Caleb Orecchio here with The Black Diamond Effect no. 3.


front cover

The Black Diamond Effect no. 3 by George P. Gatsis, 1991

Look at this comic. This comic is a mess, yet it is visually electrifying. I love looking at this. It is like a digital/analog collage. It almost looks like something Michael Comeau would make in an alternate universe void of punk rock or zines or shame. In fact, if I had not looked at the indicia and saw that this was made in 1991, I would assume this comic was riffing on The Dark Knight Strikes Again aesthetically. There is so much spirit to it. There is an attitude to this comic that has no idea what it’s doing, and yet is brimming with confidence – so maybe it is punk rock.

I have only looked at the pictures of this book. I could not forgive myself if I read a word of this comic. That would defeat the purpose. This is not a comic that you get because you’re interested in the story. This is yet another comic that you get because it is a strange artifact of comics that, previously, I had no reason to believe existed. The fact that this comic exists is without a doubt the greatest part of this comic. The discovery of it is a ten-fold joy.

Culturally, it’s interesting to line up the computer generated art with the year (1991) and to notice where the future of CG was going (i.e. Pixar). In fact, I did a little digging and found this website. There is a conscience effort to be part of the cutting edge. It’s a similar sentiment that the creator of Donna Matrix had. The future of everything is digital – computer generated! Both comics are forgotten, lost to the burst of the nineties.

I love this comic. It is a true treasure of the medium. Although it is “bad,” it is amazing in so many other ways. For example, the covers are fantastic. They hold up to me as a warped pop art of some kind. Above I brought up the comparison of an alternate Michael Comeau. The Black Diamond Effect is a Canadian “collage” comic that blends different visual mediums that fuse into its own visual rhetoric. It is strange beyond belief. I’ve never seen anything like it.

I take up a lot of space on this platform writing about the esoteric in comics. I can’t always justify my focus on this aspect. I simply enjoy sharing them. I think this realm of disregarded comics is fascinating. There is true art locked inside these works that give no heed to the history of the medium. Therefore what is produced is often something made entirely without comntext. There are a few cartoonists today who, I think, attempt to recreate the naiveté of the eighties black and white boom as well as the wackiness of these strange nineties comics (the latter being the kind in question today). Most of these artists are running a fool’s errand. They are often too aware of our history to make anything sincerely naive. Many of the works they try to imitate were obviously made in a void with maybe TMNT and Daredevil as their only reference. Good luck to all of you such cartoonists. Though foolish, I believe your journey to be an honorable one. And to all you forgotten cartoonists who didn’t “make it” and disappeared, I appreciate you.


back cover


Cement Mixer – 10-22-18 – by Caleb Orecchio

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