Monday, May 21, 2012

'I'll Take You to the Moon & Leave You There Vol 1' Review

After a successful Kickstarter campain, an entire year's worth of comic book art and short stories created by independent artist Skuds McKinley is now available in paperback format to purchase and own. Almost a year ago one of my dear friends sent me a link to McKinley's website Batshit Art and ever since I've checked up on the Pennsylvania based artist, watching his progress in the comic medium grow, his storytelling strengthen--post by post, panel by panel. And as a comic gossip junky, there is nothing I enjoy more than watching the beginning of a young, up and coming artist's journey. With the launch of McKinley's new book, just where does he wish to take us? To the moon of course.

I'll Take You to the Moon & Leave You There Vol 1 encompasses a medley of artistic styles and story genres. Within the 54 pages of black and white comics, readers will find high-fantasy adventure, requiems for young love, personal, mental anguish, and Bill fucking Murray. All these placed between two lovely colored portraits. If independent comics and anthologies the likes of Dark Horse Presents gets you hard in the morning, consider this your new pulp fleshlight.

After reading I'll Take You to the Moon the most important aspect I noticed about McKinley's work is the broad spectrum he draws from other artists. His work evokes the pulp art from comic legends Daniel Clowes, Charles Burns, and Paul Pope. If you can imagine a blend between all three of those artists, you have the evolving work of McKinley. His art is both unashamedly bold and experimentally daring. And it is my conclusion his work will only continue to mature for the better.

One of my favorite stories from the bunch is "Egg Hunt," a silent tale about a nomadic adventurer's journey to steal eggs from a gigantic larval beast. Not only is the adventurer's garb and character design intriguing but the monster in the tale does not disappoint. This is one of the stories that features McKinley's masterful skills with inking and refuses to be read in anything other than black and white. Another worthy short is the poetic "No Pill Today." Only three pages long, this snippet explores the shadows of pharmaceutical drugs and user's dependency. The inks on the panels of this short will leave you wondering how McKinley creates such amazing detail. And if anything speaks for his unique tongue at storytelling, this is the story to read.

Luckily for all you fine folks out there discovering Monsieur McKinley's art today, Skuds intends to release a new package deal on his personal website that includes "the comic book a dope ass shirt, and two art prints. all limited edition as fuck." Head on over there to check out the latest comics, art, news , and to pick up a sweet copy of I'll Take You to the Moon. Until next time, I'll see you on the moon!

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