Jamie Delano

Swamp Thing 77 (October 1988)

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Did someone forget to tell Jamie Delano Abby is from Eastern Europe? She’s got a line about being a nervous sixteen year-old and it doesn’t seem very appropriate, given her Iron Curtain upbringings.

Actually, the guest crew of Delano and Tom Mandrake (Alcala’s on inks still) mimic Veitch so well I had no idea he didn’t write or draw it until I went back and looked. It’s a nice interlude issue, with Abby and Alec fighting a bit after her “night” with Constantine.

Delano takes his time with the pacing, following Abby through a rough day. Mandrake layers in some surprises. It’s a lovely issue, actually–it’s surprisingly two guest creators could do such a seamless, significant job.

Constantine shows up for a bit too, which would be more contrived if Delano and Mandrake didn’t introduce him so well. They slickly infer his presence before his appearance.

Excellent stuff.

CREDITS

Infernal Triangles; writer, Jamie Delano; penciller, Tom Mandrake; inker, Alfredo Alcala; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Karen Berger; publisher, DC Comics.


Contemporaneously…

Dark Horse Presents 99 (June 1995)

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Campbell finishes Doreen Grey here and it’s an awkward installment. It’s almost like he would have been better not resolving things. He’s got a lot of expositional dialogue here from the Eyeball Kid and it really just doesn’t work. It’s maybe his least successful Presents entry and story (the story gradually getting weaker over time).

Delano and Oakley have a weird, very long supernatural story. It’s convoluted and Delano doesn’t have an ending, even though it initially starts really strong. Oakley tries a lot of stylish stuff, but he never really just sits down and draws a compelling page.

Kabuki Kid finishes here too. Instead of going for humor, Rennie and Langridge go for one joke (the duo unknowingly interrupt a movie shoot) and a lot of action. I didn’t realize the sidekick was female.

Pekar’s one page piece, illustrated by Sacco, is kind of pointless. I mean, who cares?

CREDITS

The Crack; story by Jamie Delano; art by Shane Oakley; lettering by J. Robbins. Kabuki Kid, Part Four, Movie Madness!; story by Gordon Rennie; art by Roger Langridge; edited by Greg Vest. The Eyeball Kid, The Picture of Doreen Gray, Part Five; story and art by Eddie Campbell. My Mentor; story by Harvey Pekar; art and lettering by Joe Sacco. Edited by Bob Schreck and Scott Allie.

Ghostdancing 6 (September 1995)

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Ok, I missed the part about the cataclysmic world altering events only taking place in the West and not effecting anything else in America. Apparently, Delano doesn’t like the Huron.

Though there was that great picture of the yachts fleeing Manhattan.

It’s a confused conclusion, really more about the bad guy getting his comeuppance than anything else. I’m not even sure the ostensible lead has a part in the comic past a non-talking, one panel appearance.

He never, for example, gets reunited with his mother, which Delano has been promising since the second issue. Instead, she gets a great finish, but one where it’s now moment important to see meet her son than vice versa.

Instead, Delano goes with a far cuter ending, with the coyote guy getting the final pages.

I assume Delano was leaving the end open for another series.

Ghostdancing isn’t bad, it’s just painfully mediocre.

CREDITS

The Big One; writer, Jamie Delano; artist, Richard Case; colorist, Danny Vozzo; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Tim Pelcher and Art Young; publisher, Vertigo.

Ghostdancing 5 (August 1995)

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Well, the issue I’ve been dreading, the one where Delano explains all the backstory, here it is. And is it as bad as I’d anticipated? Oh, yeah.

As the American people flock–nude–to the wilderness to become one with the land (it’s an interesting idea, the land of America is magical, whereas the rest of the world maybe not), Delano sticks the reader in a car for the bad guy to give the good guy a lengthy, false history lesson.

Then the good guy meets maybe his dad, who gives him a truer history lesson.

Then there’s a bunch of stuff about how the white man ruined America when they came and colonized. But at least there’s no real illuminati nonsense this issue.

Ghostdancing is, five issues of six completed, a good idea for a comic, but not a good comic. Delano needs lots more space.

Or maybe less.

CREDITS

Fifth Tremor; writer, Jamie Delano; artist, Richard Case; colorist, Danny Vozzo; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Tim Pelcher and Art Young; publisher, Vertigo.

Ghostdancing 4 (July 1995)

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See, a cliffhanger. The bad guy is getting ready to do something bad and “to be continued.”

It’s an awkward issue, a bridging one, setting up the big conclusion. The comic takes place over a few hours, giving the reader a few pages (at least) with each member of the cast.

Unfortunately, Delano gives one of the illuminati an emphasis too and those pages, no surprise, are the worst in the issue. He just can’t make them work, not with the explanations he’s got in play already. They distract–as does keeping the most interesting thing in the issue (bones reincarnating at a museum and dancing) in dialogue instead of showing it.

After a third issue, it appears Delano has gotten back to his outline for scripting.

I’m still somewhat hopeful for the last two issues, but it’s unfounded.

