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Escapists #2

Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2006
By: Martijn Form



Writer: Brain K. Vaughan
Artists: Jason S. Alexander, Steve Rolston

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics


Plot: A young boy discovers The Escapist and decides to bring the hero back to life through comics.

Comments: In the first issue of The Escapists the art was provided by Philip Bond and Eduardo Barreto. But for the second issue and the rest of the six issue miniseries, it will be provided Jason S. Alexander and Steve Rolston.

The first few pages by Alexander are well done: Raw art with lots of black lines, but enough detail. The black art he uses creates mysterious shadows that totally captures the scene. Somehow I feel that the letters in the caption are slightly too big. It looks about 12pt where 10pt would have been nicer. That way the captions could be smaller, without being too small to read, and this way there is more room for the art. But this is just a minor complaint. Because I love this book.

Brian K. Vaughan is hitting us with a new stunning series. His writing is great. This issue's opening pages present the comic book Maxwell Roth, the lead character in The Escapists, is trying to publish.

Max doubts if the comic will be good enough for $2.99, and this of course is funny because one is forced to contemplate if the "real" Dark Horse comic The Escapists is worth $2.99. And when Max doubts his comic, he wants to write more captions on a scene. His friend Denny Jones, however, tells him that there are already enough captions, and more captions will only cover the art. To me this is a relevant comment on how a lot of comics use way too many captions to explain a scene, which distracts readers from the art.

Brain K. Vaughan is working on a feature film adaptation of his own series Y: The Last Man. And here in this comic he lets Max explain that he hate adaptations: “They’re not glorified screenplays…” I love the way Vaughan reflects here on his own life and makes fun of it.

Steve Rolston is an excellent artist. He captures facial expressions very well. From surprised to insecure, the expressions are clearly presented. Rolston carves out Max nicely as the nerdy boy next door. All angles of his face are well done and pleasant to look at. But he did an even better job with the character Case Weaver, who is doing the art for Max’s book. Her clothes are realistic and very fashionable. Her haircut is the bomb, and so is she.

The contrast between Rolston’s art and Alexander’s art are miles away. But they complement the story in a big way. When Max, Case and Denny come up with a promotional stunt for their book, they get more than they bargained for. Denny, the big hunk, is dressed as The Escapist and enters a retail store at night. But without knowing, he enters a burglary situation. The scene that follows with Max speaks directly to us comic readers, and the hero scene next is definitely my best comic book moment of this month.

If you are not on board The Escapists, get on it. Catch up and start reading.



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