The O Men #11
Martin Eden, 35 Woodbury Street, Tooting, London, SW17 9RP
A5, 32 pages, £1.50
“Own Worst Enemy”is the title of this little story within a story, and again, Martin Eden centres in on another self-contained story that is written right up there with Buseik , David and Waid. Anathema, enemy of The O Men, is the spotlight of the entire tale, wandering in and out of the lives of The O Men, with nary a presence. This framer carries the story along from a step-back view, aided a sinister edge by Eden’s recent revelation that both Anathema and the readers are in the dark about many major elements of the story. And he’s done it a damn sight more convincing than any comic I’ve read since Grant Morisson’s Animal Man. Within this not as self contained as the last experimental issue’, every little detail is revealed through the central character’s necessity (eg. Self-mutilation). Anathema wanders through the scenes, undetected, at her weakest, yet still manages to soil any beautiful moment which may occurr. Every box corrupted with her presence. She is Strangers In Paradise with knives, chainsaw, strimmers, in fact just about every sharp implement. Whilst Martin Eden falls in with his influences, the Tori Amos-Neil Gaiman camp for sheer bloody horror , morbidity and those hidden gothic folk, he also shares with the a modesty, ahidden tenderness and calm, and state essence dialogue.
Art-wise, it’s the same new same brilliance. Theres a surfing reliance on parallel lines and crafted juxtaposed lines, crease-creating, revealing a steady and confident hand and making this more unique than a brilliant Paul Grist/Andi Watson rip-off. And the layouts are just as experimental. No, I can’t put it across any fairer than that. The panel and page layouts are experimental. And yummola! I wish I could draw comics like this one.