ORDINARY #2 by D’israeli and I was released this week, from Titan Comics. Comixology links to buy it digitally are here (as is a preview of the opening sequence, below):
I do love the sequence at the Tram station. The different powers on show from the people queuing, trying to get back to Manhattan. It’s a minor irritation when I’ve read Ordinary described as a book where ‘everyone becomes superheroes’ or a ‘take on superheroes.’ It’s not intended to be that. Everyone gets a power, yes, but it’s a power that says something about their inner character. And it’s the mundane taken to wild extremes, at times. That comes more to the fore in issue #2. The man with slugs for hair is a favourite. I love our cosmically aware Pakistan-originated taxi driver too. Meanwhile, back in the War Room (“Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here, this is the War Room etc”) The President of The United States has all his thoughts, however ordinary, become visible for all to see in a small bubble. And that sums Ordinary up, I think, the clash between the moribund and the amazing.
I should also point out how much I love what D’israeli did with the tram sequence. If you’ve ever travelled on the Roosevelt Island tram you’ll recognise just how much accuracy he put into this:
And you get a song and dance number! How many comics give you a Busby Berkeley song and dance number?
And there’s also a man who can magic beer out of thin air. Who wouldn’t want a superpower like that? We’ve tried to throw the kitchen sink at Ordinary, in terms of it being a comedy, a tragedy, an action thriller, even a musical at one point. I don’t really agree that a story needs one tone throughout. I like the dramatic impact of lulling the reader into thinking this is a comedy sequence and then something awful happens, or vice versa. Hopefully you keep people off-guard with this and surprise.
But overall, for all its spectacle and talking bears, Ordinary is meant to be a story with a strong emotional core. One man learning to find something worthwhile inside himself, learning to become a father. Even if it kills him…
And I was really pleased with this little sequence. Says a lot about Michael and the book, hopefully. How we’ve tried to steer clear of cliche. Michael comes across a dead body, mutilated by something unseen, as he enters the wreckage of his son’s school. He’s terrified. Then he sees a revolver close by the dead body:
Also out this week was 2000AD #1887 which features a four-page Time Twister beautifully drawn by Bristol-based friend Simon Gurr (whose work I highly recommend, have a look at his website here: http://simongurr.wordpress.com/ ). It’s called ‘Burping Hitler’ and may well be a satire of all those time travelling stories where they go back and kill Hitler as a baby. This time, The Fuhrer’s waiting…
“Come, lazy-minded time assassins! Come and assault the babe of national socialism with your morality conundrums, if you dare!” You know. Gritty, down-to-earth dialogue.
Si did a lovely job on this. Particularly fond of the opening shot of The Kehlsteinhaus, Hitler’s Bavarian retreat:
The work he did on this strip far outweighed its comedic origins. Read his blog post about how he amended his art style to be inspired by German expressionism because of the setting. And then there’s the tiny animals he drew into the story’s title:
Speaking of artists going above and beyond the call of duty with detail… the two-part Judge Dredd story by myself and Chris Weston starts in next week’s 2000AD #1888. It’s called ‘The Heart Is A Lonely Klegg Hunter’ and it’s coloured by the very talented Mike Dowling (who drew ‘Closet’, the gay club-themed Judge Dredd I wrote a while back, as well as being the artist on the much lauded Death Sentence) and lettered by Annie Parkhouse, I believe.
Chris’s insanely detailed, brilliant cover is indicative of the insanely detailed, brilliant interior work on the strip. He’s a phenomenal artist. I know I’m biased but I think it’s one of the best covers you’ll see on a comic for a long while.