Fred the Possessed Flower #1, 1998, Happy Predator Comics
story proofs by Stevan Cvjetkovich
computer design by Sam Virdo
paintings by J.R. Newton
photography by Sandro Tucci
One would think that, on the eve of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, that I would be reviewing a Fantastic Four or a Silver Surfer comic book. Nay! Fred the Possessed Flower it is, an issue I originally intended to review around Earth Day before I anticipated the Alternative Press Expo that weekend. An independent effort itself, I don't think that Fred would've been my cup of tea, and its base concept, a personified flower servant of Satan, seems a bit to macabre and surreal for me. (Actually, it's an attempt to take the surreal and make it real, which is a blend that doesn't always work.) However, in this inaugural issue, Fred must work as a ethereal scab when the likes of Cupid, the Boogieman, and the Tooth Fairy unionize for higher wages. Though these characters are more urban myth than fairy tale, as this issue describes, I'm a fan of holidays nevertheless, and it was an interesting choice to introduce this series' demonic protagonist via dark takes on their respective responsibilities. The only element missing from this issue was an overriding sense of poignancy; Fred's tackling of his protesting peers' tasks were too episodic, and "Happy's" attempt to blend spirituality with satire deserved a more substantial delivery. A good concept is just the seed; a story needs some nurturing to grow.
And now, the Fantastic Four beckons. I'll link to my review before the weekend is, to quote the Surfer, "at an end." Yes!