This was last Sunday’s Sinfest. There’s been other stuff to talk about and work’s been busy and also, y’know. Stuff. Things.
But I wanted to get back to this one, because… well, because it’s well done. The art is Ishida at the top of his game, and the language of movement he uses to convey the story is fantastic. Look at Fuchsia throughout the strip. The sense of comfort and acceptance she’s feeling with Criminy, reflected in her almost boneless slumber next to him. The frantic dash back to Hell, while still conscious of what she’s had to leave. Her bent over posture as she moves frantically, trying to shake B.B. out of her drug induced torpor, becoming more pronounced as she half-arches and half-bows when she realizes the Devil is there.
And then the Devil himself. His almost faceless cool. Slightly hunched forward, without significant or apparent concern. He seals off the hellmouths that are providing relief and disruption to Hell with a sense of strength and style, but very little obvious worry. He’s not happy, but he’s also not sweating this. At least, not in front of the outsiders.
Until the very last. Until he looks up and sees Criminy.
Now, for all intents and purposes, Criminy’s doing the least to Hell. He’s not blowing marijuana smoke down to help the damned and devilgirls get high and mellow out like Squigley. He’s not sending gentle rain to put out the hellfire and cool the area like Buddha. He’s just watching.
But Squigley and Buddha aren’t really doing much of anything for the Devil to be concerned about. A little rain? A little mellow? What’s that in eternity. Criminy represents redemption. He saw past Fuchsia’s demonic facade to the humanity within her. He accepted her and once challenged Hell itself — not to rescue her but to just be with her and comfort her.
That’s enough to cause a real reaction in the Devil. He doesn’t just get visibly angry — though he is far more angry than he’s been elsewhere. His back goes back, he puffs up, he hisses in warning — all signs that say get back! Get away! And he more violently slams the Earth shut.
Notice that. He doesn’t directly or verbally threaten Criminy. He doesn’t attack or damage Criminy. He’s clearly trying to scare Criminy off. For all his power and all his anger, Criminy’s the only one that worries him.
All done through expression and body language. No words are spoken (that we can read, anyhow) in the whole strip, rendered in pastels and light inkwork.
That’s really, really nicely done.