Sunday, April 08, 2007

Concrete: Killer Smile #2

Concrete: Killer Smile #2, August 1994, Dark Horse Comics
writer/artist: Paul Chadwick
colorist: Elizabeth Chadwick
art assistance: Jed Hotchkiss
letterer: Bill Spicer
editor: Randy Stradley

"And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it." -- Matthew 28:2

While that tomb obstructing stone may be the most popular to ponder on a day like Easter, the comic book medium has a few rockin' characters of its own: the Thing, Cinderblock, Badrock (or whatever Liefeld's successors are calling that guy these days). However, none of them are as thought-provoking as Concrete, Paul Chadwick's behemoth-with-a-heart-of-gold indie comics darling. In this miniseries Killer Smile, Concrete's assistant Larry is a hostage in his own car, at the mercy of a gas station robber and his hapless girlfriend. In Chadwick's supplemental essay, he explains a kinship with this story, a sense of his vulnerability in an ever increasingly dangerous world. The minutia of this issue's plot is what infuses it with charm but undeniable "what would I do" introspection, as Larry spends a whole page wondering how to signal an adjacent cop with his hand, obscuring from his attacker's point of view. (Incidentally, he flips the cop off, which sparks the rest of the issue's tumultuous events. Beats my idea to tap the driver's side door with a Morse code SOS, if the officer would even recognize that!) Meanwhile, when Concrete catches wind of his friend's situation, he tries his best to defend his assistant with the police, who assume everyone in Larry's truck is a suspect, while attempting to find him, if only his girth didn't slow him down. Quite a message for Easter, to put a friend's life ahead of your own. Some rocks simply cannot be moved, no matter what day it is. Happy Easter.

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