Tony Loco #2: Enter the stuffed elephant! This issue of Tony Loco, which hit the shops yesterday, continues directly from the last issue. It also can stand alone if it must, as Tony is introduced along with all the main players. It's still impossible to tell if Tony is truly insane or if there is magic around him, and that's a lot of the power of this book. Will it matter what drives him if in the end he is a force for good? There's more about Tony's youth in this one... two flashbacks that give us some grounding for why he's in an institution now. The first darker one brought on by the rattlesnake tail is done in reds with the jagged art of a terrible dream. Bright colors and clean art drive the cheerful memories pulled in by the singing stuff elephant (speaking of, does someone have a translation of the words of his song? I can get the gist of it, but I'm sure I'm not completely correct). Some of the artwork, particularly the faces of other characters, still bothers me a bit. But the story is compelling, and I want to read more. Buy this book, folks. Make sure issue three gets to stores soon.
Dorothy #7: "Red In Tooth and Claw": It's no secret that I've been enjoying this darker take on Oz since the first issue. But I confess that this issue is possibly my favorite because of several interesting factors. We'd already been introduced to the Scarecrow and the Tin Man, and you all know who comes next! As with the alternate versions of the others, the alternate version of the Lion is both considerably different, and wonderfully the same as in the original tale. Pulling in more Oz mythos, he's found in China Country, the land of the living porcelain. And oh, how that little fact is revealed! Add in very impressive visuals of a very impressive storm, and this one is definitely right up there at the top. I can understand why some people wouldn't want to read another version of the ol' Wizard of Oz story (trust me, I of ALL people understand that!)... but this is the most original take on the tale that I've seen in all of my husband's collection. It owes much to the source material, but goes its own way. I recommend it to anyone willing to try something a bit different. Go on, give it a shot!