’s endless and their art’s bad.

As for Niles’s Cal McDonald, it’s fine. I mean, it’s bad, but it’s Jones’s fault. Niles writes an action story and Jones isn’t capable of illustrating an action sequence. It’s maybe the best thing I’ve ever read with Niles’s name on it, as he doesn’t profusely narrate the action sequence.

Shaw’s Alan Bland is, again, weak.

But then there’s Pope and The One Trick Rip-Off. Pope injects magical realism into his urban gang story here. While Pope’s art does lend itself towards the fantastic, his story is set–until this installment–in reality. It’s an odd development, one he handles beautifully.

Oh, and another harmless Pekar and Sacco one pager.

CREDITS

The Pink Tornado, Part Two; story and art by Scott Musgrove and Darick Chamberlin; lettering by Sean Konot. Cal McDonald, Hairball, Part Three; story by Steve Niles; pencils by Casey Jones; inks by Bruce Patterson; lettering by Konot. Alan Bland, That’s Mr. Painter to You, Part Three; script and art by Stan Shaw. The One Trick Rip-Off, Part Four; story and art by Paul Pope; lettering by Michael Neno. Felipe Alfau; story by Harvey Pekar; art by Joe Sacco. Edited by Bob Schreck and Scott Allie.

About these ads

Dark Horse Presents 102 (October 1995)

35918.jpg

Shockingly, the Niles story story this issue–one of his Cal McDonald ones–is mildly inoffensive. It’s poorly written detective narration, but at least he’s work in a recognized genre (badly written detective narration). It’s stupid and Casey Jones’s art isn’t any good… but it’s not intolerable.

Oh, the Marz and Wrightson Aliens story ends this issue too. It’s not as predictable as I thought it was going to be, but it’s still pointless. Maybe it’s setup for a series or something.

Shaw’s Alan Bland, about a floundering painter, is all right. Shaw’s art isn’t quite finished enough for the cartoon look, which he seems to be going for. He’s too busy with lines. But it’s not bad.

Pekar and Sacco contribute another page–this time so Pekar can tell jazz enthusiasts to check out Sun Ra. Thanks Harvey.

The issue ends with a sublime Pope installment. It’s just lovely.

CREDITS

Aliens, Incubation, Part Two; story by Ron Marz; art by Bernie Wrightson; lettering by Sean Konot. Alan Bland, That’s Mr. Painter to You, Part One; script and art by Stan Shaw. Sun Ra; story by Harvey Pekar; art by Joe Sacco. Cal McDonald, Hairball, Part One; story by Steve Niles; pencils by Casey Jones; inks by Bruce Patterson; lettering by Konot. The One Trick Rip-Off, Part Two; story and art by Paul Pope; lettering by Michael Neno. Edited by Bob Schreck and Scott Allie.

Dark Horse Presents 101 (September 1995)

35917.jpg

Wow, has Steve Niles ever been able to write? He has a story in this issue and it’s the worst written police procedural I think I’ve ever read. A hundred issues or no, if Dark Horse was publishing Niles… imagine what made the reject pile. The Paul Lee art on the story is bad, but much better than the writing.

Musgrove’s The Alienator is more bad writing. At least the art is good. Musgrove’s drawing a bunch of ugly stuff, but he does it well. His writing is… well, it’s almost as bad as Niles’s.

There’s some inexplicable Aliens story from Marz too. But Wrightson’s doing the art so it at least looks great.

Pope’s the saving grace—One Trick Rip-Off starts this issue. This first installment sets it up as a heist story. Fantastic art; a great eight pages.

Pekar and Sacco contribute a pointless “human interest” piece.

CREDITS

Aliens, Incubation, Part One; story by Ron Marz; art by Bernie Wrightson; lettering by Sean Konot. Iced; story by Steve Niles; art by Paul Lee; lettering by Konot. The Alienator; story and art by Scott Musgrove. The One Trick Rip-Off, Part One; story and art by Paul Pope; lettering by Michael Neno. A Rose for Greg Selker; story by Harvey Pekar; art by Joe Sacco. Edited by Bob Schreck and Scott Allie.

Dark Horse Presents 100 4 (August 1995)

35915.jpg

I guess Dave Gibbons had no quibbles about Frank Miller ripping off Watchmen for their Martha Washington story this issue. Nice art, bad writing.

