Blanch goes to New York     In the last 10 years, only three issues of Rick Geary's Blanch works have seen print. Despite this fact, it is one of the most intriguing projects in the business.

     The first installment, Blanche Goes to New York, published by Dark Horse Comics, takes place at the opening of the 20th century, and introduces us to a young lady leaving her family for the first time, to tackle the big city and make her mark as a concert pianist. Not your typical comic book plot, to be sure, but believe me, there are twists and turns along the way.

     Of course, the leading character is also far from the norm.

     The story continues into the next issue, Blanch Goes to Hollywood, also published by Dark Horse, and brings us to the latest installment, Blanch Goes to Paris, by Craig McKenney.

Blanch goes to Hollywood     Yes, Geary breaks the norm, as leading characters go, and he does it successfully, by injecting strength, imagination, and believability into his work. Blanch is as forceful a lead as has ever been seen in comics, thanks in part to her complexity and three-dimensionality. With this particular character, more than any other, the writer proves his intimacy with his craft.

     What's refreshing about Geary as an artist, is his unique style. In this cookie-cutter world of comic art and "let's mimic the latest hot style" attitude, Geary's thick lines and textured, complex backgrounds (and fore-grounds, for that matter) prove him a shining star among many flickering, nearly burned-out art-styles.

     Also refreshing, his experience extends far beyond the world of comic books. With work for publications such as Rolling Stone, MAD Magazine, The New York Times Book

     Review, and National Lampoon (to name just a few) under his belt, he brings a tried, and well-rounded style to his art and storytelling techniques.

     Find these works at your local comic shop, trade shows, online retailers, or visit .

     Recommended for all ages.

     Blanche Goes to New York and Blanche Goes to Hollywood are published by Dark Horse Comics, 32 pages, $2.95.

     Review by Mark Allen


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