Scott Godlewski

Copperhead 10 (October 2015)

Copperhead #10Faerber plays loose with the pacing in this issue of Copperhead. He’s going for reader pleasure, not being tied to the characters. The sheriff is out to rescue Deputy Boo from some outlaws; Faerber shows her determination, but it isn’t the story. He’s all about the storytelling mechanics and how they relate to the reader’s experience.

It doesn’t hurt Godlewski gets in a bunch of background detail. Even though there’s nary a subplot seen in this issue–until the end, setting up the cliffhanger–and the supporting cast really doesn’t do much but tag along, Godlewski gives them visual weight. There’s a lot of visual repetition too; Godlewski doesn’t want anyone getting lost.

This issue is also one of the most “Western.” Besides the aliens and laser guns, it’s just a Western. Faerber uses Copperhead’s revisionism (the female sheriff, the context of bigotry against alien species) to provide a large stage for a small story. It’s incredibly assured, incredibly controlled and an entirely awesome read.

CREDITS

Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Scott Godlewski; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

Copperhead 9 (July 2015)

Copperhead #9Faerber does another Western standard this issue and it’s yet another success for Copperhead. The sheriff is leading a posse (her, three androids, one of the native guys–I think he’s a native guy, I can’t remember) to rescue Boo. It’s a standard Western. Only the androids have their own thing going on–two are bodyguards, one is the loner who’s been in the series hanging out and helping out.

And the sheriff’s human. And a woman. Faerber doesn’t mention those last two details; to make it work, he has to bake it into the comic. He does. With Godlewski’s expressions–not exactly detail to faces, but considered expressions–there’s os much to the posse’s hunt.

The sheriff isn’t the flashiest character in most of the issues, but she’s still the protagoni:ccst. Faerber is deliberate with how he showcases her. She’s responsibly reckless.

Copperhead continues to be a great read.

CREDITS

Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Scott Godlewski; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

Copperhead 8 (June 2015)

Copperhead #8It’s an interesting issue of Copperhead. The opening has the off-world villain (the sheriff’s ex-husband?) escaping and its complications, but then Faerber spends the rest of the issue with Deputy Boo.

The rest of the issue belongs to the outlaws and Deputy Boo. They’ve kidnapped him, they’re setting a trap for the sheriff, there’s a lot of banter and desert high speed travel. Godlewski does a fine job with all of it and Faerber’s conversations are good, it’s just a little slow. Boo’s too comfortable as a secondary character. He’s not even the lead in an issue without the sheriff.

When Faerber does get to the soft cliffhanger, it’s clear he could’ve compressed the issue a bit and not lost anything. There’s no pay-off for Boo (or the reader), even though Faerber hints at it throughout.

It’s a fine enough issue of Copperhead, just a bridging one.

CREDITS

Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Scott Godlewski; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

Copperhead 7 (May 2015)

Copperhead #7I resent this issue of Copperhead being so good. It’s an all-action issue, it probably reads in four or five minutes. Clara goes on a date, it gets interrupted by bad guys. Boo is in trouble. There’s some setup–with Faerber maybe even implying Clara’s ex-husband is in a maximum security prison somewhere–and then it’s just the date.

And it works. It works really well. Godlewski draws a fantastic action sequence when the bad guys show up (it’s actually the first time Copperhead, for all its successes, has had an excellent action sequence).

But it’s so short. It’s all setup for the cliffhanger resolution, which probably won’t take the whole next issue just because it’s an action-oriented standoff.

But it’s so good.

The little character moments for Boo and Clara are both good and the first part of her date’s really funny.

Copperhead continues its awesomeness.

CREDITS

Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Scott Godlewski; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

Copperhead 6 (April 2015)

Copperhead #6It’s a new arc for Copperhead and Faerber’s off to a strong start.

