Troy Nixey

Vinegar Teeth #4 (April 2018)

Vinegar Teeth #4Vinegar Teeth ends. Vinegar Teeth, the character, remains likable. Nixey’s art remains crazy and awesome and gross (but not too gross). Detective Buckle… well, he barely figures into the last issue. He’s zonked out of his mind for a while; when he does come back, he’s got to save the city from Vinegar Teeth’s dad, a Cthulhu-like interdimensional evil monster.

It’s easily the worst issue in the series. Gentry and Nixey’s script just keeps moving and moving and moving until the ending. It’s all action, with Vinegar Teeth and Buckle having to complete a task to stop the invasion. If you’ve seen a certain Tim Burton movie from the nineties, it’s not a surprise. It still works to some degree, thanks to Nixey’s art.

But, even with the lackluster finish, Vinegar Teeth is a success. It’s a gross, strange book and it never gives up on being gross or strange. It instead embraces them, as Nixey’s so capable at visualizing such things without being revolting. There’s beauty in his visual pacing.

This issue might have some of the best panels; they’re just too small and the issue’s moving too fast for them to come off.

So a success. Just not as successful as hoped.

CREDITS

Writers, Damon Gentry and Troy Nixey; artist and letterer, Nixey; colorist, Michelle Madsen; editors, Brett Israel and Daniel Chabon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Vinegar Teeth #3 (March 2018)

Vinegar Teeth #3Vinegar Teeth continues being Vinegar Teeth.

So it turns out these first page courtroom bookends are set during the final (and next) issue–the D.A.’s questions for Artie even make sense now (because of this issue’s events). They sort of make sense for the comic? But not really.

Anyway. The action immediately moves on the Vinegar Teeth, working the streets alone, as all the citzens turn into Cthulhu (called something else) zombies. Vinegar Teeth finds himself unable to control his hunger and he eats some bad guys. It upsets him, so he goes and gets drunk with Artie. They bond and Artie’s back on the force, back to being Vinegar Teeth’s partner.

If Vinegar Teeth weren’t so visually disgusting and eating people, it’d almost be a nice sequence. They get wasted and puke. Touching stuff.

The rest of the comic is revelations about the zombies and Vinegar Teeth. But amid the police procedural–city’s in crisis, Artie and Vinegar Teeth are needed–and with a lot of jokes. Lots and lots of jokes. Most of them connect.

There’s some excellent art from Nixey this issue. He lets loose with the action, does some great visual pacing work.

Vinegar Teeth is a good comic; expectations are high for next issue’s finish.

CREDITS

Writers, Damon Gentry and Troy Nixey; artist and letterer, Nixey; colorist, Michelle Madsen; editors, Brett Israel and Daniel Chabon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Vinegar Teeth #2 (February 2018)

Vinegar Teeth #2The first issue of Vinegar Teeth made the protoplasm cop visually reasonable so the second issue goes all in with the writing. Nixey and Gentry explore the strangeness of Brick City, from its music clubs to its boy scouts turned bank robber.

There’s also a framing device (for a page), with lead copper Artie in trouble in court. The issue doesn’t come back to it; there’s some more with Artie in trouble, like when Vinegar Teeth gets assigned to be the lead detective, but not the courtroom. The courtroom’s a memorable scene. It sets the tone for the issue.

And the issue’s got those boy scout bank robbers and Artie’s interest in music, which are strange enough on their own. There’s also the green and yellow colors of Brick City. Guy Major does them. They make it all seem like spoiling vegetables, which means Vinegar Teeth is working.

There’s a soft cliffhanger for Vinegar Teeth and Artie, but also the end implication of an interstellar threat.

The writing also pushes against the fourth wall a couple times, which comes as a surprise but ends up being a fine fit. Vinegar Teeth can get away with a lot.