Forney’s got an anecdote about meeting Tom Waits. It has some charm, but not enough to sustain it.

Then Geary’s back with a one page strip, as are Pekar and Sacco. They’re both harmless (but thank goodness they’re short).

Warner brings in a Black Cross piece. His writing has gotten a little better in terms of dialogue in the hundred issues since he introduced the character. The story’s useless though. Art’s not terrible, not good.

Sendelbach’s Mr. Applehead is like a deranged hipster SpongeBob. I guess if you’re a hipster you might like it. Art’s good cartooning.

Luckily, there’s Brubaker and McEown’s story about a guy having problems after breaking up with his girlfriend. McEown’s art is fantastic and Brubaker’s very sensitive. It’s a nice one.

CREDITS

Give Me Liberty, Attack of the Flesh-Eating Monsters; story by Frank Miller; art by Dave Gibbons. The Night Tom Waits Poured Me a Bourbon on the Rocks; story by Julie Batersby; adaptation and art by Ellen Forney. The Symphony of Daily Nourishment; story, art and lettering by Rick Geary. Oh My Goodness!; story by Harvey Pekar; art and lettering by Joe Sacco. Black Cross; story and art by Chris Warner. Mean Mr. Applehead, Violence is Golden; story and art by Brian Sendelbach. Bird Dog; story by Ed Brubaker; art by Pat McEwon. Edited by Bob Schreck and Scott Allie.

Dark Horse Presents 100 3 (August 1995)

35914.jpg

The Concrete story goes on forever, but it’s actually pretty funny how it turns out. Not funny enough to laugh at, but Chadwick definitely comes up with something amusing. Oh, I’ll just spoil it–a mom and son pull a long con on Concrete for something he did back in his first appearance. Decent art, nothing spectacular. Concrete’s just such a miserable character, he’s hard to read sometimes.

Pekar and Sacco have a little story. I still don’t get the appeal. It’s too affected to be real life, so….

Brunetti does a page of funnies, some of which I’ve read. They’re still awesome.

The strangest entry is from Savage, Waskey and Patterson. Waskey and Patterson illustrate an anecdote from Savage about being gay. It’s decent enough, but the art should have been better, more able to adapt an anecdote to comics.

Kelso’s got a socially conscious, depressing piece about homelessness.

CREDITS

Concrete, The Artistic Impulse; story and art by Paul Chadwick; lettering by Bill Spicer. Breakfast at Billy’s; story by Harvey Pekar; art and lettering by Joe Sacco. The Funnies; story, art and lettering by Ivan Brunetti. Faggot Story; story by Dan Savage; art by Jason Waskey and Bruce Patterson; lettering by Sean Konot. Whistle and Queenie; story, art and lettering by Megan Kelso. Edited by Bob Schreck and Scott Allie.

Dark Horse Presents 100 1 (August 1995)

35912.jpg

Where to start….

Miller opens the issue with sort of a “ha ha, you can’t say it’s misogynistic because it’s intentional” Lance Blastoff! story. Killing dinosaurs, eating meat, those are the things women really need whether they know it or not. The writing’s crap—no shock—but Miller at least draws the dinosaurs.

Bennett and Guinan’s Heartbreakers returns after fifty issues and is no less boring. Sometimes it veers towards interesting territory, but it’s setup for more adventures. Bennett and Guinan avoid the human factor in the new ground situation. Art’s decent.

Pekar and Sacco’s thing is, besides being pointless, fine.

French’s Ninth Gland is really weird. It might be something good, it might not. Too soon to tell.

Lewis has a cute, foul-mouthed animal cartoon strip. Until the Dorkin piece, it’s the most annoying thing in the comic.

As for Dorkin’s Milk and Cheese? I don’t get it.

CREDITS

Lance Blastoff!; story and art by Frank Miller. Heartbreakers, Destination: Earth; story by Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan; art by Guinan and Todd Herman; lettering by Willie Schubert. Peeling and Eating a Tangerine (and Disposing of the Seeds); story by Harvey Pekar; art and lettering by Joe Sacco. The Ninth Gland, Part One; story and art by Renée French. Aboard the Drinking Leviathan; story and art by Jon Lewis. Milk and Cheese, The Devil Made Them Do It!; story, art and lettering by Evan Dorkin. Edited by Bob Schreck and Scott Allie.

Dark Horse Presents 99 (June 1995)

35910.jpg

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.