October 23, 2006

Review: Action Figure # 1

If you're a consistent reader of this blog, you know that I'm the kind of guy who listens to every commentary on DVDs, who pores over those "Behind the Scenes" featurettes, and who considers the Biography Channel must-see tv. So when I received the first issue of Action Figure from Baboon Books, I thought it would be a pretty accurate behind-the-scenes at a toy company in the 80's.

I'm glad that this is a book that, on the basis of its first issue, possesses a charm and style that is easily engaging.

The premise is simple: in the future, someone purchases (and reads) the journals of a man who worked in the 80s at a major toy company. This first issue contains what would be the prequisites for a sit-com; initial fake-out, followed by introductions of the cast and setting forth of initial plotlines. Of course, the set-up seems a little too familiar, but that may come more from watching this done poorly - Action Figure's challenge will be in the execution.

I really enjoyed this issue as a great first issue - things are quickly set in motion, and I found myself hoping there's an issue 2. (Hopefully, news will be announced on this blog). The artwork compliments the story - it's a mixture of realism and cartooniness that is a degree removed from, say, Barry Ween. The black-and-white artwork (with occasional red shadings) hits the right spot, and red is used sparingly for emphasis. All in all, this is a pleasurable read - one which hopefully will continue.

If you're looking for classic literature, this is not it - it is a fun, unpretentious, yet thoroughly enjoyable comic. After the sturm-und-drang of dealing with the majors, it's nice to have some good, solid storytelling.

Try this book. You won't be disappointed.

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