20th Century Men, Agent of W.O.R.L.D.E, Deniz Camp, Filya Bratukhin, Image Comics, S. Morian, scout comics
By Derek Mainhart
It can be interesting tracing the arcs of creators’ careers, watching them take their first trepidatious steps into storytelling, finding their initial footing, beginning to develop the themes that will guide then, ultimately honing a voice to match their ambition. And then there are those annoying folks who arrive, seemingly, fully formed.
To wit, Deniz Camp.
With a scant comics resume, Camp has two of the more interesting books on the stands right now. Anyone who’s had the pleasure of reading the first issue of Agent of W.O.R.L.D.E. (published by Scout Comics) by Camp and artist Filya Bratukhin was treated to a maelstrom of wild sci-fi concepts rendered in hyper-detailed art. Melancholic teddy-bear poets, biomorphic pocket universes, robot orgies; in lesser hands, all of the ideas on display could have easily spiraled into incoherence. But, out of the gate, the creative team is fully in control of their potentially unwieldy material.
If Grant Morrison and Geof Darrow got together to make a super spy comic, tinged with chaos theory, it might look something like this.
The second title, 20th Century Men (from Image Comics) is even more ambitious, as it weaves the geopolitics of the Cold War, with the myth-making of nationalist superheroes, among multiple timelines. In fact, with its fractured structure, political themes and surreal sensibility, it recalls the work of Ales Kot, a comics wunderkind from a few years back (whatever happened to that guy?). The artist, S. Morian, varies his style, depending on the needs of the story; at times recalling Frank Quitely, at others Richard Corben. The kaleidoscopic effect beautifully enhances the wide ranging narrative. The ideological battle of the century never looked better.
In any case, both titles are two of the more audacious debuts of the year. This Deniz Camp guy is all over my radar.