Mia MacHatton, Columns Editrix
Dean Haspiel is bringing sexy back to comics.
Oh sure, there are some great nominees on this year's Eisner list. I'm incredibly impressed by the breadth of genre and style. But my favorite book by far, the one that left me hot and bothered, was Dean Haspiel's Immortal.
Immortal is the latest complete installment of Haspiel's creator-owned Billy Dogma series. Released as part of the initial ACT-I-VATE launch in 2006, Immortal documents the consequences of Billy Dogma and Jane Legit's War of Woo their fierce romance awakens a cosmic deity who sacrificed everything to teach love to the world, and chaos ensues.
Now, what do I mean by "sexy"? I mean heartstring-tugging, breath-catching, tear-off-your-clothes sexy. The kind of sexy that one second has your heart aching from empathy, and the next has you searching out your honey for a little one-on-one time.
The art is a deliciously sexy black-on-red, perfectly exhibiting how Haspiel's art has evolved over the past 10 years since he started the Billy Dogma stories. He illustrates action and emotion wonderfully, and pulls no punches with nudity or zombies. That's right, I said zombies.
And the writing! How can I possibly convey the pulp perfection of lines like "Make the muscle to meet the desire"? The story isn't merely a send-up of the old-school, sordid "bruiser and his dame" tale it breathes new life into the genre, and shows what happens when the bruiser and his dame have to put their fierceness aside to work out their problems.
So yes, Dean Haspiel and Billy Dogma are bringing sexy back, and you should go read Immortal immediately. And while you're at it, start on the next Billy Dogma installment (in progress), Fear, My Dear. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go take a cold shower.