Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The comic that'll make you read more comics

Gender reassignments and bloated sequels aside, the dudes at Burlyman Entertainment are very good at their core strength - blowing shit up. After the "Matrix" franchise fizzled, the Wachowski bros turned their energies towards a pair of comic books that involved collaboration with their Matrix storyboarders, the inimitable Steve Skroce and Geof Darrow. For Darrow, they write "Shaolin Cowboy" (tongue-in-cheek ultraviolence, stunningly rendered), and for Skroce, "Doc Frankenstein."

"Doc" is the reason we live and breathe in a beautiful world - compressed, cinematic action drawn with an eye to the celluloid frame as guidance. Everything that happens is so BIG, so HYPERBOLIC, so CRAZY. The concept presupposes that Frankenstein's monster survives in the arctic and spends the convening centuries on vision-quest, eventually emerging as a humanist non-pareil. His superpowered brain (and body) are responsible for stunning leaps in technology, from the steam engine to atomic power - all offered for the betterment of mankind (Doc's laying down for mankind is one of the Christ metaphors the Wachowskis weave up in this).

Conflict is driven in the form of "organized" religion - organized into a heavily armed legion intent on destroying Doc, the "satanic abomination of nature." Faith versus science, man versus machine, humanist versus deist - there's plenty of sinewy themes for the Wachowskis chew on. The only drawback to this book is the 10 months it's taken them to publish four lousy issues. Since they come so sparingly each ish must be savored, like truffles.

Ish four will hit the shelves of comic shops on either this Wednesday, the next, or one of any successive Wednesdays to come - there's no schedule s'far as I know. Bummer. This deserves to sell tens of thousands monthly.