Every day this month, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month I will be doing theme weeks, with each week devoted to a single artist. This week: Frank Quitely! Today’s page is from Flinch #1, which was published by DC/Vertigo and is cover dated June 1999. Enjoy!
DC launced Flinch, a horror anthology, in 1999. It didn’t last too long, and I only bought the first issue, but it did have three interesting stories, including this one. This story is only 6 pages long, so Quitely doesn’t have room to cut loose as much as in other places, but Jen van Meter does have to pack a lot onto this page. The characters live in a neighborhood that used to be nice but is now overrun by gangs, and they’re living in a basement. Van Meter tells us that drugs have taken over and that led to the gangs, which own the neighborhood now. Through the dialogue, we find out that there’s a shipment coming in and a character is going to be getting some ammunition. There’s a big twist to the entire thing, of course, as there must be because it’s a horror story, but I’m not going to give it away. I assume that van Meter made sure that every character is female. That’s important.
Quitely sets the scene pretty well. The first panel places the gang members far enough away that we don’t see them clearly, which is important, and we get a nice view of the crappiness of the neighborhood. The only other notable thing is the final panel, where we see all the characters – they’re all female, of course, but Quitely does a nice job designing different people. They’re all very “Quitely-esque,” in that their faces are a bit flat and the long-haired girls have similar styles, but he gives us a good idea of how difficult these girls’ lives are – many of them have bandages all over them.
Van Meter makes sure we get up to speed quickly, and I suppose it’s up to reader whether she does a good enough job. She teases us with some information, which is all we can ask for. And while Quitely doesn’t have too much to do, it’s still a chance to see Quitely’s art, right? Right????
Next: Back with the God of All Comics, and over to Marvel! And here’s a link to the archives, as you knew it would be!