Let’s get this reviewed. Heathcliff was created by George Gately, who ran the strip until 2001, when it was taken over by Peter Gallagher. By all accounts, the character of Heathcliff is a much more active and puckish figure than Garfield. This results in each panel having a much more unique energy than any given Garfield, usually involving Heathcliff annoying someone or engaging in some sort of surrealist jaunt. In fact, as you can see from the second panel, Heathcliff is either leaping from something or has spontaneously teleported above that poor man whose only crime is drinking a yellow liquid that may or may not be milk.
While the writing may be a mix of surrealism, non-jokes, and remarks about what terrors Heathcliff is wreaking on the neighborhood, the art is both perfectly serviceable but often times possesses that effortless quality many newspaper strips possess, in which everything appears to be nominal at first glance, but collapses under further scrutiny. In fact, the entire enterprise seems to somehow defy logic and conventional thinking.
I have a comic to review! The Doppelganger, drawn by Franky Plata Rojas and written by Thibault Kervarech, starts off by confusing the heck out of the reader by jumping feet-first into its premise, and it’s a doozy of a premise: a man called Composite goes from universe to universe, seeking out his doubles and ending their lives if they’re guilty. The whole thing could have easily become a strict science fiction tale, but instead, the creators have chosen to make it a sci-fi twinged noir, making it more similar to Quantum Leap than Sliders.
The art is smooth, but where this strip really excels is the coloring. Most of the second chapter has used an expertly deployed gray-scale, using color to draw attention to certain aspects of the scene, and a careful balance has been struck between the grays and colors. The writing, too, flows quite well and captures the noir spirit. It’s almost impossible to read without attributing typical noir characteristics to most of the characters and it does a lot to distinguish people who will likely be around for one arc before Composite travels to the next universe. The only character to avoid this, thus far, is Composite’s current doppelganger who is more reminiscent of an 80’s film villain.
The most intriguing part of The Doppelganger is the mystery of Composite’s mission. While we know the man’s goals and seen him exercise his skills, and know that he’s haunted by the task he’s been given, we know nothing of where he came from or who is giving him his orders. While this might be frustrating in some comics, it simply manages to keep the reader engaged.
The only negative thing thus far was a confusing portion of the first chapter in a sequence in which we’re shown two separate universes going about the same events, though it became clearer after realizing that they’re color-coded.
Milty Reviews Comics is property of Mike Podgor.
Heathcliff was created by George Gately, and is maintained by Peter Gallagher.
The Doppelganger is drawn by Franky Plata Rojas and written by Thibault Kervarech.
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