“#i!” COMICS! Sometimes Tenderness Is A Weakness.

There now follows a change to our scheduled programme. Settle back as our Argentinian chums Eduardo Risso and the late Carlos Trillo take us on a trip to the near future where everything is awful; simply awful. Just dreadful, darlings. Ugh. (Oh, And I realise Argentina isn't in Europe but the book was originally published in Italy(?), which is in Europe so check and mate!)  photo BgunC_zpsyncjb0oc.jpg BORDERLINE by Risso & Trillo and Brandon

BORDERLINE Vol. 1 Art by Eduardo Risso Written by Carlos Trillo Translated by Ivan Brandon Dynamite, $19.99 (1995/2007)

 photo BCovB_zpsgf2njdux.jpg

BORDERLINE is set in a future dystopia and involves a sexy lady assassin and a troubled gruff male loner facing off in a world lit by the klieg lights of glaring subtext…oh no. OHO! Fret not, Euro-fan, it’s not as bad as it sounds. In fact it’s pretty neat. Usually that would be wholly down to the art, but the writing’s not half bad either; although it took me a bit to twig to that. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.  I mean, “sexy lady assassin”! Not my favourite genre; the bulk of it being composed of any number of trite shite titles in the North American Mainstream. The whole “Men damaged her but now she’s damaging back! But not at the expense of her femininity! You can still be strong in a thong!” gets creepy pretty quick, particularly when it’s written by some dude you just know is rubbing himself against the underside of the desk as he writes, because, damn, this is some progressive shit. Whoooo, man writes Strong! Female! Protagonist! damn, gonna be statues of him in the streets! With every scissor kick and poisoned kiss sexism dies another death! But people obviously buy lots of “sexy lady kill” books; because if they didn’t they wouldn’t make them. So as genres go someone likes it.

 photo BgymB_zpsorzvsi5h.jpg BORDERLINE by Risso & Trillo and Brandon

Which is fine. I mean, I’m not a big fan of the whole “nurse passive aggressively hounds doctor in a borderline psychotic manner until he marries her” genre, but I hear Mills & Boon are still going.  Spoiler: I’m not a woman so you know maybe I don’t have the right to react to this stuff. Or maybe I’m not reacting in the right way? I don’t know. I mean, I get that these sexy killin’ ladies have to be toned and limber; you can’t be lugging a load of excess weight about if you’re a top assassin. I like the occasional pie, and the odds of me rolling across any car bonnets with twin pistols flaring without there being a lot of ungainly sprawling and sliding, and not a few hefty grunts, are kind of on the poor side. And I’m not being sizeist there; I’m just trying to save you some grief on Careers Day.  These are tricky times; lots of toes to be trodden on. Should I just say it’s the creepy way the whole “sisters with pistols!” thing slyly panders to men under the femme friendly surface? Because it is. But that’s okay, because BORDERLINE knows that too.

 photo BcarB_zps6qtajp2x.jpg BORDERLINE by Risso & Trillo and Brandon

BORDERLINE shows that Risso and Trilllo know the genre and, better, they know how to toy with it. Games are very definitely being played here. First, and most obviously, you need a sexy lady assassin. Accordingly Risso’s heroine, Lisa, is a combination of sinew and pulchritude, topped by a black flare of Goth hair. The Sisters of Mercy, despite this sister having little of said quality, spring to mind and !bang! the viscous tang of “snakebite and black” springs to the throat as a Proustian moment flings you back to Bradford and a billion gigs of collapsed hair and sweat streaked eyeshadow. (Ask your parents.) Anyway, think an inhumanly aerobicized ‘80s era Beatrice Dalle draped in a leather rhino-shouldered jacket and sporting sprayed on jeans and you’d be in the right (erogenous) zone. Risso’s art has always been able to sell sex like the First Prize is a Cadillac El Dorado, Second Prize is a set of steak knives and Third Prize is you’re fired! But he never sells it cheap. Lisa is supposed to look ridiculously stimulating, so that she contrasts sharply with everything around her, because BORDERLINE is all about sharp contrasts. (It’s not an accident the book is in B&W.)

