Scout: Mount Fire – Timothy Truman

scout 2This is the second and unfortunately the last collected edition of Scout. Whilst this is a self-contained story many of the minor characters, and some new ones, are given plot hooks which would have featured in future issues.

The focus is less on Scout’s unusual heritage and spirituality and more on the action and plot. The Native American mysticism never makes it past the first issue and is lost to nukes and giant robots. There is even a gratuitous lesbian scene shoehorned awkwardly in.

The art is still labour intensive high concept work but there seems to be less detail and the sharp lines of the initial issues are lost. In places the hand lettering also chooses style over clarity becoming hard to read. Yet later on there are colour coded speech boxes which seem like overkill.

It’s very much a troubled second album and leaves you wondering what volume three would have turned out like.

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Scout: The Four Monsters – Timothy Truman

scout 1This is a comic written in the 1980’s about a dystopian future of 1999 and so it has a certain quirky charm. Unusually, even today, the protagonist is a Native American. This is quite the political tale of what could happen, but looking at the world of today it seems much of it did. There is a supernatural element present but the clever part is that this could be magical realism or allegory.

Truman both writes and draws this work and much effort goes into both. At a time long before digital painting each panel is full colour, with no blank backgrounds and an awesome amount of detail. The layouts and structure are endlessly dynamic and this must have taken an astonishing amount of work. No corners were cut here.

The last issue of this seven issue collection is part epilogue, part recap from one of the supporting characters. The story would have been just fine without it and it might have been better placed within a future volume.

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