Friday, December 29, 2017

Cliffhangers and Humor

Spy Seal #3 (Image, October 2017, $3.99)
Like Royal City, Spy Seal is one of my favorite comic books of 2017. Written and drawn by Rich Tommaso, creator of the astounding She Wolf and retro-noir Dark Corridor, the series is an ornately detailed funny-animal take on The Adventures of Tin Tin. Think Richard Scarry meets Richard Sala. The book is pristine and crisp, and some of the cliffhangers and humor are quite impressive.

Kes and Malcolm think they've encountered Miles McKeller, Communist sympathizer and terrorist, on the train. Fisticuffs ensue, and Kes gets stabbed, falling from the train. Malcolm also falls, both landing in the snow. They make their way to a "disgruntled ex-spy convention," where they infiltrate a gallery showing. After finding a hidden message—and after a bombing—Kes and Malcolm make chase of McKeller again, trailing to him his secret hideout.

Cinematic in its pacing and page design, Spy Seal is a wild ride of a read. The detailed artwork—such a fine line!—is a delight. Look for some of the highlights such as p. 1, searching the train on p. 4, the last three panels on p. 6, p. 8 in its entirety, the third panel of p. 14, and the concluding panel of the issue. So many little details. It's like Geoff Darrow drawing Where's Waldo?

Availability: The series will be collected as Spy Seal Volume 1: The Corten-Steel Phoenix in January 2018. You can also buy the issue online.

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