Wednesday, September 09, 2009
For your reading pleasure, the three pages which made me a fan of Paul Grist, and his Jack Staff (and later on, Kane) series. I had seen his work before, most notably in an issue of TwoMorrows' Comic Book Artist, which sported a back cover depicting the X-Men, most notably Professor X, in his unusual (well, unusual by mainstream comics standards, especially in the late 90's) style. I think I had also seen him mentioned in the Journal once or twice, I was still buying it regularly then. Anyway, I was intrigued, but by the time I first discovered him Kane had suspended publication, and he had already self-pubbed five issues of Jack, plus I just didn't recall seeing very many issues of either at my comics store, and neither did I want to dive into the back issue boxes and get #'s, oh, 12, 17, and 20 of Kane, then be frustrated for months looking for others. But when I spied Jack #6 on the rack, all brand new and shiny with its loud orange cover, I pounced. I was entertained by Grist's always-lively layout style, with its extreme perspectives and panel placements, along with his deft use of black and white areas...but what really got me was the deceptively simple, very British and understated scripting style he employed, in display above. He's still doing this sort of thing to this day. I've been a fan and a reader ever since, going back and acquiring the back issues of Jack I missed, as well as continuing to pick up the ongoing series, now printed in color by Image. I also went out and got all the collected trades of Kane, a cop series that is even better than Jack in a lot of ways, and one I hope he returns to someday.
All this is in order to send Mr. Grist a Bacardi Show Birthday Greeting on this, his birthday today. Hope it's a good one.
Golly, if it weren't for birthdays, I'd never post anything around here, would I? Anyway, reviews are forthcoming.