Oh, and there’s some rather weak art from Case this issue.

CREDITS

Fourth Tremor; writer, Jamie Delano; artist, Richard Case; colorist, Danny Vozzo; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Tim Pelcher and Art Young; publisher, Vertigo.

Ghostdancing 3 (June 1995)

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For the first time, Delano just writes an issue–meaning there’s no crazy illuminati explanations this time around. Instead, it’s just an issue. And it’s a good comic book.

The potential finally starts to be fulfilled here, with the coyote guy meeting up with the comic’s messiah figure (who just happens to get a romantic interest as well). Delano layers the issue, showing some of their adventures in the present action, then having some of them shown as others discuss them.

The comic finally feels like Delano is enjoying writing it, instead of just presenting information to the reader.

Unfortunately, the better writing made

me pay more attention to the artwork, the first time so far.

Richard Case’s work here is mediocre at best. He’s frequently lazy with proportions and his work has a cramped feel to it.

I’m a little wary as Delano has to eventually sort the book.

CREDITS

Third Tremor; writer, Jamie Delano; artist, Richard Case; colorist, Danny Vozzo; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Tim Pelcher and Art Young; publisher, Vertigo.

Ghostdancing 2 (April 1995)

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The second issue has a whole bunch of problems. Some relate to the first issue, some don’t. The biggest one–Big Brother is real and has been fighting the Native American culture for five hundred years, all of Western culture is a fake, controlled by them–really annoys. Delano’s got some solid ideas, but when he tries to explain this illuminati nonsense? It flushes the book down the toilet.

For a page, it’s actually seeming like it’s going to be interesting, a bunch of unrelated stuff coming together… instead it’s all connected. The rest of the series, besides some cliffhangers (Delano introduces bad guys this issue to hunt the good guys), will undoubtedly reveal and resolve.

It fills entirely plotted and unimaginative, in the narrative sense. Delano fills it with characters and spends his time on them, instead of on the work itself.

It’s not lazy, just a bad approach.

CREDITS

Second Tremor; writer, Jamie Delano; artist, Richard Case; colorist, Danny Vozzo; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Tim Pelcher and Art Young; publisher, Vertigo.

Ghostdancing 1 (March 1995)

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So far–and one issue of six isn’t far enough to judge, I know–Ghostdancing isn’t impressing me. It takes the entire issue to get to the hook–the animal gods (or something like animal gods) have lost one of their own and it turns out she was a big hippie music star in the sixties in “the real world.”

Clearly, the search for her over the rest of the series will be what makes or breaks the series.

But, what Delano does here is different. He juxtaposes a bunch of characters together, the narration boxes featuring very deliberate prose. It’s good prose too, but incomplete, since he’s letting the visuals do some of the work. But they can’t do quite enough work because the concepts he’s writing about are so abstract. So, it’s a comic where the medium fails the work.

It’s an interesting read to say the least.

CREDITS

First Tremor; writer, Jamie Delano; artist, Richard Case; colorist, Danny Vozzo; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Tim Pelcher and Art Young; publisher, Vertigo.

Rawbone (2009) #4

Eh, it falls apart. I don’t know much about pirate stories, so I don’t know if Delano’s making some kind of comment on them or if the supernatural element is a genre standard, but whatever the reason, it doesn’t work.

It doesn’t help the colorist seemingly forgot La Sirena is supposed to be black or Delano not killing off her girlfriend for the third time after seemingly doing so. It’s an iffy issue and a bad conclusion, without any real grounding. It’s a supernatural close, a considerable deus ex machina and it reveals the series’ defects. A solid ending wouldn’t have invited such examinations. But with this one, it’s clear the whole thing’s a ruse, a diversion, an exercise.

Worse is this issue’s nonsensical writing. It’s very wordy and Delano passes a lot of time in these pages, more than the other three issues combined. The result is very messy.

CREDITS

Writer, Jamie Delano; artists, Ryan Waterhouse and Max Fiumara; colorist, Digikore Studios; publisher, Avatar Press.

Rawbone (2009) #3

It’s hard to say whether Rawbone is better served by the abbreviation of a four issue series–reading it, one can see it going longer–or if it’s just going too fast. This issue is a mover. It’s an action issue, with the pirates attacking, La Sirena going for her lover (to unexpected result) and Delano does get in some good scenes, but there’s not a lot of heft to it. In fact, there’s a scene where Sirena explains herself as being anti-heft.

Ryan Waterhouse’s artwork is unfortunate. He’s apparently going for the ultra-stylization of Juan Jose Ryp at times, but only during the action scenes. Otherwise, it’s all very bland, with his characters looking alike (I couldn’t tell the Major from Billy, excepting the Major’s skin condition).

But Delano’s writing, with the exceptional, colloquial harshness, is where Rawbone‘s strength lies.

I have no idea where it’s going.

CREDITS

Writer, Jamie Delano; artist, Ryan Waterhouse; colorist, Digikore Studios; publisher, Avatar Press.

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