Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mr Kempo saves the day

So there's this one episode of Moonrunners that doesn't suck. It's mostly silent, and is a showcase for Belardinelli's storytelling. Flynn has despatched his mate Kempo to sniff out a traitor who is aboard the ship. Cue lots of shadows, lurking eyes and the odd glinting knife. It's like the best bits from Meltdown Man, but on a spaceship.
Don't worry, things get a bit rubbish again. It doesn't help that Parkhouse/McKenzie were attempting to emulate Frank Miller's successful use of captions to set the mood of the strip. Sure, that's a reasonable device, but it sits ill alongside some of the broader comedy in the series.

Now, the famous Belardinelli bugbear is his struggle with human beings. Personally, I don't have a big problem with his design of human characters. For one thing, he can draw a person so that they look the same from panel to panel, which is a lot better than certain other artists. Also, his men and women are both equally pretty, which is to be applauded. He's not shy of showing off a manly or womanly physique, although he doesn't exactly break the mould for depicting anything other than athleticism in his main characters.

No, my big problem is his use of motion lines. Yes, they convey movement and add some dynamism to his art work. But somehow every time he puts them on the page, it makes his figures look like puppets. And even if I follow each motion line through to imagine how the figure is moving, and it turns out to be an accurate representation of how a body would move, it looks a bit rubbish.

Anyway, time to wrap up this small run-through. It's pretty clear to me that the readers all disdained the series before it had finished, and so its creators decided to cut it short. As mentioned, the over-arching plot wasn't up to much in the first place. Sure, there were some fun ideas about this future society, with its space-faring rituals, new fashions and 'psychic helmsmen', but that's not enough to sustain a coherent narrative. So, it's exposition to overdrive for a quick four-panel round-up of exactly what went on with all those boardroom shenanigans.

Bye bye, Moonrunners. See you later for a pointless reprise in about 30 progs' time. Maybe one day some ingenius scripter can fix you and bring you exploding out for a new generation of squaxx, eh? I'd certainly like to believe there's no 2000 AD series so bad that it couldn't have been made good in other hands. Even Mother Earth.


Post a Comment

<< Home