Bastard

25 Jul

By Ayo

“Family, part 2”
Lazarus, number 2
By Greg Rucka & Michael Lark
with Santi Arcas
Image Comics, July 2013

Meeting the Carlyle Family during the Carlyle Family Meeting, this is kind of a stressful issue. Trying to keep all of the siblings straight was an exercise in futility. They’re all bad guys, so frown at all of them. Papa Carlyle is the only character here who appears to be somewhat reasonable. I’m interested more in his perspective, he’s clever enough to know that his kids are wilding out.

Eve, or Forever Carlyle is your basic tough guy, killing machine, Terminator/Robocop, invincible, heartless human murder factory. In this issue, she hints at having something like a conscience but it’s probably just tactical doubt about her siblings’ war schemes. I bet the next batch that this story arc ends with Forever screaming “I’M NOT LIKE YOU” with tears streaming down her face as she sends one of her siblings to the hereafter.

Spoiler: there is no hereafter after here. So don’t fuck around and yet murdered by a vat-grown super soldier.

20130725-091833.jpg

I’ve never been to Los Angeles so I can’t feel much about how post-earthquake-dystopia L.A. Is depicted. Based on the size of the shacks, the “Hollywood” sign seems smaller than I imagined that it is. In general the destruction is beautifully rendered as old and settled-in. Eve goes into what looks like a shantytown village or an open-air market (or likely, both) and those are the two pages that feel the most alive to me. For one obvious reason, there are people of all ages wandering around, doing whatever it is that the poor do in the world of Lazarus. For another thing, we are shown the figure, the ground, the background and the sky. Those pages feel airy and open because they are depicting airiness and openness.

The next scene is in the Mexican desert but it is too open for me to enjoy. Like…desert. Deserted. When the machine-gun-men show up, it actually feels more comfortable for me as a reader, even though the protagonist is in “danger.” (Not really, she’s the protagonist and invincible)

Everything is really grey and dingy looking which is fine for a post-apocalyptic shantytown but becomes a drawback when looking at the Carlyle Family home which feels like it should be brighter and more opulent. I know that resources are scarce but these people are royalty. It just looks like the lights are physically off in these scenes. This is where Michael Lark’s heavy-black, jagged-ink style works against the scene depicted. This isn’t some back alley at night, this is during the daytime in the living room of one of the most wealthy people in the world. Turn on a lightbulb.

Don’t get me wrong, the harsh figures, the rough-hewn shadows–it’s all beautiful on the page. It just doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.

~~~~~~

Two of the siblings are doing incest. Probably “twincest.” I know that I’m meant to be repulsed and disgusted and horrified but I’m just glad that somebody lightened up in this piece.

Smile or somethin!

@darrylayo

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3 Responses to “Bastard”

  1. jameswheeler July 25, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    Is it all stacked widescreen panels, like this? I hear good things about Lazarus, but Movie Comics can get tiring quick. (Is this what set you off against cinema-language-comics on Twitter?)

    • darrylayo July 25, 2013 at 10:14 am #

      Nope.

      Horizontal panels are really cool, in my opinion. I don’t see it as an attempt at “movie-ness” even when it’s called “widescreen style.” I know that some people don’t like this style of comics but I find it to be a very useful technique.

      Frank Quitely has done some of the most creative contemporary work using the “widescreen” panel designs and they are very much “comics.”

      The thing on twitter was about people calling stuff “cinematic” when they mean “immersive” or “engaging.”

      • jameswheeler July 25, 2013 at 11:07 am #

        Okay, got you.

        Interesting, when I think of Frank Quitely’s best I don’t think full-width panels, but I know he uses it a lot (All-Star Superman origin page + Jupiter’s Legacy, bobsymindless’s crits of which inspired my hasty anti-horizontal stance).

        There are some great examples, of course. Maybe it’s the subject matter, and/or compounded by the lack of context, but that page above doesn’t seem very comics, to me? Or am I trying to save face, not sure.

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