Issue 4 of Ben Templesmith’s The Squidder is a right head bugger. But squiddamn it, is it good?! IS IT?!
The Squidder #4 (IDW Publishing)
Another epic issue, the most epic as it’s the last. Sir Templesquid knows how to nail grizzled inner monologue, but seems to always keep a tongue firmly in cheek. Even still, when the Squidder thinks, it fits; it works. And the story blasts into high gear in this issue. The plot isn’t incredibly original by Templesquid standards, but it sure is fun to see play out.
The art is the product of a man obsessed with tentacles and skulls, who has a penchant for digital backdrops and a sketched out style (both literally and metaphorically). It’s kind of hard to tell what’s happening in some of the larger panels, though. Color explodes off the damn page like the many explosions which explode off the damn page. But the pencil fill-in looking stuff? Not sure how great it looks when juxtaposed with such digital backdrops.
Oh, but he does draw some good beasties. Any issues with confusion in the action are swept aside by the sheer awesomeness of the tentacled Templesquideroos. You want huge ass alien squid, ya come to the right place, son.
Is It Good?
I found myself wishing I’d liked this comic more. I loved it, don’t get me wrong. But something about it just never gave it the extra oomph. The notes are all there, the music sounds great, and all the compositions seem to be the right length. Perhaps it just seems too stock. A collection I’ve already heard before entitled, “Ben Templesmith’s Greatest Hits.”
Is there anything wrong with a best of? No. You like the artist, so enjoy the reminiscence. But it’s not very new thematically for him. And I had a lot of trouble with the pencil fill-in looking stuff too. This, to his credit, does seem new, so look at me, the asshole bitching about an artist not trying new things, and also bitching about the new things he tried. I applaud him for sketchy looking fill-ins even if I don’t think they look great.
If you’ve never read anything Templesmith has done, it’s a good starter comic. But I can’t help feeling like it’s mainly surface. However, if a beautiful person makes you smile, do you care if they aren’t wildly original? Fuck it, enjoy it for the giant dudeborg killing alien squid.