Delia & Celia

Dark Horse Presents 39 (May 1990)

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I think Davis’s Delia & Celia has definitively made me hate all fantasy, if I didn’t already dislike it enough. It’s like he sits around trying to think of how much blathering exposition he can fit in each panel, like it’s a contest to one up himself. The story’s completely incomprehensible at this point, but I’m pretty sure it’s never, ever going to end.

On the plus side, Ron Randall’s artwork has gotten fantastic on Trekker. Some of it’s the inking–maybe all of it’s the inking. It’s just gorgeous. Too bad his writing is still terrible. He spends maybe five of his eight pages rambling, trying to find a point to the story. He fails, there isn’t one.

Bob the Alien is, as usual, a delight. I don’t think I’ve mentioned how important “regular” people are to Bob‘s success. Rice has significant insight into the human condition. It’s just wonderful.

CREDITS

Trekker; story and art by Ron Randall; lettering by Steve Haynie. Bob the Alien, Bob, the alien, Schemes; story, art and lettering by Rich Rice. Delia & Celia, Drelin’s Wager; story, art and lettering by Gary Davis. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 38 (April 1990)

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Chadwick’s Concrete isn’t so interesting this issue for what he does say, but for what he doesn’t. Concrete’s sidekicks get lost in the ghetto and a bunch of black guys attack the car–presumably to beat the guy and “gang rape,” Chadwick’s words, the woman. When Concrete and the guy are sitting around calmly discussing it later, Concrete basically says it’s just how men act and isn’t it awful and shouldn’t women run things. But Chadwick made it pretty clear earlier these men are, specifically, black men. I think it’s supposed to be well-intentioned, but….

Prosser and Pollock contribute the Mary: The Elephant prose story (Pollock illustrates). It’s awful; I can’t believe anyone would want it in their book. Maybe Dark Horse didn’t pay Prosser for something else on the condition they printed this idiocy. Some nice art though.

Delia & Celia is better than usual, but still exceptionally bad.

CREDITS

Concrete, Fire at Twilight; story and art by Paul Chadwick; lettering by Bill Spicer. Mary: The Elephant They Could Not Hang (At First)!; story by Jerry Prosser; art by Jack Pollock. Delia & Celia, A Pyre for Ethrod; story, art and lettering by Gary Davis. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 37 (March 1990)

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Thank goodness there’s a Bacchus in here because otherwise it’d be a complete loss.

Guinan’s art continues to be acceptable on Heartbreakers, while he and Bennett’s writing just gets worse and worse. Some of the issue is with them trying to do too much in such a short amount of pages… But mostly they just can’t write it. They can’t make their characters matter, so they try to make their ideas matter. Except it’s a bunch of theoretical ideas, so… as usual… who cares?

Speaking of bad, Davis is now changing the hairstyles for the protagonists between panels on Celia & Delia. This installment has a lot of exposition and very little action or even implied action. It’s a complete bore.

The Bacchus story is dark and confusing, but absolutely wonderful. Campbell and Bissette confound with purpose. Reading it–they’re adapting a poem–can be time consuming, but very worth it.

CREDITS

Heartbreakers, The Crowd Roars; story by Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan; art by Guinan; lettering by Willie Schubert. Delia & Celia, Gratitude; story, art and lettering by Gary Davis. Bacchus, Tam O’Shanter; story and art by Eddie Campbell and Stephen R. Bissette. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 36 (February 1990)

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The Aliens vs. Predator story is most impressive for Norwood’s illustration… but not of aliens or Predators. The story opens on some alien world and it’s just breathtaking. Once the actual story starts (Stradley’s two conversationalists talking about hunting experiences while Predators hunt aliens), it can’t compete with those visuals. Still, for what amounts to shameless self-promotion, these prologues are very successful.

Davis’s Delia & Celia features a number of young women “playing” the two leads. Davis can’t maintain faces for them to the point he must have been photo-referencing. Each panel, they get a new, distinct face. The writing is nearly interesting this time… but Davis fumbles it.

This installment of Heartbreakers kind of makes the clone thing clear–there’s two groups of clones, one tough, one not as tough. But it’s not clear if they’re clones of the same person (just with different haircuts). It’s inoffensively mediocre.

CREDITS

Aliens vs. Predator; story by Randy Stradley; pencils by Phill Norwood; inks by Karl Story; lettering by Pat Brosseau. Heartbreakers, Ceiling Zero; story by Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan; art by Guinan; lettering by Willie Schubert. Delia & Celia, The Great Marsh; story, art and lettering by Gary Davis. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 32 (August 1989)

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Ugh, another “annual.” Sixty-four pages of Dark Horse Presents tends to be a little much.

The American is a little long here–it’s very passive and not at all dramatic. On the other hand, Peterson shows he used to be a lot more interesting of an artist.

The Wacky Squirrel strip from publisher Richardson is dumb.

Davis’s Delia & Celia is a complete bore, big shock. He manages to make a pterodactyl boring.

The longer than usual Bob the Alien just shows with more space Rice does an even better story. It’s funny and touching

The Concrete story is better than usual–Concrete’s jealous over girls–and Chadwick puts in three unanswered questions. Two are crime related, one personal. It works.

Bacchus is great. Campbell gets more into his eight pages than anyone ever has in one of these issues.

As usual, Zone is passable, Race of Scorpions is lame.

CREDITS

The American, My Dinner with the American; story by Mark Verheiden; pencils by Brandon Peterson; inks by Randy Emberlin; lettering by David Jackson. Wacky Squirrel; story by Mike Richardson; art by Jim Bradrick; lettering by David Jackson. Delia & Celia, Down, Down and Down; story, art and lettering by Gary Davis. Bob the Alien, Bob, the alien, Steppin’ Out; story, art and lettering by Rich Rice. Concrete, Visible Breath; story and art by Paul Chadwick; lettering by Bill Spicer. Bacchus, A God and His Dog; story, art and lettering by Eddie Campbell. Zone; story, art and lettering by Michael Kraiger. Race of Scorpions, The Rusty Soldier; story and art by Leopoldo Durañona; lettering by Laura Davis. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 21 (August 1988)

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I hate to say it, but Ron Randall’s gotten better. Not as a writer, of course; Trekker has actually gotten to be worse written since Dark Horse Presents started. The story this issue is practically unintelligible. On the other hand, Randall’s inking has gotten a lot better. The art’s still not so great, but the inking… inking’s improved.

The Mask finishes up here with Badger killing a CIA agent. His second or fourth. Overall, the series has been sometimes decent, sometimes good–usually the best thing in the issue (this one has a lot of misspellings for some reason). Anyway, it’d probably work better in color as a single sitting read. The pace gets lost, especially given how weird it gets.

Delia & Celia either ends with the protagonists in some magical inner earth or with them stuck in a canyon. It’s impossible to tell from Davis’s art. But who cares?

CREDITS

The Mask; story and art by Mark Badger; lettering by Tim Harkins. Trekker, Vincent’s Share, Part Two; story and art by Ron Randall; lettering by Ken Bruzenak. Delia & Celia, Under Tiltannon; story, art and lettering by Gary Davis. Edited by Randy Stradley.

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