Project: Superior

Various, Author, Various, Illustrator . AdHouse Books $19.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-9721794-8-5

Many underground cartoonists define their work at least in part by its relationship to the superhero comics mainstream: they're against it. But superhero comics are also the teat at which many of those cartoonists suckled, and this meaty anthology challenges a few dozen artists who generally steer far clear of superheroes to do short comics about them. Most of the results fall into a few basic categories, the most popular of which is slice-of-life stories about quotidian experience rendered ridiculous by everybody wearing Spandex outfits (notably Nick Abadzis's "You Can't Always Get What You Want"; Scott Morse's "The Solutionist"; and J.W. Cotter's "Sucker Punch"). A handful of artists (Chris Pitzer, J. Chris Campbell, Nathan Jurevicius) contribute pieces that are less actual stories than smooth graphic design inspired by cape-and-cowl iconography. Others use superhero fantasies as a metaphor for childhood trauma and dreams of revenge (Mike Dawson's "Ace-Face"; Farel Dalrymple's "Hollis"; and best of all Jamie Tanner's creepy, bold "Blink," which riffs ingeniously on children's fantasies of moral authority). Among the book's other standouts, Jeffrey Brown contributes a nutty, way-over-the-top slugfest (in the vein of his recent Bighead ) concerning a one-eyed, tentacle-armed hero called Cycoloctopus; and R. Kikuo Johnson's "Thrustman" is a clever if sometimes baffling piece of metafiction. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 03/14/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.