Will Vance or won't Vance (that big hotshot reviewer) recommend Hieroglyph,
the new SF comic book miniseries from Dark Horse Comics?
The writing is on the wall.
Hieroglyph is written and drawn by Richard Delgado. There are so
few cartoonists in comics that are equally talented as writers and artists that
they can be counted on one hand.
A recommendation on that wall is looking shaky.
Hieroglyph is neither a superhero comic nor based on a successful
movie or television series. The SF genre has rarely sold well without
That recommendation? Looking blurry.
Ricardo Delgado is not a super-star among comics fans. His fame will not
boost sales, and the writing on the wall is looking nasty.
The final mark against this title should be that it is a "mime
comic". It is no secret that this reviewer detests mime comics that
attempt, to tell stories with little or no dialog or text. These books depend
completely on art and take thirty seconds to "read"; they are an
Then why is Vance reluctantly recommending Hieroglyph?
It is not for its plot: Earthman lands on alien planet and sees strange
beings and things and experiences odd events that neither he nor the reader
understands. Without a big climactic revelation to the admittedly intriguing
questions raised by these first two issues, readers will be soooo angry.
It is reluctantly recommended for its incredibly imaginative and
distinctive art. Heavily influenced by European artists, Delgado's minimalistic
style is perfect for bizarre life forms that look like what squeezes out of a
trash compactor after it is stuffed with shellfish and insects.
That art also benefits from a sense of vast space, immense architecture
that is both futuristic and anachronistic, and perfect visual storytelling.
Will this promising Mime Comic become the exception to Vance's rule?
If so, it won't be because of the writing on Delgado's wall.
Review by Michael Vance
Hieroglyph #s 1 & 2 (of 4)/24 pgs. & $2.95 each.
You've come a long way, Babe, but you can't go homage again.
Actually, you can, and have, and will continue to do so. After all,
its not such a bad homage to return to... artist Jack Kirby, the old
superhero team of the 1960's--the Fantastic Four, and a time when fun was
part of funny books.
You're housewife Bernice O'Donnell, created by an alien science and
wizardry that fused five women into one.
You're beautiful, healthy, and super strong. You wear no uniform, grit no
teeth, and clench no fists, a refreshing change from superhero stereotypes.
Your art is clean, direct, exciting and entertaining. It's that art that
saves you from the campiness of the old Batman television show (and the third
movie) despite much visual whimsy.
Your writing is tongue-in-cheek, full of plot twists and a love of an
older style of comic books that could create super intelligent alligators
("Cyborgators", indeed!) under the city of New York and make it fun,
For older readers who loved the work of artist Jack Kirby, your homage to
the classic battle between the MoleMan and the Fantastic Four is delightful.
For new readers without those memories, your adventures still ring clear
as a bell.
You're the one who makes the overuse of you in Babe
And what other super human could say "I don't have the slightest
clue what's going on here, but I've got to do something! "
You're tops, Babe.
For you for whom homage is where the heart is, Babe is highly
Babe 2 #1 & 2 /24 pgs., $2.50 ea. from Dark Horse Comics/art and
words by John Byrne/available in comics shops and by mail.
by Dark Horse. An anthology of terrific talent wasted on "slice of
life" infantile profanity and nihilistic foolishness. Adult readers will be
neither shocked, educated nor entertained.
We welcome Spain's El Wendigo to the growing number of magazines and
newspapers publishing Suspended Animation.
When in Spain, stop in. Say "hola."
©2006 Starland, PO Box
24955 Denver CO 80224-0955 Ph 303.777.6800 Fx 303.200.9009