Thursday, January 10, 2013

365 Comics...10: Non-Humans #2 (2013)

Having reviewed comics regularly (pretty much weekly) for the past 7 years (and less than weekly for nearly 10 years prior to that) I've kind of burnt out on being so critical and serious about commenting on comics.  When you're reading comics constantly with an analytical eye, it does suck the fun out of it.  So this "365 Comics..." is to allow myself a little breathing room to just be a fan and cheer the things that I love and bitch and moan about the things that I don't love with a little more passion and a little less severity.

Another thing about the weekly cycle of the semi-professional, volunteer-based reviewing thing I've been doing is there's a greater focus on what's new, so we often don't go back to the well on a regular basis and take a second look or check back in on our first issue statements and see how they're holding up.  With Non-Humans #2, my thoughs (or thought, at least) on issue 1 are smacking me in the face right there on the back cover... I GOT PULL QUOTED!  It's a bit of a thrill, since CHUD does not seem to be regular stomping grounds of the industry types, and our column is kind of buried amidst the heavy cycle of movie-related ephemera, and our crack-volunteer staff of writers aren't very good about promoting our reviews out to the industry and the masses.  We're the only fish in our pond, so it doesn't matter how big or small we are right?  It's not what I'm after when I review, but it's still nice to be noticed in this way.  I've only had a handful of others, my favourite being on the cover of the Rex Libris Vol. 2 trade paperback.

Anyway, Non-Humans, still a solid 4-star (out of 5) book, though this issue has a painful early 90's style romantic interlude (you can just hear the soft jazz saxophone playing over low thudding Casio tones) which doubles as back story exposition for Aimes.  It's unfortunate, as Aimes' conflicted attitude towards the NH's in the first issue was handled was pretty deftly, while here it's a heavy statue slammed in your face (a doll of an actress come-to-life gets an Oscar slammed in her face).  It makes me think more and more that this probably started life as a screenplay, which would make sense as to why the end of each book is rather abrupt, as well, I had believed it to be an ongoing series, when in fact it's a 4-issue mini-series which I only recently learned.

This second act is far more exposition heavy than the first, which again makes me think back to the screenplay structure, and it's a little disappointing that there's not a long-form plan.  Still this issue's given me a better impression of the style the book's going for... while that quote of mine on the back cover drops Ridley Scott as influence, I'm more inclined to think early Michael Mann at this point.[edit: and I love early Michael Mann, just to be clear].

2 comments:

Glen Brunswick said...

Hi Graig,

Thanks for your quote. I'll take early Michael Mann as well--I'm a big Phil Collins fan. :) No need for alarm, this book did not start out as a screenplay. We released it in the limited series format to test the waters. I can assure you that we've got a long-form plan. The book has done well enough at least for us to do a second story arc. And with some luck, and a few readers, we might go further than that. I hope you'll stick with us. Book 3 really kicks things into high gear with a reveal that really turns things on its head.

Thanks for taking you time to review us!

Best,
Glen Brunswick

Graig Kent said...

Hi Glen, thanks for stopping by. The Michael Mann reference was certainly a compliment, I've just had to adjust the soundtrack in my head when I read the book is all. Yeah, it's moved from orchestral to synths and sax :)

I'm most definitely in for the long haul on this one. I just love this concept and I continue to like the story overall. I'm glad to hear you have a longer plan in store as you constructed such a rich world that I want to spend much more time in it.