The story moves ahead a bit–Clara and Boo are partners, Zeke’s got a babysitter and a secret friend in the fugitive android. There’s futuristic action in Western themes, there’s a lot of texture in the joining of sci-fi and Western in Godlewski’s art–Copperhead is working. Even if Godlewski’s full last pages are still a bad idea. Faerber’s attention to character detail is paying off. Even when it’s a gradual buildup, the comic feels worthwhile. Faerber’s not using accrued goodwill to get through this slow, first act issue, he’s still accruing more of it.

All of the elements play well together–female sheriff, Western town, sci-fi elements, single parent. Copperhead is perfectly arranged and it’s nice to see Faerber has a way of continuing the comic. Hopefully for quite some time and many issues.

CREDITS

Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Scott Godlewski; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

Copperhead 5 (January 2015)

Copperhead #5Faerber wraps up the first arc–and the sheriff’s first case–in a rapid-fire issue of Copperhead. Most of the scenes only take three or four pages so there are a lot of them; they’re all fantastic, starting with the opening scene between the sheriff and the android.

There are a number of surprises in the issue, but Faerber handles them all gradually. His characters are thinking and acting; it’s all incredibly active. It’s an interesting way to handle a procedural because the solution to the crime isn’t as interesting as how the characters go about reacting to it, both the police solving it and the survivors processing it.

And Godlewski basically gets to recap all the settings of the previous issues–starting with some fast action in the desert–so the comic always looks great.

Faerber ends the arc with his cast in place. Copperhead’s great stuff.

CREDITS

Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Scott Godlewski; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

Copperhead 4 (December 2014)

Copperhead #4This issue of Copperhead returns the series to its previous level of quality, which is fantastic, because I really wanted to love this comic and it looks like I still can.

It’s a very busy issue. Faerber wasn’t busy last issue (the weak one); he’s busy here, he keeps Clara busy, he keeps Boo busy, he keeps the supporting cast busy. There’s stuff with the doctor–an actual scene before he gets drug into the issue’s primary subplot–and there’s stuff at the beginning, possible back story for Clara. It all works out beautifully.

I say possible back story because Faerber tells this story about her, which may or may not be true, then has a whole montage sequence showing it might be true. It’s just a cool way of plotting out the issue… getting the reader wondering, then busy with other stuff, then delivering.

Copperhead is back on track.

A 

CREDITS

Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Scott Godlewski; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

Copperhead 3 (November 2014)

Copperhead #3From the first page, there’s something off about this issue of Copperhead. Godlewski goes with a full page spread but of a really bland situation–actually, it’s supposed to be a tense situation but the full page spread makes it bland. Then the scene itself is bland, with Faerber eschewing logic and character.

The issue itself moves way too fast–there are three or four scenes, all of them part of the police investigation, none of them doing any character work or even establishing the setting. Godlewski gets to draw a few locations–there’s a mine, for example–but the comic rushes through them.

And then the finale reveals everything so far has been connected, which makes Copperhead feel really small and contrived. It’s still a decent comic, it’s just not on par with what Faerber and Godlewski have done until this point.

Hopefully the problems are just Copperhead hiccuping.

B 

CREDITS

Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Scott Godlewski; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

Dracula: The Company of Monsters 1 (August 2010)

preview-1571-11744_f.jpg
Dracula, as a vampire (at least, how he usually looks as a vampire), appears on the cover of this comic book.

He does not appear, as a vampire, in the interior.

Instead, we follow Evan. Evan is a naive blue blood whose evil multi-national corporation is going to resurrect Dracula. I didn’t learn the resurrection part from this comic book, however, I learned it from an interview about this comic book. Or maybe a press release. One of the two.

There are some neat ideas here. Well, one.

What if Dracula came back today–but without the Bram Stoker history under his belt. At least, that scenario is what I assume is going to happen because, you guessed it, the issue doesn’t make it clear.

Gregory is a novelist… but Dracula certainly doesn’t make me want to anything else he’s written. His characters are weak and the narration’s awful.

CREDITS

Writer, Daryl Gregory; artist, Scott Godlewski; colorist, Stephen Downer; letterer, Johnny Lowe; editor, Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Scroll to Top