Friday, July 21, 2006

B.A.B.E. Force: Jurassic Trailer Park #2

B.A.B.E. Force: Jurassic Trailer Park #2, forcewerks Productions
writer: Kirk Kusnin
artist: Diego Barreto

San Diego Comic Con, day three. I still haven’t purchased a comic book. I’m practicing discernment. Really. Ever go to the grocery store when you’re really hungry? Everything looks good, right? That’s what the Comic Con is like when you’ve accepted the A Comic A Day challenge.

Fortunately, although I haven’t coughed up any cash, eager exhibitors are still dishing out free comics, which is ample fuel for the fire for now. Consider B.A.B.E. Force. The average comic connoisseur probably hasn’t heard of it. So, at the world buffet of all things comics, why not pass out a few free samples, to whet the public’s appetite?

Okay, enough with the food based analogies. All that walking around works up an appetite.

Of course, I have heard of B.A.B.E. Force, thanks to their Free Comic Book Day sampling a few years ago. I’ve read that issue a few times, because, in my opinion, it offered everything I expect from an introductory issue: two solid stories establishing character and tone, with an interesting text-intensive supplemental piece fleshing out the concept. Usually, such text is an essay by the author. In that FCBD issue, the “essay” was actually an excerpt from ChaosCo’s merchandise catalog. See, the “villain” of the story is Dr. Chaos, the heir of the Chaos fortune, and rather than use his father’s criminal technology to take over the world or something . . . he sells it. He’s a huckster. Annoying, but not evil, and ultimately hilarious.

B.A.B.E. Force is Charlie’s Angels meets Die Hard. Their “major domo” is a mute clown; their enemy’s henchman is a Mexican wrestler. It’s pure pyrotechnic fun, with robot dinosaurs and car chases and the old slam-on-the-trailer’s-brakes-so-the-boat-in-tow-goes-air-born trick. Oh, and did I mention the riotous old folks? B.A.B.E. Force takes not taking itself seriously very seriously but avoids the transparent satire that makes adventures like theirs too vapid.

I think B.A.B.E. Force is packaged as an on-going mini-series, with each arc its own title, so this issue is the last in a two-part story. Smart idea. Every installment is accessible to potentially new readership, and I should mention that the art is easy on the eye, as well, with crisp line work and effective use of heavy ink in an otherwise colorless series. In fact, I wonder if color would taint the purity of the artwork’s intensity and expressionist flair. Ho hum.

Yes, the Con offers an overwhelming menu of international comic delights, and today, B.A.B.E. Force was that free tasty sample of orange chicken on a toothpick. It’s dinnertime.

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