Friday's post: ON SATURDAY!!!

*Well, I was totally planning to post last night but my internet connection went all wonky and decided to be a bad puppy, so I couldn’t accomplish much. Then the whole thing froze, so I couldn’t even get a draft out, and then I didn’t feel like restarting the whole thing and then I fell asleep. Yeah, I know, this is like the blogging equivalent of ‘the dog ate my homework’ so I’ll just update now and later tonight when I get things straightened out just a little bit more. I was well into my cups last night anyhow, so you all missed out on what would truely have been some insightful review and comment.

Street Angel #3

If you look closely at the splash on pages 2 and 3 of this excellent new issue of blogosphere darling "Street Angel" you’ll notice that some of the shards of glass and debris are actually letters, which form the message ‘Street Angel in Street Angel 3: Going Street to Hell!’ punctuation included and pun intended. I missed it on the first go around, but I think it says a lot about this issue; the laughs aren’t as easy to find in this one, but they’re still quite present.

Here’s a confession. I just don’t perceive this issue as being much of a departure from the rest of the series. Many other commentators obviously saw it differently. I thought Issue #1 was pretty close to this one in tone: I seem to recall violence (I don’t have the issue here to flip through, sadly) and I always detected a hint of darkness behind the book’s winking eyes. Maybe it’s all the shadow in the artwork. Maybe the book has a bit more visual dankness (not in a bad way) this time, given the mostly church-bound setting. Who knows?

And yet, we have a cult of heavy-metal Satanists who’re burning a threatening message on a man’s skin, but they run out of room and have to start writing on his back. Our injured heroine displays a delightful lack of piety, reacting in disbelief that people are being threatened by morally bad humans, rather than more physically threatening forms of evil, like magic or superpowers. There’s some extreme violence, yes, but given the general drive of the issue (the main villain is a hyper-cliched death-metal goon with a pentagram on his chest and a huge ‘666' tattooed on his forehead... c’mon) the grue comes off as more of a "Toxic Avenger" exercise in icky dark humor. And that’s not all: setting up the black mass consists of setting up amps and a soundboard along with the sacrificial altar. And Street Angel even gets the magical attack she was originally expecting as some very special guest stars pop in for a last-minute throwdown, which ultimately leads to a gleefully uncomprehending theological exchange involving our heroine.

One panel reminds me of the best of Bob Burden, with a totally unnecessary explanatory caption adding extra comedy to the image of a human torso leaping into battle. But the art has more fluidity, more depth than "Flaming Carrot" (which admittedly knew how to use its own crudity to its advantage). This is a very attractive book, and it continues to grow in confidence. The front cover is lovely in its exploitation of the book’s standard pink design. The back cover is a lovely parody of some of Slave Labor’s other offerings.

Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca have yet to let me down. You’ll even learn ninja secrets of playing Kentucky banjo in this issue. That's the sort of bonus feature every American can use! I continue to wholeheartedly recommend this fine publication.