Review: Change #1 (of 4)A comic review article by: David Fairbanks
Ales Kot and Riley Rossmo delivered a candy-coated bullet in the form of Wild Children earlier this year from Image. It was a graphic novella that I likened to a condensation of The Invisibles but written for 2012. Saying I was blown away is putting it lightly, especially after discovering that this was Kot's debut into the world of comics.
So, when he told me that he had a few more stories already loaded in the chamber, I leapt at the chance to get a glimpse at any of them before the rest of you. Zero and The Surface have a little while before they hit the stands, but Change #1 drops this week, and you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy.
Here's your elevator pitch: a screenwriter/car thief, a wealthier-than-god rapper and an astronaut on his way back to Earth are somehow all entangled in the cyclic rebirth of Los Angeles. They're the only three people who can stop the Lovecraftian beast aiming to do to LA what Lovecraftian beasts do best.
If that distilled premise doesn't grab you, however, Kot's writing and Jeske's art will.
Sonia Bjornquist, the car thief, is one of the most foul-mouthed characters I've read in some time, and it feels like she's going to be the badass of the trio, as she doesn't take shit from W-2 (the rapper she is writing a screenplay for) and the astronaut seems destined to be the contemplative type.
There's quite a bit of setup here, which was a complaint I had in our review of the first issue of recent Image miniseries Happy, but whereas Morrison's approach failed for me, Kot succeeds. We get ample insights into our three heroes, and it feels organic. Scenes of W-2 cutting up a grapefruit or Sonia having an awkward conversation with her agent might not seem integral, but we learn much about the characters in the process, with the plot driving this four-issue miniseries making itself known in the last third of the comic.
Jeske handles fashion, mannerisms and facial expressions wonderfully, and his panel breakdowns are just brilliant, getting quick and dirty with frequent cuts in the middle of action.
I hadn't seen much from him before his work on Study Group Comics, but I really hope Change gives him the attention he deserves, as he's got a style unlike the majority of comics, making him a perfect fit for a book like this.
Add on Sloane Leong's colors, from the muted blues of the space scenes to the sterility of Sonia's agent's office to the vibrance of the late-issue action scenes, and it becomes clear that Change is another addition to Image's growing stable of comics being produced by masters of their crafts.
Change #1 goes on sale Wednesday, December 12 at comic stores near you.
David Fairbanks doesn't get many things right the first time. He studied physics in college, loves science, music, comics, poetry, movies, books and education pertaining to all of the above. He will talk your ear off about Grant Morrison and Ben Folds, has an indie bookshelf larger than his Marvel, DC and Vertigo ones combined and if he ever actually grows up, more than anything else, he wants to still be happy as an “adult,” whatever that is.