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Sidney Hammer—“Through the night longing for day”

Story and art: Massacre

Embellished: Dani Seijas Amigo

Amigo Comics, 2019

FLIRTING WITH BIGGER ART in European albums, deluxe editions, and hardbound absolute and omnibus collections, I skirted back to search in standard magazine formats so familiar in the mid-decades of the last century, like those dad stacked in boxes in the attic, archiving adventures, and monsters, and barely dressed women; and came out with two large SIDNEY HAMMER stories published by Amigo in 2015 and 2016, both mimicking old-style magazine covers, made to look faded and well-thumbed, story and art by Massacre, embellished by Dani Seijas, where once inside, a wild, pounding pace erupts in splashy panels, slick and quick, aimed right at you and right on cue, so you fly through and come out panting and spent on the other end, wondering if you want to turn around and go again.

Sidney is a down-to-earth journalist for a sleazy news tabloid, just right for the monster stories she uncovers. She sports overgenerous curves under a thin layer of clothing, and exhibits a fine array of gratuitous poses one expects to occur in a desperate fight hammering zombies, or werewolves, or other foul creatures.

It’s hard, sweaty work that would normally offend me in any number of ways, but somehow the combination of salacious and stupid and stunning are so well executed, I just marveled and gaped. Sidney herself is smart and capable, like real girls I might have known at school, impressively endowed with friendly smiles and cajoles, and a dangerous resolve to smash your face with a ball-peen hammer if you ever get close enough to drool.

The babe in the story is easy to fathom, only a little fuller and tastier than other famous heroines with bodacious bodies in the strips; and she fights, no shrinking in fright. As a woman in charge, she fits all right. It’s the monsters that worry me. I think these are the first zombies I bring into the house.

Horror has always baffled me, and zombies most. Their current popularity reminds me of other vulgar eras of entertainment when public taste has preferred whole libraries of crappy literature, music, and drama, because that’s all people could comprehend and reproduce among themselves, the way kids love fart jokes.