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Richard Piers Rayner

Autor(a) de Road to Perdition

6+ Works 1,326 Membros 25 Críticas

About the Author

Includes the name: Richard Piers Rayner

Obras por Richard Piers Rayner

Road to Perdition (1998) — Ilustrador — 520 exemplares, 12 críticas
John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 02: The Devil You Know (2011) — Ilustrador — 451 exemplares, 7 críticas
John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 03: The Fear Machine (2012) — Ilustrador — 321 exemplares, 4 críticas
Doctor Who: Evening's Empire (2016) — Ilustrador — 21 exemplares, 2 críticas
Swamp Thing Annual #5 (1989) — Ilustrador — 12 exemplares

Associated Works

Midnight Days (1989) — Ilustrador — 814 exemplares, 13 críticas
Road to Perdition [2002 film] (2002) — Original comic — 395 exemplares, 3 críticas
The Big Book of Urban Legends (The Big book Series) (1995) — Ilustrador — 316 exemplares, 3 críticas
John Constantine, Hellblazer: Rare Cuts (2005) — Ilustrador — 244 exemplares, 5 críticas
The Big Book of Conspiracies (Factoid Books) (1995) — Ilustrador — 233 exemplares
The Big Book of Weirdos (1995) — Ilustrador — 212 exemplares
The Big Book of Grimm (1999) — Ilustrador — 190 exemplares, 3 críticas
The Big Book of Death (Factoid Books) (1995) — Ilustrador — 176 exemplares
The Big Book of Losers (1997) — Ilustrador — 128 exemplares
The Ripper (1600) — Ilustrador — 79 exemplares, 5 críticas

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Membros

Críticas

Access a version of the below that includes illustrations on my blog.

This set of stories take us into, ahem, "Virgin territory." I suspect I'll have more to say about this when I read the next volume, but here we get the first references to the New Adventures. In The Grief, Ace includes the Timewyrm among the most dangerous foes she's encountered; the internet tells me that Ravens take's place during Cat's Cradle: Warhead; and then in Cat Litter, we start getting footnotes that clarify placement (it opens with one saying recent adventures were seen "both last issue and in Nightshade" and ends with "Next: After Love and War, a new companion and... Sontarans!"). For the DWM strip—which for a long time barely even seemed to acknowledge that there was a tv programme—this is a huge change, and a weird one that I wish was explained more. John Freeman's notes, though, mostly focus on the issues surrounding Evening's Empire, and don't give any sense of why he might want to hitch DWM's narrative to a series of novels that were only just getting off the ground. On Down the Tubes, he off-handedly mentions that Ravens "was the first story where we tried to work with Doctor Who novel publisher Virgin, after meeting with the editor Peter Darvill-Evans and trying to cross promote what were then the only new Doctor Who adventures," but that's it. My impression is that this was a decision ultimately regretted by his successors at DWM, and part of the reason this entire era of DWM ultimately ended up kind of orphaned, but... why did they do it? Anyway, more on that when I get to Benny Summerfield's debut in Emperor of the Daleks.

Overall, this is a dark set of stories. I don't know if I would want all my Doctor Who to be like this, but it works more than it doesn't, and I found it more to my taste than many other DWM runs (i.e., #44-57, #100-47).

Living in the Past
This text story clearly should have been in the previous volume, telling as it does the story of how Ace joined the Doctor between Train-Flight and Teenage Kicks! As a story, it's okay; I found it a bit dull but the climax is amazing (Ace leading a dinosaur army), and well drawn by Cam Smith. It kind of ties into the then-ongoing Mandragora storyline; the Doctor says "I'm being distracted by trivia there's something more important going on elsewhere," but it doesn't quite fit in that the Doctor thinks, "Considering the state of the TARDIS, he was lucky to have ended up on the same planet," when in Distractions he says he can't leave Earth if he wants to!

Evening's Empire
More than any story of its era, this feels to me like Doctor Who does Vertigo. The DC Comics imprint wasn't actually launched until Mar. 1993, but of course it drew on preexisting DC comics lines, most notably The Sandman. This has the feeling on many of those stories: journeys into people's psyches, abuse both sexual and parental, mental trauma, criticism of religion, difficult page layouts and transitions. Delete the Doctor and Ace, and this could come straight out of Hellblazer or Animal Man or Black Orchid, anything trying to be Gaiman, Morrison, or Moore, but not actually written by them.

It's okay. For me, it's let down by two things. One is Richard Piers Rayners's artwork. His drawings seem reliant on photo reference in a way that often works to the detriment of the imagery. I can see the argument for why someone's mouth should be open when they are talking, but it never looks good to trace a photo of someone's open mouth. His Muriel Frost is unrecognizable as the same woman from The Mark of Mandragora, and looks like a series of an actress's glamour headshots rather than a moving, living, breathing human being. Individual images look good, but overall this doesn't flow. Though, to be honest, it is a lot like reading a mediocre Vertigo title.

I came to like it less after reading Cartmel's discussion of it in the notes, where he says he wanted to write a narrative countering adventure stories where the women are fantasies for the men. Given that, the way Frost is drawn rankles; and given that, it seems bizarre that Evening's victims are barely discernible as people, and that Ace even feels pretty peripheral; the character of Ives pretty clearly exists only to suffer a horrible fate later on. I am not sure you can write a story criticizing putting women at the margins if you yourself put women at the margins!

That said, there's stuff to like here. Cartmel, for obvious reasons, excels at portentous Sylvester McCoy dialogue; the twist about the scale of the crashed UFO is a good one; seeing Frost's home life is interesting even if it doesn't entirely come off.

Conflict of Interests
This is, I think, the first Doctor-less "main" strip in DWM's history. It follows a Foreign Hazard Duty team trying to secure some ruins for archeological study on an alien planet; they run into Sontarans. This was fine; the ending is nice, but I feel like even at seven pages it's a tad longer than it needs to be.

The Grief
The Doctor and Ace find a group of Dan Abnett space marines—not the FHD, though—investigating a planet upon which was trapped an ancient evil. I hate it when new monsters are cheaply claimed to be in the big leagues, and I found the soldier characters hard to distinguish at first, but otherwise this is a solid piece. I particularly like how well Abnett captures the voices of both the Doctor and Ace.

Ravens
Again, there's a bit of a Doctor-Who-does-Vertigo vibe to this. But I don't have a problem with that—isn't that what Doctor Who always does, take pop culture and chews it up and spits it out in its own imitable fashion? If the show had been on screen still, you could imagine it going in this direction, and though I think that would run against its populist appeal, this was an era where there was no tv show, and the strip thus didn't have to appeal to a broad audience. I thought this was much better executed than Cartmel's similar attempt in Evening's Empire. Great dark inks by Smith and Pini really support his pretentious seventh-Doctor-as-God stuff. If there's a criticism I have, it's that if you told the whole thing in order, it'd be a bit thin for three parts; it's basically just one scene told incredibly complicatedly! But what a scene. It does very well the ordinary-people-plunged-into-horrifying-world vibe.

Memorial / Cat Litter
John Ridgway is back! I'm sure these are both solid stories on the basis of their writing, but getting Ridgway back for the first time in a while adds an inestimable something—and both of these are stories that play to his strengths. (He does a good Ace likeness, for one.) Memorial is a somber but uplifting tale; slight in terms of plot, but what it does, it does well, communicating the Doctor's horror at war. Ridgway is equally at home in horrifying space vistas and the English countryside in mourning. Cat Litter I didn't really get from a writing perspective, but if you say, "John Ridgway, Ace is trapped in the TARDIS and it's a gameboard," obviously it will look great. I didn't know I needed to see Ace running from a pair of giant D20s, but now I can't imagine why I didn't.