 photo BstrutB_zps0vhgb8g2.jpg BORDERLINE by Risso & Trillo and Brandon

In keeping with the whole contrasts thing there is what Lisa looks like and what Lisa is. What she is is a piece of lethal meat exploited by everyone around her. Usually deadly ladies are all about their agency (for everyone born prior to 1990: this is their capacity to make choices, not who handles their bookings and headshots) and how they still have it goin’ on. Not Lisa. The only choice she has is not to pull the trigger, and that choice is fraught with the dangers of repercussion. Tradition dictates Lisa be damaged and tradition is fulfilled to a parodic degree here. Amongst other things (see below) Lisa is deaf. Since a deaf assassin would last about as long as a Raspberry Mivvi on a log fire I think we can safely identify some satirical intent here. She has so little agency that BORDERLINE makes the usual subtext text. Not only are her skills exploited, but so is her hawt body. During her down-time she is either being peeped on or pawed by Jack (or Mike) one of a pair of identical men (or women) whose race is as unfixed as their gender.

 photo BhopeB_zps0lyhvooa.jpg BORDERLINE by Risso & Trillo and Brandon

Usually this sexually predatory role would be filled by a fat sweaty, Caucasian male but BORDERLINE opens it up and recasts that character as both racially and sexually ambiguous; one who is also in a  loving relationship, just to really mix it up . Now the defining aspect of the abuse has shifted; it is authority. Which is correct. Abuse is a consequence of the possession of power over another, not the possession of a penis. This is usually muddied by the fact most of the powerful people have penises (usually just one each) and false conclusions are then drawn. But it’s power that corrupts not the penis. (Except in ZARDOZ (1974) where “the penis is”, indeed, “evil.”) There’s a reason that no one says, “Penis corrupts and absolute penis corrupts absolutely.”  Well, except for the occasional tipsy feminist in any Polytechnic Biko Bar circa 1990.

 photo BbodyB_zpsvcej4goo.jpg BORDERLINE by Risso & Trillo and Brandon

Speaking of penises, Lisa’s opposite number, the stubbled, moody male loner, Blue(!), is slightly less interesting because stubbled, moody male loners are mostly uninteresting; with the exception of me, because I am intrinsically fascinating. Also, it’s an overdone trope. Luckily for your reading pleasure Trillo and Risso kick the legs out from under this tedious trope pretty swiftly. It’s okay him mooning about (i.e. being “blue”; geddit!) after Lisa and spray-painting her face on walls (not a euphemism) and being all sad inside because, sure,  all that’s super dreamy and romantic, but he’s still six feet of shit stuffed in distressed denim. (SPOILER: Turns out he turned out his chick for a hit. Pretty hard to walk back from that one, no matter how sexy you find troubled loners. Before we rush to judgement, ladies and gents, let’s not forget troubled loners like raunchy Richard Speck and dreamy David Berkowitz. Whoo! Is it hot in here, or is it just me?)

 photo BGraffB_zpsyvavzt1e.jpg BORDERLINE by Risso & Trillo and Brandon

Look, the dude Blue didn’t just miss her birthday or have someone else’s knickers in his pocket, he traded her for a fix and, even better (i.e. even worse), Lisa was then harvested for organs before being rescued and having her organs replaced so she could be trained as an attractive assassin. So she’s traumatised beyond comprehension and deaf to boot. This pair of lovelorn killers dance the dance of death around each other, while their orbits threaten to collide with all the dramatic inevitability of any decent pulp fiction. Whereupon he looks at her with puppy eyes and then she forgives him and they get married and live in Mytholmroyd, where she looks after the house while he has a succession of joyless affairs at the Estate Agents where he works. No, not really because this isn’t real - it’s fiction! So you’ll just have to see what happens. On the understanding that a lot of it will happen in later volumes, since this is volume 1 of 6.

