Saturday, October 16, 2021

Acer Bloodgood:

Xeric recipient Melody Shickley brings the poignant drama of adolescence of In The Hands of Boys to print, while Brian Woods and Toby Cypress follow an AWOL US Special Forces soldier into crime in The Tourist.



In The Hands of Boys

A tense emotional drama filled with grief and indignation told largely as a complicated back-story, this challenging black and white title by Xeric recipient Melody Shickley still manages to draw the reader in and move along with a steady pace.

A two-volume work, In The Hands of Boys deals with a range of issues surrounding the lead character’s efforts to adopt the non-English-speaking son of her recently deceased and somewhat estranged best friend.

Shickley won the Baltimore City Paper’s 2005 Best Comic award for this book which she wrote and illustrated.






The Tourist

An American roustabout and laconic he-man named Moss turns up in a small seaside village in Scotland and gets involved with a local café girl. The dark aura surrounding Moss gradually lifts as we learn he’s an AWOL US Army Special Forces soldier evading a criminal syndicate that he double-crossed while coordinating a drug deal.

The Tourist could have been a mystery if the back of the book didn’t also reveal what I just told you. Brian Woods’ story builds with a quiet intensity heightened by Toby Cypress’s brash, angular black and white illustration. Woods doesn’t give Moss’ motivations much play; instead, the writer invests the emotional weight of the story in the fantasy appeal of a rough, reckless man who is basically good and ultimately seeks redemption for his many sins.




Acer Bloodgood is the pen name of a longtime ComicBase writer acquired from a family of maple trees. There is some worry that this sobriquet is “too goth-weenie.” For the record, Acer grew up in California’s suburban sprawl and now lives in San Francisco where he whiles the nights away in dingy dive bars. He drinks whisky with seltzer and lemon.

Acer Bloodgood Archive