Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from Faker #2, which was published by DC/Vertigo and is cover dated October 2007. Enjoy!
I haven’t re-read Faker since it came out, but I remember not liking it all that much. I can’t even remember much about it – there’s a kid in college and somehow he gets deleted from all records, so he has to prove he exists, and there’s some weird experiments going on … I don’t know, don’t judge me! This was when I first started wondering if Mike Carey was my kind of writer. I’ve never really loved anything he’s written, and this is just one of the comics by him that I don’t love. Beats me why.
Anyway, this page is a good example of what’s wrong with comics these days. It’s a pretty boring splash page, to the degree that I wonder if it needs to be a splash page at all or is simply taking up space. The dude – Sack – is planning on jumping, but he doesn’t, and the people below are all looking up at him. Oooh, I need to calm down! Carey’s caption box tells us absolutely nothing about the situation, so there’s no need for it whatsoever. Jock is a pretty good artist, and the actual work is fine, from a perspective point of view and a line work point of view and a scene-setting point of view, but … come on, it’s a dude standing on a ledge. We used to get splash pages of Thor fighting a dragon while Iron Man wrestled with Loki in the foreground and Ms. Marvel and Sif made out in a corner. Wait, was that only in my head? Anyway, it’s not a bad drawing, but it’s kind of dull. We don’t even know that the deleted dude, Nick, is not in the crowd but making his way up to the ledge to get Sack off of it. We learn that in a few pages, but this page gives us no information one way or another. It’s just a dude on a ledge. Yes, I know I’m emphasizing that. That’s because it’s a dude on a motherfucking ledge!
Does this make you want to read the comic in question? I don’t think so. It doesn’t really lead the eye anywhere, it doesn’t feature any verbal or visual information that explains what’s going on, and I guess Carey is relying on the fact that it’s issue #2 and the fact that we might be curious about why the guy is on the ledge. He doesn’t work too hard at it, though, and it makes me want to go read that comic where Ms. Marvel is making out with Sif. But that just might be me. (Compare this to Walt Simonson’s splash page from a few days ago. Yeah, it’s not even close.)
Next: It’s April, and that means it’s Theme Month! This month I’ll be devoting weeks to writers, and the first one up is still my favorite comics writer, despite the fact that he doesn’t always hit it out of the park. You may know him as the Wacky Bald Scotsman, but he’ll always be the God of All Comics to me!!!! Prepare for the month by zipping through the archives!
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