Jed Hotchkiss

Dark Horse Presents 66 (September 1992)

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Obviously, the major attraction is the second chapter of An Accidental Death. The pace changes throughout; it opens with the body being hidden, then Brubaker moves to summary, then to scene again. The final scene–the discovery–comes after the two boys (the protagonist and the murderer) start to discover where they really live. Reality, in more ways than one, rushes in on them. But Brubaker’s writing is nuanced, never obvious. It’s just lovely.

Then Dr. Giggles, hopefully, finishes up. I don’t think I’ve mentioned how inept Coto is at plotting this narrative. The plot developments get stupider and stupider. At least it’s over.

The Concrete story is a little overwritten… lots of narration, but it’s amusing and Chadwick and Hotchkiss do a great job with the art.

The issue ends with two one page Alec comics from Campbell. Both are quiet, wonderful and somewhat profound. It’s such good work.

CREDITS

Concrete, Byrdland’s Secret; story and art by Paul Chadwick; lettering by Bill Spicer. Dr. Giggles, Part Three; story by Manny Coto; art by Alan J. Burrows; lettering by Willie Schubert. An Accidental Death, Part Two; story by Ed Brubaker; art and lettering by Eric Shanower. Alec, Genetic Defects and Overheard While I Was Supposed to be Working; story, art and lettering by Eddie Campbell. 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 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 22 (September 1988)

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Seriously, a short story? I guess Andrew Murphy provides his own illustrations, but his story is a prose future story about cloning. Not a very logical one either (how do the clones age, for example). I guess it’s not the worst prose story I’ve ever read in a comic, but am I making a compliment? No.

Concrete is a thoughtful story of a young village kid in Asia getting ready for Concrete’s walking tour. Chadwick has probably never written a better story. Too bad the illustration is mediocre. He’s barely got any detail to his faces and I can’t remember a single stunning panel.

Rick Geary’s Police Beat, presumably short true police cases, is great. One page.

Trekker has Dave Dorman inks, which makes the whole thing look completely different. It’s not an entirely successful art experiment, but it’s the first Trekker I’ve sort of liked.

And Duckman is funny.

CREDITS

Concrete, Goodwill Ambassador; story and pencils by Paul Chadwick; inks by Jed Hotchkiss; lettering by Bill Spicer. Reflections; story and art by Andrew Murphy. Police Beat; story, art and lettering by Rick Geary. Trekker, Chinks; story and pencils by Ron Randall; inks by Dave Dorman and Lurene Haines; lettering by Ken Bruzenak. Duckman, Love Me Tender; story, art and lettering by Everett Peck. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 18 (June 1988)

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Badger’s ink washes on The Mask are real nice, but they’re so much easier to comprehend than his regular art, I almost wish he’d done the whole thing with that process. It’d be worth the wait. With the ink washes, when he does something crazy, it just works better. Maybe because it feels realer when the Mask appears and reality splits.

Chadwick uses his Concrete spot for some more old stuff–in the letter column, the editor reveals these “Sky of Heads” stories are nothing but old Chadwick material from a drawer, which I said the first time. The story in the story in the story is all right. Chadwick’s a lot meaner than usual. It’s not as sappy as Concrete.

Bob the Alien is kind of funny. Rice’s art is a little rough even for a strip, but it’s consistently amusing.

It’s an okay issue, nothing terrible, which helps.

CREDITS

Concrete’s Sky of Heads, Quality Time; story and art by Paul Chadwick; lettering by Bill Spicer. The Mask; story and art by Mark Badger; lettering by Tim Harkins. Bob the Alien, Bob, the alien’s, First College Party; story, art and lettering by Rich Rice. Edited by Randy Stradley.

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