CREDITS

Writers, Damon Gentry and Troy Nixey; artist and letterer, Nixey; colorists, Guy Major and Michelle Madsen; editors, Cardner Clark and Daniel Chabon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Vinegar Teeth #1 (January 2018)

Vinegar Teeth #1Vinegar Teeth is a lot. Like, a whole lot. Because it’s gross and Troy Nixey’s art manages to hint at the gross without ever inundating with the gross.

It’s a cop story. Only the lead, drunk rogue cop has a new partner–a giant toxic waste monster named Vinegar Teeth. Vinegar Teeth didn’t pick its name. It isn’t even sure it wants to be a cop. It definitely wants people to be nice to it and one another.

Damon Gentry’s writing keeps up–mostly–with the art, which isn’t easy. Nixey’s doing this extremely detailed noir with some cartoonistisms. The ending comes way too quick–Vinegar Teeth doesn’t get to be a character enough–but the cliffhanger is cool. Gross, but not too much, and cool.

Apparently the Lovecraft influences start next issue. Woo!

CREDITS

Writers, Damon Gentry and Troy Nixey; artist and letterer, Nixey; colorist, Guy Major; editors, Cardner Clark, Brett Israel, and Daniel Chabon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Dark Horse Presents 123 (July 1997)

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Imago‘s finish opens the issue. Arcudi might have needed more time–this installment just gives up, admitting the concept was more interesting than the execution. O’Connell’s art is okay. His faces aren’t distinct enough, but it’s fine for a short story.

Nixey continues the issue’s lackluster vibe with Trout‘s conclusion. In it, Trout (the character) gets his big moment. Except Nixey hadn’t been building toward it except in this installment, so it sort of misfires. Nixey was best when he brought the questing aspect to the story. Without it, like here–an all-action installment–Trout has some good artwork and design, but nothing compelling about it.

Jack Zero reverses the issue’s negative tide a little. It’s got a problematic end, but Zero Boy and Pander do come up with a fantastic resolution to Jack’s trip to the west. Better, they continue coming up with unexpected developments. It’s fine work.

CREDITS

Imago, Part Two; story by John Arcudi; art by Brian O’Connell; lettering by Sean Konot. Trout, Nicky Nicky Nine Doors, Part Five; story and art by Troy Nixey. Jack Zero, Part Three; story by Arnold Pander and Zero Boy; art by Pander; lettered by John Costanza. Edited by Bob Schreck and Jamie S. Rich.

Dark Horse Presents 122 (June 1997)

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I can’t believe I’m saying it but Snejbjerg’s art messes up this Lords of Misrule. He’s unable to draw a regular person. Instead, the person appears frightening, even though he’s not supposed to be frightening. It’s an okay story–but the art, though great in most respects, doesn’t work.

Nixey’s back on track with Trout, at least as far as the art is concerned. He sort of hurries through this installment, which takes a lot of the charm out of it. I expected him to have a big world for Trout; instead, it’s very constricted.

Jack Zero has another good installment from Zero Boy and Pander–it’s very successful as a Western, a genre I’m not used to reading in comics. The ending is a little ominous though.

Arcudi and O’Connell’s Imago is a Batman and Robin analogue where Robin lets Batman die because he’s an overbearing pain. Mildly interesting.

CREDITS

The Lords of Misrule, Part Three; story by John Tomlinson; art by Peter Snejbjerg; lettering by Annie Parkhouse; edited by Ian R. Stude. Trout, Nicky Nicky Nine Doors, Part Four; story and art by Troy Nixey. Jack Zero, Part Two; story by Arnold Pander and Zero Boy; art by Pander; lettered by John Costanza. Imago, Part One; story by John Arcudi; art by Brian O’Connell; lettering by Sean Konot. Edited by Bob Schreck and Jamie S. Rich.

Dark Horse Presents 121 (May 1997)

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The issue opens with Zero Boy and Pander’s Jack Zero, which starts out a little awkwardly… but then quickly establishes itself as a good Western. Pander’s art looks fantastic, bringing a lot of energy to the setting and Zero Boy’s script is thoughtful.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Nixey’s Trout installment this issue. He changes up styles here for effect (a dream sequence) and it loses the charm the previous entries had. It’s confounding and almost adversarial. Nixey doesn’t give a point of entry for the reader here.

