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Reading Comics: Arcudi, Harren, & Stewart’s BPRD: Hell on Earth: The Long Death #3

April 23rd, 2012 Posted by david brothers

I’ll probably do a longer post on this subject in the near future, but I’m positively obsessed with how every act of violence in this bit from John Arcudi, Mike Mignola, James Harren, Dave Stewart, and Clem Robins’s BPRD: Hell on Earth: The Long Death 3 flashes orange. It only flashes when depicting specific aspects of violence, though, like in a video game. But the shade of orange Stewart used here reminds me of Jurassic Park and the flies trapped in amber more than anything else. Every comics panel is a specific moment captured in time, but the orange and the context makes it feel like these moments are extra important. They’re preserved.

I’m not sure if it was Harren, Arcudi, or Stewart’s idea, but I’m in love with this effect and their execution of it. Especially the bottom tier of the second page here — that fist swung out wide like a pregnant pause and then the gross, flat “whump.” You ever hear a “whump?” It sounds like a car wreck from a couple blocks away, and a really hard hit to the stomach.

Now to figure out how to explain to other people how cool this is, without just going “look how cool this is omgggggggg.”

You can buy all three issues over on Dark Horse Digital. A-one, a-two, a-three. It follows up on a couple years of BPRD tales, but I think it’s raw enough to stand up on its own. You might miss the finer points, but you should be reading BPRD anyway. Catch up.

(I can never figure out why some actions in BPRD get SFX and others don’t. Extra emphasis, maybe?)

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the devil does not jest, but he might sell you amway

October 3rd, 2011 Posted by david brothers

Ugh man, I think I should do something I hate doing, so I’m going to give you something I like first and then just do it.

From Abe Sapien: The Devil Does Not Jest, written by Mike Mignola/John Arcudi, drawn by James Harren, and colored by Dave Stewart:


I don’t have any real insight or in-depth mind-blowing criticism here. I just love how wet and vicious this fight scene is. Abe embedding the monster in the wall with his knife (look at his hands!), that punch (BAM) on the next page, and again on the page after that… and all the while, fluid is flying like it’s Mortal Kombat. This is the second time I’m writing about wonderfully bloody fight scenes in the past 24 hours (the other isn’t live yet, but I’ll link it), but basically, I just love how this looks. It’s disgusting and visceral.

Casanova changed when it was colored and all of the blood was suddenly visible. It changed the tone of the book. It made it… wetter. This is the same. It’s an ugly fight, even with the John McClane impression Abe’s got going on in page one, and I just love how Abe wrecks these things. The pools of blood on that last page especially. You get the sense that there Abe expended real effort while wiping the floor with these monsters.

Comics: more blood please. More sweat. More fluid. You can save those antiseptic, neat freak fight scenes for the children’s comics that children don’t actually read.

You can buy The Devil Does Not Jest (how good is that title? I thought they stole it from Milton at first) at your local dispensary or buy it on Dark Horse Digital on 10/19. (There’s a schedule, which is sadly free of Usagi Yojimbo but positively flush with Groo and BPRD.)


Okay, this part sucks (for me), BUT–you can help support 4thletter! if you want to. The site’s more expensive than it used to be (thanks to viewers like you, and I guess people on message boards hijacking images), and I’m fine with paying for it, but I do have ways to defray the costs. Long story short, though, I hate ads (see the ugly Project Wonderful ads on display right now, which will be gone once I have enough money to withdraw and cancel my account again) and I like doing Amazon Associates.

AA went away earlier this year, but it’s back, so now it’s back on 4thletter!. (Or will be.) Basically, if you shop through Amazon after clicking on (for example) this link, then 4thletter! gets a portion of the proceeds from your purchase. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and in fact, it’s invisible. It’s low, like six to ten percent, depending on what was purchased. I can’t see what you buy specifically, but I can tell what sells, if that makes sense. I get a report that says I sold X copies of Y, but not who bought it.

You can also use the search box on the right, or click the hyperlinked titles of trades when I write about things. So if I recommend Adam Warren’s Empowered Volume 1 or the Amazon Instant Video version of Takeshi Miike’s 13 Assassins, you could click those links, buy it, and I would get… I dunno, fifty cents? Something.

So, basically, I hate charity. For myself, I mean. I’m not so poor that I can’t afford to host a website, but I’m not so rich that I’m going to turn down free money. I am, however, so incredibly guilty that I don’t like getting money for no reason, which is why there’s not a Paypal tip jar on the site. If you want something off Amazon and order it through this affiliate deal, I’m totally okay with that.

So here’s some stuff you might get a kick out of, if you were so inclined:

-DRC Music’s Kinshasa One Two- This is a charity project for the benefit of Oxfam and the Congolese performers on it. I first took notice because Damon Albarn’s involved in it, but the gimmick is really cool. He and a few friends (Danger Mouse, Dan the Automator) went to the Congo and recorded with actual Congolese musicians for an album of Congolese music. I feel like this is stuff I would never hear if Albarn and them weren’t involved, and I’m listening to it right now and seriously digging it. I may write about it later, I dunno. I don’t know if this is me being all ’80s baby black dude in love with ~A~F~R~I~C~A~ and wondering where his leather medallion went or what, but I really like how this stuff sounds. When it knocks, it really knocks. Here are some samples:

DRC Music – Kinshasa One Two (see http://drcmusic.org ) by DRC Music

-The Criterion edition of Olivier Assaya’s Carlos. Jet-setting, ’70s era, international terrorism crime feature. It’s five hours of style and terror.

-Louis CK’s Louie is painfully funny. I wrote about it back in August after an episode floored me.

-Mellowhype’s BlackenedWhite. Wrote about this one, too.

-Charlie Huston and Juan Jose Ryp’s Wolverine: The Best There Is: Contagion is exactly what Wolverine comics should be like. No nonsense, lots of murder, and filthy nasty. No Angsty Comics.

-When I stop posting on here forever after tomorrow, NBA 2K12 is to blame. Sorry. (Go Hawks.)

Shill shill shill. Sorry. But yeah, I’m not begging, at least not intentionally, and I’m not trying to guilt you into buying things off Amazon when I link them. I’m just trying to be upfront so that you don’t see the little “4thletter” in the Amazon URL and get freaked out or whatever.

tl;dr: If you buy stuff from Amazon after clicking on special magical links here, you’ll help us out. Oh yeah, this only works if you’re in America. If you’re in not-America, your readership is enough, seriously. Thanks for reading all these dumb things I write.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program, which is Gavin writing funny things, Esther writing about Batmans, and me playing video games instead of getting any work done.

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