 photo BBlueB_zpsmqiugz6a.jpg BORDERLINE by Risso & Trillo and Brandon

It being the first volume there’s a lot of world building but it’s a very simple world; there are two sides: one side controls its people by telling them there’s a reward after death, the other side is more materialistic. Both sides are ruled by bumbling chucklefucks boiling with psychological buboes, but society persists in functioning after a fashion, nevertheless. There are cities and subways and a civilisation of sorts. (Visually all this involves a lot of Besson’ing about; the tuxedoed thugs in the subway seem like a doff of the cap to SUBWAY (1985) and the refuse laden outlands strongly suggest  LE DERNIER COMBAT (1983). Thankfully, there are no underage girls dancing to Madonna in their scanties.) People with money live in the cities and the people without money don’t. If you don’t live in the city you have to scavenge in the ruins of a world crumpled by an (as yet) undefined Event. The poor are twisted, crippled things with a tendency to throw themselves off high things such is the horror of life without Wi-Fi. Practically enough the poor are kept around so the monied can live off them; literally - by harvesting their organs, because fuck the poor, right? Damn straight. And everyone is controlled by drugs, particularly a drug called Hope which instils in the user a belief that everything will turn out okay. That’s right, there’s the key; it’s not really a world but a joke. The punchline being us.

 photo BcrashB_zpsq8hscklf.jpg BORDERLINE by Risso & Trillo and Brandon

It’s a good joke; a smart joke and Trillo’s writing here is a lot cleverer than I first thought. Narration and dialogue is sparse and this being comics Risso takes the brunt of the weight. But then why waste Eduardo Risso? What’s important is the writing you do is good not that you do a lot of it. And here Trillo pulls off an exceptionally nice trick. His narration addresses the reader directly, giving proceedings a nicely informal, chatty, air, and occasionally it shrugs past things or draws your attention to things. It’s the kind of device North American comic creators get all giggly about doing ,and think Grant Morrison invented. This is because they have no sense of history and mistake it for modern. But then if your highest ambition in writing is to end up as a fucking TV show then you are unlikely to use a mode customary in the 19th Century novel (e.g. Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables (1862)) and if you did, you’d probably think it was first used on BJ AND THE BEAR (1979-81). Yeah, shit musical adaptations be damned, class lasts. Not content with being a classy bastard, Trillo occasionally, and whimsically, allows his “voice” to interact with the characters. It took me two reads to notice, because he doesn’t start waving his hands about and going “OOO! Look at me!” and thus critically kneecapping the suspension of disbelief along the way. No, he just smoothly  slides it past you. And lest we forget, the fact that any of this good stuff strikes home is in part due to the translation skills of Ivan Brandon, who retains a tone at once formal and chatty in equal measure. Which can’t have been an easy gig. Via Brandon, Trillo’s done his job and done it well, the rest is up to you; if you notice, you notice…

 photo BtubeB_zpseauxtnyq.jpg BORDERLINE by Risso & Trillo and Brandon

What you can’t help but notice is the phenomenal art of Eduardo Risso, unless some rich sod has made off with your eyes. Risso builds a world of desolation punctured by clusters of degradation. In keeping with the almost comical overtness of its themes the book is, I remind you, drawn in black and white; stunningly so, natch. Robbed of the crutch of colour Risso’s art soars rather than falls. Which comes as no shock to keen Risso readers, since both his (originally coloured) work on LOGAN for Marvel©™® and Batman for DC Comics©™® were made available in B&W editions. Colour might enhance Risso’s work but it isn’t essential. That’s a sure sign of art soaked with structural integrity. The key of course is Risso’s high contrast approach, which here leaves great swathes of pages untouched; colour can be accommodated but so can its absence. Outside everything seems lit by a merciless sun, while inside it’s the unflinching glare of neon, and everywhere shadows as black as a banker’s heart anchor it all. It’s not without precedent of course; the cowboy boots embellished with swastikas are as much a giveaway as the detail bleaching; someone’s been studying their Frank Miller circa Sin City. Actually, lots of people have been studying their Frank Miller circa Sin City, but no one has managed to subsume it into their style as flawlessly as Risso. As dumbly fun as the stories were, the real story in Sin City was Frank Miller’s courageous shearing of detail right up to the brink of sense. The lessons Miller’s pages contained were not lost on Eduardo Risso. He isn’t copying, he’s picking up the baton and haring off in his own direction; which is no way to win a race, but I’m not very good with sports metaphors; I’m sure you know what I meant. There is so much absent from the pages of BORDERLINE another, lesser artist would have some serious explaining to do. But Risso is a better, greater artist and so his art explains everything. Less may well be more but only because Risso works the balls off what little there is.


