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    The Best of Milligan McCarthy

    Half a year ago I was reading Dark Horse’s solicitations and I found “The Best of Milligan & McCarthy”. I had no idea it was a gorgeous, deluxe edition. I just paid attention to the names. I’ve been a big fan of Peter Milligan and Brendan McCarthy for over a decade.

    As British authors they both honed their abilities in the pages of 2000AD, Milligan as a writer and McCarthy as an artist. Together, they were an amazing creative team. I admired Milligan’s narrative talent in “Dark Night, Dark City” one of my favorite Batman sagas (3 brilliant issues), I was fascinated by his reinterpretation of Shade, the Changing Man for Vertigo in the 90s and I loved his X-Force and X-Statix for Marvel a few years ago. As for McCarthy, his art on some Judge Dredd stories frightened me when I was around 8 or 9 years old; he was that good. Because, you see, there is always a certain degree of madness in McCarthy’s composition, a certain dementia in his designs, and also so much richness in his colors. 

    For years, I saw the works of Milligan with other artists and the art of McCarthy for other writers. And my wish was to see them together. Turns out, I had missed their greatest collaborations. Luckily for me, Dark Horse editors Mike Richardson and Brendan Wright decided it was about time to rescue some of the most wonderful comics ever published and give them the deluxe treatment they so justly deserved. Announced several months in advance, I was impatient to see the book. When I finally received it I felt like a little boy in Christmas getting the present he had been waiting for the entire year. The edition is beautiful, much better than the deluxe editions from other companies. 

    I had so much fun reading this that I had the need to share with you, my readers, how awesome it was. By now you’ve probably read my reviews on Paradax, Rogan Gosh, Skin, Mirkin the Mystic and Freakwave. But this volume includes many other extraordinary works such as Electro Hoax, Roaring’s Rantin’s, Summer of Love, The Hollow Circus and Sooner or Later.

    Electro Hoax is a black and white horizontal comic strip that reunites some of Milligan’s wildest and craziest concepts. It’s quite old and here we can see McCarthy working specifically for a black and white publication. This is really the only story in traditional black and white, and later on McCarthy would surprise all his readers with his stunning coloring techniques. Most artists are either good at penciling or inking, some are good at both things, but it’s very rare to find artists that excel at penciling, inking and coloring. McCarthy is one of them.

    Roaring’s Rantin’s is a hilarious chronicle about two old gay men that live in the post-apocalyptic world of Freakwave. Instead of finding survivors they visit other gay men that are still ‘active’ in their social calendar, and together they have fun in some really bizarre parties that reminds us that this is, indeed, an alternative future. Some lines made me laugh until I started choking: “Stuff ‘n nonsense. I used to twist that silly little arse round me fingers”. And McCarthy’s art is so charming here, intensifying the surrealistic surroundings.
    The Best of Milligan McCarthy
    "He was 17 years old, with vinegar on his lips and time on his hands" /
    "Él tenía 17 años, con vinagre en sus labios y tiempo en sus manos"

    Summer of Love is a bittersweet comic strip published in a newspaper that was declared in bankruptcy so the ending is a bit abrupt. The protagonist is a 17-year-old boy that falls in love with a girl that is obsessed with her modeling career. Together, they explore a coast town that receives neither attention nor tourism; lost in the map, this is a place that nobody gives a damn about. 

    The Hollow Circus is a very experimental comic first included in the A1 anthology (Atomeka Press). For some, this may be a very disturbing story about a hunchback with pedophiliac tendencies, but I think this was a conscientious effort on behalf of Milligan and McCarthy to do something disturbing. They both tried something very new, thematically and artistically (here McCarthy’s highly experimental art is similar to Dave McKean’s style).

    Sooner or Later, finally, is the only one I was familiar with. I had the chance to read the first chapters a couple of years ago (I found them as backups in Fleetway’s edition of Alan Moore’s Halo Jones). Tony Riot and Brendan McCarthy work together as artists, and the result is spectacular.
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    The Best of Milligan McCarthy
    McCarthy's experimental art / el arte experimental de McCarthy

    Hace medio año estaba leyendo las solicitaciones de Dark Horse y encontré “The Best of Milligan & McCarthy”. No tenía ni idea de que se trataba de una preciosa edición de lujo. Sólo le presté atención a los nombres. He sido un gran fan de Peter Milligan y Brendan McCarthy por más de una década.

    Ambos autores británicos pulieron sus habilidades en las páginas de "2000AD", Milligan como escritor y McCarthy como artista. Juntos eran un asombroso equipo creativo. Admiré el talento narrativo de Milligan en “Dark Night, Dark City” una de mis sagas favoritas de Batman (3 números brillantes), me fascinó su reinterpretación de "Shade, the Changing Man" para Vertigo en los 90s y me encantó su "X-Force" y "X-Statix" para Marvel pocos años atrás. En cuanto a McCarthy, su arte en algunas historias de Judge Dredd lograba asustarme cuando tenía 8 o 9 años; era así de bueno. Porque, verán, siempre hay un cierto grado de locura en la composición de McCarthy, una cierta demencia en sus diseños, y también tanta riqueza en sus colores. 

