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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Wasteland #11 [1988] (Random Comics Theatre)

Random Comics Theatre

New occasional feature here, I'm going to let my computer randomly pick a comic from my collection for me to re-read when I can't think of anything else to talk about or just want to add some variety to my reading list and the weblog. Well, semi-randomly, if it's something I've read recently, or that belong on another weblog or series of posts (so no Kirby, Ditko or EC) or something I'm too embarrassed to admit I own (so no, um, I guess I can't say) then I'll pick something else.

First spin of the wheel:

Wasteland #11 [1988]

Wasteland was an odd horror anthology title, with all the stories written by John Ostrander and/or Del Close, illustrated by several regular artists and the occasional guest artist. I'm always kind of surprised it lasted as long as it did, 18 issues, as it had a lot of uncommonly sick stuff and dark humour that you don't normally expect from a DC comic, especially way back then.

David Lloyd, a regular for the first year of the book, draws the first story this issue, "Embryo". His work in general is among my favourite in the series, especially since I don't think there's nearly enough David Lloyd work out there. He also tended to get the more depressing, completely lacking in humour stories in the book, which suits his style. This one has a son contemplating his relationship with his rather monstrous father on the father's deathbed, so that's quite a downer. Despite the nice art, I thought this story was just a little too bleak to really work.

"Revenge of the Swamp Creature" is the second story, part of a series of supposedly true (but take that with a grain of salt) stories from the life of Del Close, this one on the set of THE BLOB (and including a mention of his role in the SABLE TV show, which I didn't even know existed). Not a bad little story, although I got the idea that I was missing something at the end. Don Simpson, another regular, does the artwork for this one.

"Dissecting Mister Fleming" has art by Ty Templeton, I think his only story in the series. It's a pretty gory story that starts with a kid watching his father dissect a teacher alive on the gym floor, and goes down from there, so as you'd expect there's a lot of playing off the dichotomy of Templeton's open, cartoony art style and the subject matter. Definitely my favourite story in this issue, although you really need a strong stomach for it.

Another main series artist, William Messner-Loebs, wraps up the whole thing in a cover, not really one of his best, but okay.

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