The Cape. Joe Hill, Jason Ciaramella, Zach Howard. IDW. 132 pages. $24.99.
No relation to the short-lived TV series, Ciaramella’s able adaptation of Hill’s short story plays a nice twist on the superhero myth. Howard’s moody art is the ideal medium for the gloomy anti-heroics and twisted fraternal villainy.
Sumo. Thien Pham. First Second. 112 pages. $14.99.
Author Pham doesn’t crowd his simple but lyrical narrative with redundant text and images. He builds the potentially trite tale of a struggling American collegiate athlete who tries to find himself by seeking a career as a Sumo wrestler in Japan into much more than a fish-out-of-water story. The simple art is powerful, evocative and effective. Highly recommended.
Abelard. Renaud Dillies, Regis Hautiere. NBM. 128 pages. $22.99.
This engaging parable (translated from the French) tells the saga of a wistful, yearning sparrow whose chapeau produces apt daily aphorisms. Smitten by a fetching female creature, he leaves the comfort of his European marsh home, journeying to America to seek his fate. It’s a grown-up story of lust and life, with violence and tragedy, despite the animal cast. Dillies’ art is detailed and masterful, and even those (like me) who normally disdain animal stories will admire this wistful fable.
Monster Myths. John Lupo Avanti. ComX. 120 pages. $13.99.
It’s rarely a good sign when a story is prefaced by a glossary; too much work, not enough clarity. Fortunately, Monster Myths mostly manages to convey its tale without requiring references. Avanti is an earnest artist and storyteller and shows great promise beyond this turgid tale of good, evil and gentrification.
Richard Stark’s Parker Book Three: The Score. Darwyn Cooke. IDW. 144 pages. $24.99.
The latest adaptation of Donald Westlake’s tough pulp series is about a criminal attack on a town that goes inevitably awry, and it’s beautifully rendered. Lean, taut and perfectly plotted, Cooke’s brilliant rendition doesn’t miss a beat or hit a single false note.
Richard Pachter is a writer in Boca Raton.