Saturday, 14 March 2009

Jersey Gods #1 & 2

Starting out as a couple of War-God-on-Earth culture shock shorts in the second Popgun anthology, Glen Brunswick and Dan McDaid's Jersey Gods graduates to serial pamphlet.

Brunswick weaves the tale of Zoe, a vaguely neurotic suburban princess, and her chance encounter with celestial shit-kicker Barock. Romance ensues after Zoe snaps her hero out of a mall set beat-down funk; it's a pleasant twist on damsel rescue, Barock seems quite happy to drift off into The Pact dream oblivion until Zoe has a word and pecks his cheek. Elsewhere, both leads are allowed breathing room to tease out some character dressing. Each of the duo finds themselves involved in machinations they have little control over: Barock battling nasty politico celestials; Zoe dealing with avant garde fashionistas that simply must be fawned over. The dispiriting jobs theme runs right through the piece, even the villains lament their knackered lot, lending the piece a pleasant twenty something malaise. Couple that with some snappy colloquialisms and you've got a fine foundation for a daffy class divide romance. It's issues 8 and 9 of Jack Kirby's New Gods reimagined by a sentimental hipster.

artwork crackles throughout both issues, his sketchy lunk frames framed by frantic, expressive brush strokes. It's not unlike Darwyn Cooke as inked by Frank Espinosa; there's even hints of Bill Sienkiewicz's frenzied fever lines in a pin-up reveal of cosmic viking troublemaker Minog. Colourist Rachelle Rosenberg's palette ranges from dense, frosty earth tones for New Jersey, and singed yellows for the radiating God-towns. The insistence on bold, primary colour choices allowing McDaid's contribution to really shine. Jersey Gods is exciting, fluid work, peppered with some wonderfully literal sound effects, and no small amount of charm.

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