Thursday, February 14, 2013


This Review Originally Ran on Comics Bulletin
Reptile Museum Volume 1 Issue 1
(Cody Pickrodt, Ray Ray Books)
Reptile Museum Volume 1 Issue 1 is like an thick wooden door, one that as you push up against it slightly cracks open and you suddenly become engulfed in the swoosh of an entirely imaginative world which begins to caress your skin and muss up your hair. It tingles with the excitement of anticipation, that something marvelous is about to happen and all you have to do is swing it wide open and step inside.
Either that, or it's the door to that giant trash compactor room aboard the Death Star. A dianoga slithering about. Full of stink. Full of missed opportunities. 
It's a first issue. It's all set-up. This shit could go anywhere.
Reptile Museum concerns a post-Apocalyptic world on the Island of Seawanhacky whose residents have been isolated for generations. It is also about a mysterious character named Pants. Pants has been away for almost a decade. His return is almost certainly a harbinger of change. After all, that's what happens in these kinds of stories.
There's some sort of veiled threat from an outside "they" who may or may not be a bunch of masked men all "hopped up" and wielding swords -- if they are one and the same, then Pants has all this in hand, as PANTS KICKS ASS (OMG, I may have been waiting all my life to write that).

This is a comic that opens big -- a splash page of the Earth spinning alone in the cosmos. There's the guided panel by panel zoom into our locale and our locals, and then, in a moment of artistic brilliance, one of these gentlemen points back up. It's a very subtle moment. Reversing the zoom, playing with our perspective. Setting up big ideas.
There's all these little touches in this book that make me want to believe that as this series continues, there will be so much of value in its pages.  But for each of these moments, there are also just as many misses. Bad wording. Bad perspective. Odd art choices. It's hard sometimes to tell where Cody Pickrodt is coming from with this book, and it is nigh on impossible to predict where he's going.
Is this a door we want to walk through, or is this a door best left shut?
I want to have faith. I think I want to turn the knob on this book one more time. There's just so much possibility here. There's a lot to want to believe in. I mean, this is PANTS we're talkin' about. You gotta have faith in Pants, right?
You can order Reptile Museum Volume 1 Issue 1 from Ray Ray Books.

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