Cold Heat Special #8
Frank Santoro & Lane Milburn, writers/artists
PictureBox, October 2008
I don’t remember how much it cost
As an object, the eighth* Cold Heat Special is I think the best-looking one yet. The vivid blue/pink/yellow screenprinted cover, with its slightly metal Cold Heat logo and geometric designs, was a real eye-catcher on the SPX show floor, and that’s saying something given the visual cacophony of the place. I enjoyed the story, such as it is, as well–as in previous CH Specials, our teenage leading lady Castle faces a frightening challenge, this time a pretty scary-looking bird-man who attacks her at sea. She manages to beat the beast, scoffing at him in retrospect while brushing her teeth in her underwear within the safety of her bathroom. But then some sort of incubus assaults her, leading to a bout of passion that Castle soon discovers was all in her head–she’s adrift and nearly drowning in the ocean we spotted her on in the beginning, and it takes all she can muster to drag herself to shore, shivering and alone. It’s all in the way you tell it, and if you’ve been following Frank Santoro’s work you know how good he is with layouts, picking just the right moment to show to convey the violence, rapture, and terror of whatever’s going on (it’s a little like All Star Superman in that regard); Milburn, meanwhile, is aces with monsters, imbuing them with a convincing, stocky physicality that also lends itself well to believable sex scenes. The combination of the two artists is memorable, and makes me wonder where the parallel (though disjointed) Cold Heat story being told through the Specials will head next.