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Mister X

Way back in the 1980s there was a very cool looking comic book called Mister X. The first four issues were created by Los Bros Hernandez of Love and Rockets. They left after 4 issues due to payment issues from the comic publisher, and although Dean Motter did an admirable job I never thought the comic reached its potential. The visual style of the series was amazing, however, and I always thought I was disappointed by the stories only because they could never live up to the impossible standards of the look. Maybe nothing can. The Wikipedia article for the comic series states that you can see its influence in the movies Brazil, the first Tim Burton Batman, and Dark City. All are visually striking movies that are interesting but flawed.

The series was set in Radiant City, and the protagonist was an architect of sorts with a radical theory of psychetecture, wherein bad architecture would cause everyone to go mad. He ran around the city trying to fix things, some of which he had put wrong himself. Here is a cover gallery for the series, and here is a nice essay on the series. Also, a simple google image search will quickly tell you just how cool this comic book looked.

With all that as background, I left my office last night, and it was very foggy, the pavement was wet from an all-day rain, and on top of that there were some construction vents spewing out steam. I had oddly left my cameras at home but pulled out my iPhone. When I saw the lone man walking I grabbed my first shot. I took several more, but this one stood out. This reminds me so much of Radiant City and the shadowy silhouette walking alone really evokes Mister X to me.

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  • Jim DenhamFebruary 12, 2013 - 9:48 am

    This is just wicked cool! It sure matches up with the background you’ve set – not familiar with the comic myself. Well done!ReplyCancel

  • Mark NealFebruary 12, 2013 - 10:14 am

    Great image, Mark. It has incredible moodiness as well as nice technical balance. In my opinion, truly one of your best compositions.ReplyCancel

  • Comics A Go GoFebruary 12, 2013 - 3:16 pm

    Speaking of Brazil, this shot reminds me of the song by Esquivel, if the modern vehicles weren’t in the picture. I agree with you that the comic didn’t live up to its potential. The small press of the 1980s was such a dicey proposition that creators, publishers, or both made it impossible to rely on a title’s consistency or longevity. It may be too late to recapture the magic. I asked Dean Motter years ago if he would revisit the title and he said he didn’t own the property anymore and he wanted to push people towards Electropolis (the title he was working on at the time). And he’s continued to pursue other projects. Too bad; he was a master of “antique futurism,” as he called it. Thanks for the link.ReplyCancel

  • Mike CriswellFebruary 12, 2013 - 8:12 pm

    Very nice Mark!ReplyCancel

  • [...] I have walked countless times, yet suddenly saw a scene that needed to be captured, leading to a photo that had generated a rather strong response, measured against my other [...]ReplyCancel

  • [...] Mister X – Mark Garbowski captures a candid shot in downtown New York after a very rainy day.  A lone figure with a satchel makes his way down the street towards the famous Radio City Music Hall building, adding the perfect touch of context to a scene that takes on a slightly nostalgic feel to it. [...]ReplyCancel

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