Job Dun: Fat Assassin

Job Dun: Fat Assassin

Staff: Mark Hobby, Ben Michael Byrne, Noelle Criminova, Owen Watts, Dave Bolt-01 Evans

Overview:

A must-read story about a heavy-set assassin, some prostitutes, and evil space Mormons.

Review:

I’m gonna take a shot at Job Dun: Fat Assassin today by Spray Comics. Again, going in without much more than the cover and what the cover shows me. It’s DEFINITELY not a kid’s comic and we have a… well fat assassin. The water looks fine so I’m jumping in.

Art:

The art style kind of reminds me of some more recent Dick Tracy stuff, and in a good way. It’s got a very “cartoony” style with thick strokes and some hashing. The best thing I can compare it to are two segments from Heavy Metal (So Beautiful and So Dangerous with a bit of Harry Canyon in there for some fun sleaze). I also get a touch of like Jamie Hewlet (in a good way) and it mingles together to make something all it’s own.

There are some great and immediately memorable character designs and I had a lot of fun with them (love the “f@#k you up score” he gives weapons). I have a little test. After I’m done reading a comic I sit on it for a while. If I can remember the face of the main character- that’s good. If I can remember some of the secondary character’s- that’s better. But in this comic I could even recall some of the background characters pretty clearly.

Lettering / Layout:

The lettering and layout work. No issues there (and that means it is successful). The only real issue I had was that the digital copy I had was of a lower DPI that I would have exported it at- some of the smaller text was hard to read not because of font size but due to complication with compression (due to the export settings). In a physical print or trade this wouldn’t be an issue.

Writing / Story:

I legitimately like the humor in this comic. It’s kinda dark, though in a very self-aware way. Thus far I’ve not really run into many “humor comics” I’ve liked but this is an exception. Like it starts off with the various definitions of the word “Job” and “Dun” but in such a way as to make you think two or three times about the name “Job Dun”.

So the comic suffers a bit under the weight (pun pun pun) of it’s own universe a bit and the slang it uses. I could eventually figure everything out but it took a WHILE to figure things out. Even then Job Dun still kind waxes poetic in his own mind and it’s a little awkward. It gives his character to be sure but it’s a bit hard to follow at times.

The plot is a total whirlwind romp though the Job Dun universe. We’ve got fighters with bouncers at a brothel/strip club, dames who mess with Job’s head and hire him for job, evil space cultists, and a hell of a lot of fighting. It all mixes seamlessly and I enjoyed every second of it. It’s a very rich and unique setting and everything kind of fit together with a high degree of fluidity that I wished more comics had. It was scifi- but it’s own “kind” of scifi if you know what I mean.

Overall:

Overall, I had a bloody blast with this comic. I can’t wait to read more. I’m not normally this passionate about comics but it hit all my “buttons”. Memorable characters, a step outside the norm (well a giant leap), it was legitimately well-written, and didn’t hold anything back. The art was great, the universe better, and I can’t wait to see the next one. Definitely a must-read.

Metrics:

Art: 10/10 [I’m a sucker for this art style. It’s downright better than mainstream publishers. Memorable character designs.]

Lettering: 5/10 [Does its job. Has a bit of compression issue on the digital version.]

Plot: 7/10 [Come for the universe, stay for the humor]

Novelty: 7/10 [Nothing new design wise but takes a lot of risks artistically and character wise. Very memorable.]

Overall: 7.25/10

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Starve the Beast

Starve the Beast

Staff: Danny Homan and Sergio Vicencio

Overview:

A dark dystopian comic that sets up a good story to come.

Review:

So today I am reading “Starve the Beast” by Danny Homan and Sergio Vicencio. I am going into this cold. The cover doesn’t do much for me, to be honest, it just has (what I assume will be) the protagonist with their back to the reader against a cityscape.

 

Art

The art style is very dark and drab with an abundance of detail. It almost feel like a neo noir with a touch of horror for some of that “ugliness” the art gives us. To be honest, this isn’t my preferred style of art. It’s very stroke heavy and some things are spot-on in terms of detail but other things just look weird. We even get some sloppier things farther away from the focal point of each panel and there is a little inconsistency between anatomy (relative or otherwise) on some panels. It’s kind of part of the style though so I can’t really harp on it too much.

One thing I will say though is that they artist really knows how to set up interesting perspectives and he uses it to great effect in this comic (see the 1st page for a good example- very dramatic). They also do a very interesting visual gimmick. When people are searching for things (visually) we get these little magnified “pop up” bubbles that have an X or a check mark on them to indicate if it is what they are looking for or not. It give the comic a very frantic sense and I really dug it.

 

Lettering/ Layout

They took some bold risks with the lettering and page layout. The panels are put together like a puzzle with oddly shaped pieces of varying sizes. It creates a chaotic look, which is what they were going for so- kudos. Outside the panels they have text and, after reading the comic, I still have no idea what it is supposed to be. On the first read through it confused the heck out of me. I think it might be internal dialogue from the main character but I’m not 100% on that.

The lettering is a bit chaotic, but this is intentional and well utilized to cultivate the aesthetic they are going for. It’s very dystopian and it fits with the art style and overall tone of the writing/story. There are a few places it’s hard to tell what’s going on (like who is talking) but once you kind of decipher who each of the unique text boxes belong to, it’s well executed.

 

Story

The dialogue is adult, telling a very dark tale about drugs, murder, violence and crime. This isn’t for kids and the plot is rather dense. I’d say “convoluted”, but it’s more nuanced and plays it close to the vest as it’s a mystery story. We are doled out information as we go along and by the end most things make sense. This is definitely a prologue because while it sets the stage, it doesn’t go too far down the rabbit hole. I had to read it a few times to get everything. Some terms don’t make sense until they are explained (and most of the explanation is given at the very end).

The characters didn’t do anything for me- and I feel like that’s due to a lack of characterization. I’m sure they develop as they grow, but I’m only reading Issue 0 so beyond the circumstances they find themselves in, I’m given very little to go on. The set-up is well and good but I wasn’t able to identify with any of the characters in a real deep way.

 

Overall

Now, you guys know my tastes. I am not a fan of dark comics so I am biased against this from the get-go. So, shoving that aside, yeah- it’s worth a read. It’s not the best comic of the year but you can find worse. It will take you at least 2 read throughs before you will understand everything. I get the need to preserve the mystery but in this medium it’s really important to give the reader some context upfront (particularly in an “Issue 0”). If it wasn’t my job to read through this at least once, I probably would have put it down a few pages in. Nothing really caught my attention until probably the last 5-10 pages when we started getting some information on the plot. I’m glad I read it all the way though- it was a good read and by the end I was interested to see what came next. Give it a read.

 

Metrics

Art: 5/10 (Good but takes form over function)

Lettering: 4/10 (Some gambles pay off well, some don’t work)

Plot: 4/10 (Not my cup of tea)

Novelty: 8/10 (Interesting visual gimmick and innovative page layout).

Overall: 5.25/10

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