Sunday, July 3, 2022

Brendan McGinley:


Conformity poses unexpected dangers in Zack Gardner's Fauna when the residents of Sage start turning into the animals they've always dressed as. Plus, British director Terry Sharp is fleeing the train of cultists and demons on his trail in Robert Tinnell's The Faceless.


The Faceless

Terry Sharp is a British director who makes celebrated horror films for an underappreciative schlock studio. If Terry understands horror, it’s because his off-the-clock adventures are on the trail of cultists and demons (or more often, fleeing their pursuit).

Wonderful art from Neil Vokes and Adrian Salmon that looks straight out of the opening credits to Batman: The Animated Series and peppy dialogue from the mouths of a charismatic cast doesn’t change the fact that this 52-page story (plus bonus material) essentially ends at the finale of Act 1. It’s a bit of a downer, the story concluding just as we feel all the elements are laid down to have our adventure.

Presumably the tale continues in Yellow, the next installment of Terry’s exploits, but that’s no consolation to the reader that dropped $7 on the initial venture.






Grab your suspension of disbelief and make tracks for Sage, the town where everybody’s human, but they’re required by law to wear animal regalia. It’s not much, just a set of ears, a tail or a shell, certainly nothing that’d make your life unbearable.

Why, then, do the police vigilantly enforce the law that citizens keep their props on at all times? Conformity is certainly one reason, obedience another, and an unwillingness to question the status quo probably tops that list of traits desired by the brutal peacekeepers in Sage.

But when the props start to meld with the main characters, and they become half-animal for real, things are too freaky to bear. Befriended by an unwelcome stranger who threatens to break their willful ignorance, they look at their town in a brand new way.

Nothing too heady, but pretty engaging work from writer/artist Zack Gardner. It uses its space wisely, without falling prey to the alternative genre’s most-indulged sin of ambling.

Gardner knows where his story is going and gets to it, neither too quickly nor to the exclusion of the supporting cast.

Brendan McGinley is a long-time writer for ComicBase. His comic favorites include anything featuring Grim Jack, Punisher, Guy Gardner, Green Lantern, or written buy Evan Dorkin, Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, Deadpool… and the list goes on. But he insists he is of discriminating tastes.

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