Monday, March 28, 2011

House of Mystery v3: #15

The Space Between Part Four: Hide and Seek by Matthew Sturges (writer), Luca Rossi (pencils), José Marzán (inks), Stefano Landini (inks), and Lee Loughridge (colors) - This volume ended with a cliffhanger but it also took a weird turn just before it ended. Who knows what comes next. The game has changed. It feels as though an extra dimension was added to the story.

I'm having a little difficulty adjusting to the new look of the book. The penciler remains the same. I had grown to like the look of Luca Rossi's art. I'm not as keen on it now that it is being inked by others.

Jordan's Idea with the Gorillas and Shit by Matthew Sturges (writer), David Hahn (artist), and Lee Loughridge (colors) - There's no twist in this 3-pager or maybe there are too many of them. Either way, it feels like filler. It comes out of nowhere, goes nowhere and has nothing to do with the main storyline.

House of Mystery is published by Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics

Thursday, March 24, 2011

House of Mystery v3: #14

The Space Between Part Three: Lost and Found by Matthew Sturges (writer), Luca Rossi (pencils), José Marzán (inks), and Lee Loughridge (colors) - I love how the story continues to evolve. What looked like a throw away sequence from the first arc that was included just to help set the tone is turning out to be much more than just that. How it will intersect with the story of Fig and company has yet to be revealed.

I'm also intrigued by what Peter, Fig's father, tells Harry. It makes sense. It could be true but is it? Things have a tendency to get very twisted in the House of Mystery. While Peter's explanation seems plausible given the nature of the story, considering his role and his feelings toward Fig and Harry it's also possible that he may be lying or deluded.

The influence or impact of José Marzán's inks on Luca Rossi's pencils is apparent in this issue, primarily on the faces. I'm a little torn as to whether this is a good thing or not. I liked the book without Marzán's inks, when Rossi penciled and inked the book solo. I'm not turned off by Marzán's inks. It will take me some time to get used to them.

Maidenhead by Matthew Sturges (writer), Gilbert Hernandez (artist), and Lee Loughridge (colors) - Best side story ever. No lie. For the first time I was sad at the end of the side story. I wasn't sad because of the content of the story, but because there wasn't anything more to it.

Gilbert Hernandez has done a masterful job mixing myths from two very different sources: tales of werewolves and tales of adolescent women in Middle Eastern countries like Iran and Iraq. I was entralled by the story and really wish there was more to it. I've never read any of the stories written and drawn by any of the Hernandez brothers, prior to today. The power this story exerted over me has convinced me that I need to seek out some of his other works.

House of Mystery is published by Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

House of Mystery v3: #13

Change of pace. The ongoing story of Fig and the other residents of the House of Mystery takes a break and, for the first time, doesn't make an appearance. Instead three short stories fill this regular-sized issue.

The Thirteenth Hour by Matthew Sturges (writer), Ralph Reese (artist), and Lee Loughridge (colors) - Before Eric can propose to Misaki there's something he needs to show her, something horrific.

The Lace Anniversary by Bill Willingham (writer), and Eric Powell (artist) - While looking for an anniversary gift for his wife
Shopping on 13th street

13th Time's The Charm by Chris Roberson (writer), Neal Adams (artist), and Lee Loughridge (colors) - After touching a mysterious, glowing orb a man and a woman destinies become intertwined.

The first two stories were proper horror stories with gruesome endings. The third one was not and seemed out of place in this issue.

House of Mystery is published by Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

House of Mystery v3: #12

The Space Between Part Two: Push and Pull by Matthew Sturges (writer), Luca Rossi (pencils), José Marzán (inks), and Lee Loughridge (colors) - As often, with stories like House of Mystery, just when I think I grasp where it is and where it is going the rug gets pulled out from beneath me. My guesses, after reading the previous chapter, about there being two throughlines seems somewhat off base. One of the throughlines seems to get split in this story and a new one is introduced.

There's a lot going on in this chapter: a new character (Genevieve) arrives in the House, Harry and Peter unintentionally leave the House (the building not the story), not to menton what gets revealed in the story within the story. As always Luca Rossi's art as colored by Lee Loughridge is beautiful and, for my money, evokes the right sort of mood for this sort of story.

When a story morphs as fast as this one does, as capriciously as this one does I get a little worried. I worry that not all the plot threads and snippets will get resolved or at the very least further attention. I worry that some of them are being introduced as smoke screens to help the writer get the story to where he feels it should be without revealing which cards he is holding. This isn't a fully justified fear. Serial fiction lends itself to weird twists and turns. I've seen it happen often enough. I don't know if Sturges has a long range plan for House of Mystery or is just making it up issue by issue, arc by arc but I am enjoying it and it wouldn't be the same without the weird and sudden twists in the tale.

A Cress in Every Port by Matthew Sturges, Grazia Lobaccaro (pencils), Stefano Landini (inks), Lee Loughridge (colors) - At first I thought this was going to be Cressida's origin story. I was wrong. It left me more puzzled than informed. It provides information but isn't conclusive. Additionally one should consider that the narrator, Genevieve, has fallen for Cress more than once in the past and her opinion may have colored the story so that it less resembles that than it does Genevieve's vision (romantic or otherwise) of past events.

House of Mystery is published by Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics

Saturday, March 12, 2011

House of Mystery v3: #11

The Space Between Part One: Call and Response by Matthew Sturges (writer), Luca Rossi (artist), and Lee Loughridge (colors) - There seems to be two throughlines developing in this volume. The first is the impact Peter, Fig's father, is having on the gang of five: Fig, Harry, Cressida, Poet, Ann. Fig and Harry are the only ones who seem to affected. She confronts her dad, then he confronts Harry, and then he completes the circle by confronting her.

The second is the story of Rina, who was first seen in v1 at her farewell party, just before she was escorted from the House. She has been taken by that mysterious couple, the Conception, to what seems to be the City in the Space Between. She meets with someone who seems to have plans for her.

The City in the Space Between by Matthew Sturges (writer), Jim Fern (artist), and Lee Loughridge (colors) - The universe this series takes place in expands. Peter, Fig's father, tells the story of the city. There's nothing particularly horrific about the tale but there is an element of the fantastic.

House of Mystery is published by Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics