Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thirty Days of CCS #18: Max Mose

Max Mose's EC-throwback comic Terror Terror Terror Terror (the fourth "terror" makes it funny) is his typical blend of political commentary cloaked in over-the-top horror. "Where Do They Come From" starts with a skeleton rising from the grave, going to a hardware store to get some duct tape, and then taping on a bunch of steaks to his frame to restore his "meat" form. The horror in this case is the skeleton being a former CEO who exacts his revenge, then takes his seat back at the head of the company. The story's climax comes when the bloodthirsty monster feeds by firing all of his employees after their hard work resulted in record-breaking profits. He then goes on to write a best-selling book about what he did, a hilarious and entirely accurate satire on the vampiric relationship that executives have with their companies.

"Contempt of Congress" lays on the satire thick, as the real and monstrous Congress meets to discuss how best to exploit their war dead, how to keep firing up the war machine (as Senator WarEagle, an eagle with a medal around his neck featuring a bomb, explains), and inventing new techniques like "terror drones". The coloring here is especially lurid, with sickening greens and oranges, and the proceedings get increasingly and darkly absurd, like a senator who was hollowed out by a colony of termites who "funded his candidacy and bought him a private jet". It wraps up with legislating, which occurs when the Dark Gods are summoned and laws are dumped into its mouth--which are then enacted "when it makes its out of the backend of that beast". That's as good a metaphor for Congress as I've ever seen.

"The End Is Really The Beginning, Only Seen With A Slanted View" was my favorite of the three stories, as it expertly apes the tone of a typical EC science-fiction story. There's a know-it-all explorer in his spaceship, trying to get to a new planet ahead of a hunter, a braggart who uses discoveries to further his own ego and a developer that wipes out life on a planet in order to terraform it. What's the explorer's angle? Why he's a photographer trying to record life (and sell photos to collectors with "discerning" tastes), whose process causes all life on the planet to be burnt to a crisp. The hilariously ironic way he meets his end really captures that EC feeling, but it's not exactly a happy ending, either, as the creatures on the planet are still colonized. Mose's pencils are on the rough side, but experience has taught him to draw with fewer lines and lean on his use of color to create more coherent narratives. His writing is wickedly funny, and the EC device allows him to hammer home ideas within a parodic framework that doesn't feel like he's overstating the obvious.

No comments:

Post a Comment