Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fathom-Aspen Comics

Nice eye candy, but not much else...

Aspen Comics produces some of the most beautifully illustrated, God awful comic book titles I've ever seen. Even the non-stop gnashing of teeth and lamentation over the death of Michael Turner fails to elicit in me the faintest of reason to continue buying their product. Slow, tortuous and lacking in plot to the brink of mind numbing boredom as any ongoing title I've ever 'read'. And the entire line is like that! The Aspen motto must be, "Writers? We don't need no stinking writers!' because they don't mince words when it comes to storytelling. Hell, they hardly even use them.

One of my pet peeves with a comic book is using the artwork to tell the entire story. When I'm ten or twelve pages into a book and the only thing I've read is, "Look out!", "Jump!", Over here!", "Careful!" "sh-h-h... they'll hear you." I'm not a very satisfied reader. I always feel like I've regressed back to a time in childhood where the books I read contained sentences like, "See, Fathom. Swim, Fathom swim." Duh...

Every book I've looked at in their line is the same. By the time I've invested three dollars per issue for five or six books in a row where nothing happens and I'm no further into the development of a plot line than, "See, Soulfire. Run, Soulfire run." I'm outta there! Seriously, if you're not going to use words in telling a story, stop using them all together. I'm tired of having to purchase five or six issues of an Aspen book in order to get one full sentence of storytelling.

Comic books are a unique literary form where a balance of illustration and dialog come together to present a cohesive drama. Fathom is not a comic book by this definition, it is a picture book and quite frankly I outgrew those a very long time ago.

Using nautical terms to create a rating scale for this title I'd find myself speaking pirate as in, "Thar she blows!" and trust me, this book really does.

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