Kurtis J Wiebe – this is a bumper week for those who’re into his comics as we continue the harrowing war-tale of Peter Panzerfaust and are introduced into the world of the cleverly-named Grim Leaper. So while the X-Men are fighting the Avengers and Superman still can’t find his trunks, howsabout taking a gander at these two comics from Image?
Grim Leaper #1 (of 4)
Have you ever wondered how you would respond if Death had it out for you? To live your life in a constant cycle of fear – to die in the most gruesome ways possible, and then be wrenched back to life by a painting that swallows you whole so that you possess and entirely new body?
If your answer is yes, you’re in luck – Wiebe’s exploring the exact same premise! Grim Leaper is the deliciously named tale of a man who suffers that exact fate. If your answer’s no (like me), there’s lots of meat in this conceit where Wiebe takes us on a bizarre tale that’s … About finding love.
And while it starts off bitter and cynical, where the first issue ends is something that changes the complexion of the story. It’s not the most surprising of developments, but the way it develops, the little “trials” that occur on the way, those things help you feel connected to the story.
A mixture between the macabre and the romantic, Grim Leaper features art by Aluisio C Santos, the line work and the muted colour palette lending the comic an air of wonderful otherworldliness, lending just the right of energy to the panels which brings the dead to life – easily seen in the garish colours and dutch angles in the gameshow segment.
However, there are some weird jumps in logic: For simplicity’s sake Wiebe has to have the tale be set in a small-ish town so that it’s easier for our star-crossed lovers to meet, but given the gory ways in which they die, you’d think people in the town would’ve noticed.
But Grim Leaper is still a fun read, and under its grim exterior lies a bleeding heart – one that is just a romantic.
And seriously – it’s just 4 issues. I mean, there’s always the chance that we might get served up a generic love story at the end – but with the tag-line “A love story to die for” and what has been a pretty great twist on the Peter Pan tale in Peter Panzerfaust, I do think this is worth the leap.
Quick take on Peter Panzerfaust #4
And Peter returns again, this time at a idyllic respite, away from the war. But it is war, of course, so you know any form of peace won’t last – and it doesn’t.
But what’s really key to this issue is the time the boys and newcomer Wendy get to mingle, this time in less stressful situations. If anything, it really brings the issue to life – one of those moments in a movie where things are joyful and quiet before the inevitable climax.
The story ends on a cliffhanger – well, as usual, I’m sticking on for this ride to never-never land – Wiebe and Jenkins continue to impress in Peter Panzerfaust.