Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Crimson Hand

I picked up this collection of Doctor Who comic strips, originally published in the Doctor Who Magazine, primarily because I'd recently become a fan of the work of British comic book artist/writer Dan McDaid. I ran across a pin-up McDaid had done of the eleventh Doctor wrestling with the Fantastic Four's arch nemesis Doctor Doom and had been really taken with McDaid's expressive inkwork and his Jack Kirby-esque action sensibility. This led me to McDaid's blog and many examples of his art. Once I learned he was also a writer, I became curious and so I ordered the trade paperback from Amazon UK. Really glad I did because many of the stories in this volume come very close to replicating the feeling of the TV series. In fact, the first one in the book, Hotel Historia, could easily be adapted into an episode. This story is both written and drawn by Dan McDaid and it's a tremendous amount of fun as the Doctor finds himself in a hotel where guests can witness events from history, actually look into time. Of course there's a catch. There's also the menace of an invading alien army. it all dovetails much in the way the series does, giving a satisfying conclusion where the tenth Doctor uses something that already exists in the plot to save the day. As a writer, Dan McDaid manages to mimic the speech patterns of the Doctor. I can almost hear David Tennant saying those lines. As an artist, McDaid has a nice mix of cartoonishness with old school action drawing. As I mentioned before, there's a lot of Kirby in McDaid's approach. He also does a good likeness of Tennant without resorting to tracing photographs. (His Matt Smith is pretty spot on as well.) Unfortunately, Hotel Historia is the only story in the collection illustrated by McDaid. There are plenty of other good artists though. Anyway, this is a great volume of adventures of my favorite Doctor. There's a ton of extras in the back of the book and there's even an introduction by Who writer/producer Russell T. Davies. Recommended. Check out Dan McDaid's Blog here:


Dougie said...

My copy arrived yesterday. I read the strips when they were first published in DWM and enjoyed the whole Majenta arc. The character is something of an in-joke for my generation as the name references an achingly-hip tv presenter from the late 80s.
Looking forward to re-reading the collection shortly.

Charles R. Rutledge said...

See, I had no idea about the in-joke. Very interesting.