Current Reviews


One Last Song #1 (of 6)

Posted: Tuesday, April 24, 2007
By: Martijn Form

Writer: CJ Hurtt
Artist: Shawn Richter

Publisher: Brain Scan Studios

Plot: In 2046 the American government controls the media, but musician Amanda Casey tries hard to spread the truth about the government through innocent love songs.

Comments: Censorship of the mediaÖ

Government cover upsÖ

Imprisonment without due processÖ

Switch on your CNN, or open up a newspaper, for once. These themes are not fictional; itís the reality of the Bush administration for the last five years.

Itís a shame that discussing politics is a bit of a taboo in comics or entertainment as a whole. But why? We have to deal with it on a daily basis, and everybody has an opinion about it. Right?

Well, CJ Hurtt and Shawn Richter are brave enough to present these controversial themes in their comic book One Last Song. This is an effort that must be applauded. This story doesnít have to be set in the year 2046. It could easily be the present day.

Well, almost. I don't think we are ready for that kind of truth. So setting the story in the future provides the illusion that itís just fictional. Major events just take time to understand will have become history by then.

The concept of One Last Song is fascinating, and I can see the potential for this book. The first issue deals with an American government who controls the mass media. Only by going underground do some media attempt to get the truth out there. Amanda Casey is one of the so called "rebels." She is a musician who tries to get a message across to her audience, a hidden message about the government wrapped in a love song.

Bob Dylan was a singer/songwriter who put secret messages in his songs, especially during the protest song years. During World War II, the resistance were using poetry, proverbs and song as codes to communicate with the Allies.

So One Last Song isnít far-fetched.

The basic story telling in this book is quite okay. Scenes flow in a natural way, and there is a nice story development. There are no major plot twists yet, and I think this issue needed a cliff-hanger to give it more edge. I hope the creators push forward with their story because some scenes are a bit too tame for my taste.

The dialogue supplements the art nicely, although not all lines feel natural. The art is decent but not earth shattering; it gets the story across, but here and there the artwork is inconsistent, especially the use of shadows and texture or the lack of it in some scenes. The scene where Brian is secretly listening to the radio has a nice dark mood because of the use of substantial black ink. The following page involving Amanda and Brian's meeting could have been more effective with more texture or shadows. Charles Burns (Black Hole) is someone who knows what do to with texture. Nevertheless, the page with Amanda running out of the coffee shop is good display of sequential art.

Overall, One Last Song is an intriguing story and a nice independent comic.

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