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ALAN MOORE& VARIOUS ARTISTS Ė TOMORROW STORIES 2002. Americaís Best Comics. 

 

Short eccentric, highly inventive and often very funny showcase for new writers working with the well established Alan Moore who created The Watchmen. Four stories dominate each of the comics compiled into this anthology. The first is Jack B Quick, a small town child genius who keeps conducting experiments with devastating results. He tries to make a second Sun to keep it light at night so his Dad wonít shot a cow that frets after dark. The result is a miniature solar system over the town, where people end up opening windows to let planets pass through the houses on their orbits. When the Sun collapses into a black hole, the cow ends up bunging the hole with its backside sticking forever into our dimension. In another story, Jack convinces the police that photons of Light behave so unpredictably because they are drunk. The police arrest light until it agrees to sober up and move more slowly with incredibly surreal results. Greyshirt is a crime caper story with the title figure barely appearing, as crooks come to a bad end through their own activity. In one story, a man with amnesia and covered in blood reads reports of a serial killer on the loose. Convinced that he must be that killer, he murders a man, only to find that he was actually a surviving victim of the real psychopath. His amnesia was caused by the killerís blow to his head, which had failed to kill him. Now he had proved to be a killer anyway. First American is a Captain America spoof in which the hero, and sidekick, U. S. Angel get increasingly disillusioned about the American way. When a Jerry Springer type of chat show host proves to be an alien intent on World Domination, the chat show host evil Lizard is defended by his audience for being an oppressed minority. The Heroes end up getting drunk in a bar thinking it best to just let the villains get on with their nefarious schemes. The characters get several stories each, except for Splash Iranian who sadly only appears once. He is a superhero made of ink and has a habit of leaving black palm prints on the bottoms of his leading lady. Itís a self-reverential and very slick take on the craft of comic book art in its own right. . The best stories in the wonderful collection are those of the gorgeous and enigmatic Lesbian-Chic crime fighter, the Cobweb. Aided by her lovely chauffer girlfriend, she foils the plans of a man who reduces women to anatomically correct little dolls so that he can play with them, ogle them and torture them at will. The story is funny and feminist with a deliberate play on extreme alliteration, and Cobweb artwork is truly glorious One Cobweb story was banned from the series due its depiction of a young pre-Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard as its main villain. The story has since had to appear elsewhere and is regarded as an underground comic book classic.

 

Arthur Chappell

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