Daniel Bayliss

Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York 2 (November 2016)

Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York #2There are a couple plot twists and they’re both lame. Worse is Pak’s revelation Big Trouble Jack Burton has the same super powers as the Black Cat. Bayliss is weak on expressions, which doesn’t help Pak’s lame Snake Plissken characterization. Might be time to plan my escape.

CREDITS

Snake’s World; writer, Greg Pak; artist, Daniel Bayliss; colorist, Triona Farrell; letterer, Simon Bowland; editors, Alex Galer and Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York 1 (October 2016)

Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York #1The funny part of Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York is its a crossover of the Boom! licensed comics, not the original film properties. I read Big Trouble for a bit; it ranged from really good to even better for a while. Escape not at all. It was the pits. I’m not sure I would’ve given the book a shot if I’d known it was for the comics and not the movies.

But I’m glad I did. It’s not quite up to snuff, but it might be as the series progresses. I don’t think great–there’s a lot wrong with it starting with Daniel Bayliss drawing Jack Burton with an exaggerated chin (like in the Big Trouble book) only being way too realistic about it. It looks like some kind of photoshop distortion, not an absurdly square-jawed person. Though maybe Jack had implants in the comic, who knows.

Otherwise Bayliss’s art is fine. Greg Pak doesn’t get to New York this issue, instead he rips off some Fury Road type villains so there can be desert scenes. Because when I think a book called Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York, I think desert scenery. So there’s not much heavy lifting on atmosphere. Bayliss does a solid amusing shootout for Snake. Not as good on the Jack Burton action.

Pat’s premise is simple–he makes fun of Snake and Jack, which means he’s not getting the point of either character, at least not for how the films portrayed them. Snake and Jack–who both look the same in the comic, which is part of the gimmick–were Kurt Russell doing a John Wayne and a Clint Eastwood impression. He didn’t do them well, but it’s like John Carpenter learned from “Elvis” just not to tell Russell he was doing bad and instead turn it into a great performance. Or Carpenter just hadn’t figured out how to direct a movie star as opposed to an actor, whatever. Pak doesn’t get it. Or maybe the comics didn’t get it.

I’m surprised but I’ll be back for the next one. It’s competent enough and it’s ambitiously dumb enough. If Pak doesn’t mess anything up and just does his Fury Road rip-off, hopefully with a Macready cameo at the end, it’ll better than anyone expected. Except maybe Fresno Bob.

CREDITS

Snake’s World; writer, Greg Pak; artist, Daniel Bayliss; colorist, Triona Farrell; letterer, Simon Bowland; editors, Alex Galer and Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Kennel Block Blues 4 (May 2016)

Kennel Block Blues #4Ferrier tries really hard to get this issue to the finish. It doesn’t really happen. Oh, he and Bayliss get there, but there’s nowhere for them to be. The characters never resonate; definitely not the protagonists, who have almost no chemistry. Ferrier takes it out on an even bigger downer note.

This issue has a musical number and a prison riot. Now, Kennel Block Blues has never shown the human “guards” past some demonic hands. Only they’re people. There is some semblance of functioning reality to the book, as much as Ferrier tries to avoid it, he does need it. Because if there’s not a functioning reality, who cares if these dogs get loose.

Maybe the first half of the issue is solid. Bayliss’s art is good throughout, but Ferrier’s only got story for the first half. Once there’s the prison break, he loses track.

It’s a bumpy book, with great art and not bad zeitgeist gimmickry; Ferrier can’t bring it together for the finale.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Daniel Bayliss; colorist, Adam Metcalfe; letterer, Colin Bell; editors, Mary Gumport and Eric Harburn; publisher, Image Comics.

Kennel Block Blues 3 (April 2016)

Kennel Block Blues #3I had to reread parts of this issue of Kennel Block Blues because it really does fit my theorized pattern to Ferrier’s four issue limited series. Great open, weak second issue, then strong for the last two. The guy needs to just go with three issue limited series, he really does.

This issue has the hero–Oliver (not Elliot, I think I called him Elliot last time)–in solitary. He’s got to confront the truth about himself in order to become the superhero. It’s not deep because it’s kind of absurd. Ferrier’s trying to do it from the dog’s perspective, but not the anthropomorphized dog, the actual adorable puppy.

Bayliss does a wonderful job with all the art. He’s got three very different tones to bring together and he does–real world, “human” world, hallucination world. Blues becomes a Disney movie for a second, then goes back to being a Miramax movie.

It’s a strange book and not entirely successful. The characters are good, but thin. Ferrier’s relying on the gimmick. Albeit a sturdy gimmick.

Good comic.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Daniel Bayliss; colorist, Adam Metcalfe; letterer, Colin Bell; editors, Mary Gumport and Eric Harburn; publisher, Image Comics.

