Monday, June 6, 2011

Hellberta by M Comeau

 (Koyama Press) (Guest Review by Robert Dayton) There’s something to be said for residing in the public domain, a certain freedom. Take super heroes for example. These are figures of modern myth . The new gods! And now that copyright law no longer exists one can get rather gnostic and explore the inner light within. Take the mutant Wolverine. He’s been given a sweeping batch of origin stories that are supposed to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. In the so-called ‘official continuity,’ he might not even be Canadian anymore. He most certainly is in Hellberta! From Alberta! Hellberta. If you are from Alberta and had the urge to escape its’ maw then you would call this frozen redneck prairie ‘Hellberta’. Comeau certainly comes from there, it shows. This distinctly Canadian comic book fractures the narrative in several places below the belt whilst the nastiest of all Prime Ministers, the Neo-Con and Neo-Citran Stephen Harper, is cast as perpetually charmless villain. Nasty representatives of the big C church fight Wolverine as he avenges the death of his best friend, a sweet deer named Mertle, from an exploding gas line.
Red and green scrawled linework is silk screened on yellow paper as Comeau attacks the story with a child-like abandon. The contrasting colour imagery causes mad play on one’s eyes as the story is resolved in a way–gone time flash-forward (Wolverine can live on long time).

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