Only one thing I’ve read that stuck in my head, this last week, although I’m reading “The Black Swan” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, so one day eventually I’m sure I’ll talk about that.
But no, this week, it’s all about enigmatic pseudo-zombie survival-horror.
It’s tough to say much about “Crossed”, yet, having only read the first issue, but I have to say, I already kind of love it.
Set after an as yet ambiguous sort of apocalypse, it’s the story of a handful of survivors trying to evade the homicidal hordes of creepy-as-fuck gleeful monsters – who look just like normal people, but for the burned/scarred cross on their faces, which makes them look for all the world like England football fans.
Ennis has never been one for flinching from potentially gruesome or controversial subject matter, and Burrows – well, Burrows has worked for Avatar for years, most famously with Warren Ellis on various projects, so he’s used to drawing transgressive images. But both outdo themselves with this book, letting loose with scenes reminiscent of those in Ellis’ book “Black Gas”, but here drawn in clear, unstylised and crisp nastiness.
This week, I took the opportunity to catch up on some of Warren Ellis’ work at Avatar. I’ve been terribly lax at reading the individual issues as they’ve mounted up, but I had some time, and found myself falling in love with “Freakangels” all over again, so it seemed like a good idea.
Ellis has had an apparently good working relationship with the publisher for a few years now, having found them receptive to his more excessive work, and he has produced a lot of creator-owned work through them.
I’m fairly certain that he was one of the first respected creators to work with the company, at a time when they almost exclusively published pornographic or explicitly gory comics, and they have certainly benefited from the collaboration. Since Ellis took the leap, Avatar have found themselves working with people like Garth Ennis and, by association Alan Moore, and have found themselves occupying shelf-space that previously they wouldn’t have been able to touch.
However, Ellis’ work for Avatar has always been a little hit and miss for me, never awful, but often falling shy of the other work I’ve read by him, or worse, only derivative of it. There have been high-points, like “Crecy”, but otherwise it’s felt like the writer had been allowing himself to indulge in the lack of restraint the publisher allowed.