Filmish #2 by Edward Ross
Issue 2 of the occasional comics-as-film-criticism series Filmish is not only a great, entertaining read like the first one, but also a more refined product as a whole. Writer and artist Edward Ross takes ‘sets and architecture’ as his subject here, and this doesn’t seem promising at first. But to think that would only be correct if this was purely textual – because Ross can draw scenes from the films he’s writing about, this is a perfect subject for him.
His format allows him to walk into frames from Die Hard, to show John McClane’s mastery of his environment, or to become Orson Welles as Charles Foster Kane, to explain why the ceiling above Kane and Jed Leland’s head was such a revelation (though not, as implied by Ross, the first use of such a device). The first issue of Filmish included three separate essays, whilst here there’s just the one long one. This suits fine, because it gives Ross the time to fill out his arguments, whether textually, by including more references, or visually, by including lovely large drawings of scenes from Metropolis or The Cabinet of Dr Caligari. Get yourself a copy – it’s a wee treat, and cheap too! [Vince Everett]