Friday, June 21, 2024

Comics Review: "DRAWING BLOOD #2" in the Land of the Dead


STORY: Kevin Eastman and David Avallone
SCRIPT: David Avallone
ART: Ben Bishop
“FLASHBACKS”: Ben Bishop (layouts) and Kevin Eastman
“HALLUCINATIONS”: Ben Bishop (layouts) and Troy Little
COLORS: Brittany Peer
LETTERS: Taylor Esposito
COVER: Kevin Eastman
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Ben Bishop; Troy Little
28pp, Colors, 3.99 U.S. (May 2024)

Rated “T+/Teen Plus”

Drawing Blood created by Kevin Eastman and David Avallone

Chapter Two: “Metropolis & All That Jazz”

Kevin Eastman is a comic book writer and writer-artist best known for co-creating the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) with writer-artist Peter Laird.  Born in 1962, Eastman found himself with a burgeoning worldwide pop culture sensation by the time he was 25 in 1987, as TMNT entered the world of animated television, toys, and other merchandising.  That made Eastman and Laird very rich.

In 2019, via his comic book publishing company, KES Comics, Eastman published the four-issue miniseries, Drawing Blood, which referenced his own career in comic books and media.  The original Drawing Blood returns with new issues as a 12-issue series from Image Comics.  It is written by Kevin Eastman and David Avallone; drawn by Ben Bishop, Troy Little, and Eastman, colored by Brittany Peer; and lettered by Taylor Esposito.  The series depicts the life of Shane “Books” Bookman, the (co-)creator of “Radically Rearranged Ronin Ragdolls,” an invention that helped to make Shane' life more absurd than the contents of any comic book.

Drawing Blood #2 (“Metropolis & All That Jazz”) opens with Shane facing off against Lithuanian gangsters who want him to pay off the debt of his former partner, Frank Forrest.  The Lithuanians have put the debt on Shane because Frank, from whom Shane was estranged, recently took his own life.

If that's not enough for a busy day, twins Gretchen and Pierre Legere are following Shane around in order to film a documentary about him.  Then, there is the Broadway musical into which Shane in sinking what remains of his fortune, and so far, the thing seems cursed.  Plus, there are more hallucinations and flashbacks, plus, an appearance by a certain feline trio.

THE LOWDOWN:  I was able to procure a PDF review copy of Drawing Blood #2.  Thus, I decided to review it for you, dear readers.

Whatever extent Drawing Blood is based on Kevin Eastman's life is not as important as the fact that Kevin Eastman is a comic book creator.  It is always a really good thing that we have him involved in comics.

As usual, writer David Avallone infuses the script with humor and sarcasm, but I noticed something in this issue that I didn't in the first.  Shane “Books” Bookman is deep in grief, as I see it.  Avallone cleverly depicts a man living with and around things that are dead or dying.  His overnight success made it easy for him to ruin everything around him, but it has made him delusional enough to believe he can pull off another miraculous hit.  This time, however, it seems as if he's trying to raise the dead... or this could be my (mis)interpretation because of something in the moment.

Artist Ben Bishop's storytelling remains strong, especially in the way he depicts Shane as a man in crisis, a crisis that seems to define his life as series of impending dooms.  Bishop takes all that is vulnerable and emotional in Avallone's script and brings it to life, without losing the humor.

Drawing Blood is more like a Fantagraphics Books title than an Image Comics title merely because it trades in modern fiction more than it does fantasy (or fantasy-infused).  It has a lot to say, and I think you will want to hear every word of it, dear readers, so definitely give it a try.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of both Kevin Eastman and David Avallone will want to try Drawing Blood.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2024 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


Amazon wants me to inform/remind you that any affiliate links found on this page are PAID ADS, but I technically only get paid (eventually) if you click on affiliate links like these, BOOKS PAGE, GRAPHIC NOVELS, or MANGA PAGE and BUY something(s).

No comments:

Post a Comment