Macan and Edwards’s Aliens story is kind of interesting, without being noteworthy (rather good art from Edwards, of course). Macan doesn’t like the sci-fi constraints and wants to tell a human story instead; it’s a little obvious and doesn’t work.

Then Snejbjerg does scripting and art on Lords of Misrule. It’s creepy, with great art, but an awkward finish.

CREDITS

Jack Zero, Part One; story by Zero Boy; art by Arnold Pander; lettered by John Costanza. Trout, Nicky Nicky Nine Doors, Part Three; story and art by Troy Nixey. Aliens, Borderlines; story by Darko Macan; art by Tommy Lee Edwards; lettering by John Workman. The Lords of Misrule, Part Two; story and art by Peter Snejbjerg; lettering by Annie Parkhouse; edited by Ian R. Stude. Edited by Bob Schreck and Jamie S. Rich.

Dark Horse Presents 120 (April 1997)

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The Gully story from Schultz and Williamson doesn’t have much of a script; with Williamson’s art, who cares about the writing? It’s some otherworldly sci-fi Western thing. Lovely to look at.

White and Snejbjerg’s The Lords of Misrule is a little confusing, but decent. Snejbjerg does a great job with the tone and the art is excellent… he just doesn’t take the time to design it to fit the layers of White’s script. Still, creepy and solid.

Trout’s becoming a new favorite, even though this installment shows Nixey has some peculiar problems with perspective. Lot of charm to it though, very nice characterizations.

Hectic Planet goes on forever here. Dorkin has a bunch of silly sci-fi elements in what should be a human story. It gets tiring after the first page then goes on forever.

Schreck, Rich and Jones have a one page closer. Great art from Jones.

CREDITS

One Last Job; story by Mark Schultz; art by Al Williamson; lettered by Denise Powell. The Lords of Misrule, Part One; story by Steve White; art by Peter Snejbjerg; lettering by Annie Parkhouse; edited by Ian R. Stude. Trout, Nicky Nicky Nine Doors, Part Two; story and art by Troy Nixey. Hectic Planet, Part Three; story and art by Evan Dorkin. Gather Ye Rosebuds; story by Bob Schreck and Jamie S. Rich; pencils by Casey Jones; inks by Monty Sheldon; lettering by Sean Konot. Edited by Bob Schreck and Jamie S. Rich.

Dark Horse Presents 119 (March 1997)

194829.jpgI’m not sure what Nixey’s Trout is about or if it’s going to be about the events of this installment (in some fantasy land, an elf brings a living nightmare back from his sleep… or something along those lines). Since the writing’s so tied to the confusing plot, it’s mostly about Nixey’s art. He combines a fantasy setting with some disturbing ideas (more than imagery) and creates something quite nice.

Dorkin’s Hectic Planet is about a girl’s mysterious new boyfriend. Some good art, totally fine writing… it’s like “Friends” for nineties hipsters.

Adams’s Monkeyman and O’Brien this time features a giant monster (who’s more detailed than anything else, art-wise) and absolutely no excitement, of course. His script’s plotting is exceptionally anticlimactic from the start.

Finally, Predator from Barr and Kolins. Kolins’s work is very rough here (weak perspective). It’s a pointless story, just Presents giving a licensed property pages.

CREDITS

Trout, Nicky Nicky Nine Doors, Part One; story and art by Troy Nixey. Hectic Planet, Part Two, Shot on Goal; story and art by Evan Dorkin. Monkeyman & O’Brien, Gorehemoth – The Garbage Heap That Walks Like A Man, Part Two; story and art by Art Adams; lettering by Lois Buhalis. Predator, No Beast So Fierce…; story by Mike W. Barr; pencils by Scott Kolins; inks by Dan Schaefer; lettering by Sean Konot. Edited by Bob Schreck and Jamie S. Rich.

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