This is a new series that we’re doing here at This Cage is Worms called Comic Run. My friends and I read bad comics from the 1990s and talk about them in that kind of way.
This post is written by Ross Hardy.
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I’m not an artist. I can’t look at a painting, or a drawing, or a comic book cover, and tell you what makes it work. I can’t tell you the techniques that Frank Quitely uses for All-Star Superman, and I have only the barest understanding of the rules that Rob Liefeld breaks so easily. For a person like me, the easiest way to catch my attention and convince me to read your book is to have a detailed, colorful cover. That’s why I read the titles that get Geoff Darrow on cover duty; it’s why I like Olympus; and it’s why I celebrated the day The Adventures of Dr. McNinja got a colorist. But none of that prepared me for Trencher
Trencher is a comic steeped in the worst Liefeldian excesses of the early ‘90s: a hulking protagonist, huge guns, mindless violence, and a boatload of unnecessary belts. But none of that really matters, because the art is INSANE.
Seriously, LOOK AT THIS. Can you tell what’s going on here? I sure can’t, and I’ve been reading this book for the past six hours (I haven’t stopped. I can’t stop. I’m afraid there’s something wrong with me). With all the fire, sound effects, and page dressing, you’ll be forgiven for not realizing that that’s the titular Trencher up on that page.
Seriously, Trencher looks like a tragic explosion at a color factory. It was bad; good men died. Just looking at it makes you feel like someone has hooked up a fire hose to a tank of paint and is proceeding to blast the inside of your corneas with them. There’s so much going on visually that your brain has to take a break every panel, but it’s so cartoony that you can’t help but wonder if they’ve got Sergio Aragonés chained up in a back room somewhere, feeding him opium and forcing him to paint what he sees in his fevered dreams.
That being said, like many of its ilk from the early-90s, Trencher ain’t that bad ( and it’s not written by some knuckle-dragging amateur, it’s written by Keith Giffen, who, I’m sure you know, is no lightweight. That being said, Trencher is no Justice League International) It’s about a guy (who might be a robot, and I think maybe he’s a repossession agent?) landing (again, maybe? It opens with this beam of pink lightning hitting the ocean and causing a massive tidal wave, but then again, that might be unrelated) in what appears to be a cyberpunk dystopia. He fights a guy, but that’s over in the first ten pages, and then he sort of sits around. Basically, it’s Blade Runner, X-Force, and some of the best sound effects the page has ever seen (including THROB! and BLUNG!), Meanwhile, you’re fighting the urge to have a seizure and your eyeballs have gone on strike.
Alright, maybe it isn’t that good of a story. But it’s one hell of a spectacle.
Oh, and that guy Trencher fights? An S&M enthusiast who fights using his prehensile nose hairs. His name? The Nasal Python. And just to prove I’m not making that up:
Yeah, you’re welcome.