Set the wayback machine for 1986! Hair is big, pastels are in, American cars still suck, and across the country young entrepreneurs are publishing their own comic books, cashing in on the "Black And White Boom"! You'd think this would result in a explosion of artistic creativity, wouldn't you? And you'd be right, but kind of by accident. Case in point: THE L.I.F.E. BRIGADE.
The L.I.F.E. Brigade, created by C.A. Stormon, is the story of five outer-space superheroes battling the evil Vanda empire. The story is one of robots, aliens, rayguns, rockets, etc. It's also an obsessively drawn combination of clumsy pencils and incredibly detailed inks.
And let's not forget the overwritten narration and the stilted, unnatural dialog, complete with typos and unnecessary punctuation. Humm?
Our crew includes Cher and a mulleted freak named Long John Lazer who shoots rays from his good eye. And a robot, who is the most normal looking of the bunch.
A truly awe-inspiring cosmic strike force, even if they do use more "overkill" than necessary.
C.A. Stormon spent some time in underground comics, and you can really see the influence in these frenetic panels that combine a sort of primitive, cluttered iconography with slick finishes. Plus lots and lots of drugs.
This comic actually lasted two issues, which is one more than a lot of the B&W 80s titles made it. The speed-freak style continues with lovely illustrations of the degenerated inhabitants of Earth, driven insane by atomic radiation. Because that's what atomic radiation does, drives you insane.
The "L.I.F.E. Brigade" contacts some "survivors" in a secret "base" who want to "know" if they have "powers". And silly quotes aside, this comic is a puzzlement. It fails as superhero space opera, but the art is so obsessively distinctive that it just becomes its own genre entirely. I wish more independent comics had the balls to be this positively weird.
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