Category Archives: david lapham

Review – Crossed Family Values #1 (Avatar, 2010)

SPOILER FREE!

When I first heard about this sequel to ‘Crossed’ I was sceptical. I figured ‘Crossed’ to be something that would not, could not be done – how do you follow up on something as grossly unique and sick as Crossed? Well, it has been done, minus Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows, and all I can say is WOW. If anything, the intensity, fear, gore, terror and depravity of humans and the ‘Crossed’ is more pronounced, more keenly felt in this terrific drama from David Lapham – yes, David Lapham, recently of ‘Young Liars’. He has done Ennis’ creation proud, with a barnstorming opener that manages to fit in family drama at its rawest, a siege, and, of course, the ‘Crossed’. My god they are a terrifying, awesome enemy. The art, by Javier Barreno, fits in well with the Jacen Burrows stylings of the original ‘Crossed’, and that is not meant as a slight. His art is brilliant in its staging, it capturing of the everyday and the apocalyptic.

If you were a Crossed fan, I don’t need to tell you that you need to give this a try. If you are a Lapham fan, try it, but be prepared to be more shocked, as this is no ‘Young Liars’- it is much more ‘out-there’. For the rest – if you think of your worse nightmare, of vivid, bloody, needless slaughter, of desperate struggle and a nihilistic, darker-than-dark atmosphere pervading everything….well, if you want to read that in comic form, dive in! ‘Crossed Family Values’ #1 is out now.

It is not easily forgotten, and it has me hooked. This could be something I did not expect to say, but this could easily outstrip the original ‘Crossed’ in terms of quality, drama, terror and excitement.

Crossed – there is more (2010)

In other news, that happy and life affirming* series, Crossed, has taken a surprising turn. You may well have thought that with the upcoming issue #9 (of 9), that that would be that. But no. The world of the ‘Crossed’ will live on this spring. But Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows will not be the creative team. Instead, we will have the estimable David Lapham, who most recently gave the world the thoroughly twisted rock n’ roll acid nightmare of ‘Young Liars’, and art by Javier Barreno. Interesting in so many ways – and a lot of them are dark and perverse and you do not want to think too long and hard about it. But one point of interest is the fact that you don’t get many creators ceding creative control over of an owned title like Crossed to another team. More about it here;


http://www.avatarpress.com/2010/02/16/crossed-day/

I think it is going to be immense, disgusting, perverted and shocking, but also rather brilliant. We shall see – it’s out in May. Lapham talks it up here;

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2010/02/16/david-lapham-on-writing-crossed-volume-2-family-values/

Depending on your state of mind, you may or may not want to have a look at the grisly, macabre, disturbed and blacker than a black hole humour of Jacen Burrows Crossed covers. He is doing the new series covers as well you know. If you are easily offended, then do not click here – seriously;

http://www.flickr.com/photos/avatarpress/4361219935/in/set-72157605058082820/

* I am taking the piss. For ‘happy and life affirming’, read ‘thoroughly dark and depressing, savage and bleak’

The Top Comics of 2009 countdown! Number 6 – Young Liars (Vertigo)

Like ‘Captain Britain & MI13’, ‘Young Liars’ was also taken from us too soon. A brilliant, transgressive work, the ending was too soon, but at the same time we were lucky to get 18 issues of this resolutely non-mainstream title.

I will not even begin to explain what ‘Young Liars’ is about. But if you want to read 18 issues (or 3 trades) of some of the most mind-bending, occasionally frustrating, true spirit of rock n roll filtered into a comic book, then please, indulge yourself. There were so many times throughout its run that I literally gasped at the audacious manner with which David Lapham (writer and illustrator) told this tale. You will probably gasp too. And don’t expect any clear resolutions, any definitive endings, any closure – but read it and cherish it for ‘Young Liars’ is (was) something unique – a comic book title that dared to be very different, and so refreshing from the mass of generic superhero titles that frankly, in the main, leave me cold. ‘Young Liars’ was a triumph of storytelling, and the medium suited it perfectly. ‘Young Liars’ was a highlight of the first half of 2009, and has been missed in the second half of the year. A deserving place in the top 10.

Review – Young Liars #16 (Vertigo, 2009)

This just makes me sad. There are only a couple of issues to go and now it seems as if we are going to get some sort of resolution when it feels like there is no good way of wrapping this up now. This time round we get the back story of Joanie and her half-brother Ronald, and their sandwich shop in Freedom. Then the Brown Bag corporation turn up, and if you read the title, or have even a basic grasp of modern commerce, then you’ll know it ends badly for the little guy. Its another fascinating peek into the murky and convoluted world of the ‘young liars’, including an appearance from ‘Loreli Sweetwater’…but with so little time left before the series ends, did we really need this? I just do not know how this is going to be resolved. I hope it gets some sort of closure. I feel for David Lapham and his dilemma in getting this wrapped up. In his own words;

Got word yesterday. 18 will be the last. There will be plenty of mind blowing shit in every issue till the last. I’m not going to try and force my “ultimate” ending in there but we will have an end, and as this is a series of endings, I can hold out hope that one day I may see it through to the end I had intended be the end, end..

taken from

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2009/04/16/young-liars-cancelled/

Verdict. Reading the Young Liars up to now has been a bit like where you wake up after a great dream and think its Monday morning – only to find out it is Saturday morning. It started great, got confusing and disorienting a few issues in, only to come out of the confusion with an energy and vitality, combined with audacious plotting, to make it all worthwhile. I cannot really score this issue because any score on this issue is loaded with the knowledge that there is only 2 more issues to go and I feel unhappy about this. It is probably too late to invest in the single issues now, so get the trades instead.

