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MISTY! & scream 2020 Special

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Professor Bear:
I see someone in editorial took all the bitching about the Misty logo being much smaller than the SCREAM! one on the covers of previous specials to heart, so never let anybody tell you that shitting your nappy on an internet forum about pointless nonsense that no sane adult should be concerned with doesn't yield results.  My time here is well-spent, and if anything I plan on becoming more crotchety and entitled.

Thief Of Senses - I love Henley's thick lines in this, even if it comes at the expense of detail.  Not sure about the muted colours as I think bolder contrast would have helped pick up some of it, but it's a decent short and spooky tale.
Bumps In the Night - ugh, another spooky clown story.  But it's okay, actually - possibly not for those who like their short fiction with zero flab and a punchy ending, but this reads like a Misty effort from back in the day, minus the verbose narrative captions, and that is No Bad Thing, surely?
Black Beth - fans of Windsor-Smith era Conan will likely find Dani's influences easy to spot.  I know this is yet another "ongoing", but it stands alone perfectly well.
The Dracula File - no spoilers, but this serves as a bookend to the series that began back in SCREAM! #1, and while I'm not sure it stands alone as best it could, Cavan Scott is to be commended for deciding to provide a good finale rather than hedging on yet another lukewarm reboot series being a given.  There's no replacing Eric Bradbury, but Vincenzo Riccardi channels the European artists of a similar vintage, with hints of Pino and Redondo here and there.  I imagine this story either negates the previous reboot attempt in the first Misty/Scream special, or renders it pointless, but either way it's probably for the best.
The Aegis manages to misjudge the tone of the rest of the book just enough to stand out, but it's unlikely to be a deal-breaker for anyone who likes Reina Telgemeier or similar yoot-oriented dramedy comics.  Grumpy old bastards on the internet will no doubt hate it.
The Black Max.  I don't think the publishing schedule has done this any favors, and I suspect has actually harmed the story, as this wrap-up seems rushed to me.  I would have thought this a good fit in the prog as an ongoing, but as a recurring serial appearing only in annual specials, it feels like it's been a bit of a miss, despite solid work from both creators.  I do have to say it looks great though, especially the eternal WW1 of Limbo/No Man's Land.

All in all, I have to say this was a bit too much of a mixed bag for me to not feel a bit thrown-together, though the stories are all good individually (as long as you don't mind the drastic differences in tone between stories) and the only major downer was probably The lettering on Bumps In The Night, as I figured out how to get pointy balloon tails, and I'm not even a comics lettererer, so HARRUMPH etc.  It's not that big a deal, really, as it's both perfectly legible and a stylistic choice familiar to readers of American comics aimed specifically at children like Adventure Time, but I also notice Oz' full name is Oz Ozbourne, and I didn't realise that Sharon had taken him to the cleaners so badly in the divorce that he to learn a completely new skill set at his stage of life, so fair play to our lettering prince of darkness for not letting anything stop him, be it the crossbar I rule or laws governing animal welfare and/or spousal battery.

On balance this special is a miss for me. Too many of the strips leave me wondering why the script wasn't given at least another pass or two to tighten them up and can someone please point Oz to Jims  blog about comics lettering?

Professor Bear:
I prefer to look at the unpolished edges as a deliberate throwback to the aesthetics of those old comics.

I actually quite liked this special. I have to say that I agree on Henley’s art. Loving the mix of heavy and light line work. Dani’s Black Beth also stands out. It was interesting on Black Max to pick up on the story from quite a while ago now. I think it works and obviously looks gorgeous.

What we need I think is more of this and more regularly... hang on a mo, is that the Misty Winter special I spy...

Colin YNWA:
Very much a mixed bag for me this one. Let's get the bumps out the way.

Bump in the Night was pretty weak and didn't hang together. I also have to be honest I didn't like the art here, too fussy and sharp linework aged everyone. Which was fine for lots but the main character looked like a 40 year old not a teenager. Still plenty of energy to it.

Black Max looked great but similarly didn't hang together. It rattled along at such a pace that nothing settled together and it just felt like And then this. And then this. And then this. And then that. Then the end.

The rest was pretty good.

The Dracula File while a sharp ending out of context really hung together as a tale you could fill the blanks in and was pretty satistying if the art was a bit cluttered. I don't think the colouring helped at all.

The Aegis on the other hand had nice and breezey art and I like the knowing twist at the end uspering the more typical outsiders are on the side of right we outsiders (of old) cling to.

Thief of Senses was creepy and suitably dark really enjoyed this one. The art was bold and defined if only it hadn't let itself down with bits of clumsy storytelling fumbling some of the key beats, particularly at the end.

Black Beth was great. The art was superb and the story again felt grounded in classic fantasy shorts of old with a darkly horrifc edge. Loved this one.

So yeah not perfect but I'd certainly say  more good than bad.


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