Insane Comics 2016
By Steven Pennella
I finished reading this issue and kept thinking myself Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? It’s not that they are that similar or anything but there’s that sense of familiarity to them where you see and feel that Dorothy, Faith, is literally willing to do anything at all to achieve her dreams. There’s a darkness in that thirst for fame, fortune and adoration that you’re drawn to like a moth to a flame and you just can’t look away from it. Also it doesn’t hurt that time frame here works in concert for that too.
This issue is all about fleshing out Dorothy and how her life went to her becoming Faith Fallon. Opening up where we left off last issue when Miranda found them copulating. The assault and the degradation of it all well it’s as good a point for Dorothy to be embarrassed, ashamed and to learn a lesson in cruelty and self preservation. Though I was kind of hoping that we’d see him get raped but hey it’s all good.
From there what would be a life altering event occurs that now I can see tying into the opening of last issue. For that event most people would be irrevocably changed and in a way she is but not in any way you’ll expect to see. It’s brutal, semi-graphic and really demonstrates the changes in her character not to mention the length’s she’s willing to go to in order to erase all traces of her past. I was shocked, thrilled and oddly enthralled by it.
There’s so much wonderful stuff happening here. A lot of it is in the interior artwork and you have to marvel at the way Steven is able to use multimedia to do this. The use of page layouts with angles, perspective and those backgrounds it almost would seem to be too busy but no it’s perfectly done. You can see so many different styles and how they are layered throughout just capture not only the story but the imagination of the reader. It’s really creativity and imagination at it’s finest moments.
Once Dorothy gets to Hollywood we see more and more of the changes in her that will get her where she needs to go. What she’s willing to do, who she’ll use to get what she wants and the length’s and depth of her own depravity is proudly on display. You can see the weave of the web Steven is weaving her and then when he adds those cross stitches into it the web becomes larger and more embroiled in things you don’t quite expect.
So new characters, new personalities some standard of the time others sheer strange and yet others still deadly like the black widow spider. I use the spider analogy because much like the spider’s web there’s a grace, beauty and sheer brilliance to it that belies the deadliness and horrors that await within it. It can beautiful and mesmerising and catch you totally unaware of how it traps you in.
It takes a special kind of talent to create a story like this and to use the medium so effectively. Trial and error aside this is the result of passion and skill in the best way possible.