Kennel Block Blues 2 (March 2016)

Kennel Block Blues #2Kennel Block Blues has that predictable Ferrier drop in quality the second issue. I’m fine with it. What’s weird–and I was expecting Ferrier to have a drop because he’s stretched three issues worth of story to four issues before–is how well Blues contains the explosion. The story this issue–involving a terribly planned prison break (I mean, one really has to question the intelligence of this dogs)–rearranges the characters. It doesn’t develop them, it moves them to different places in the narrative. Actually, it’s weirder than I thought….

Well, in rearranging the characters’ conflicts, it acts more as a postscript to the first issue than it’s own part of a whole. It’s a treading water issue, only really, really fast treading. Ferrier has a lot to get through. He and Bayliss don’t just have the prison break to stretch out, they also have the way they introduce the plan. It’s awesome visual pacing from Bayliss. It’s not particularly effective because there’s no content, but the art’s great.

So, even though it’s not a great comic, it’s a well-produced mediocre one. Ferrier hasn’t found the right editor. Or I’ll be wrong and the next issue of Blues won’t recover; I think it will though.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Daniel Bayliss; colorist, Adam Metcalfe; letterer, Colin Bell; editors, Mary Gumport and Eric Harburn; publisher, Image Comics.

Kennel Block Blues 1 (February 2016)

Kennel Block Blues #1Prison comics are, often from Boom!, now a thing. Ryan Ferrier and Daniel Bayliss’s Kennel Block Blues is an animal kennel–a cross-species animal kennel–as a prison. It’s one of those books I sort of wish I’d see from Vertigo. Well, Vertigo a few years ago. Something media-friendly without being prepackaged for other media. It’s mainstream pop culture, but the more erudite varieties.

It’s also excellent.

Ferrier’s protagonist, whose name I don’t remember–Buddy, maybe–is freshly incarcerated. He’s the entry point. Through him, we meet the other canine inmates–the cats are the dominate species in Blues. There’s male and female inmates together. Not even a thought, presumably because they’re all spayed and neutered.

There’s funny pet stuff, there’s depressingly bleak prison stuff. Ferrier’s got the right tone and he’s got the right artist. Bayliss has been kicking around for a while and Blues has his work the tightest I’ve seen it. He gets to be busy but still restrained, still focused on moving the story forward.

Knowing Ferrier, the ride will be rocky but rewarding–or maybe he’s got a better plot line this series. Blues is a confident, assured comic. The creators, the editors. It’s deservedly slick. Ferrier’s gotten to be a writer I look forward to reading. And Boom!’s brand comes with some built-in respect these days.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Daniel Bayliss; colorist, Adam Metcalfe; letterer, Colin Bell; editors, Mary Gunport and Eric Harburn; publisher, Image Comics.

Batman: The Deal (November 2013)

Batman: The DealThanks to the Internet, unofficial, fan-made productions can get a lot of exposure. Why people haven’t been doing more unofficial superhero comics is beyond me. It makes great senses but you don’t hear about many.

I read about The Deal because of the artist, Daniel Bayliss, and tracked down the comic. Bayliss uses a finer line, Paul Pope type style. The story is just Batman and the Joker and he doesn’t do either of their faces well, but the movement of the bodies is fantastic. The detailed scenery is awesome.

As for Gerardo Preciado’s script… it’s predictable. Except maybe the lengthy quote at the end, which is a good quote, but doesn’t belong. Preciado tries to work out the problems between Batman and the Joker and flubs it. He goes way too far, way too obvious.

But the absurdity gives Bayliss the chance to show off his compositional skills.

D 

CREDITS

Writer, Gerardo Preciado; artist, Daniel Bayliss; publisher, Moonhead Press.

Translucid 1 (April 2014)

Translucid #1I'm confused, did the world really need an exceptionally pretentious superhero comic without anything to say? Because writers Chondra Echert and Claudio Sanchez don't do much so far with Translucid except lay out a superhero versus supervillain and, oh, if they aren't just alter egos (or at least one of them thinks they are). It's like Batman and the Joker… or not. Maybe Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus? No, not really.

It's actually a lot like Baphomet and Batman because Daniel Bayliss's design for the villain is a knight's chess piece and the two look similar. The less said about the hero's design, the better.

But everything else Bayliss does in the comic is fantastic. Even the bad designs are rendered well. Echert and Sanchez aren't going for a lot of realism, but they get it with Bayliss.

So does the world need the series? No. But yes to Bayliss's art.

C 

CREDITS

Wild Horses; writers, Chondra Echert and Claudio Sanchez; artist, Daniel Bayliss; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Jasmine Amiri and Ian Brill; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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