Merry Christmas, blog-o-sphere! I hope that everyone has a wonderful day and that, though it's cliche and completely unrealistic, we can one day live in a more peaceful world. Here's hoping.
I'm posting page five of the "Eye of the Beholder" story today for all to see. I should have put this page up earlier, and there's really no excuse for the lag, as the story has been complete for, oh, seven years now, but them's the breaks. I hope we all can enjoy it nonetheless. Page five is when the crazy stuff starts to happen, like sudden visions of floating old men. I always thought the bed was a little out-of-place in this scene, but it doesn't take anything away from the story.
As I've mentioned (over and over), this story was printed in Dark Horse's Strip Search collection. There were 17 other stories included in the book (one split up into four parts), and as is always the case with anthology-type books, the quality was varied. There were plenty that I thought my and Ruben's story could stand up to, just as there were some that I thought blew our particular tale out of the water. Below are some of my favorites:
Alcoholism Spaceman by Ben Stenbeck
The title for this story is actually very literal: it features outer space, flying (floating?) sharks, and rampant alcoholism. To be honest, this entry was a bit short on story, but WOW! Look at that art! It's just beautiful. The colors nearly melt off the page. Ben has worked on some stories at Dark Horse in recent years, and it's easy to see that he deserves it.
Mighty Skullboy Army by Jacob Chabot
I've mentioned before how much I love the Mighty Skullboy Army, which has a collection of stories out through Dark Horse. Jacob (Jake?) does humor well - both his writing and art lend itself to it. Strip Search was how I first became away of the Skullboy Army, and I've since become a big fan. I can see this concept taking off and making it big one day.
Haunted Cipher by Eric Haven
Strip Search split five different editions of Haunted Cipher throughout the book, and each was a one-page delight. Some were darker than others, but all were extremely entertaining and usually parodied a different concept - the one pictured above was an obvious sendup of something like Aesop's Fables and was funny, but the one spoofing the old Charles Atlas comic book advertisement and the "girlfriend lie detector" strip were genius.
Insomnia by Nir Paniry
This entry did the most with the least, I thought. There's only one sentence of text throughout the entire story, but it still comes off as a touching, sweet tale of the value of companionship. The main character, I think, looks like Art Garfunkel, which has no bearing on what I think of the story.
The Seneschal by Tom Scioli
What, you didn't think Tom Scioli only did Teddy and the Yeti covers, did you?! Ah hem. In any case, it's easy to see by the page above Tom's prodigious talent and uncanny Kirby style of artwork. The Seneschal just exudes energy and creativity.
You, Robot by Nicholas G. Perks
I'm not sure what it is about this story that does it for me - I think it's the simplicity in both art and storytelling. The artwork reminds me of Jerry Ordway's, which is to say it's got a classic feel to it. The story has a twist that isn't necessarily unpredictable, but it's different and it deserves some credit for that alone.
Tangerine by Ron J. Wimberly
This story was another that took a minimalist approach when it came to text. The story was again a bit simple, but it let the reader's imagination fill in most of the blanks, which is sometimes hard to do (for me, anyway). The artwork was very fluid and seemed to combine both Western and Eastern influences.
That's it for now. Look for page six early next week! For real this time! I think.