The movie studios were baffled when Year One?* bombed at the box office. "Michael Cera! You love him! Jack Black! You love him! Look! It's them together," they probably screamed at paltry theater receipts. To be fair, Year One wasn't a very good movie. (Probably. I mean, I didn't see it. LOL) What I'm asking about though is, what happens, or doesn't happen, for a project between two popular and talented artists to come out and go entirely under the radar? I'm talking about Lot 13 of course.
IT'S GLEN FABRY DOING INTERIORS. WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU? I say this as the idiot who passed up seeing Belle & Sebastian in a small Massachusetts theater because I insanely thought, "Oh they tour America all the time. I'll just catch them the next time they play a show five minutes from where I live in a thousand seat venue." And it's written by Steve Niles! He's no slouch eh? You like all the vampires and stuff I bet!
I mean, let's talk about the ugly corporate logo in the room. DC has been sitting on Lot 13 since it was first advertised as coming out under the Wildstorm (RIP) imprint. And while we're on the topic, where's my goddamn Astro City monthly?! Now that they're finally releasing it, they are doing so with the same pomp and fanfare they gave Brian Wood's Supernatural mini: NONE WHATSOEVER.
Don't ever forget that the bigger and more corporate something is, the less it's going to care about anything that's different or doesn't fit in with this quarter's corporate strategy marketing plan. Lot 13 isn't a BIG NEW 52 marketing extravaganza, so in the eyes of DC, it's not really worth promoting is it? Can't have that imaginary group of "new readers" getting confused at the store! Gotta keep it simple. Make comics that people who have no interest in comics can pick up and say, "Superman and Wonder Woman kissing. That makes sense to me because superheroes right?" CHA-CHING. Batman tongue kissing Catwoman on a boob filled steamy evening, that's corporate comics and it looks exactly like businessmen who have never read comics imagine they're supposed to look.
So Lot 13 I am here for you. I'm gonna buy you and enjoy you and talk about you if those stuffed shirts are going to spend all their advertising dollars promoting a graphic novel adaptation of a film adaptation of another film adaptation of a book adaptation. I will sing your praises because you deserve better.
Lot 13 is a weird, creepy comic with pages drawn by comics master Glen Fabry. It's a story of a haunted family. I think. There's definitely ghosts. There's also a super disturbing bit of nightmare puritan action in the beginning where Fabry really displays his knack for the beautifully grisly. The first issue sets the tone for the series, giving us a likeable, average family of young parents and teenagers moving to a new place. You've seen it before. Or so you think.
But Lot 13 isn't another "We're in a new home oh what is that a bone on the floor is there a ghost in my closet get out of the house" story. It's smarter than that. And way more surreal than that. If you enjoyed Fabry's paints bringing to life horrifying desert nightmare weirdos in Preacher you're going to love the gruesome little devils he's populating Lot 13 with. I don't want to give too much away, so let's just say they end up in a haunted apartment building in the desert. Wait, that's exactly what happens. Look, read it anyways. It's great.
I bought this last week, and it's pretty good. I like the simple, endearing way the characters are written. They seem like real, nice folks, and the pacing is perfect for a first issue. I'm on board til the end!
Steve Niles misses more than he hits with me when it comes to his writing, but I love Fabry's artwork. The last time I remember him providing interiors for a comic was the Thor: Vikings mini written by Garth Ennis. Hmmm. I'll flip through the first issue to see if it grabs me.
The deepest pits of Hel, somewhere in southern germany
He did the interiors for one of the AUthority - Kev series as well.
I was all for this series but then I saw some preview art. It was gorgeous as is to be expected from Fabry, but it was also pretty gruesome stuff. Really drastic horror pictures and it was just too much to stomach for me.
That's why I decided not to buy it.
Starting the review by comparing the book to a stinker like Year One might not have been the best move. It almost kept me from reading the review any further. It's not a fair comparison, either. The studio promoted the heck out of Year One and the people involved. I haven't seen any such efforts from DC to increase awareness of Lot 13.