Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Invisibles: Kissing Mister Quimper

What I try to do with reviews at this Bookshelf blog is keep it simple and spoiler-free, and let you know whether I'd recommend you pick up a copy of what I just read. Seems to work okay. This time, a brief review of The Invisibles: Kissing Mister Quimper (volume six) (DC/Vertigo, 1999).

So the sixth book in Grant Morrison's The Invisibles wrapped up the series' second "volume" of publication. This was a twenty-issue run that saw King Mob and his cell in the United States, working both with and against the hierarchy of their conspiracy and in opposition to the American military and a, frankly, dull as dishwater shouty general. He had employed a small man named Mr. Quimper - unlike the general, a fascinating villain - and Quimper had been slowly performing psychic manipulation on the protagonists, twisting the team leader, Ragged Robin, and influencing her behavior.

The artwork for this last run of eight installments was provided by Chris Weston, and while I normally really enjoy his work without reservation, this is not quite his best material. While it is certainly terrific, I found myself really disliking his depiction of King Mob, who wears such giant earrings that it actively distracted me! Otherwise, the work is just amazing, with wild dreamscapes and excellent figure work. I especially found myself liking the realistic way that he draws the characters to not look like standard comic book supermodels.

Overall, it's more wild, brilliantly constructed material, full of twists and turns and amazing surprises. Unfortunately for readers of the collected edition, a thoughtless bit of layout editing leaves a whacking huge and pivotal moment splash-paged on the right side of the book, instead of on the left so readers could turn the page and be shocked by it. Every so often, I'd like to have a word or two with DC Comics' collected edition department. Spoiling that twist by laying out that way, well, that's just criminal. Recommended, of course.

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