Finding New Comics and Artists- Ben Templesmith
I had heard of Templesmith. I knew about 30 Days of Night. And he also created Singularity 7 and has done work on Silent Hill and Buffy, but I had missed most of this. As of now though, I’m now a converted fan. When I went to pay for the issue, the LCS guy seemed pretty excited and started chatting me up on Templesmith and pulled a copy of Wormwood issue #0 for me as well as his thin but lush artbook Tommyrot. Looking through the dark images I was reminded of Bill Sienkiewicz's crazy line work as well as Ashley Woods' coloring and style. Just a wonderfully unconventional comics style that’s right up my alley. The LCS guy told me he owned a signed limited print of one of the pieces in the book. Lucky guy.
So after getting home and reading both issues, it turns out Templesmith can write too. The artbook left me expecting a twisted and dark horror story. Twisted is right, but Wormwood has a great deadpan sense of humor that totally caught me off guard. The horror in the book is always checked by the comedy. The gore and the macabre don’t bother Wormwood (or the reader) at all. He’s already dead, so what’s he got to worry about? In one scene, when his robotic drinking buddy Mr. Pendulum (who can’t actually drink) blows off Wormwood’s head to kill the creature that is attempting to control his body, Wormwood simply asks for staples to re-attach his noggin.
After two issues, we have been given little hints as to what kind of world Wormwood inhabits, who he and his companions are and what they are up to. There are zombie strippers, strippers with with tatoos that come to life, demons, portals into hell, and beer! I look forward to future issues as the story unveils more of Templesmith’s wonderfully bizarre creations.