Staff: Jon Parrish, Diego Toro, Kote Carvajal, Nic J Shaw, Steven Forbes
A fun little paranormal detective piece
Alright so we are jumping into Cluster@#k. No I didn’t censor that. It is legitimately the title (and I can dig it). I know I just did another Alterna comic (Billy the Pyro) but it is a different team and that’s really why I don’t do the same publisher twice.
So onto art. It’s a full cover with a more modern artstyle. There are some manga influences but only about as much as would be present in a lot of modern American comics. Cover is dynamic and exciting showing exactly what is going to be in the book. The characters are visually distinct, their design reflects their personality, and are (at the very least) well drawn. Anatomy remains consistent from page to page, proportions are not all wonky, and the artist has a good grasp on the utilization of angles. Seriously- the tell-tale sign of a good artist is a mastery of anatomy, facial expressions, dynamic poses, and the use of a variety of angels (love the low angle ones).
There is not much to say about the lettering. It’s solid and I can read it- exactly how it should be. They have some nice use of off-panel dialogue boxes and only on a few occasions was I confused about who was saying what (they were easy to figure out).
Plot-wise we are just kind of dropped in in media res style. We get bits and pieces as we go and I can’t really decide if it was done really well or just kind of bumbled into being cohesive. That being said, we get a few panels of pure exposition but you kind of have to in a first issue so I’m not docking it any points for that. About a quarter of the way in, it just kind of jumps off the deep end though. It goes from kind of standard adventurer/private eye/pulp fare to a more fantasy thing. Talking hobo-murdering goats, demon fusing guys, genetic abominations, and a bit of DBZ style combat. I… am not really sure how to react. It just kind of comes out of left field. Like WHAM and I don’t know that when the stars stopped floating around my head I was really ok with it. A clusterfuck indeed.
It sets you up one way then kinda does a switch-a-roo on you. After a few more pages it kind of works into a new groove and I didn’t hate the new direction. It turns out this is kind of a paranormal investigator piece with a government agency involved. The dialogue is well written, the character’s personalities inform their language and word choice, and it’s overall pretty enjoyable. I didn’t notice any major or minor errors in spelling or grammar so that’s a plus.
Overall, I’m actually fond of this one. While it doesn’t break any super new ground, it does so in a fun little way. I can see some fun plot potential down the road and the dialogue kept me reading while the art sold me initially. You could do worse with a paranormal detective story. Give it a read.