(Please, please click on the pic for the larger version)
The Gutters is primarily an insider send-up of the comic book industry, with guest artists from within the business, which basically means it has great art but that, being a comic strip person rather than a comic book person, I don't get the references most days.
I got this one, which uses a well-known, mainstream superhero backstory to comment on a topic of general interest. Don't expect such spoon-feeding on a regular basis, but the artwork is always gorgeous, even when the commentary is about personalities and issues you have to be immersed in to get.
Good art can't save bad writing, but good art can sure make good writing sing, and this is a keeper.
My only criticism is that I wouldn't have bothered with the footnotes because, while it's hard to argue with common sense, it's easy to respond to actual data by playing "link wars" and throwing out a cloud of counter-studies like the aluminum chaff dumped from WWII bombers to confuse enemy radar.
And quite effective, in an Internet universe where so many very prolific posters either can't tell scraps of aluminum waste from actual flying machines or refuse on ideological grounds* to acknowledge the distinction.
On the other hand, a couple of the footnotes really cracked me up. Objection withdrawn.
And I'd say how much I love the first panel, with little Brucie blasting away alongside Mom and Dad, but I also love the second panel and the third.
The Gutters has recently done a relaunch and is determined to update regularly. I hope so. It's worth gazing stupidly at the ones I don't get in order to find an accessible pearl like this.
Here -- stolen from their website -- are today's credits:
Fred Van Lente is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Marvel Zombies, Incredible Hercules (with Greg Pak), Odd Is On Our Side (with Dean R. Koontz), as well as the American Library Association award-winning Action Philosophers. His original graphic novel Cowboys & Aliens (co-written with Andrew Foley) is the basis for the major motion picture starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. Van Lente's other comics include The Comic Book History of Comics, Taskmaster, Archer & Armstrong, Amazing Spider-Man and Hulk: Season One.
Carlos Gomez is a Spanish artist and mainly comic penciller who has worked on projects such as "Spectacular Spider-Man" for Marvel UK, "Unbeatable", "Ferrous Bloom", "Black Lotus Empire" and covers for "PathFinder #7-8".
Now shut up and fix me a sandwich.
* For those unfamiliar with the term "ideological," we have invited Professor Hilary Price, R.W.O., of the University of Florence, to offer an explanation: