A mixed bag.

Sex, Spies and Rock and Roll

Written by Douglas Messer
Three books, various artists.

Buy them HERE.

I was impressed by the art in the first story I read, and the second one too. A girl and guy are riding in a convertible in the desert to spend time at the girl's father's ranch. As promised in the title, some graphic sex scenes are involved with the young man and his girlfriend. Nothing wrong with that. The father has a back story -the 'spies' part- where he's got a team interrogating an assassin they captured. A helicopter comes along to blast them and presumably free the captor.

In the first story of the second volume we're treated to a car race where there has to be a hit performed on the guy in the black Ferrari. It's being orchestrated between three high school age kids. Again, real stellar artwork even if the story itself is a bit hard to believe.

There's a few other nuggets in Douglas' books. A female American tourist gets sent to a Russian prison for trying to smuggle secret documents out of the country (this whole series is set in the 1980s). She meets a female Russian super-spy there named Katrina Volpova.

A few problems.

There's an obvious attempt by Douglas Messer to cobble together unrelated material. Yes, the stories all do indeed involve spy themes, and some sexual scenes (reading through these I was over-reacting to the potential sexual content from before). But they are only tangentially related to each other. The few stories with the three young people look really great (which is why I chose to share only those), and those stories tie in better.

I think Douglas Messer would have been better off if he stuck to those tales and then added more support material (set up pages, tighter writing connecting the stories).

Lastly, the 'Rock and Roll' element is a bit shaky. I get what Doug's trying to do to set the mood by introducing snippets of song titles, implying the sound of the music in the scene ("Su-Sudio" by Phil Collins, or "Pour Some Sugar" by Def Leppard). To me, that's not enough. You need to use the 'floating ribbon of music' or some other device with lots of notes flying around. And then it becomes an intrusive element in the design of the page, true. That's comics.

Next Tuesday:

Four Horror volumes by Garth Mathams related to

Witch Creek Road


Tim Larsen

12 Woodwardia Ave

Felton CA 95018