Saturday, February 13, 2016

Saturday Revue January 13: CU Next Tuesday

Hurry Hurry Hurry!
Get Ready For Some Monstrous Fun!

For Your Reading Pleasure,
 'CU Next Tuesday' Is Onstage!

when a story starts like this, you just know it's going to get interesting.
'CU Next Tuesday', a gritty and interesting noir-parody piece created by Ibai Canales and Sal Brucculeri, resides here.   It's a re-imagining of the Bride of Frankenstein tale with a twist. Frankie's a mob boss and Bride's done dealing with him. Now she's a detective with a mob bounty on her head, a sharp tongue, a busy life and not a whole lot of patience. Black humor, brain dead zombies, monsters and mayhem follows, with deliciously dark and cranky results.

The Rating

Nothing's perfect, but there's a lot to love in this work.

The Raves

If you crossed Macgyver with Kill Bill and threw the cast of Grimm onto the set, you'd get the same general impression that 'CU Next Tuesday' imparts.This is the kind of work that strikes a perfect balance between snarky, sour dark humor, action and internal dialogue, something you don't often see in the adventure comic genre. The creators are good at taking hard boiled and boiler-plate material and giving it a fresh twist, juxtaposing the image that's so classic it's corny with a visual or verbal pun that breathes new life into it. Take, for instance, the fact that the hard bitten cop really is a pig, and the wannabe sidekick makes constant references to the standards of sidekick behavior. Seeing the Bride's thought process actually adds to the charm of the piece rather than, as is usually the case, detracting from the story, mostly because you realize how often she restrains herself from killing the stupid and I'm sure plenty of us can relate to that position! 
Characterization is mainly visual, with the minimum of personal motivation discussed in dialogue, and in this case that's actually refreshing. With the exception of the Bride and Pigstein (yes, the cop really is named Pigstein) , the characters are straightforwardly and unabashedly there as actors telling the story, and in this setting that works just fine. We don't have to deal with any tortured depths of the soul here. That's not what this story is about. We don't need angst from 'Tuesday', we need snark and stuff going boom. And it supplies that in full!
The art carries through the pulp-fiction directness with increasing clarity and wit, using a clever sense of character design and deft employment of shading and texture effects to keep the eye interested and the mind firmly in the world of pulp fiction charm.

The Razzes

Unfortunately, the art could still use some work, particularly in the use of space at the linework stage. Often the scenes are so busy that the reader works pretty hard figuring out what's going on and who's where. I'd like to see a little less focus on cool action shots and a little more focus on clarity and clean lines. There's a sense of pen and ink sketchiness to many areas of linework that has its charms at some moments, but it tends to look a bit messy and distracts the eye from what is already a very busy panel, especially in action scenes. Yes, it's noir, but I might clean it up a little. But it's definitely getting better all the time; reading through the archive, you see a distinct improvement, and I look forward to seeing that upward curve continue.

The Revue

A great read with a glass of burbon in hand on a dark night when the rain falls hard in the City. Watch out though, you may find yourself talking in boiler plate detective slang for a while....

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