NEXT TIME: Maybe get back on schedule with a bit of Dredd, or maybe something random again. I don’t know about you but I’m getting that Chaykin feeling. Anyway, something, sometime from the wacky world of – COMICS!!!

"...Until You Flood Me In A Milky Way of Pleasure!" Comics! Sometimes I Spend The Weekend At Bernet’s!

And then I talk about some European comics illustrated by Jordi Bernet and the room gets blue quite quick. It’s not an appealing prospect I know so: Contains traces of adult subjects. NSFW. Danger, Will Robinson! DANGER! For the sake of The Children, turn back NOW! Photobucket

(This being The Internet I’m sure this will work out just great but just in case: I believe you’ll be able to visit me on Wednesdays but they will frisk you and no physical contact will be allowed. I may also be sedated but don’t worry it’ll be for my own good. Bring cigarettes.)

BERNET Edited by Manuel Auad Introduction by Will Eisner Foreword by Joe Kubert Art by Jordi Bernet Words by various European writers (Auad Publishing, 2003, $24.95, B/W)


This handsome book is like one of those dinners where everyone dresses in tux’n’tails and one by one steps up to the podium to talk about how swell the guy at the front table is. Over here that usually happens when someone's dead but Europe values its artists so this was published while Jordi Bernet was still alive. Which he still is unless I missed something.  These celebratory text pieces punctuate the visually splendid stories, sketches, spot illos., advertisements and book covers reproduced here in a valiant attempt to suggest the massive talent whose name is on the front.

Now, I know as much about Spanish comics as they do about me but on this evidence they are very varied. The full stories reprinted here cover cowboys, war, crime, sword & sorcery fantasy, smutty gag strips, sci-fi and each of these has either a horrific or comical aspect which points to a healthy disrespect for conventions. There’s one page here with Batman on and that’s from the U.S. BATMAN:BLACK&WHITE series (words: Howard Victor Chaykin). just in case a super-hero fan wandered in by mistake and was looking for something familiar to cling on to. Truly, all comers are catered for here. If you're looking for an "in" on the whole Bernet thing this book is the best place to start and if you just like great comic art you should be halfway to your LCS already.


That’s Jordi Bernet up there. Isn't he just the cutest little rascal! That picture is taken from the brief bio of The Bernet at the front of the book. After some facts it pretty much settles into a list of what comics he's drawn because apparently sitting in a chair drawing isn't really the stuff of high adventure. It still manages to be revealing about the great man despite this. As we can see Jordi Bernet grew up when people dressed their kids like it was Awesome Time all of the time. Or at least kids dressed more like grown-ups than grown ups do today. (Ha! You hated that!) When Jordi Bernet was 15 his father, one Jorge Bernet  a successful newspaper cartoonist, died and the the bereaved child took over the strip in order to support his family. This tells us three things; unlike me at 15 Jordi Bernet had better things to do than stick pictures of Sybil Danning inside his underpants with nature’s solvent, child labour laws in Spain were quite lax and Jordi Bernet certainly had the motivation and talent to become great. Just how great he became is the whole point of this book as is some idea of how long it took him to become so. Turns out it didn't take him long at all. There’s work here from 1966 which is good and then he just gets better and better. Once he reaches a certain point (tough to pinpoint but I'll say the late '70s?) though the improvements take longer and are harder to see because by that point he is Bernet and improving on perfection is tougher work than achieving it.


