Tentacle Tuesday: Tenta-come-lately

I have this tendency to overlook comics published more recently than 20 years ago. It’s not a conscious bias on my part (aw, who are we kidding?), and yet…  Why would I waste precious time trying to find something “modern” (which is a flexible concept, anyway) that’s half-decent instead of enjoying the bounty of excellent comics produced in the 60 (if not 70) years preceding the 2000s?

Having said that, tentacles are more popular than ever in the comics field – a panacea for a number of storytelling foibles, a piquant ingredient to offset blandness, a freaking deus ex machina. Unfortunately, almost all of the post-2000 comics graced by the appearance of tentacles are of the butt-ugly persuasion – for a number of reasons, although I could probably narrow them down to three or so (piss-poor anatomy, a cold metallic gleam over everything, terrible colours). Modern comics also have the lovely feature of having like a bazillion variant covers for each issue.

I could go on with covers like this one all day:

Grimm Tales of Terror no. 6 (January 2015), pencilled by Giuseppe Cafaro and inked by Simone Di Meo.

That’s not ugly enough for you? The pretty girl is knocking out all capacity for rational thought? Are you forgiving the artist for thinking fabric needs about a thousand crinkles and folds to look, ahem, realistic? Okay, how about something like this?

Action Comics #6
A panel from “When Superman Learned to Fly”, published in Action Comics no. 6 (April, 2012). Pencilled by Andy Kubert and inked by John Dell.

Everybody knows that if you’re going to combat tentacles, you should make sure your stance is wide enough to be completely impractical and then fight them off with your crotch. While you’re doing that, your cape will develop a mind of its own and will start lifting off your shoulders. That is normal and aids in battle. Throw some terribly witty dialogue in, triple check that the men have their hands curled up in manly fisticuffs even if they’re not really connected to their wrists, and you’re all set for an Action Scene!

Okay, okay, I’ll wrap up my rant now. Let’s look at some… decent comics.

“Doctor Lovecraft” made me do a serious eye-roll, but at least the story is interesting. Read the issue here. Note the teal-and-orange in this one:

A page from « Betty R.I.P. Chapter One – Witch in the Dream House », published in Afterlife with Archie no. 6 (October 2014). Scripted by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, art by Francesco Francavilla.

I’m going to throw a spoiler your way with the following splash. It’s from the same issue as the previous page, so guess who gets to be bride of Cthulhu. (A more-than-slightly absurd thought. What would a Great Old One want with a human female, even if she’s a witch?) For more spoilers, head over to the Afterlife with Archie: the 13 Scariest Moments. I am aaalmost considering picking up the series. Maybe. As soon as I’m done with the piles of comics covering pretty much every surface of my office.


Moving on: I never thought I’d be posting *anything* from My Little Pony franchise, but the “pastels” of this scene are rather well done. Also, these freaking ponies are annoying, so seeing them strangled is somewhat satisfying.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic no. 27 (January 2015). Cover by Andy Price.

It’s even more preposterous that I should be sharing a Star Wars page, for fuck’s sake, but I like the art (pray note: more blue and orange!).

«The Phantom Limb» is scripted by James Robinson and drawn by Tony Harris, and was published in Star Wars Special: C-3PO no. 1 (June 2016). Figure out why a tentacled monster is interested in a robot here.

~ ds

One thought on “Tentacle Tuesday: Tenta-come-lately

  1. Ben Herman: In My Not So Humble Opinion November 27, 2018 / 16:45

    Yeah, I am not a huge fan of the hyper-detailed type of work that so many comic book pencilers have been producing for the last quarter century. Sometimes excessive detail is at attempt to compensate for a weakness in ability and storytelling. The artists with deceptively simple styles are often the ones who are the most talented and versatile.

    The late, great Darwyn Cooke, with what I like to refer to as his “noir animated” style, immediately comes to mind. Another example is Dean Haspiel. I really enjoy his work. Plus he’s drawn a tentacle or two in his time…


    Liked by 1 person

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