Pulp Will Eat Itself Vol 2 #1 (General Jack Cosmo Productions – Hibbs / Shiroda / Lahners / McKern)
This issue begins what looks like to be a very solid, independently published horror / action anthology series. Issue #1 included two decent tales plus a bunch of pin-up of what I assume are possibly upcoming stories and characters.
The first story “Mournin’ at the Grave” involves a masked hero type from the days of old named Crawdaddy. The script from Robbie Hibbs is very solid and Crawdaddy seems to fit snuggly the archetype of a Robin Hood-esque vigilante do-gooder. Given what I saw here, I know this character easily could carry his own series and I do hope to see more of him soon. The tale opens with the hero coming to the aid of a small girl that he finds crying in a cemetery. Apparently Crawdaddy has not seen the number of horror movies I have and didn’t think this girl was anything more than she seemed. But then again he’s the pulp hero and that’s what pulp heroes do – they race into help selflessly, even if it’s a trap.
Needless to say, the girl was not nearly as innocent as she seemed and a pretty cool action sequence involving the girl and her “kin” ensue. Artist Michael Shiroda steps up and shows good potential. I can see more than a few of his frames being converted into pretty cool framed art. As far as story telling and setting an atmosphere, Shiroda is well above par with his use of shadow, line and depth. There is a little bit of work to be done with the frames that are all action, the heavy lines amd shaded “atmosphere” just muddies up what is actually happening and confuses the reader a tad. As a whole though, a great story!
The second story “O Wicked Wendy” is nothing short of a classic illustrated story, created by Adam Lahners and Jim McKern. This short story is a tale within a tale as a traveling salesman type tries to figure out what kind of creature he hit on the road. The creature dented the crud out of his car and just kept going. Through the song of local, he finds out that he might of hit the devil incarnate himself. This yarn is a great slow burn and a prime example of how a short story can be scary and gripping without being gory. The tale itself is waht I would describe as a modern-day Edgar Allan Poe style.
Both of these stories are worth a look if you happen to come across Captain Jack Cosmo books!
Issue Grade: B+