So is DEAD-POOL'S "Dead Reckoning" ever going to happen? Or are they just going to promo it every month until the book's eventual cancellation?
CHRIS ELIOPOULOS' DESPERATE TIMES
I had a great time today getting to meet and talk with ace
letterer Chris Eliopoulos at a local comic book show. He was there
(with his wife and some big guy named "Buddy" ;-) promoting his
creator-owned comic book DESPERATE TIMES, published bi-monthly by
Erik Larsen's wing of Image Comics. It's the charming story of two
20-something friends, Marty and Toad, who are trying to get along in
the world and pick up a chick or two. They're rather unsuccessful,
but therein lies the tale. The ad for this convention running in
the back of WIZARD calls Chris "artist/writer of the hot new image
title..." So, of course, I asked him to sign my copy of
DESPERATE TIMES has been running as a two-page backup feature
in THE SAVAGE DRAGON (issue #53 due out this Wednesday) for a few
months now. All of those strips will eventually be collected in a
TPB format with the first three issues of the comic. This will
hopefully find its way to the shelves of regular bookstores as well
as comic book stores. The book deserves a bigger audience, and if
this is how it does so, more power to it.
I got a chance to read the first 8 pages of the third issue
(due out in October) today and have to tell you -- the book gets
funnier with each issue. The third issue picks up directly from the
events at the end of the second issue.
The first issue was done more in a standardized modern
comic-book format. (That is to say there is no grid approach to
the storytelling.) But with the second issue, it's gone to the look
of a compilation of strips. Three panels across, three gags per
page. As much as I didn't want to admit it, this format works out
MUCH better. It reads better, it feels more complete, and it seems
like a better value for your money.
The introduction in the second issue of Kennedy, a friendly
drunken womanizing three-toed sloth, provides for some great comic
moments, too. Talking animals are the staple of any good comic
strip after all, right? FOX TROT'S Quincy doesn't say anything.
GARFIELD and SNOOPY are left with their thoughts. POGO is filled
with talking charming characters. And DESPERATE TIMES features a
friggin' sloth. And he's cute. If this strip takes off, I'll be
first in line to buy my plush Kennedy.
I laughed out loud while reading the first batch of pages to
the next issue. Nobody's safe - not the Internet, not the strip
clubs (yes, Chris, your wife told me you did visit LACE for visual
reference), not Disney employees, and not Grateful Dead fans. No
one leaves unscathed. This isn't to say the book is a series of pop
culture references. Far from it. It's the story of two guys trying
to find The Perfect Woman. (Ah, heck, I imagine they'd settle for
any woman. . .)
Chris' cartooning is getting better, too. The characters are
getting better defined, more animated, and more interesting to look
at. There's even some Tex Avery-like eye effects coming up in the
Please, folks, trust me on this. Humor comics generally don't
sell well anymore. But this is a good one. There's a lot of good
stuff packed in here, particularly if you're in the 15 - 40 age
range, I'd suppose. Give issue #2 - now on the stands - a try.
It's the best taste you can get of the series so far. This would
also help ensure the continuation of the series. And that would be
a Very Good Thing.
The covers are quite eye-catching. Erik Larsen draws the
scantily clad female, with Chris drawing Marty and Toad over that,
commenting on, well, the women. The covers are just as funny,
although a bit misleading. (No, this isn't pseudo-porno. It's just
good humor, albeit not for the kiddies.) But they're also necessary
to sell the comics to a comics world filled with the top-selling
likes of FATHOM and WITHCBLADE and DANGER GIRL, et. al. It's a
cheap gimmick that works well, I think.
If you'd like to hear more about this comic, send Chris an
e-mail and tell him you want to be put on his new mailing list for
announcements regarding DT: ELIOPOULOS@AOL.COM.
My apologies if any of this seems redundant. I know I've
written about DT in the past. But I felt the need this week to push
it even harder and to thank Chris and Audra and Buddy for a great
time this afternoon at the show.