Review – Young Liars #15 (Vertigo, 2009)

Warning – Mild Spoilers.

First off – great choices of song for the cassette this time around – Sabotage by the Beastie Boys and Perfect Day by Lou Reed.

This issue sees Danny try to reinvent the reality from a few issues ago, with a
DJ Slik beinf persuaded to become the rich and adventurous Truman Runco, and more bizarrely, Lorelei’s (aka Sadie’s) therapist Dr Rivera being coerced into being Donatella. It is head spinning, you know that if you read it, with some amazing twists, and Sadie / Lorelei not looking as invincible anymore. Here she seems so fragile and vulnerable, nothing like the Sadie from the early issues, seemingly dominated by Danny Duoshade / Noonan into recreating his fantasy world to save the world from alien spiders…

It is a trip, and the ending is wow……with an image straight out of The Truman Show. The cover gives you a clue. Very Philip K Dick. So, David Lapham wins again – he manages to twist and turn and go back on in himself and still come up with the goods. Let us hope the recent cancellation announcement, and its impending demise with issue #18 does not force his hand or curtail his bravado.

Review – Young Liars issue 14 (Veritgo, 2009)

Warning – Spoilers

Reading ‘Young Liars’ has been less of a chore and much, much more of a pleasure. There were times around issues 7, 8 & 9 when I wondered if I could continue with the title, as its various plot threads, space and time jumps and characters as Spiders From Mars began to overwhelm me. Now, at issue 14, the series is a fascinating exploration of whodunit?, bluff and double-bluff.

This issue begins with an amorous liaison between Johnny Jukebox & Annie X, who reveals herself as ‘acute observationist no.4’. Observing who though? It transpires that she is observing the object of her affections – however, Annie X is using sex as a weapon to observe Danny Noonan aka Johnny Jukebox – and it is those few words that Annie X lets the cat out of the bag. Danny Noonan and Johnny Jukebox are one and the same, and it is all for one fundamental purpose – in Annie’s words it is to ‘protect the integrity of the web’ (yes, those Spiders are back!). Throw into the mix the following; home made bombs, East German porn, Fur Coats, Plastic Surgery and wine spiked with truth serums, a circus cannon and missing medications, and an ending where the Spider becomes the Fly and what you have is the head-turning brilliance of Young Liars taking another step towards being the best rock n roll title EVER.

Oh, and if you have ever wondered what a spider calender girl would look like, then I urge you to seek out this issue.

Young Liars issue 14, by David Lapham, is out now, published by Vertigo.

Review of Young Liars #13 (Vertigo, 2009)

All you need to know is that if you gave up on this title in the past then give it another go – your patience and perseverance will have been rewarded. As the title hits the teens, Danny Noonan / Duoshade is now Johnny Jukebox, but he is still in a band and, apparently, still a success (just like Danny Duoshade). Now get this – Johnny loves Loreli, who bears a strong resemblance to Sadie. Random, life altering events come and go as if in a drug-induced haze (like burning down your house ‘to shake things up’)….but is that because they are conducted under medical supervision and intervention??? Brown Bag is watching you….

By the end of the issue, when Johnny is using peyote to try and break down what appears to be a monumental and orchestrated facade, it feels as if the series has not only come full circle but also a climax is in sight. Johnny / Danny, with a wig in one hand and a gun in his other, makes a decision which is going to effect his, and Loreli’s lives forever. It may even have massive repercussions for the whole world.

This is such a brilliant issue, and the best title of the week already, because the issue spills over with smart dialogue and great art, each frame packed with tension, love, energy and LIFE. A lust for life spills out of all these pages. The book celebrates the art of staying alive and surviving, even when death is all around and closing in. More, please.

It is the title of the week. There you go – in a week when ‘The Walking Dead’ is out, another title gets top billing fom me. I can give no higher praise, but do go ahead and read it. If you have not read the other 12, go and find them and then read this. Issue 12 is the cherry on the top so far.

Who knows the truth anymore and what is real in Danny / Johnny’s life? Who cares? Will we ever find out what the real truth is? Note to David Lapham – Just keep delivering the goods and you can continue spinning tales (it is a real web of deceit – metaphorically and in reality…or are the Spiders from Mars a mere fantasy??) until you decide enough is enough and you decide to tell us what the hell ‘Young Liars’ is about. Until then, thank you for this wonderful installment, and a truly inspired cover – they, like the story inside, just get better and better.