or: Careful What You Ask For
I have to admit, when I reached into the big Box-O-Comics and came out with Rune #3 my first thought was... huh? I really don’t remember this.
Seems that “they” found something... alien... in the jungles of Viet Nam and have sent it to Area 51 for further investigation. Project Aladdin is maintained by an alien AI named Genie which is being devoured by a creature who I’ll guess is Rune. This can’t go anywhere good.
Well, one good place. One where Barry Windsor Smith can go full bugnut gonzo with explosions, tech noir, organics and computers melting into each other and the universe...
I can’t help but notice everyone in the story seems to get exactly what they ask for, only to find it’s the last thing they want. D’oh!
First time I visited Barry’s studio, I was struck by the physical texture to his work. The ink was so thick it reminded me of the lead in stained glass windows. It was like comics for blind people.
The inks thickness came from the antique steel nibs Barry was using; The Esterbrook 048 Falcon pen. The volume of ink the nib would lay down, even on the finest lines, was rediculous. While flexible as crow quills or mapping points, it was much heavier and stiffer. No matter how fast, how hard or what direction you went, it would never catch or spatter.
The only drawback was the volume of ink it left behind. To avoid downtime waiting for ink to dry, you had to have at least four pages going at a time... and you still needed to keep a hairdryer handy.