Imagine: a sniper
at Endfest Ninety-Seven.
I always get a bit of a kick when books reference The Wasteland in a way that is meaningful to me. Legitimate Cleveland references that speak to my time there, like when the protagonist of The Advance Team talks about going to see a black comedy at the Cedar Lee. I mean-- alright, I was a little more likely to go to The Centrum & sit up in the gallery seats in the top row, but I have plenty of fond Cedar Lee memories. I enjoyed this! Torres has a sort of post-Rick Veitch look, with a dash of Clowes, & none of the loathing that either of them can bring to their characters. Sort of a punk version of the cartoonier Cory Walker stuff. Dirt & grime but essentially decent. Maybe I'm making too many comparisons; I guess I just mean that it walks a line on the cartoony side without falling into the nihilistic navel gazing I think a lot of indie arthaus does. The story is okay stuff; it is choppy but it is supposed to be, which lets Pfeifer get away with an interesting economy of storytelling-- bits of the story are told through a mix of montage, questionable reality, periodic bouts of ultraviolence & traumatic flashbacks, so some of the "hero's quest" is short circuited in a way that lends doubt as to its ultimate resolution. A neat trick. & without saying there are too many parallels between Oubliette & The Advance Team, the eventual resolution of the story has a sort of spiritual kinship with the current campaign.