October 7, 2004

Demo #10: Damaged

omgwtf actual content!

Blow-by-blow personal reactions:
Page 1: OMG, Becky has gone completely Paradise Kiss.
Page 3: And she's ripping Miki Aihara! (yes we all love Hot Gimmick.)
Page 5: This character looks rather shoujo-tastic but damn, if Becky had the time to enter RSOM, she would so win.
Page 6-7: Loving the 12-panel-based scattershot layout.
Page 9: During this entire monologue, I can already imagine the girl's voice. That's some pretty slick establishment of a concrete character.
Page 10: Panel 3 -- that's the closest I've seen Becky come to using chibi/SD. And comedy manga style. (note the screentoned circles)
Page 11: "Dude, I don't charge. I'm not a therapist or a hooker or anything." Brian Wood, you crack me up sometimes.
Page 14: Shut up; it's like you're talking about ME!
Page 15-16: Becky's use of rain here is a lot more controlled than the aggressive ink splatters of #5 (Girl You Want).
Pages 19 & 21: She screentones ON the inklines for that distorted effect! Brilliant!
Page 21: I believe I saw this one on Becky's DeviantArt account a while back.

There's a little bit of misdirection in here, because just when you think "Oh, I've got the superpower for this issue figured out" it slaps you in the face and goes "AHAHAHAHA fooled you!" Brian Wood admits in the letters section that he changed the script and apparently Becky Cloonan got surprised too. I recall that The Hurting brought up various faults of Demo, and yeah, I guess we're getting more of the same here. However, where #8 used manga layouts and Becky's personal character designs, #10 inverts that situation. Now we've got much more regimented panel layouts (rather like our regimented yuppie friend) but the character designs lean very strongly towards manga. My first reaction was Miki Aihara (Hot Gimmick), but looking at it again, I realize that I recognize the style of those eyes is a lot closer to Kosuke Fujishima's Ah! My Goddess. But I doubt that we'll see Becky illustrating complex mechanical devices anytime soon, seeing as she doesn't even like doing cars (Demo #3).

The photo-illust backgraounds are an interesting design choice; I normally associate these with throwaway teen manga where the artist is just too damn lazy to draw. I'm not saying Becky is lazy, though. It's clear that she put some thought in how to choose and use the photos.

I sometimes feel that Brian Wood's writing style isn't exactly suited to Becky Cloonan's art. I mean, they are doing some awesome stuff as a creative team, but I also get the feeling that Brian wants to do darker, more pessimistic stories, while Becky wants to escape to something more lighthearted and cute. Demo just happens to be the ground where they meet, and it makes for some very interesting reading no matter where they decide to go.

Now, the rest of the Comics Blogosphere can go discuss the actual story. Have at it!


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