Marc Wheatley and Marc Hempel
DC/Vertigo Comics

DC Comics has repackaged this 1990 four-issue series as a trade paperback for its mature readers Vertigo line. This comic examines the power that beautiful women have over men, and how men will give anything (even their lives) for that perfect face.

Chase is a fetching young offspring of a government Firestarter-style science project. She has the unfortunate ability to dazzle men and then drain their lifeforce while making love to them. A modern-day succubus. She gains a following of men who know exactly how deadly she is, but can't stop themselves from craving her. Chase even seduces "The Man," a violent superhero who's been ordered to take her down.

This is like a hardknock, fast-action chase flick with interesting subtexts on how men and women deal with attraction differently. Chase is haunted by the ghosts of former lovers (now dead, thanks to her "lovedeath" power) who chase her into a guilt-riddled, feverish moment-of-enlightenment finale in which she fools herself into believing she can control and curb the desires she inspires.

Wheatley and Hempel are an excellent tag-team pair, combining inking, painting, and storytelling skills into a rapid, color-filled read. The pacing is expert, the sex scenes are transcendental, and the ending is beautifully vague.

Each of, these artists always creatively nudge the industry's standards higher. They both made separate debuts in anthologies like Epic Illustrated and Heavy Metal, then combined talents for MARS, a femme-friendly series from First Comics. Wheatley now self-publishes his form-busting, poster sized Radical Dreamer series (techno-future fantasy) with Hempel's side of the studio filled with the successful Gregory and Tug and Buster books (dark humor).

David Chelsea In Love
David Chelsea
Eclipse Books

This gem from now defunct publisher Eclipse Comics also ran as a four-issue series before being collected. When I loaned it out to a friend recently, she thought I was implying something. "Do you think all people are this easy?" In this comic's context, if the one you love isn't around, you hump your roommate. If your roommate isn't around, you go to the next room. We assume that this freewheeling, humorous sex romp is autobiographical, as the title character and author pinballs through life lusting for Minnie, a long-distance love, yet killing time with just about whoever bumps along.

This comic gets a realism award for bluntly dealing with an unwanted pregnancy and a multiple partner crab infestation amidst a sea of humorous flings and complex (yet pleasantly sticky) friend-romances. Chelsea has a fetching way of melting from simple line drawings to a super-realistic, heightened style that perfectly accentuates key story moments.

After finishing this 80's sex exploration, Chelsea published Welcome to the Zone, a much shorter science fiction piece, and in now working on a manual on comic form and perspective.

Back to Main Page : Send us your comments

Copyright © 1996 by X Publishing. All Rights Reserved.
This site was designed by Scot Phelps.