"Jon Proctor is a bad-ass colorist,"
I said, quoting myself in an interview Chris Beckett did with me for The Pulse: "This initial issue of The Black Diamond
is a great opening chapter, setting up the story nicely while still managing to be entertaining in its own right. Young and Proctor work well together, producing a taut, fast-paced comic that is also fun to read – something missing in many comics today – and left me wanting more once I reached the end. I am anxious to see where Young and Proctor are taking readers and look forward to the possibility of more stories on The Black Diamond
in the future."
Marc Bernardin gets the treatment from The Sentinel:
" His next project is about the company that cleans up Tokyo after a major monster attack. 'It's called Monster Attack Network,
' Bernardin said. 'They're like FEMA but for giant monster attacks.' Monster Attack Network
will be published as a 96-page graphic novel, due out July 18." Except it's not Tokyo, it's the fictional island of Lapuatu, and it's not 96 but 104 pages. But, yeah: July 18th in finer comics shops everywhere.
H at the Comic Treadmill:
"Young has proven that he is a writer that can and will deliver a quality story with memorable characters and concepts. That said, he’s keeping his cards close to the vest as to what form the plot payoff is going to take in this story. Will it be all action? All wordplay? A combination of the two? Or something else entirely? I don’t know, which I can understand would be frustrating to those who demand immediate gratification. But Young’s given the reader ten fleshed-out characters in an atmospheric setting in two issues and set them on course for a collision."
Oh, yes, #3, #5, and #6 is what you all are waiting for. Heh, heh.
And those of you on the East Coast waiting for word of something other than The Black Diamond
should know I got a fat sack of Monster Attack Network
"Larry Young continues to confound me,"
says Scott Cederlund. "After the one shot The Black Diamond: On Ramp,
I thought I knew what to expect from the first issue of this mini; a hard-living, fast-car road story. I didn’t get it. After issue #1, I thought I knew what to expect in the second issue; a hard-living, fast-car road story. Instead, it’s everything but that with the fast car showing up just in time for the last page and 'to be continued.'
"What I didn’t expect this issue was the artwork of Jon Proctor.
I don’t know exactly what happened but between the first and second issue, his artwork changed. The layouts are more interesting, the colors are more varied and pleasing. The whole story just flows better. In the first issue, Proctor was a great draftsman, drawing cars and buildings. But now, the story feels adventurous."
...and Bradley Hatfield, of The Comic Collective,
sends word that "The Black Diamond is # 3 right now on iFilm!" Brad's referring to the video interview he cut together of me and Jon's amazing art: "The other summer blockbuster of the year!"
kicks off his High Concept Week
with a look at The Black Diamond:
"This is AiT/Planet Lar's first color book, and artist Jon (Gun Theory)
Proctor makes the most of it. His photo-referenced art is suffused with vivid colors and warm sunset glows that makes the line work really pop. That shit is pretty.
"Young's script is chatty and idiosyncratic, full of dialogue that has nothing to do with the plot but is fun to read anyway. The story is built around an action movie premise, yet the action seems sort of peripheral. I can't tell if Young is doing this by design, leading us up to a huge blow-out death race at the end of the six issues, or if The Black Diamond
is a post-modern adventure that is sort of thumbing its nose at genre conventions. To me, that's kind of refreshing - although truth be told, I'm gonna be pissed if there isn't some car-nage before this story screeches to a halt."
If there's one guy out there who gets the comics that I write, it's Tom McLean at Variety:
"One preview tale and two full issues in, Young is sort of playing around the edges of this concept with a lot of dialogue-heavy scenes involving the kind of chit-chat you’d expect in a Quentin Tarantino movie. Proctor’s art is lovingly colored in rich tones and helps pull it off, even as the reader starts to get a little impatient for the real action to start."
The Black Diamond
#2 enjoys the tender ministrations of perceptive comics pundit Graeme McMillan
while being compared to Broob and Phillips' Criminal
: "Young’s script for The Black Diamond
is all about
the dialogue, and I mean that in the best way. More than really being plot-driven (as I’d suggest Criminal
is), this issue of The Black Diamond
is three different conversations that rejoice in language and digressions and little bits of information that aren’t important to the core plot but tell you about the characters nonetheless. It’s an incredibly chatty book, but done in such a way that you forgive the metatextuality of characters referring to themselves as literary devices, or the bigger-picture expositionary download of the middle conversation, because… well, it’s just plain enjoyable to read language being used like that (See also: Sorkin, Tarantino, Bendis, etc. Yes, I get that people don’t really talk like that, but I don’t see why that should affect my enjoyment of fiction)."
puts it under the microscope: "Mr. Young continues to rev his engines, giving us a tryptich of Tarantinoesque scenes which serve to introduce more players which you know
will all wind up interacting before this is done- for good or ill, who can say. Besides Young, that is. One thing for sure, such deliberate stage setting, somewhat odd considering the promise of high-speed, high-octane thrills the basic premise would seem to make, will probably play better in the inevitable trade collection than it does in singles format. Mr. Proctor acquits himself better this time out; he seems to have a better command of his Scanner Darkly
art tactics, and while there is still the occasional flub- on the final page spread, for example, that car just doesn't seem to be on the same perspective plane as the objects and people behind it- he gets the JBS Most Improved award for this two weeks' period. His impressionistic coloring helps add to the mood. I was remiss last time out, not mentioning Dennis Culver's backfeature in #1; I thought it was well done, and in a lot of ways more entertaining than the lead. This issue, we get that notorious ragefudger Ken Lowery doing the honors in a tale which introduces an element of old-time religion to the mix, and skepticism of same; it stops just short of being heavy-handed, saved (if you'll excuse the expression) by God's gift to humanity, humor. He also benefits from a nicely expressive art job by Benjamin and Marjorie Hall. Wouldn't mind seeing more of their work sometime. B+"
...and Jay McKiernan
over at Silver Bullet Comics says: "Instead of action, we get character development and Young introduces what looks to be the supporting figures of the book. This is probably one of the toughest things to write, simply because you’ve got to find a way to make dialogue and exposition interesting. Since comic fans are somewhat conditioned to something blowing up or someone punching, and most of society has trouble paying attention to anything for longer than 10 seconds, this is quite possibly the hardest type of comic to write. Always a positive when you pull the above off. I would have to say that Young’s strength here is that he’s able to find ‘voices’ for each of his characters and make them different. The conversations have strength and meaning because they sound like real people. The other thing that I really liked with the dialogue was that he didn’t feel a need to club you over the head with the message... So for those of you who ignored me last issue and didn’t pick this book up, now you can probably find both and see what’s looking like one of the best mini-series of the summer."
+++++...and a bit on next week's Monster Attack Network:
"Aunque las inspiraciones según Marc Bernardin vienen de otras historias, M.A.N. como se conoce abreviadamente al grupo de respuesta rápida contra monstruos gigantes, según Bernardin es una mezcla de influencias de todo tipo en cuya base estarían por ejemplo Buckaroo Banzai
y Golpe en la Pequeña China.
En cuanto a la historia y la ambientación, se sitúa en la isla del pacífico, Lapuatu, la cual es un paraiso salvo por los monstruos gigantes, Nate Klinger y su escuadrilla son los primeros cuando una bestia gigantesca le da por empezar a actuar con salvaje violencia, una historia de aventuras con hombres valientes y mujeres sensuales."