This sure ain’t Garfield!

by

 

Okay, okay, okay.  So here’s what I’m thinking now… 

I’m pretty much convinced that the island exists at a nexus or cross-roads where parallel universes and timelines intersect; this new theory is due in part to the bones of a DHARMA polar bear appearing in the Tunisian desert, Desmond’s cognizant flashes into the past, Charlie’s appearance to Hurley in the future, Christian Shepherd in Jacob’s cabin, and a host of other prevalent anomalies that have been cropping up.  And this nexus is highly unstable especially since the hatch imploded.  Because now there are places, I think, where the island is bleeding out to the rest of the world (remember that healing spot Rose and Bernard went to in Australia) as well as places where the rest of the world is seeping onto the island.  This is why it’s so hard to find or conversely leave the island and also what makes it so valuable to those who seek it.   

Oh, wait; I just alienated exactly 50% of my readership (that’s one person by the way).  

Plus, I wasn’t planning to blog about “Lost” anyway.  (Although I probably will get to that at some point) 

I actually wanted to talk about a whole other mystery-soaked obsession (albeit much more recent) of mine – Cameron Stewart’s addictively good noir webcomic, “Sin Titulo.”   

To confess, I’ve not dug very deep into the world of webcomics.  The peripheral places I’ve skimmed past that subculture have only been the strips of a humorous nature.  (PvP, Perry Bible Fellowship, etc.)   In fact, I actually owe finding “Sin Titulo” to the PvP website.  There was a posting there about a month or so ago about “The Abominable Charles Christopher” by Karl Kerschl at www.transmission-x.com and I went, enjoyed it thoroughly, and have been reading it for weeks since. 

Well, this Wednesday after reading the latest beautifully rendered “Abominable” strip I starting looking at the Transmission-X site and all the other strips that they have there.  I had some time to kill (aka the time I clocked in at work until the time I clocked out) and clicked on the next strip there that looked interesting to me. 

And down the rabbit hole I went. 

I hadn’t realized this, but David Lynch has been writing/drawing a webcomic for the past few months and it’s freakin’ brilliant!  But, in fact, it’s not really David Lynch.  It’s this guy named Cameron Stewart who has clearly consumed his weight in Lynch and is regurgitating it in a far more accessible way.   

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I don’t want or need my Lynch to be accessible.  I’m not saying that.  But, it is nice to read a piece of work that carries over that Lynchian vibe but does so through the auspices of a fairly linear (I assume, but I suppose I need to read more before I say for sure) narrative. 

The story is about Alex Mackay who just found out his grandfather passed away after a month of not knowing.  His trip to collect the old man’s things at the nursing home kicks off a spiral of intrigue, mysterious encounters and dark memories that start bringing down Alex’s world around him. 

I don’t really want to say much more than that because it’s such an engrossing and twisty tail and the kind of journey you should go on yourself. Let me just give a few of the finer points that have me squirming in anticipation for this every Sunday. (That’s the day the strip updates weekly, by the way) 

          The art:  Like I said, I hadn’t heard of Cameron Stewart before this even though I apparently own some of the stuff he’s done (work on Morrison’s “Seven Soldier’s of Victory” project specifically).  I’m kind of stupid that way and don’t remember artist’s too well.  Anyway, that said, I won’t be forgetting this guys name now and I’ll be scanning Previews for his name in the months to come.  I love what he’s doing here.  The dark doorways.  The seedy characters populating the shadows.  The creepy, Lost-esque Room #3.  It’s definitely shown me the true potential of the webcomic medium. 

          The writing:  So, I know comicbookdb.com is far from definitive, but near as I can tell, this guy hasn’t written any major comics.  He seems to be working exclusively as an artist professionally and not as a writer.  If that’s true – someone needs to rectify this situation immediately.  This guy is a great storyteller.  Dialogue and pacing is stellar in this strip and I feel like I’m in the hands of an old pro while reading the story.   

          Alex Mackay:  At first, I was a little put off by the seemingly bland character design of the strips protagonist.  But, as I started to get the Lynch vibe and really began to let myself hear Alex’s voice, I could see the similarities to the kind of characters Kyle MacLachlan played in “Blue Velvet” and what I’ve seen of “Twin Peaks” and how he had to be an everyman type.  What really got me invested in him as a character though was his recollection of a particularly traumatic childhood memory that spanned a handful of strips.  Now I can pick this guy out of a line up easily (the band-aid on his forehead helps too!) and I’m desperate for him to get at the truth.  Also, his job is as a fact-checker at a local newspaper and is a brilliant surrogate for the traditional noir PI character archetype and reminiscent of the insurance adjuster in “Double Indemnity.”  That’s so great that I kind of can’t believe that someone hasn’t thought of it before. 

Anyway, I’ve gone this far and haven’t given you the link to the strip.  So, get yourself a cup of coffee, clear an hour on your schedule, and click here:  http://www.transmission-x.com/_sin_titulo/2007/06/17/page-01/ 

You’ll only be sorry once and that’s when you get to the end of the most recent strip and realize that you now have to wait for the next piece of the puzzle.

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5 Responses to “This sure ain’t Garfield!”

  1. Cameron Stewart Says:

    Wow, thanks very much for the review. You seem to have intuited exactly what I was going for with the strip, and noted the influences correctly, so I’m glad that it worked for you. Very much appreciated and I hope I don’t disappoint in future!

  2. ogreadmore Says:

    God bless the internet! I generally assume that I’m howling into the abyss here. Very cool of you to stop by.

    And, thanks for the strip. It really is one of the coolest things I’ve stumbled on to lately. I wonder if there’s any plans to collect it in the future? I’d sure like to one day be able to grab this off the shelf and force it into the hands of my nearest and dearest.

    Anyway, keep up the great work man!

  3. Cameron Stewart Says:

    I’ll likely arrange for a print edition once the story is complete, but I don’t know when that will be. At the rate of one page per week we’re looking at at least a year or two before it’s sufficiently book-length.

  4. ogreadmore Says:

    Cool. Anyway, I’m happy getting it for free right now. But, I’ll be sure to pay you for it when that day comes!

  5. The Webcomic Overlook #82: Sin Titulo « The Webcomic Overlook Says:

    […] #2: And then I ran into this year-old review on a non-webcomic site comparing Sin Titulo to Lost. AND to David Lynch. As Sawyer would say, “Awwww, hell.” I […]

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