1992: Parts Unknown

Parts Unknown (1992) #1-4, Parts Unknown II: The Next Invasion (1993) #1 by Beau Smith, Brad Gorby, Randy Clark et al.

This is the second of Eclipse’s last attempt at launching a new line of comics, FX. We were promised action and more action.

Hey, that’s nice rain. Kinda Sam Kiethish?

It’s printed on cheap, offwhite paper.

Anyway, this book is about an alien invasion, and like the first FX book, Blood is the Harvest, it doesn’t really go anywhere. It sets up drama what with the cops being ex-alcoholics, but doesn’t do much with it.

That’s it.

The artist has a tendency to drop the backgrounds leaving the characters to swim in a pool of white.

The villains are really villainous.

But the main point of the series seems to cram as many threatened rapes in as possible. A couple pages follow of the alien terrorising the woman… before she’s saved by some humans, of course.

So much rape.

So very much rape.

That’s basically the first four issues of this series, and it ends with our heroes blowing up the villains, but some escape, and then we get the followup series a year later.


*time passes for research and shopping*

The four series listed after Rawhead Rex turn out to be comics published by Claypool, but “distributed” by Eclipse. The Eclipse logo is on the covers, so I guess I’ll just have to cover them in this blog series. Oh what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to blog.

I had hoped to be finished with this blog series this week, but I guess I’ll have to wait until they arrive and then read them and write something about them, so that’s another two weeks. Oh, well.

Anyway, there are other interesting things on this page. There are only two other comics listed, Rawhead Rex and an issue of Beanworld. If we accept that Claypool comics isn’t just a front set up by Eclipse to publish comics without having the courts seize the money…

… which is probably true, but it’s odd how so many of the people who contribute to these comics are Eclipse mainstays…

… all the other entries there are trading cards. There are six sets listed, including the Congressional Medal of Honor Trading Cards. That’s mind-boggling.

Oh, I lied, there’s also Todd McFarlane’s Spawn Pogz.

But there’s more! yronwode quotes Ken Pierce saying “Don’t publish blank paper: Make every page an ad for another page” in the indicia. Wise words.

And finally, the main text itself is very strange. “Some comic book fans: Portraits drawn from life”. It’s all about people getting divorced.

Does that have something to do with yronwode writing a CBG column in September of that year:

However, if you just look at the first letter of each line, with capital letters marking the start of each new word, you seen realise that there’s a message forming – the sixteen lines above give up ‘Those Who Read Code,’ and the full text reveals this:

Those Who Read Code Can Get The Real News Dean Has Left Me For A Woman Named Jane Kingsbury Who Has Bone Chips In Her Brain – Cat

Mullaney and yronwode were in the middle of a divorce, which may explain things..

What? What? Oh, we were reading a comic book called Parts Unknown? Right? I think?

Anyway, the second series is printed on nice, white paper, and they’ve gotten a new inker in, John Sartra.

And, yes, it all looks a bit more “Image” now. There’s even an explicit McFarlane reference.

The comic is still about what the comic is about.

And then we’re promised a next issue, and that didn’t happen, because Eclipse went bankrupt.

I think this might be cat ⊕ yronwode’s last text in any Eclipse book? (I’m not quite sure, because I haven’t read the other 1993 books yet.) And it doesn’t say who wrote it, but from the biographical details, it has to be her.

She reminisces about her early years in the business, doing work for Ken Pierce, who… sounds like a character, is that anecdote is typical.

But back to Parts Unknown… the artwork’s OK, even if the storytelling isn’t particularly well developed. But I found the entire thing tedious in the extreme, which is why I was really surprised to see that not only has this series been collected, sequels have also been published by several companies, apparently.

Perhaps people just like to see inter-species rape teased:

This review can’t be backed up by cold hard facts because i can’t find a product description of it on the comic itself, or anywhere on the internet. My guess is the company that made it are trying to hide it’s shame. But this being the second issue of the series I was a little lost reading it. Not that I’m not lost anytime i read one of these crappy comics that were put on my shoulders by the evil fates that watch over me.

This story was written by Beau Smith and Penciled by Brad Gorby.(If i had to guess what they are up to now, i would assume running from the nationwide manhunt for multiple multiple rapes.)

Can’t tell whether that’s a positive review or not!


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