Bernet is great and I think I can demonstrate that best by talking about hair. Obviously. Now, hair in most comics is just stuff on somebody's head. Sometimes it's black, sometimes it's not. On the whole about as much attention is paid to hair as there is hair on my bonce (not a lot). When you notice how Bernet draws hair you notice how little care most artists take. I love the way Bernet draws hair. Bernet understands that there are different kinds of hair. There isn’t just Woman hair (long) and Man hair (short). Hair has different textures and qualities depending on the head upon which it resides. If you use products on it hair appears different again. Sometimes Bernet will give his women’s hair a great bold holding line with just the tiniest touch of detailing meant to represent it being blow-dried and lacquered.You don't see that attention to detail a lot.


When people sweat their hair gets spiky and sticks up and out, when people are active their hair is active too, and, yes, less so if it is lacquered and blow-dried. There is a picture in the book (p.16) of Bernet, Frank Robbins and Bertha Robbins on a beach which might as well be captioned “When Comb-overs Were King!” Bernet knows that it's important to capture what is important about life if you are going to try and represent it on the page. Hair is important and Bernet is good at the hair but he’s good at everything else. Bernet’s drapery, lighting and staging are all fantastic, informed by his decades of experience. He might be able to just toss that stuff off now but as I’m sure someone more intelligent commented about someone else; that particular picture didn't take him 5 minutes to draw it took him decades plus the five minutes. (N.B. If someone knows the quote, who it's from and who it's about let me know and I'll edit it in so it looks like I actually worked on this thing properly) Bernet’s great. Don't get me started on his dry brushing.

Bernet’s realism is concrete enough to apprehend the realistic qualities of the worlds he builds but also elastic enough to accommodate cartoony exaggeration without undermining the ever important verisimilitude. But Bernet never gets bogged down in detail. He manages to solve the problem of continuity which (generalisation) plagues European artists. This is a different continuity problem to the one which plagues American genre comics. It isn't the one about how every time I see Luke Cage the seedy vision of him having bum fun with Jessica Jones rears up like a terrible recovered memory. No, the European continuity problem involves the continuity from panel to panel. Bernet gives just enough detail to convince but not so much detail that the eye stops and derails the viewing momentum. But then again Bernet’s learned from the best, which of course means he learned from Alex Toth amongst others. Bernet’s kineticism, inventive staging and just damn good storytelling are very reminiscent of Toth. There’s a TORPEDO sequence atop a half constructed building ("I Spit On Your Cards" ,p.83-92) and a whole story involving a plane ("Number One Joe", p.150-154) which are so Toth-heavy the influence is undeniable. It’s still just an influence though, strong as it is, Bernet’s no copyist; he takes the influence and makes it work with his own talent to produce better work. No, calm down, I'm not saying he's better than Toth I'm saying he's better than he would otherwise be for having studied Toth.


Bernet probably had to go out of his way to study American artists like Toth but he certainly never had to go out of his way to study America. Because America is everywhere. Being Spanish and thus lacking a common language Bernet’s impressions of America naturally resort to the primarily visual. And of course his visuals of America are those America provides in the form of its entertainments. Bernet’s America-set work gives you back a reflection of the reflection of America. He sells you back your (you Americans that is) own dream and improves it while he’s at it. Western, crime, sci-fi are all here, all of them set in America, which is The Dream America all we non-Americans mistake for the reality. Well they’re set in America unless there are different parts of Spain that look like America at various points in history. I don’t know I've never been.


