My dear friends, as you know by now I have quite a gripe against publishers using “Floppies” to serialize TPB or graphic novels.
For those of you who don’t know it, my gripe rises from the lack of a “Direct to Graphic Album” market, and this tendency to make Floppies to eventually release Graphic Novels, just
Also, unknown to most of you, I have a large box of comics that I read slowly (at a rate of maybe 3-5 per weekend). That box is filled with floppies bought at different trips and different weeks.
In it I recently found a comic that it had shown promised, and got me excited to read about, but since it was in the box, I kinda forgot about it.
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: David Aja
Publisher: Marvel Comics
This series started being published towards the end of 2012.
I found two issues in my box, so I must’ve had them since early 2013.
The following day after reading them I stopped by my local comic book store, and then started searching for other stores that carried back issues, because this one didn’t. Eventually I found one that had all of them and brought them home with me (making a considerable dent on my budget for the comics of that month)
This series is an instant classic, because it takes common sense conventions used in the production and sale of Floppies, and polishes all of them with a finesse rare in today’s publishing world.
For example, a lot of these stories are self contained. Some arches end in the same issue (Floppy). No more 10 or 20 issue archs, or graphic novels broken down in 20 page installments. Some stories do reach 2 issues, but usually that’s about it.
Also, characters (good guys, bad guys, supporting cast) are recurring, and come back from time to time. So stories may be one or two issues long, but you get the sense they happen in a universe that is familiar and you can relate to.
There is a synergy between the writer and the artist, that is very infrequent. It sort of reminds me of the amazing teams of the bronze age, like Wolfman and Colan with the Tomb Of Dracula.
The main reason why you should pay attention to this issue, Issue 11, is because it explodes.
David Aja is working with Matt Fraction since the beginning of the series, and by now, they have been publishing this comic for a year.
David Aja’s style can remind you of Eduardo Risso, in the sense that both are masterful craftsmen of the art of graphic storytelling. Both fill the page with effective storyboards, and both have deceptively simplistic styles that are the result of years of hard work simplifying sketching styles, working out innovative ways of simplifying complex inking processes.
These are old school artists, not so much in age, but in ethics. They belong to school of though that artists should leave thier imprint in books a long stretch, and while Risso has lots of works, everyone still admires, wonders and marvels at how he pull off the epic saga of 100 bullets.
David Aja is following on his steps with Hawkeye, and the first year ends with this epic episode.
So, onto the details.
What is so epic about this Hawkeye issue 11?
Is told by the dog Lucky.
And the cynics among you may say: “So? We3 was about dogs. And so is now Red Rover…”
Well, Hawkman issue 11 has the dog work with the artists laying out the page, and narrating the story.
David Aja dares to face complexity of panels with an innovative way of composing the layouts. In the background of the page, some reference to the physical settings that relates to the panels laid on top.
The writer has done his homework.
He knows that dogs have memories, and they can separate a large amount of scents and that gets reflected on the page of the comic.
Also, in the pages that follow, the reader gets a complete year-in-review, and in small snippets of memory from the Lucky the dog, we get to review the action in a different perspective.
It is this marriage between graphical simplicity and complex page layout that shines by itself and makes this floppy such a classic.
The final pages area about how we choose our alliances, how it is OK to change friends from time to time, and above all, to seek freedom, for within freedom we open the doors to different opportunities and we allow destiny to act upon us.
There hasn’t been in recent memory a “Floppie” of this quality, so under-rated that has flown under the radar of most reviewers and critics, including yours truly.
I hope one day I will get it signed, because it really restored my faith on floppies.
After more than 10 years of having given up on them.
In my critic’s rating I give Hawkeye #11 by David Aja and Matt Fraction
10 Stars out of 10