Thursday, November 28, 2013

Throwback Thursday 11/28/13

Crimson 1998-2001

   Rounding out my month of comics I am thankful for is “Crimson”, a book I didn't realize how much impact it made on me until rereading it. “Crimson” was the third book to come out of Wildstorm's Cliffhanger imprint, and the only original book to finish. While “Battle Chasers” and “Danger Girl” were plagued by delays, “Crimson” kept on going lasting twenty four issues and finishing out the story it set forth to tell. 
“Crimson” is a vampire story at heart, but there is so much more to it than just that. While the main character Alex Elder is a vampire there are a slew of other creatures inhabiting the world. From werewolves, to dragons, to angels and demons, “Crimson” has it all. Alex was a teenager who had the unfortunate luck of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Alex and his friends went out for a drive through Central Park and were ambushed by a gang of vampires. Alex narrowly “survives” and thus becomes a vampire himself. Under the tutelage of Ekimus, one of the beings responsible for creating vampires millennia ago, and the friendship of Joe, a vampire who takes Alex under his wing for a time, Alex discover his purpose in life. As it turns out Alex is the chosen one and must do battle with a host of nasties, ranging from Templar Knights to Lisseth, the queen mother of vampires. But there are a slew of other characters and plot points, not the least of which is Scarlet X, the sexy monster hunter with a heart of gold. And Saint George the dragon slayer, who is reborn in the body of an African American mounted police officer. The series is nothing if not ambitious. With so many concepts and characters being dumped on the reader, it is a wonder that the ending is as satisfying as it is. 
   I always knew this would be my final entry for my month of thankfulness. I knew that “Crimson” had a big impact on me, I just didn't realize how much until reading these issues again. I have always loved monsters, and when I heard about a book with a vampire man character I was intrigued. When I saw Humberto Ramos' art I was enthralled. I had seen Ramos on a handful of books before, “Gen 13” and “Impulse”, but I had never seen it like this. The art exploded off the page. I was in love. 
   “Crimson” was the first book I made sure I had every issue of. It sparked something in me. Up until that point I was just happy reading comics, if I missed an issue, oh well. I could always imagine what had happened or see if a friend had that issue. With “Crimson”, I needed it all. I spent my allowances and birthday money looking for back issues. I read them so much the covers came off, so I had to buy the trades, which also took a beating from my constant reading and my constant loaning out to friends. As a teenager, I didn't have the knowledge of proper care for my books. Crimson lit a fire under me that has never been extinguished to this day. 
   I realized today that even if my art doesn't always show it, I owe a lot to Ramos. His big feet and big hands have always stayed with me. I remember trying to emulate the way his clothes fell on characters, it sadly always looked horrible when I did it. Staring at his art the past few days had made me realize how much I adore his art. And how much change you can see in his art from issue one to issue twenty four. Ramos remains one of my favorite artists and this is a large reason why. 
   “Crimson” pushed all the right buttons for me at the right time. It had an epic story that was earth shaking, it had breath taking art, and it had a consistent tone through out. While it may not be the best comic ever, it is one I am most thankful for. It made me start to pay attention to creators, it made me want to create my own comics, it made me want to find more books that were not just capes ant tights. Crimson made me the comic lover I am today. I owe it all the thanks I can offer.

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