So good, so fine are Bernet’s individual panels that he can produce work for advertising and book covers that look exactly like panels pulled from a narrative and they still work as individual illustrations. Bernet is able to pick the precise frozen moment in time to capture all the information required of a scene. In a comic narrative that’s skillful enough but to pick the exact moment when Jim Thompson’s Savage Night turns into a book that is going to eternally squat in the dark corners of your mind without actually giving anything away is either genius or chance at work. I'll give you some help; it isn't chance where Bernet's concerned.


Ah, Europe with your sex and your violence, your sexy violence and your violent sex. Now it’s probably in all our interests if I ignore these aspects, yes, that would certainly be healthy but why deny myself the delightful opportunity to be labelled a misogynist or have someone wish that I die in a fire. Ah, Internet. Oh, Europe. Ah. Oh. Ah. Oh. Ohohoh. Ah. O. ! So violence first. Everyone loves violence in their entertainment but not everyone loves violent violence. On these Euro-pages, violence happens a lot just as in American genre comics but although sometimes it’s no less stylized it is less fetishised. Violence in American genre comics is pretty much just presented as action.


Which makes sense as they started out as children’s entertainments and, despite what insecure adults who spend their lives writing about people in pajamas hitting each other (for reasons!) would wish you to think, this largely remains the case. Over in Europe, however they appear to have been producing comics material aimed at a wide range of ages since, well, since they started. As a result in European comics, certainly these European comics at least, violence remains fanged and retains its tang. Unlike most American genre comics which are content to provide nothing more challenging than a gummy nip. Which may be why American genre comics are more comfortable with representations of violence than of sex.


And, yes, there is some sexy stuff in this book. Again, like the violence, it’s a very European sexiness. Looking at the sexy stuff, mostly pin-ups and sketches but some of the stories have “mature” encounters also, here I think it’s presented honestly and openly. There’s just a real pleasure in the human form being communicated by Bernet’s lines on paper and that’s a nice thing I think. I believe there’s a very real difference between a drawing which says, isn’t that nice? and when it is saying hurr, hurr, boobz! One is healthy and one is just bloody tiresome. Bernet’s gaze come across as lusty rather than leering. Sometimes everyone’s two favourite subjects collide and result in a subject very few people enjoy; sexual violence. But don't worry because there is male on male sexual violence as well as the usual sort so at least they don't play favourites over in that there Europe. Sex and violence, they seem to nonchalantly inform you, are just parts of life’s sick pageant; so it’s all grist for the mill. I don't think European comics' attitudes to these areas is condoning or endorsing anything horrible. At worst it may just be reflecting aspects of our lives we might want to examine. You don't usually solve a problem by ignoring it after all.

That's all in the general though. Here's some specific Bernet books containing either sex, violence or sexy violence:

THE BEST OF JORDI BERNET'S CLARA Drawn by Jordi Bernet , written by Carlos Trillo and Eduardo Maicas (Big Wow Art and Auad Publishing, 2006, $24.95)


This is a lovely volume that contains a selection of strips from the long running (1992 -?) strip Clara de Noche. These are three-pagers that explore the lighter side of working in the sex industry as we follow the impossibly attractive Clara on her day to day business and learn to laugh with people selling their bodies like bags of crisps. It's is cheeky fun presented in a looser cartoony style; it’s very Sergio Aragones so it’s no surprise he’s a fan. Even though there are plenty of panels of people at it at no point does it ever look anything less than cute or at least amusing. There’s a sense of humour about the whole sex thing; a vigorous acceptance of the ridiculousness of the whole business. The fact that Clara has a kid might seem to be a tonal mis-step but at least it indicates an attempt to deal with sex-workers on human terms rather than as robotic orgasm dispensers. Okay, the actual jokes aren't that hot but, y’know, senses of humour are very different from person to person never mind between countries. Mostly it's humour about what utter tools men are. Which is fair enough.