Stray Observations:
  • Normally I don't say much about the cover art of these things, because it ranges from perfectly fine to excellent, but David Roach did not do a good job with Colonel Frost here.
  • Also, I am again grumpy that the new format collections omit creator credits. You wouldn't know Vincent Danks inked some of Evening's Empire without the notes at the end; several stories thus give no credit to letterers.
  • Again, the idea of a coherent DWM universe continues to build. Other than the cameos in Party Animals, I think Muriel Frost is the first time a non-companion character created (for the main strip) by one writer is brought back by another.
  • Due to a number of problem, part one of Evening's Empire ran in DWM #180, but there never was a part two. The complete story eventually appeared two years later in a Doctor Who Classic Comics special. Cartmel took advantage of the story being complete in one volume to shuffle the narrative around; the original part one actually begins on page five of the complete version (spanning pp. 9-15 of this collection), if I am correct. This did confuse me a bit; by the time I got to where the opening was set, I forgot all about it, and thus wondered why Cartmel had skipped over the UNIT assault on Evening's empire.
  • Because the original art was lost for a few pages, Rayner chose to redraw them for this collection, working in his 2016 style rather than his early 1990s one. The replacement art pages are a bit off (see above), but the story is surreal enough it gets away with it. If any DWM strip would randomly switch styles, it would be this one! I appreciate the inclusion of scans of the originals in the back.
  • Pretty unsurprisingly, Richard Piers Rayner did no further DWM work. It turns out I have read some other stuff drawn by him: he illustrated the 1989 Swamp Thing Annual by Neil Gaiman (about Brother Power the Geek), a single 1991 issue of L.E.G.I.O.N. (written by former DWM contributor Alan Grant), and some of Tony Lee's mediocre IDW Doctor Who comics in 2011. He basically left comics after this, though, and became the official artist-in-residence for the Middlesbrough Football Club!
  • Conflict of Interests was the last appearance of Foreign Hazard Duty. Apparently an FHD comic book was once proposed but it never came to pass; it's hard to imagine it, because the FHD never had much to offer beyond "like them out of Aliens." I think it works fine as a consistent space organization for us to see, but it's hard to envision it fronting its own book. Maybe it would have worked better with recurring characters, but each of the four FHD teams we've seen are different. Would UNIT have taken off if it was different guys each time? Also, why aren't the ones in The Grief just FHD?
  • This was Robin Riggs's only DWM work. I know him best as a prolific inker at DC in the 2000s, working on titles such as Green Lantern / Green Arrow, Birds of Prey, Manhunter, and Legion of Super-Heroes. This is the fourth DWM seventh Doctor collection with art by Cam Smith; it's also the last. He would go on to do a lot of superhero work for DC Comics, including Birds of Prey in the late 1990s and most notably (to me) Action Comics in the early 2000s, being the primary inker during the time Joe Kelly was writing it. Even before I knew them as DWM contributors, both Riggs and Smith are the kind of inker where I was glad to see their name on an issue, because it meant that I was in good hands.
  • Adolfo Buylla's only other DWM contribution was way back in 1981. Unusually, he had an American comics career before working on DWM, illustrating The House of Secrets and The House of Mystery back in the 1970s. This is Brian Williamson's only DWM work (though he did do the 2007 Doctor Who Storybook), but he's illustrated a number of Titan's Doctor Who titles, including The Fourth Doctor: Gaze of the Medusa.
  • Warwick Gray is the man we now know as Scott Gray, who continues to work on the DWM strip up to the present. I think he's contributed at least one story to every subsequent Doctor's run, and been the primary writer on many, including the eighth, eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth. Imagine handing in your first ever Doctor Who comic and being told it was going to be illustrated by John Ridgway!
  • As I alluded to above, here we begin weaving in and out of the continuity of the NAs. Eventually the official stance would be that everything since Fellow Travellers has followed on from Timewyrm; I disagree, as it contradicts the actual textual evidence. That article was published Nov. 1993, though, and doesn't seem to reflect intentions at time of publication; for example, the console room that debuted in The Good Soldier collection was used in the DWM preview for the first Timewyrm novel.
Doctor Who Magazine and Marvel UK: « Previous in sequence | Next in sequence »
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Assinalado
Stevil2001 | 1 outra crítica | Jan 14, 2022 |
Damn, but this was breathtaking. The story, the art, the attention to detail...just...wow.

Weaving a fictional story out of facts, this is a strangely heartwarming story of a boy whose father happens to be the Archangel of Death for the Looney mob. There's often an attempt by authors to imbue their hitmen with a sense of honour or a strong morale code. Think The Boondock Saints, for example. But rarely does it get pulled off.

Here, it does. This was 300 glorious pages of action and empathy, of family and honour.

If I have one complaint, it's that, at times, the same piece of reference art was used too often. There's a particular pose of Michael O'Sullivan's father, for example, that had to have been used at least five or six different times. The exact same facial expression.

But it's a minor quibble. This story is a thing of beauty.
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Assinalado
TobinElliott | 11 outras críticas | Sep 3, 2021 |
gunman betrayed by Looney mob sets out on trail of vengence with surviving son
 
Assinalado
ritaer | 11 outras críticas | Aug 18, 2021 |
This is a re-read from me. Re-visiting John Constantine from way back in the early 90's. I originally read the comics, not the TPB, but they were borrowed from a friend so, except for the Horrorist (which I own), I no longer have copies.

The 4 stars would be how I felt about the stories back in the day. Now, I might be inclined to give these stories a 3 star rating, but I'm not sure that's entirely fair. I was hooked on Hellblazer, and it had to be pretty good for me to keep reading.

Constantine is great; the stories, not always up to the level of Constantine himself.

It was good to re-visit Newcastle, what with all the mentions of it in the TV show. I'm trying to explain it to my husband and what happens on TV didn't always happen in the original storyline. I'm not sure that's a bad thing, though. I liked some of the stories better than others. The artwork varies. It's great on the Horrorist. That's David Lloyd and I believe that story line was written quite a while after the other stories in this TPB.

I'll try to continue on my journey of old school Hellblazer, but that will depend on the availability of the old comics and TPBs and my budget (if I find I have to purchase copies).

2nd reading - Read from Jan 20 - 26, 2015
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Assinalado
Chica3000 | 6 outras críticas | Dec 11, 2020 |

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Estatísticas

Obras
6
Also by
11
Membros
1,326
Popularidade
#19,390
Avaliação
½ 3.7
Críticas
25
ISBN
38
Línguas
6

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