Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Good O'l Reviews: Infinite Vacation, Unwritten!

Week of 4/13/11

The Unwritten #24 Review

Bugs Bunny + Tourette's syndrome = Pauly Brukner

Written by Mike Carey
Art by Peter Gross

Taking a break from the literature-intruding adventures of Tom and the gang, this issue heralds the return of foul-mouthed fan-favorite character Mr. Bun, aka Pauly Bruckner! Pauly stumbles upon a group of cutesy talking animals ascending a seemingly endless staircase that acts as a gateway between worlds.

Last we saw Pauly, he was aware that he was a character in a children’s story and wanted nothing more than to “get the f*** out.” Now he has the means to escape as he tricks the caravan of animals into making him their leader and continues up the stairs. He’s like a crazy Moses leading a pack of Looney Toons.

Carey finds a way to make every conversation with Pauly rife with hilarity. When Pauly needs to convince the group that a voice from The Golden Door told him to leave the old and infirmed behind, it’s hard not to laugh at his delivery despite the cruelty of his decision. It’s the bombastic flourishes of Pauly’s dialog, adorned heavily with curse words, that make this issue such a joy.

Gross’s pencils bring out the dizziness of the spiraling staircase on which battles are epically staged along the banisters and up multiple flights. Pauly also invades other worlds and comes across all manner of monster, including a fantastically drawn gigantic spider whose hairy body threatens to jump off the page.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10 

Infinite Vacation #2 Review

What to do when your worst enemy is you?

Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Christian Ward

Issue one was a high-concept mind romp into a world where infinite alternate realities can be accessed via phone app. But when average user Mark gets the strange feeling that someone is killing his alternate versions, his door gets kicked in by a redneck-Mark who accuses him of being the murderer.

If that makes sense, you’re ready for issue two where Mark finds himself hidden away by a group of alternate-Marks searching for who is killing them by the trillions. An important question from readers of the first issue was “If there are infinite Marks, then why do we care about this one?” and Spencer offers a titillating answer: someone is after Mark because, of all his infinite copies, he is somehow unique. Spencer uses Mark as an everyman who explains the oft-confusing rules of his universe, but he now has a more interesting purpose.

Another anchor to the story is Claire, who Mark falls for, despite her being a Singularist – someone who refuses to use Infinite Vacation. Normally talking heads are a bore, but when she shares a touching story about why she doesn’t use the app, Ward allows her profile to dance across the page in a whimsical flourish of purples, pinks, and greens. The art is stylized, yes, but intricacies like tears sticking to her eyelashes are a nice touch not gone unnoticed.

Spencer has managed to enhance his intriguing world with unexpected twists, flavorful versions of Mark, and, most importantly, he has managed to give it heart.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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