According to the informative text in the book some people got offended by the kid, but they were probably just upset that they'd have to consider a streetwalker as a mother too, possibly even as a human being, and that might ruin their jollies next time they visited one. I don't know.  I don’t think the actual contents would upset anyone unless they were actually gynophobic or just really poor company to be in generally. Clara’s pretty healthy, I think. Sure, she looks like a straight male fantasy made, er, ink but she does have a personality and a range of emotions far beyond the blow up dolls of North American genre fiction’s female characters. Underneath the unspectacular humour there’s some good character work but I think the best joke is that an unsuspecting reader might be crouched over it enjoying themselves only to have their quiet moment of self satisfaction derailed by a sad eyed kid bemoaning the fact his mother is a prostitute. Clara is titillating stuff with more sensitivity and empathy than you'd expect from the premise. It's a tricky one to pull of but they've got Bernet and Bernet? Bernet makes it look easy.


CHICA Vol.1 and 2. Drawn by Jordi Bernet, written by Carlos Trillo (Eurotica, $10.95 ea)


Chica on the other hand is quite clearly a spank mag so to expect it to be anything else would be foolish but, astonishingly, it turns out sometimes fools win because Chica is also an exciting period piece adventure strip. It starts out circa 1929 and proceeds to graphically display the misadventures of our lusty lady with the lust for life whose lust perpetually saves her life. The actual adventure story is pretty engaging and, excuse me while I put on my tall buckled hat, the bits where people start sticking bits of themselves into each other just irritated me by interrupting the narrative. But, as I say this material is for those who enjoy feeling their pants move around like a small warm animal is slowly coming awake in them as they read. Actually that’s being coy, this is definitely for those who prefer to combine friction with fiction. It’s also quite straight stuff there’s plenty of ladies who like ladies because straight men like ladies who like ladies (but really like men) and not a lot of men who like men and when there are this is usually used for comic effect; because straight men also like men liking men dressed as ladies but only if it is a mistake. There’s no poo or wee involved and it’s clearly just nonsense designed to get a reaction; the reaction porn requires you to have. Yes, that one. So I didn't have a problem with it, really. It’s porn so that’s what it does. It’s nice that it bothers to do something else as well.Bernet doesn't slack a jot, this is as good as his (excellent) work on Torpedo. It's just that amongst all the fantastically accomplished and immersive art there's a lot of genitals and people making monkey noises. I'd attempt to convince you it's worth reading just for the art but it'd sound like I'm the kind of guy who buys Razzle for the articles.


Now, whether it is crude, exploitative, misogynistic or sleazy that’s purely due to the response of the reader. The response of the reader is neither right nor wrong but it is purely the response of that individual reader. The stuff you’re responding to is just the facts, Ma’am. Or, just the f*cks, ma’am, anyway. And the fact is that some stuff is just sexy and how you react to that is on your head. Or in your head. In the case of this stuff you need to be prepared to be responsible for your own reactions. Porn is a problematic thing and this is porn so don’t bother with it if you’re going to have problems with it. Otherwise have at it, but remember; when there’s just dust coming out it’s probably time to stop. I’m a professional so don’t try this at home unless you want to end up with stacks of soggy paper in your wet right hand (Ding! Ding! WhooOOOOooo!). That’s right, I’m a professional idiot. I've heard shame is a natural part of porn but there’s nothing shameful about Bernet’s work here and the only real shame is that the fact it is porn will prevent people from appreciating his usual technical excellence, period detail and smooth storytelling. And dry brushing.


So, there's some comics adorned by Jordi Bernet's art. I wouldn't have read them had they not been but after reading them I think the least I can say is that it’s to the benefit of the entire comics medium and its audience that Jordi Bernet has graced comics with his majestic talents. Talents which are on display in each of these volumes, talents large enough to encompass a wide range of genres and styles and large enough again to meet each of these challenges and both defy and exceed expectations. Judging by the stuff on these pages Jordi Bernet isn't really a comic book artist he’s an Artist. His presence in comics elevates the entire medium and as such he, his work and all these book are EXCELLENT! Yes, even the ones with tits and dicks in.

Have a good weekend everyone and remember to read some COMICS!

(Christ, that took some doing. I might have next week off.)