Films and Comics
Story: Mike “Frick” Weber
Pencils: Gary Morgan
Inks: Loran Skinkis
The Field on the Edge of the Woods is an odd concoction. If I told you that the basic premise of the series was that of former TV producer Gary passing away and finding himself in the afterlife, where he is suddenly pursued by impish “Dark Nasties” and a diminutive Grim Reaper, that would make sense.
If I added that, rather than having his soul claimed by the Reaper, Gary is forced to endure Death’s unpublished screenplay, entitled ‘How I Got My Ugly Face’, and that the script is essentially an imaginative telling of the origin of the Grim Reaper, that might be fine…
And yet, I’d have missed out seventy-five percent of what happens in this second volume alone. There’s a hell of a lot more to The Field on the Edge of the Woods. So much, in fact, that I’m not entirely sure what I just read. Weber, Morgan and Skinkis clearly acknowledged this problem this in releasing an additional volume 1.5, intended as an easy starting point for new readers.
It’s an admirably irreverent and chaotic read. Gary Morgan’s pencils bounce off the page, his inventive page compositions often treating the text as part of the art, while Loran Skinkis’ bold inks lend the book the appearance of something from 2000AD‘s monochromic heyday.
The script, by Mike “Frick” Weber, intentionally shifts genre and tone every few pages. One minute Field on the Edge of the Woods is a fantasy epic, the next it’s almost a bizarre and self-derivative parody of the act of storytelling, with characters often using pompous swords & sorcery dialogue and modern toilet humour on the same page.
It doesn’t always work, but when it does it’s a lot of fun, with the high fantasy take on Pontius Pilate (did I not mention he was in it?) and his connection to the mythical manifestation of Death persistently interrupted by Gary. Much like me, Gary is a little confused by Death’s manuscript, but compelled to read on.
The Field on the Edge of the Woods is available for iPad, Android and Kindle Fire via the Cloud 9 Comix app for just $0.99 per volume (1.5 is free). Also, read the review of Field on the Edge of the Woods Vol 1 here.