Thursday, May 24, 2007

Yikes #5

Yikes #5, 1996, All-Star Pictures
by Steven K. Weissman

My girlfriend had a tooth pulled today, and to pass the time in the dental surgeon's waiting room and celebrate the harrowing event, I read Yikes #5, an issue I purchased for a dollar from a retailer at the Alternative Press Expo last month. I was drawn to this issue's in-your-face cover (literally), and when I flipped through its content, its strategically placed single-shade coloring popped off of each page with a Warhol-like vitality, making artist Steven Weissman's peculiar little characters even more quirky and eye-catching. I didn't suspect that his storytelling would be just as peculiar, similar to the unique script of yesterday's Megaton comic by holding onto its sequentialism while dancing on the edge of surrealism. Yikes is Peanuts by way of Tim Burton's Oyster Boy universe, with its oddball cast of scamps, and I think that's the only time I've actually used the word "scamps," which couldn't be a bad thing, right?

In this issue, an old scholar, Rip Van Helsing recounts the tale of a time traveling murderer that stretches back to Biblical times, posing that Cain and Abel were really two rapscallions (another word I've never had to use) from modern times, and when Cain beheaded Abel, the good brother's noggin actually remained sentient while that li'l black sheep became a vampire and kept on killing well into the Roman rule . . . where Van Helsing discovered his devilry. Yes, this is as twisted a tale of chronological mayhem as it sounds, with little explanation to its science fiction or fantastical roots, but that's what makes the story so engaging. Back story isn't essential when you're talking about murderous time traveling scamps. Other tales of twisted tykes like Kid Medusa round out an already visually and linguistically entertaining package.

My coworkers and I are catching the eight o'clock Pirates of the Caribbean 3 premiere, so I don't have a lot of time to divulge further, so I'll let Weissman's characters speak for themselves:

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