(Koyama Press) Guest Review by Robert Dayton
More props to Koyama Press, feisty Canuck comic upstart publisher. Here’s another one of theirs. Michael Deforge is a talent to watch. He’s even advanced by leaps and bounds between issues one and two of his comic book Lose, he’s coming into his own. With the first ish he had to work out some alt comic tropes such as self-defeating Brunettis and meta- taking on mainstream superhero yuks, he’s still got a couple of kinks to work out, but it’s really coming on. The guy has skill. Everything about this comic book is cartoony gloss right down to the paper it’s printed on. He has an effective ability to give everything a total big foot funny book look and be intricately detailed at the same time; it’s cohesive. Here’s the ripper: as slick as Lose looks, the subject matter enters troubled fever dream turf as two boys stumble across a horse carcass filled with carnivourous spider parasites that eventually infect all the schoolyard bullies. Water and ink occasionally fill the panel grids with pure inky blackness submerging us further into the funny and neck hair bristling subconscious. Deforge also has a way of depicting mysterious festering sores on big headed boys. It’s nice to see an actual nicely packaged independent comic book in these days where the now standard graphic novel formats are supposed to merit some brass ring of respectability.
Deforge has also done a Cold Heat special for PictureBox that is an experimental departure- aren’t all the Cold Heat Specials tho? This is more of a photocopied tract where he takes the various names of characters and such from the comic book and designs them as logos. 16 pages of pure hand drawn LOGOS. Elaborate, occasionally semi-readable, some in death metal font, one depicted as landscape standing like trees against the night sky, another as a name rendered in blood splattering from a fist to the reader’s face. Does this further the Cold Heat plot? Are we Gods? This gives Cold Heat iconic status.