Writer: Alan Moore
Artists: Kevin Nowlan (Jack B. Quick), Rick Veitch (Greyshirt), Jim Baikie (F.A.), Melinda Gebbie (Cobweb)
Colors: Wildstorm FX
Lettering: Todd Klein
Cover date: October 1999
JACK B. QUICK: Smalltown Stardom
Farmer Quick's cow is suffering under a kind of mad cow disease when it's dark. That's why little Jack wants to create a complete solar system to enlight his father's pasture. He needs a vacuum for that, so he uses a vacuum-cleaner. Soon, numerous little planets and moons are circling around in Queerwater Creek and create big chaos. Like any other solar system, Jack's is converting to a Black Hole, and half of the cow is disappearing in that hole.
Sounds weird? It is weird! This is how this strip is working - take a science theory (here: suns are made of vacuums) and let a little farmer boy play with it. Very funny!
A man awakes from a coma and can't remember anything. He sees a body and a bloody hammer - and has a terrible suspicion. In the newspaper, he reads a story about a serial killer who kills young ladies with a hammer. When he's sitting in a cinema, a police squad (led by Greyshirt) shows up. The man tries to escape but finally surrenders to Greyshirt - but the story ends with two surprises, a small one and a huge one.
The cool thing in this story is the point of view - the reader knows as little as the man who just awoke from his coma and has to put the pieces together. When things change suddenly (two times!), the reader is quite amazed (especially the second time). A really good story with an artwork capturing the mood of a Film Noir.
THE FIRST AMERICAN AND U.S.ANGEL: Dumbsday!
First American and U.S.Angel are visiting Jury Swinger's talkshow (you get the joke?), where America's craziest and dumbest freaks are shown. The talkshow host is a master of manipulation and is finally unmasked as an alien by our costumed hero.
A crazy satiric story in the style of MAD magazine making fun of superheroics as well as TV talk shows.
THE COBWEB (untitled)
Cobweb is solving the mystery of several young girls who are unconscious for days. Dr. Phallocrates Phlange, a classic mad scientist, put the girls' conscience into Barbie dolls and displays them in his bizarre cabinet. When Cobweb appears in his lab, she also falls victim to his apparatus. As a doll, she teams up with the other Barbies and manages to knock the doctor out and transform him into a PEZ figure.
Of all the unusual Tomorrow Stories, this is the most obscure and least accessible one. The unusual art (which comes in two different styles) and a special language full of wordplays and alliterations may be a bit deterring but the strip definitely has a certain charm.
© 2003 LeGuy.
All images, characters and names are trademarks of America's Best Comics.