A pile of comics landed on my desk last week. Unsolicited reading doesn't usually catch my interest, but the cover stock on these are thick and glossy which drew my notice right off the bat. That, and I hadn't known that Richard Branson was getting in to comics. Guess we'll see more of him at the next SDCC. I don't know if he can top Robert Downey Jr's entrance as Tony Stark from last year.
At any rate, there seems to be a bit of money pushed into the Virgin Comics line. Both it and Virgin Animation is a collaboration of writer Deepak Chopra, Shekhar Kapur and Branson. With names like John Woo, Nicholas Cage, and Guy Ritchie flying across their site, this has got a bit of pedigree behind it. So, I dug in.
Gary Erskine's style of drawing in Dan Dare #2 is old school. Barrett was into it with a glance-by and likened it to Spiderman. But I wanted to ask - what happened to the backgrounds half way through the book? Parasuraman's colouring was pretty good, though I think I saw a reflection goober. A bit flat in places, but nice renders and potential for more. Ads for other comics like Sadhu and Devi were really engaging. The one for The Stranded made me think Mike Turner, but upon further inspection, it was a Silvestri cover.
So, moving on to The Stranded #1, a Virgin/Sci-Fi dealie, it seems they got hotshot Greg Horn to do their alt cover, but I felt he kinda dialed that one in - I usually love his stuff. I mentioned Silvestri's (at right) earlier, but it's not really any better. We're missing something in terms of cover excitement here guys. Inside, I found the linework a bit dull and while the colouring has pop, textures and effects need more work. The book's team needs to polish a bit more. I decided to move on.
Amused about how the press release stated that this was her new non-nude horror comic, I purposely left Jenna Jameson's Shadow Hunter for last. After the first two offerings, expectations were pretty low for this boob-stravaganza, as illustrated, again, by Greg Horn, (this time, with more cover appeal). Upon a credit check, I see the familliar name of Christina Z under story. I liked Witchblade, so the collaborative writing with Jenna will hopefully live up to expectations. Mine, anyway.
Since this is a preview book, there's only about 6 pages of story art - but it's a really damn fine 6 pages. And the additional stuff from artist Mukesh Singh is pretty fabulous. Whereas the two other books in the pile were team-based works, this is all Singh, and he's someone to watch. I see shades of Josh Middleton in his work. Really wish they'd let him do the covers instead of Horn, (whom I'm not knocking here, but the styles are so vastly different) and I'm glad this defied my expectations of a trashy cleavage opportunity. Will be adding this to my list when I next hit the comic shop. You hear that Faiz!?
Check out the Online Preview to see what I mean. A bit more is given there than in the print version as well.