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This has nothing to do with The Mothman Prophecies. So it has that going for it. – Steve Rude’s The Moth

December 17, 2011

It’s impossible to discuss a comic featuring the work of Steve Rude and avoid using a variant of “Steve Rude of Nexus fame.” It’s a requirement. And whadaya know, it’s now out of the way. Moving on.

I was thinking of a slightly off-beat title to recommend for folks this holiday season, a last-minute sort of thing, one that could be either be bought for someone else or one that you could put on your IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING FOR ME WHY NOT GET THIS list. Hence The Moth.

I’ll keep this brief. The Moth is Jack Mahoney, an aerialist who’s one half of a set of orphaned conjoined twins, a man of great strength, the guardian of his dim-witted dwarf brother and the inheritor of a circus. He somewhat reluctantly battles crime in his winged costume — with its Spider-Manish eyes and Punisherish chest emblem — and since he’s far from invulnerable, he spends a good amount of time getting his ass kicked. Think Bruce Wayne in that first abortive Year One foray.

I was a big fan of the unforgivably short-lived Carnivale (yeah, HBO, we really needed forty-eight seasons of those god-awful Sex in the City crones instead), and the Moth’s milieu, with its strongmen and bearded ladies and a whiff of the supernatural, is equally stimulating. Rude’s art has always been wonderfully evocative of “good old days” even when the stories are set in the present, and that’s the case here. It’s frank and robust. If you’re not nuts about Gary Martin’s sometimes too-cute scripting, the art (which Martin inked) more than makes up for it.

The first special and the subsequent four-issue miniseries were collected in a trade a while ago, and you can still find it bopping around out there. I checked the Amazon page and they have it in stock. The bad news? There were two copies left. GET YOUR ORDERS IN NOW, AMERICA.

So ends my gift recommendation, for which I receive no commission whatsoever.



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