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Showing posts by: Stephen Weil click to see Stephen Weil's profile
Wed
Dec 18 2013 11:00am

You Are Now Leaving Lovecraft: The End of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s Locke & Key

Imagine the difficulties of designing a house. Change the tiniest detail—add a couple square feet to the closet off the master bedroom, say, or make the ceilings on the ground floor six inches higher—and that decision reverberates through the rest of your plans. An architect, I imagine, must always have an overarching view of the whole.

It’s the same thing with storytelling: the best storytellers plan far ahead, and understand that each decision they make will affect the shape of what comes next and what has come before. The bigger and more unwieldy a story gets, the more difficult it becomes to maintain a clear picture of the aggregate. Too often in serialized media like television or comics, stories get away from their creators, and we, the viewers/readers, start to notice. (Does that doorway look crooked to you? Why would someone put a bathroom there?). A good storyteller must know their boundaries and keep their narrative within a predetermined footprint. A large element of this is simply recognizing when it is time for something to end.

Today marks the end of writer Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez’s beloved ongoing comic book series, Locke & Key, with the release of its stellar final issue, Locke & Key: Alpha #2.

[Read on for a review of the issue]

Wed
Aug 7 2013 4:00pm

Exploring Trillium: An Interview with Jeff Lemire

The Canadian comic book artist and writer Jeff Lemire has made me cry a number of times—certainly more than any other Canadian comic book artist and writer. It happened once or twice when I first made my way through the final 30 pages of book two in his beautiful and understated Essex County trilogy. As I read Sweet Tooth, the 40-issue monthly series that he brought to a close earlier this year, I probably shed tears once every ten issues or so. And I remember feeling a distinct pressure at the bottom of my throat through much of The Underwater Welder, his spare and mysterious graphic novel from 2012 about fatherhood and, yes, underwater welding.

Lemire’s work is driven by his characters and their emotions. He understands the importance of the quiet moments, and he is not afraid to let his art speak for itself, whether he’s creating a simple story about two brothers growing old together (see: Essex County) or a big post-apocalyptic road adventure about human/animal hybrid children (like Sweet Tooth). Or—as is the case with his newest creator-owned project, Trillium—a large-canvas time travel love story that reads like a slightly psychedelic meld of Avatar and some jungle-set adventure film from the 20s or 30s.

[Read on for an interview with Jeff Lemire]