Covered issues 1 and 2 of Scene City here, alongside Cureton’s more personal comics. Issue 1 was way too raw, but issue 2 recovers, and some of the lightness in the line I enjoyed in Cureton’s ‘Orful Comics is there, little bit Jim Mahfood perhaps.
Babezilla? Not great as a title, especially since, whilst there’s a reason for the ‘zilla’ part, there’s little justification for the ‘babe’ part. Divazilla, Popzilla? More focus on the role, less on the looks? I know Cureton’s saying something here about the sexualised music industry, about a perfect female pop star always seem by the music industry as a face and a body before they hear a voice, but that valid point feels a little lost in the imagery here.
Scene City is Cureton’s concept heavy idea; a city where musical genres rule the day, each area of the city defined by whatever musical style dominates. We’ve had Emo, we’ve had guitar heroics with Jimi Hendrix’s cursed guitar.
Now it’s the curse of the modern age, the manufactured diva popstar, specifically a certain kind of manufactured diva popstar as favoured by Simon Cowbell, dark haired, high waistbanded pop svengali. Or destroyer of modern pop music as some think of him.
Right now though Cowbell’s got more problems than crap emo singer songwriters, Scene City is suffering a spate of pop star murders, and it’s Cowbell’s roster of sound-a-like pop princesses taking a big hit.
Thing is, everyone knows who’s doing it, Brittina Lovely, now looking very Tank Girl-esque, complete with weaponry. But no one knows where she is.
Which leaves Cowbell no option, his path is clear. Obviously he’s commissioned a super-secret science project to create artificial life, pop-starlet artificial life, programmed and brainwashed, full behaviour modification just to create a legion of Leona Lewis’. I know, the horror. The horror.
The prototype is shown all the wonderful things she’ll be doing; all the award ceremonies, the concerts, the music, the acclaim. And she’s shown all the bad; the drugs, the rehab, divorces, bad press, sex tapes, stamp collecting.
Things, not unsurprisingly, go wrong…
On the loose, and on the rampage, Scene City may well be in trouble.
I do like Cureton’s line, and the ideas behind Scene City are getting better, more involved and involving, and his swipes at manufactured modern pop this time out are particularly enjoyable and barbed. The names dropped in are fun, the stylings on his pages look good, his panel layout and flow of storytelling gets better each time I see it.
But there’s a problem, and it’s in one page, and one idea… Brittina Lovely’s modus operandi involves practically mummifying her female victims in cable and stuffing a microphone down their throats. And Cureton’s near full page showing us the latest victim is just a little too disturbing, but perhaps the biggest mis-step of all, it’s a little too titillating as well. I’d call it an error rather than a deliberate thing, but it really is an unfortunate mis-step in an otherwise good comic.