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Body Bags #1

1catsratchlogo.jpgFor this week, Cat reviews Jason Pearon's Body Bags.






body_bags_n01_c01.jpgBody Bags issue #1.
Published by Dark Horse Comics / Blanc Noir in 1996.
Story Written and Drawn by Jason Pearson


























The Story :
"Father's Day Part 1"


The "body bagger" Mack "Clownface" Delgado is on a vendetta to find Janus Lizaardo. Clownface's office had been blown up and it resulted in the death of his partner's fiance. He chooses to have a talk with a snitch called Geech. With the information gained, he heads out to get Janus with his partner, Iran "Pops" Sekula. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Clownface, his daughter, Panda, is flying into town. Clownface catches up with Janus and the action begins, a good deal of action involving large knives, guns and explosives. For Panda, her flight is an interesting one. She arrives in Terminus Georgia, her father's present home town. She has an interesting exchange with a sermonizer...

body_bags_n01_p19a.jpg
body_bags_n01_p20.jpg





















































Janus has managed to escape Clownface at a cost. Back home, Clownface and Pops have
a little talk, explaining the present situation and Clownface's obvious anger problems.
There's a knock at the door...

body_bags_n01_panda_arrives_home.jpg







































It's Panda, Clownface's 14 year old daughter, come to live with her father.


The Review :

Well, that was a fun little read again, just as it had been the first time about. For this
series, best known for being a bit on the outrageous side. It was a good start.

The story was a simple and well paced one, much like a summer action film. Straight to
the basic formula and complete with all the visuals and cliches. Added to that was dialog
and the types scenes not seen in those films, at least not back then. The dialog was rich
and funny with it being well placed within the artwork. Nothing too deep, but nothing to
shallow either. Just be prepared for the frankness of it. Not too surprising since Jason
Pearson is better noted as an artist, so what better fit could one have? Not bad for a first
effort.

The artwork was gorgeous then and still is now for me. I loved his style at that time, with
both cartoony and solid style for the characters plus with near illustrative backgrounds.
The layouts are smooth and are full of energy in the action scenes. The characters all stand
out visually and are anything but cookie cuttered. The colouring was also a great mix to
the art, enhancing it further. Funky, clean and solid work, just managing to stay from falling
into a complete cartoon form and resulting in a distraction in the story being told. Not here.

I loved it. It was something completely different back then and it still is to some degree
today, I think. It was a joy to look at but also to read. It holds up and still hits like a great
summer popcorn actionfest with outrageous scenes and characters. Amazing for a first series
by an artist who'd been around for a while. I was already pre-sold on it do to his name. I had
already been caught by his work in Hero Alliance in the late 80s and then later at DC Comics
in Justice League Quarterly plus the Legion of Super-Heroes. His work in Penthouse Comix
was also a joy as was his brief work over at Image doing a Savage Dragon mini-series. So yes,
the artwork works big time for me and this was at his top form for me. But the writing and
characters... unforgettable. This was the start to a fun little run back then. It's still more then
worth checking out. Very well balanced for a mini-series and perhaps a rare feat in comics.

An collected/omnibus edition really needs to be printed of all the Body Bags stories.

For more information on this issue - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_Bags_%28comics%29
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