When I first saw the cover to Ragemoor #1 I thought to myself “hey man, why is that castle about to eat that guy? Did he say something to the castle? Where did he get that awesome onesie? Hey wait a minute, is that a chick?” so I immediately bought it.
I have seen other works of Richard Corben, being a big fan of space barbarians and BOOBIES. Heavy Metal is epic-dary. How do the friggin fran-sh say avant-avant-guard?
Jim Strnad I only knew of through the Star Wars expanded universe bullshit. I wanted nothing to do with that albatross, f-that. I saw Lucas at the In-and-Out on the way to OAX in 2008. He was with this fine sistah, I mean sistah, I can spell just fine, she was black. Dark chocolate hot as a south Chicago night in August. I recognized her too from some network morning show. So Lucas is in line and this little kid right behind him has a cartoony-Yoda t-shirt on (I hate you anime, and for what you did to my Yoda) and I’m star-struck. This is a perfect moment. I’m all the way across the room and there he is, my Homer (Greek not Groening) with his cowboy boots and pompadour, and that turkey flap neck—and I know it happens with age, but you got all that toy-fucking-money GET IT FIXED George—he’s there with one of his kids, no way I’m going to get this opportunity ever again. He orders, gets his food, walks out looking kind of irritated and in my pipsqueak-greasy-barely-audible voice I say “Thank you, for everything.” And his woman comes right behind him, this glorious teak goddess, and she says “thanks” with a smile and a pointy finger, like “thank you” and tipping her finger at/to me. Her eyes were like onyx. These deep-dark pools of glittering forever, washing over me, through me…for a minute I thought I was over the event horizon and she put some voodoo on me, but I burped and felt better.
So guess what, the castle never eats the guy like on the cover. I read an interview with Corben where he says he never intended the castle to be a real boy but the editors wanted at least one drawing of the stay-puft castle. It did make me read the advert synopsis and that made me buy the book, so call me the sucker. There is some pretty awesome gargoyle-on-man action though. There is also this lighting effect to the illustrations, could be digital or some sort of layering technique, that gives them a depth, and I would say at times too polished of a depth. I like the grain of Corben’s stuff in the past, I like to see the marks of tools on a tangible surface. The illustrations of the castle Ragmoor and its bloody pre-everything ancient origin are amazing. Speaking of sistahs, the lady in the book is red bone thick, man! And again, boobies.
Strnad got into writing television animation after working in underground comics (much with Corben early on) but hasn’t been back to comics for a while. I like the story so far, I like our hero and the butler, but those awesomely-amazing-Corben-birthed-monster-castle-back-story panels were just a big fat info dump I didn’t want. This book is awesome, words and pictures, but I like foreplay. A little lick and nibble, a pinch here or there in some sensitive areas before the skull-face-baboon rape. At least in my mind they raped me. In interviews Strnad has said that Ragmoor was meant to be a one-shot, so I forgive. But I do not forget. He also said Darkhose wanted to make it a four issue series, so why not take a little more time and sherlock that shit out holmes. I know, easy for me to say.
I’m going to get the next one. I’ve seen the preview covers for a couple on the study of comic books intrawebsite, and the whole H-P-Poe-and-Call-of-Cthulhu’s-House-of-boobies thing is cool.