May 2, 2010

No Gods - A Follow Up from C2E2

(In the interests of full disclosure - I received review copies gratis for the purposes of writing this blog post)

One of the cool things about working at the Comic Related table at C2E2 is that, in many ways, it was good for me to not only hang with Chuck (which is always a pleasure), but also learn about everyone else on the site - fortunately, one of the people I hung with was Dustin Carson, who wrote - and graciously offered me the opportunity to review his comic entitled No Gods (available through ComiXpress), with the only request being that I give the book "a fair shake".

I read all six issues, and have to say...I enjoyed it as a great first step into comics, but also found it having some room for improvement.

The premise is interesting, and in fact, is quite a cool one: essentially, what would happen if Jesus Christ came back in a superheroic universe? Believe me, the execution is a lot better than the way I described it - in fact, at times the book takes on a satirical tone. The tone's uneven, though - there's plenty of fighting, gore, and nudity to make this an R-rated book, and I think that tends to undercut the writing. It's not bad - just a little off, and at times, I was taken out of the story. It's obvious who the "heroes" are supposed to parallel, but in a way, it helps drive the story a little further. It's not perfect, but it's a really good start.

In addition, Armando Abeleda's art doesn't quite work for me - some of the inking looks a little too heavy for me, darkening some figures and making them seem more like notebook sketches than actual comic art. Overall, it's not bad, but I do think there's a consistency in framing, layout, and in anatomy. It's one of those hit-or-miss styles that - for me, at least - doesn't quite gel.

(I know I keep qualifying this, but admittedly, I try to find value and worth in anything I read. I don't like doing hatchet jobs or flat-out snark, unless it involves Pauly Shore)

My only major no-no is the use of Comic Sans. That, I think, kept me from really engaging the story (since the font didn't quite fit the way the story was being told), and really made it hard for me to really get engaged in the narrative. (Yes, I am being picky by singling out the font). Although I'm personally all for banning Comic Sans, perhaps future editions can integrate an offering from Blambot.

Dustin and Armando have done great work in establishing their skills by independently publishing No Gods. Despite whatever flaws the book has, it is a pretty good read. In fact, you might, at some point in the future, be able to declare "I knew them when..."

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