Monday, August 16, 2004

"Ray" of sunshine: At, Andrew Arnold reviews the much-discussed Eightball #23, by Dan Clowes:

"Just as Clowes uses the dramatic cliches of superheroes to twist new meaning out of them, with 'The Death Ray' he uses the genre's visual signifiers to achieve a post-modern effect. For example, panels of banal scenes such as Louis and Andy watching TV or shopping obscure the traditional two-page 'splash' panel of the Death Ray socking a bad guy. But familiarity with the genre's motifs is not required to enjoy the book. With each new issue of Eightball Clowes gets more and more skilled at manipulating the formal elements of comix while keeping the narrative clear. Divided into short vignettes, many with a distinct coloring scheme or dramatic approach, the storytelling stays constantly fresh. Readers may not even notice some of the more radical elements like word balloons that get cut off by the panel borders. They'll be enjoying the playfulness of it too much."