New Talent Showcase #4 (Full Circle)
Writer – Ashley Tillman
Pencils – Shawn McManus
Inks – Mark Alexander
Letters – Duncan Andrews
Colors – Shelley Eiber
Edits – Karen Berger
Getting to this a little late today… had a busier than expected early part of the day. Had to choose between doing this or yoga… and knew if I put yoga off until the afternoon, I’d probably wind up skipping it!
Not this though! Can’t skip this! Y’all ready for something… completely different? Me neither! Let’s go!
We open in Union Square Park in Manhattan where we meet a 51-year old fella named Allen Turgen. He explains that, up until today… he had the world by the tail… but, that’s all over now. His life, to this point, has been a series of disappointments and tragedies… including the death of his wife in a car accident several years prior. From there, he would dive headfirst into his work… and would eventually meet another lady-friend. Then, today… his company was bought out… and everybody near retirement age was given the ol’ heave-ho (Fifty-One is near retirement age? On what planet?). Not only that, his new gal-pal, Cindy decided this was the best time to dump his sorry ass.
So, our hero sits in the park… wallowing. Can’t really hold it against him, it sounds like he’s had a pretty lousy day, dunnit? Then, suddenly he hears a shriek! Two thugs are trying to rob an old homeless woman of her bag. Our Turgen (uncharacteristically) leaps into action!
He ultimately gets his butt-kicked… and the baddies get the bag. The lady thanks him for trying… but can’t disguise her disappointment that her bag was stolen. Ya see, her whole entire life was in that bag. Our hero vows to track it down… and, a couple’a panels later… he does just that. As there was nothing of monetary value in the bag, the baddies dumped it in a nearby garbage can. Did… did the pickpockets actually think an old bag lady would have anything worth stealing in her pocketbook? C’mon…
We wrap up with Turgen returning the bag… and the two new friends going out to grab breakfast together. Ya see, our hero thought he’d lost everything that day… but actually wound up finding something inside himself he didn’t even know he had.
This wasn’t half-bad! It kind of felt out of place, here… but, I enjoyed it for what it was. It actually feels like something that might’ve been more at home in the pages of Wasteland or something. Well, actually… it’s probably better than most of the stuff we read over there!
This is the kind of story where I wonder how the fan of the day received it. It’s unlike anything else in the issue… there’s nothing supernatural about it (unless we’re assuming ol’ Turgen tapped into some sort of power to sniff out the proper garbage can), and there were no superheroes. I guess ol’ Turgen was pretty heroic… but, again, dude’s not wearing tights or a cape.
There’s not a whole heckuva lot to say about this one… it was a wee bit shorter than the other features in this issue, weighing in at just six pages… but, I feel like they really “nailed” the story they were trying to tell in the pages they were afforded.
Who are “they”? Well, we’re talking about Ashley Tillman and Shawn McManus.
Ashley Tillman… unfortunately didn’t go on to do all that much at DC… at least according to the information available online. Just this story, and a few others (all appearing in New Talent Showcase). If you’re able to dig up anything else about Ashley, please pass it along and I’ll edit the piece!
Across the table sits Shawn McManus… he’d go on to do a whole bunch in the biz… and if Marvel Comics Chrisesnts is still going strong in like six years, we’ll eventually see him pop up there! He’s got some pretty decent runs on some of the Vertigo books, including Sandman and Fables.
Overall… a decent enough low-key (relatively speaking) story here… and a nice way to close out the issue.
Tomorrow: Putting it all together…