Two comics this week. One of them, the first issue of a spinoff series, the other, a translation of an award-winning Spanish comic. You Look Like Death: Tales From The Umbrella Academy #1: First off, Chelsy Bloomfield took a closer look at this issue, which you can read right here.
Gerard Way and Shaun Simon write You Look Like Death: Tales From The Umbrella Academy #1 a bit too quippy for my tastes, but penciller and colorist I.N.J. Culbard is a neat find. (A quick look around the internet shows he's a British Fantasy Award winner, drew Vertigo's The New Deadwardians, and drew the Berger Books series Everything. Whoops.) In the first couple of pages, his work looks like a smoother Gabriel Bá and helps ease the transition away from Bá as the only Umbrella Academy artist.
In terms of the Umbrella Academy timeline, this story occurs in the early period of Umbrella Academy, while Hargreeves is still alive. Hargreeves kicks Klaus (The Seance) out of the Umbrella Academy house, and the young man must learn to live on his wits, which mostly involves taking odd jobs for copious amounts of drugs. The story isn't essential, but then again, it's not volume four of the main series.
Ghostwriter: From Fantagraphics, the 90-ish page hardcover is billed as a darkly comic noir mystery. Spanish author Rayco Pulido wrote and drew the work. While I admire the capable cartooning, I just didn't find the comic tremendously funny. Perhaps it's reader error, but I swung on this one and missed. Ghostwriter is an oversized black and white comic, printed even larger than the Dark Horse printing of Blacksad, which itself was already pretty big.
Ghostwriter is a fine detective story, and I admittedly didn't see the twists coming. Ghostwriter stands up to a second reading, and in that second reading, more tricks of cartooning reveal themselves. Pulido drawing a steamship in crosshatching in the background is a neat effect. Ghostwriter isn't ever less than good, but it's more interesting academically than something I'd read for pleasure.