    Por años, vi las obras de Milligan con otros artistas y el arte de McCarthy para otros escritores. Y mi deseo era verlos juntos. Resulta que me había perdido sus más grandiosas colaboraciones. Afortunadamente, Mike Richardson y Brendan Wright, editores de Dark Horse, decidieron que ya era hora de rescatar algunos de los más maravillosos cómics jamás publicadas y darles el tratamiento de lujo que tan justamente merecían. Anunciado con varios meses de antelación, estaba impaciente por ver el libro. Cuando finalmente lo recibí me sentí como un niño pequeño en navidad recibiendo el regalo que había estado esperando todo el año. La edición es hermosa, mucho mejor que las ediciones de lujo de otras editoriales.

    Me divertí tanto leyendo todo esto que sentí la necesidad de compartir con ustedes, mis lectores, lo impresionante que fue. A estas alturas probablemente ya han leído mis reseñas sobre "Paradax", "Rogan Gosh", "Skin", "Mirkin the Mystic" y "Freakwave". Pero este volumen incluye muchos otros trabajos extraordinarios como "Electro Hoax", "Roaring’s Rantin’s", "Summer of Love", "The Hollow Circus" y "Sooner or Later".
    The Best of Milligan McCarthy
    Milligan writes about a teen looking for work in an England ruled by Thatcher /
    Milligan escribe sobre un adolescente que busca empleo en la Inglaterra de Thatcher

    "Electro Hoax" es una tira cómica horizontal a blanco y negro que reúne algunos de los más salvajes y alocados conceptos de Milligan. Es bastante vieja y aquí podemos ver a McCarthy trabajando específicamente para una publicación a blanco y negro. Esta es realmente la única historia en blanco y negro tradicional, y después McCarthy sorprendería a todos sus lectores con sus espectaculares técnicas de coloreado. La mayoría de artistas son buenos dibujando a lápiz o entintando, algunos son buenos en ambas cosas, pero es muy raro encontrar artistas que sobresalgan en el dibujo a lápiz, en la tinta y en el coloreado. McCarthy es uno de ellos.

    "Roaring’s Rantin’s" es una hilarante crónica sobre dos gays viejos que viven en el mundo post-apocalíptico de "Freakwave". En vez de encontrar sobrevivientes, visitan a otros gays que todavía están ‘activos’ en el calendario social, y juntos se divierten en algunas fiestas realmente bizarras que nos recuerdan que este es, de hecho, un futuro alternativo. Algunas líneas me hicieron reír al máximo: “Sandeces y tonterías. Solía darle la vuelta a ese tonto culito con mis dedos”. Y el arte de McCarthy es tan encantador, intensificando el entorno surrealista.

    "Summer of Love" es una agridulce tira cómica publicada en un periódico que se declaró en bancarrota, así que el final es un poco abrupto. El protagonista es un chico de 17 años que se enamora de una chica que está obsesionada con su carrera de modelaje. Juntos, exploran un pueblo costero que no recibe ni atención ni turismo; perdido en el mapa, este es un lugar que no le importa a nadie.

    "The Hollow Circus" es un cómic muy experimental incluido en la antología "A1" (Atomeka Press). Para algunos, esta puede ser una perturbadora historia sobre un jorobado con tendencias pedofílicas, pero creo que esto fue un esfuerzo conciente de parte de Milligan y McCarthy por hacer algo perturbador. Ambos probaron algo muy nuevo, temática y artísticamente (aquí el arte sumamente experimental de  McCarthy es similar al estilo de Dave McKean).

    Finalmente, "Sooner or Later" fue lo único que me resultó familiar. Había tenido la oportunidad de leer los primeros capítulos hace un par de años (los encontré como historias de respaldo en la edición de Fleetway del "Halo Jones" de Alan Moore). Tony Riot y Brendan McCarthy trabajan juntos como artistas, y el resultado es espectacular.

    Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-best-of-milligan-mccarthy.html

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    About the Author - Arion


    Arion, who is either from Chile or New York (it’s not really clear) writes a blog that the Outhouse steals on a regular basis.  Arion is by far the nicest of all the staff writers and the most well behaved only having been banned from one country.  One thing we really appreciate about Aroin is that he writes his reviews in English and Spanish and we hope someday he’ll translate this blurb for us.  We’re not so good at languages, just look at how well we write in English if you need proof.  You should bookmark Arion’s blog -  http://artbyarion.blogspot.com – and actually look at it.  There will be a quiz at the end of every month.

     


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