Resident Alien: Suicide Blonde #2 Review
By Zak Edwards
October 18, 2013 - 10:19
Studios: $3.99 US
Writer(s): Peter Hogan
Penciller(s): Steve Parkhouse
Cover Artist(s): Steve Parkhouse
As I mentioned last time, Resident Alien: Suicide Blonde is a wonderful read for its quiet approach and use of space to show rather than tell. It operates very differently from Dark Horse’s other output this month, which shows off exactly how narcissism can take over a narrative. Here, writer Peter Hogan lets things play out, gives characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, and, especially important given the story’s mystery premise, allows readers a space to put things together.
Artist Steve Parkhouse has that quintessential British zine style, cut on classic British comic institutions that simply works for a few reasons, but speed without stereotyping is one of them. Will Eisner talks about comics relying on visual stereotypes as a way to efficiently tell stories, something that always made me almost queasy. His racial examples did not help, of course, but Parkhouse’s style plays on this in a way that easily incorporates an alien as the protagonist into what is otherwise a noir-ish story. The two main men interrogated this issue, for example, play off visual markers of “nerds” and “jocks,” but combined with Hogan’s character work, they are at once recognizable but more complex than what is initially allowed, like the art helps move the story into complexity rather than make excuses otherwise. That space, between stereotype and the unfamiliar, is what makes this issue work so well, both with its chosen content and stylistic approaches.
Grade: 7.5/10 Thoughtful story with great art. ‘Nuff said.
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