Saturday, March 19, 2005

Street Angel - "Mrs. Potato Head Comics"

However will the title tie in?

As per a request by Adam, today's "You Decide" is Street Angel, specifically the first four issues.

Street Angel is about a young homeless girl named Jesse Sanchez who fights "for the poor, the forgotten, and whenever possible, for food."

The book is written by Brian Marcua and Jim Rugg, with art by Jim Rugg.

The first thing you really notice about Street Angel are the striking covers by Jim Rugg. The main cover for each issue has the design coolness of James Jean, which is heady praise. In addition, on the back cover, he explores various styles for different takes on Street Angel. It is fun stuff.

Street Angel is a really fun, entertaining book.

The key to the fun and entertainment of the book, however, is not totally due to Jesse Sanchez, star of the book.

She is fine, don't get me wrong.

But she is basically a potato.

Potatos are good, nourishing tubers. They give you plenty of vitamins, and they can fill you up nice.

Just like Jesse.

Drawn by Rugg (who does a very nice job with the art on the book), Jesse appear as an actual young teenaged girl. It is good to see someone draw a girl to look like, well, a girl. However, beyond the fact that she is homeless and she is a great fighter for the side of good, Jesse does not have much in the way of a personality (#4 shows that perhaps that is changing).

So she is the potato.

The rest of the book?

Now they're what makes the book Mrs. Potato Head.

Surrounding Jesse is a cast of hilarious characters. Ninjas are used heavily, and they are most amusing. They are treated in the book more as comic foils than anything else. They take over a fire house and cross out "Fire" and write "Ninja" in the name of the building.

But there are more, like the Irish astronaut who learned to speak "Australian," because it was considered to be a friendlier language for aliens.

A time travelling Cortez and the Incan god Inti.

Dr. Pangea.

The Mayor's Daughter.

Bald Eagle (especially Bald Eagle, the legless torso who never falls off his skateboard).

The inside front cover of #1 has Jesse battling a squid. In the inside front covers of every issue following that one, we see Jesse battling the chess, in a wrestling match, in a cowboy duel, etc.

All of these extra trappings are the equivalent of Mrs. Potato Head's accoutrements.

They are what transforms a good book (which would be a book just about Jesse) into a GREAT book (which is a book about Jesse and everything else).

Before I close, I have to spotlight #4. In the first three issues, we meet a variety of crazy, goofy characters, so in #4, the writers decide to suddenly show us what Jesse goes through living on the streets, and they decide, out of nowhere, to do it without humor. It is an awesome buzz kill.

A very inspired decision.

Now I just have to go get #5....hehe.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice little review. I actually think Jesse Sanchez has more personality than you've ascribed to her, but I see your point. She's defined pretty subtly, primarily in action, and doesn't seem to be particularly introspective.

Anyway, Street Angel is my current favorite comic, and I'm eagerly awaiting the trade paperback. Also, I made this:

(Yours is coming Brian, I swear!)

-Jesse (the male one)

4/09/2005 05:22:00 AM  
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you are not no male you bitch you fucking hoe, talking bout you a man

6/20/2005 04:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that shit was wack,i would never read it again

6/20/2005 04:34:00 PM  
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