Suspended Animation

Michael Vance   Mark Allen   Michael Vance Books
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February 2, 2000

Strangers in Paradise

            If you love soap operas, you're probably female and will love the new comic book series, Strangers in Paradise.

            If you hate soap operas, you're probably male and will love Terry Moore's new title anyway.

            "Soaps" are often written from a female viewpoint and met with indifference by males because they are about human relationships.

            Women seem to understand instinctively that love and family stir the human gene pool.

            Males wade in the shallow end.

            "Soaps" are also so full of the intricate plot twists that women love and men disdain that new viewers find joining a series in mid-story confusing. Moore's introduction to the eighth issue is right.

            "Think of Strangers... as series of movies, all about the same group of people. If this is the first issue you've ever picked up [,] then you just walked in on the first movie with about 10 minutes left to go."

            It was my first issue.

            I'm male and hate soap operas.

            And I love this comic.


            Everything about Moore's art is right (except that he seems less than interested in inanimate objects like televisions and furniture). But "soaps" aren't loved or hated for their artwork.

            You'll love it for its writing. Although I can't figure out why Francine was kidnapped by Mrs. parker to force Katchoo to reveal who stole all of that money when Mrs. Parker actually knew all along who took the swag.

            I'm sure I'll buy the next issue to find out why.

            Because Strangers... doesn't wade in the shallow end of the gene pool, it's highly recommended for adults.

            Strangers in Paradise #8/21 pgs., $2.75 from Abstract Studio. Written and drawn by Terry Moore, it's available in comics shops and by mail.

Flaxen: Alter Ego

            To promote comic books, model Susie Owens became one. It's a shame it wasn't a good one.

            Confusing scene changes, too many almost unrelated plots, and average art weaken this title.

Fan News Hola!

            Hola to our readers in Fan News (Florida)!

            Write sometime!

Hyper Violents

            Shock me once, shame on you. Shock me twice, shame on me.

            Shock me not at all, shame on Hyper Violents.

            It's not the fault of this new anthology of horror stories, of course. What shocks once never really shocks again. That's why the 'splatter' movie series like Friday the 13th and Halloween continued to draw audiences only by escalating violence until that violence became ludicrous.

That's why Hyper Violents, a comic book of four short jabs to the stomach, won't frighten a jaded old codger, well insulated against shock.

Of these four vignettes, the first punch creates a living corpse as a magician's bout with a devil sours. The most violent and artistically interesting of the four stories, "Magic" delivers style instead of originality.

The pugilism of "War Crime" fairs little better as a military platoon faces their fate on a hell planet of blood and guts. Art diminishes its impact.

Is it a dream or real is the overused question of the third round of Hyper Violents. Although its art shows promise and the story rings with a sincerity that saves it from clich, "Chronicles: Stephanie" is average at best.

A vampire killer kills vampires in "Bad Moon".

Been there. Done that.

Artistically the best piece, and with several nice dialog clips, it chills instead of splattering blood.

...8, 9, 10, yer out?

For the young, this anthology is maybe a knockout. For seasoned readers, it's more like a pat on the back by an old friend.

Hyper Violents #1/$2.95, 32 pgs., CFD/various artists & writers/sold in comics shops and by mail.

Girl Crazy

Three cute babes in much ado about who knows what. Jumbled story, distinctive art and an intriguing cast fill dreamlike settings. [Dark Horse]

You're Under Arrest!

Lighthearted Japanese fluff as two young, big- eyed, cute policewomen chase everything from a panties thief to a goofy superhero. [Dark Horse]

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