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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 41: Flinch #1

Every day this month, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month I will be doing theme weeks, with each week devoted to a single artist. This week: Frank Quitely! Today’s page is from Flinch #1, which was published by DC/Vertigo and is cover dated June 1999. Enjoy!

It doesn't look too nice

DC launced Flinch, a horror anthology, in 1999. It didn’t last too long, and I only bought the first issue, but it did have three interesting stories, including this one. This story is only 6 pages long, so Quitely doesn’t have room to cut loose as much as in other places, but Jen van Meter does have to pack a lot onto this page. The characters live in a neighborhood that used to be nice but is now overrun by gangs, and they’re living in a basement. Van Meter tells us that drugs have taken over and that led to the gangs, which own the neighborhood now. Through the dialogue, we find out that there’s a shipment coming in and a character is going to be getting some ammunition. There’s a big twist to the entire thing, of course, as there must be because it’s a horror story, but I’m not going to give it away. I assume that van Meter made sure that every character is female. That’s important.

Quitely sets the scene pretty well. The first panel places the gang members far enough away that we don’t see them clearly, which is important, and we get a nice view of the crappiness of the neighborhood. The only other notable thing is the final panel, where we see all the characters – they’re all female, of course, but Quitely does a nice job designing different people. They’re all very “Quitely-esque,” in that their faces are a bit flat and the long-haired girls have similar styles, but he gives us a good idea of how difficult these girls’ lives are – many of them have bandages all over them.

Van Meter makes sure we get up to speed quickly, and I suppose it’s up to reader whether she does a good enough job. She teases us with some information, which is all we can ask for. And while Quitely doesn’t have too much to do, it’s still a chance to see Quitely’s art, right? Right????

Next: Back with the God of All Comics, and over to Marvel! And here’s a link to the archives, as you knew it would be!

11 Comments

[…] Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 41: Flinch #1 – comicbookresources.com Every day this month, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month I will be doing theme weeks, with each week devoted to a single artist. This week: Frank Quitely! Today’s page is from Flinch #1, which was published by DC/Vertigo and is cover dated June 1999. Enjoy! DC launced Flinch, [… […]

Next: First part of E for Extinction perhaps?

I wouldn’t be THAT predictable, would I, Philip?

This one is a pretty good story. It IS important that the gang is all female, but it is subtle that they are.

This is one of the few Quitely things I have that I didn’t have him sign when I saw him.

This issue also has good Jim Lee art (I think the first thing he did for DC after the Wildstorm sale), and good Corben art (redundant).

If you haven’t gotten more of these Flinch issues, you ought to pick them up. I thought it went about 16 issues. I don’t have them all, but there’s at least something decent in each one I do have. One highlight (can’t remember which issue) is the Ennis story (art by Kieron Dwyer, iirc) about the Titanic. Based on a dream Ennis had. It’s f–in’ creepy!

I second the Jim Lee art. Flinch #1 was a strong start.

Flinch was a great little series, there was some truly weird stuff in there. In one single issue you had art by Timothy Truman, Roger Langridge and Javier Pulido (not to mention some awesome writers).

[…] Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 41: Flinch #1Comic Book Resourcesby Greg Burgas Every day this month, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month I will be doing theme weeks, with each week devoted to a single artist. This week: Frank Quitely! Today's page is from Flinch #1, which was published … cardiograph, Frantic, lines, scratching […]

I liked all the Vertigo anthologies of that era, and was sad to see Flinch end. By the way, Travis, I made sure to have Quitely sign this issue, as I’d had Jim Lee sign it the year before. Maybe Corben will come to Boston sometime for the hat trick… Anyway, I wish we’d see more of Lee experimenting with his style. Whenever he does, I like his work even more.

Mike: You’ll notice that Scott Williams doesn’t ink him in that story. Williams usually inks him, and I think it’s to his pencil work’s detriment.

I really liked the Jim Lee art in this one. Sort of reminded me of Daniel Torres, from what I recall.

Quitely did a later story in Flinch with Bruce Jones, “Watching You” which I think was one of the psychologically creepiest stories in the entire series.

Mike, you’re Boston based? Cool. I’m not but I’m able to stay up there, and I’m hoping to get up to this year’s show.

Were you in line with me when I got Quitely signatures? I remember a guy talking about Jim Lee being there the year before. Yeah, of course you’d remember… :) (I did write up the show for the blog here, probably if you search boston comic con in the blog search up on the right, you’ll find it. There is a pic of me on there, so caution!) If Greg features a certain Quitely book in the next few days, I’ll mention another thing I did.

I remember the Lee story being him experimenting, trying a “European” style (Moebius is one influence I heard.)

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