OLGA: 20 black and white interior pages with black and white cover. No cover price. Written by Dino Caruso with art by Simon Fernandes. CROSSROADS: 20 black and white interior pages with full colour cover comics digest. $4.00 cover price. Written by Dino Caruso with art by Paul Quinn. Both titles published by Caruso Comics.
CROSSROADS and OLGA are both what I would refer to as slice of life comics. As I've stated many times in the past the slice of life genre is not, shall we say, my cup of tea and neither of these two comics do anything for me that would result in me changing my mind. The best I can say about OLGA is that Dino Caruso's dialogue is well done and Simon Fernandes' artwork suits the story. Outside of that the comic left me flat and was so boring that by the time I had finished reading it I had forgotten what had happened in the first few pages. To refer to OLGA as a snooze fest is an understatement.
As for CROSSROADS, it doesn't even have story compatible artwork going for it. As was the case with A CAUTIONARY TALE-which I reviewed last time out -Paul Quinn's artwork is inconsistent at best and his renditions of individual characters in the comic is done so poorly and his story flow so erratic that the result is that it is almost impossible to follow an already dull tale. Dino's dialogue is good but not good enough to hold my attention and definitely not good enough to warrant the $4 cover price. To be honest I found both these comics to be a total waste of time and I wouldn't even recommend them to fans of slice of life comics. If that's your cup of tea there are a lot better comics of that nature out there.
I really had high hopes for this comic. I really did. But alas, I am sad to say, that by the time I finished reading the 20 pages it took to tell this tale I was left, as I was with OLGA and CROSSROADS, with the sense that I had wasted my time. Basically this is a super-hero story about the title character being branded a traitor and a back stabber by the general public and his attempts to try to clear his name. What it really was though is a slice of life comic featuring people in costumes. And not a very well done slice of life comic at that.
While the dialogue was good-notice the theme here?-the story is thing (this tale could easily fit into an 8-page backup slot instead of being stretched into the 20 boring pages that it was) and the whole premise of his being branded as a traitor and a back stabber is unrealistic.
As for the artwork, Paul D. Houston's style is such that it makes Paul Quinn's work look good by comparison. His figure renditions are terrible and his use of panel pacing can best be summed up as distracting. And I could almost swear that I've seen some of the panels in this tale elsewhere though with different characters in them with some panels being more obvious than others. I wish I could have been more positive about this comic but I can't. Don't buy it.
If though you decided to buy COURAGE or other Caruso Comics you can find out how by visiting www.carusocomics.com.
That's it for this installment of E-Dispatches. See you next time out.
Jonathan A. Gilbert is a newspaper columnist, feature writer and freelance comic book writer and editor who lives in Port Stanley Ontario, Canada. His work can be found all over the place including at http://cepublishing.wetpaint.com . If you wish to contact him feel free to email his at either firstname.lastname@example.org or JonAllanGilbert@yahoo.ca .