cover image Coin-Op Comics Anthology: 1997–2017

Coin-Op Comics Anthology: 1997–2017

Peter and Maria Hoey. Top Shelf, $29.99 (200p) ISBN 978-1-60309-427-6

This spectacular volume collects 20 years of comics self-published in the Hoeys’ own titular series as well as in Blab. The result is impressive not only because of the sibling team’s skill as illustrators but also the thoughtful construction of each piece, and their rich production values. The Hoeys’ art deco aesthetic is driven by their interest in jazz, classic cinema, and pioneering animation; however, their storytelling dips into formal, fractured experiments. In “The Windy Parade,” the 12-panel pages tell different stories depending on if they’re read one at a time or as a whole. “Une Lune Andalouse” (cowritten by C.P. Freund) is a mash-up of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window with Luis Bunuel and Salvadore Dali’s Un Chien Andalou, merging the suspense of the former with the transgressive elements of the latter, all while emphasizing the films’ common element of voyeurism. The running “Saltz and Pepz” strips are a tribute to Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse comics, but with a nasty, modern sensibility. “Valse Mecanique” (again, co-written by Freund) limns the tenuous relationship between man and machine, inspired by Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis. Each page is a feast for the eyes. This is a striking assemblage of two decades of challenging, entertaining, and crisply beautiful stories. (June)