The Human Beings - issue 2.
Created by Stuart J McCune.
Published by Millicent Barnes Comics.
The second issue of this strangely creepy anthology series and the one where you begin to sense that there is a plan in place. I sense a viciously dark overlaying consciousness. It radiates out of my tablet like a digital Videodrome.
Stuart again reveals some secrets, hints at others and lets the world he creates gradually open in front of your eyes.
A book of visually haunting poetry at every turn. The words and emotions that pass between the creator, the comic and the reader are often complicated and this is something that I relish in every panel of Stuart's work. It has one of the most intelligent progressions of story and theme that I have read in a comic for a long, long time. The creator plays with perception like no other, reading us as we read it - I sense and suspect many things in the to and fro of conversation, emotion, action and pacing. Appearances are often deceiving and the words cement a nervous uncertainty in the reader. I am one thousand per cent along for the ride.
'I fade in. I fade out.'
The Human Beings and Monologue before it take that chance of freezing on certain moments and feelings. We get reality at different speeds. Sometimes the action is amped up and fast and frenetic and then at a moments it is halted for the reader to sit and ruminate on that captured second of time. Triumphantly playing with the medium. Those words that are spoken will echo onwards, bouncing back at the reader when the void orders it....
The stories vary in length and carry themes that involve human relationships, assassination, science fiction and more. For me, much of Stuart's stories begin and end in the faces of the protagonist. He has a specific style of cool with their appearances and the words sway and flow like a jazz song (we even get a little bit of an appearance from the mighty Ornette Coleman in one short one page story).
'A man who's done a lotta time says it doesn't exist.'
It is also a comic that isn't only serious. 'Mecha Love' hilariously tells of a character's anxiety of telling his partner that not only she isn't the one for him but also that he knows this because he can see the future!
The Human Beings has moments of danger in it's eyes. I wonder constantly what it means and when it will swerve past me and suddenly confront me with claws out.
I'm trying not to give too much away. It is without a doubt a series that you need to experience for yourself. This book connects with you, I would even go as far as to say that if you don't understand his work you may need to turn off the trash you are ingesting and get serious! Sit up and pay attention. There are things going on in these stories that need close examination. I was lucky enough to see an early copy of this and also under strict orders not to share. When it does reach your in or letter box then relish it and re read. That's an order.
After some disappointing backings on Kickstarter over the last couple of years this is the creator who brought me back to the crowd funding system. His work is always really quickly financed and so it should be. Watch out for the stretch goals and added extras he sends out too. Get on board!
'To all the people who believe that they've met me and not the guy I pay to be me.'
PS. I dare you not to fall in love with the story 'La Mancha'. One sweeping and gorgeous story told on the horizon before that beauty is transposed elsewhere. Excellently paced and a frame is needed I do believe!
Buy yourself a copy of this and more of this creator's work at www.millicentbarnescomics.bigcartel.com and follow him on Twitter @StuartMcCune
Many thanks for reading.