perhaps the World!
Flying Saucers are a silly pleasure of mine.
They don't exist, but I love them. Film Noir gumshoe detectives
fall into the same category. So, how do I resist Secret Messages, the
newest title in a four-story-arc comic book about a stubble-jawed
detective in search of 1950s spaceships and aliens?
Secret Messages joins Silent Invasion, Suburban Nightmares and New
Frontier as my latest silly, and highly entertaining, pleasure.
The visual answer to why is its art. There is nothing like it being
published today, and that in itself is an amazing accomplishment. Artist
Michael Cherkas has created a moody, minimalistic and chunky style with
thick lines and broad areas of contrasting black that is entertaining,
technically flawless, and un-imitated by his peers. In addition, Cherkas
seems to effortlessly recapture the decade of the 1950s through
illustrating its fashions, architecture, and gadgets.
The other answer to why is its plot, characterization and '50s
dialog, all by Larry Hancock. Ya see, in 1959, a reporter named Matt
Sinkage tried to kill a candidate for the position of President of the
United States. He believed the candidate was a pawn of a clandestine
government organization that "was about to allow an alien invasion of
FBI agent Phil Housley killed Sinkage. Now, it is 1965, Housley is a PI,
and guess what's back.
Phil is hired to find a missing husband. But what he may find
instead was shot by his own Roscoe (that's Film Noir for gun) in 1959.
If this sounds like television's X-Files, this story arc both
predates that series, and lacks the confusion and silliness that has
plagued X-Files for many seasons.
Comic books don't get much better than this. That is why Secret
Messages and its sister titles are highly re-commended.
Secret Messages #s 1 & 2/$2.95 & 23 pgs. from NBM
Pub./available in comics and book shops and at www.nbmpublishing.com.
Review by Michael Vance
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