Valentin Ramon

Hot Damn 2 (May 2016)

Hot Damn #2I’m still undecided on Hot Damn, which I wasn’t expecting. I was expecting to jump off with this issue–something about Ferrier’s writing style for this comic, he’s trying too hard to be flashy. He knows Ramon can really do up the Heaven and Hell scenery and Ferrier pushes it. There is actual nuance to some of the characters, Ferrier just doesn’t want to get caught up.

He wants to be sensational. He wants to do something blasphemous. He fails. Even with Ramon’s art, Hot Damn is just desperate for attention. I’m not even sure what zeitgeist it’s chasing, because Ferrier has original material and then he has tropes he goes through. Maybe it’s something with IDW editorial. Hot Damn is creator-owned but does have an editor.

So I guess I’m on for another issue. There’s some good stuff in the issue, some amusing moments, some very amusing sight gags from Ramon. There’s also a lot of lame stuff in the issue, lame moments, lame sight gags from Ramon. I’m far more curious to see if Ferrier gets anywhere, even somewhere tepid, with Hot Damn than I am to see how the narrative goes. While narrative’s barely passable, the execution’s bewildering.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Valentin Ramon; editor, David Hedgecock; publisher, IDW Publishing.

HOT DDDDDDD

Hot Damn 1 (April 2016)

Hot Damn #1Didn’t I just read a Hell series lately? Or was it a Heaven series? One or the other. Or it’s both. Hot Damn is sort of both. Ryan Ferrier writes, Valentin Ramon illustrates. It’s the story of some guy who ODes on coke and dies. He goes to Hell. Hell has thousand year twelve step programs (regular sinners promoted to demons), it has gross junk food, it has crappy apartments, it’s generally icky. With lots of fluids.

Ramon does a fine job with all the Hell stuff. He does a fine job with all the Heaven stuff (angels getting stoned, mostly). It’s detailed and never too icky. There’s far more implied grossness than actual.

But is Hot Damn any good? Eh.

It’s okay. It’s not the worst “slacker goes to Hell” story in the world. It’s not the best. Ferrier’s a problematic writer, but he actually doesn’t do much here. The jokes are all pretty standard, there’s nothing of particular note about the characters. I thought the Devil was going to be interesting, but no. He’s just a boring office guy so far. Sure, Hitler, Stalin and Mao are all in his office being tormented but it’s Hell. Stalin, Mao and Hitler in Hell are all tropes.

Maybe something interesting will happen next issue. But, sadly, I sort of doubt it.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Valentin Ramon; editor, David Hedgecock; publisher, IDW Publishing.

D4VE 3 (February 2014)

D4VE #3This issue of D4VE is the very definition of a bridging issue. Nothing happens. D4VE starts the issue getting ready to go to war against the alien invaders, he ends the issue getting ready to go to war against the alien invaders.

Except he makes up with his wife and he and his son bond. Why? No reason. At least the son is hanging out with him so the reader gets to see some of the bonding, but the wife just up and calls and forgives him for being terrible.

Except D4VE hasn’t really been terrible so it’s a pointless thing for her to apologize for. D4VE is clearly going to be right about the aliens–Ferrier shows the aliens plotting against the robots, shows the robots being too dumb to catch on. It’s a treading water issue.

There’s some decent art from Ramon but the issue grinds along painfully.

CREDITS

Writer and letterer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Valentin Ramon; publisher, Monkeybrain Comics.

D4VE 2 (January 2014)

D4VE #2It’s a perfectly okay issue of D4VE, it just doesn’t go anywhere. D4VE’s wife is leaving him. Wasn’t she ready to leave him in the first issue? There’s no drama to it. And, given it’s about a bunch of robots, Ferrier’s oddly calm about having characters who are monotonous.

There’s some stuff with D4VE and his son, which is a strange concept–robots building little robots to emulate human behavior (these contradictions, which D4VE sometimes comments on, are some of Ferrier’s stronger details).

Some of the problem with the issue is the aliens. There are lots of aliens. They distract from D4VE’s story, but they also give Ferrier a way to manipulate the reader. It’s sort of deft manipulation, just still obvious.

Ferrier also hints at forthcoming details. There are a couple times this issue it’s all just set up for next time out.

The good art from Ramon helps.

CREDITS

Writer and letterer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Valentin Ramon; publisher, Monkeybrain Comics.

D4VE 1 (February 2015)

D4VE #1D4VE is the traditional American story of the disaffected middle aged office worker, the one whose wife doesn’t find him attractive anymore, the one who has a terrible relationship with his kid.

Only D4VE is a robot. Man made robot, robot killed man, robots inherit the Earth. Only Ferrier takes it to the nth degree and the robots actually went out and killed every living thing they could find. Actually, it’s kind of like the Borg. Only Valentin Ramon doesn’t draw D4VE and the other robots grody. They’re really slick futuristic robots, like Boris Vallejo robots.

Does D4VE work out in the end? Pretty much. Nothing happens (except aliens invading, possibly giving former war-bot D4VE a chance to shine again). D4VE fights with his wife, his boss, goes to a strip club. Ferrier isn’t doing anything new, he’s just found a new way of doing it.

And it works.

CREDITS

Writer and letterer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Valentin Ramon; editor, David Hedgecock; publisher, IDW Comics.

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