Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Green Eyed and Grim

Selina Lock Green Eyed and Grim (2013)

Time again for yet another eNovella account of the pulp-inspired adventures of Cody Quijano-Schell's Señor 105, a masked Mexican wrestler deriving strange and implausible powers from a variety of masks attuned to the elements of the periodic table - something roughly in the same direction as the Santo films, if perhaps a little weirder in places.

Green Eyed and Grim gets off to such a good start as to inspire anticipation of this being the best published thus far - a wrestling match at INAH, and enough detail to suggest that Selina Lock has either spent time in Mexico City or else just put an exceptionally goodly helping of elbow grease into the homework. She really captures the sense of place and atmosphere, presenting the welcome prospect of a Señor 105 tale set in Mexico, and which works with its setting. I'm not sure if I expected this or not, but only knowing of Selina Lock as a name associated with small press comics and Caption events, I probably did. To some extent I've lost touch with small press comics circles in recent years, but have retained a lasting impression of artists and writers doing what they do mainly because they care, rather than because they're trying to raise funds for yachts or face lifts; and also the fact that Selina seems to be a friend of the excellent and terribly underrated Lee Kennedy bodes well, I would suggest.

That said, I had some minor niggles - a mild tendency towards slightly repetitive paragraphs as the story went on, certain words reused over and over in consecutive sentences; also, as with previous eNovellas, there are those same formatting issues still screwing up the flow of the text - spaces missing between the end of one passage and another, paragraphs lacking indention, the random occurrence of incongruously left aligned sentences halfway through an otherwise justified paragraph and so on; but seriously these were for the most part minor distractions and no more pronounced than our cat Fluffy wanting to come in from the garden whilst I was trying to read and so doing this thing where he manically scratches at the window with both paws producing what sounds like some window guy drunk in charge of a squeegee.

The story ends up in Palenque - actually a hell of a lot more than a couple of hours drive from Mexico City, and in the east rather than the south, but these are minor details of a kind that possibly only a confirmed train spotter like myself would notice; and details which somehow work as possibly unintentional homage to the loosely built worlds inhabited by cinematic luchadors of the fifties and sixties; and frankly it's such a fucking relief to read a story which brings poor old King Pacal into the picture - himself being the one interred at Palenque - and gets it right; no creaky attempts to turn him into the pilot of an ancient spacecraft or any of that stupid crap.

Green Eyed and Grim is a thoroughly satisfying story with a good, sturdy plot, excellent pacing and impressive attention to detail; and you can buy it here.

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