Filed under: Comic Reviews, Indie Comics | Tags: Colin Bell, Freak Out Squares, Garry Mac, Harrison Stargazer, Harry French, Harry Saxon, Johnny Orion, Unthank Comics
Unthank Comics bring us issue #1 of this new release that sees Harry French (writer), Garry Mac (art), Harry Saxon (colours) and Colin Bell (letters/production) team up on a sci-fi tale of music & government plots.
This issue kicks off at the venue doors of rock god Johnny Orion’s next big gig with all in attendance including one of his biggest fans Harrison Stargazer as he tries to sell his fanzine, Orion’s Belt. Johnny holds the crowd in the palm of his hands as he bashes their ears with rebellious rants against “the system”. Typical for a full-on celebrity to insight the easily lead in this way but a surprise hits our idol in full view of the screaming crowd as our rock god/cyborg seems to explode in front of their very eyes. A unique opening for us but it brings our focus back to Harrison as months later the recovering Johnny Orion calls for Harrison as his first interviewer post-accident.
As sex, drugs and rock n roll still flows through his veins it’s no surprise that the interview interrupts his latest conquests but times have changed in those few months as Harrison has a new agenda in mind. No longer a fan but more of an activist his new aim is to rid the world of the many false idols that promise so much but deliver so little. Fleeing from the scene of his latest act of revenge he makes his escape with an accomplice in tow and a ship from the recovery temple in the sky soon has them on their way home.
From here we get a glimpse of the levers behind the false front of the false celebrity distracting the masses from any kind of structured life and this is where Harry takes us deeper into the conspiracy at hand……as government agents are revealed as the real puppeteer of these false distractions. This is where that blurred line of comic and real-life comes……a commentary on the bland, talent less clones that bombard our supposed “music industry” and more. That’s the magic of indie/small press…..an extra vein of freedom that allows creators to slap us in the face while painting a picture of the world that’s been chosen for us by corporations and crowd-pleasing smoke screens that cloud our choices.
French’s writing is perfectly punctuated by Garry Mac’s art that yet again takes a step onto another level. An almost instant comparison can be made with the likes of Frank Quitely but this is far more likely to make me think we have a new term to be used for this work – Mac-like: drawing like Garry Mac. Bold, brash figures stand out from the crowds as they should and the smart panel layout keeps up with the pace of the story with a great level of skill. The colouring from Saxon and lettering form Bell just complete the package as the creative team combine from first to last page to develop a fantastic world for us to escape into. Watch out for the two page spread that follows two of our characters passing from one level to another via a lift……and we follow it the whole way….GENIUS as the whole team combine perfectly.
The team close out this issue with their step towards introducing the next rock god set for release into the public eye……and their control over that public to return to a level they have always been aiming for. All before a further look at Harrison and his ongoing work to take care of these idols the government are flooding the airways with. A great opener for the series and it’s definitely another indie for the “must read” suggestion list in my head. It’s got the energy and inventiveness of the Morrison/Quitely pairing but manages to bring us something fresh and new while relating this to the real world with an underlying subtlety that’s captivating.
I didn’t fully connect with Harrison on first reading but a re-read got me in-sync with him and the whole concept so I think that was purely down to me but I’m keen to see how the rest of the series holds up as the team have set the bar high with this first issue…..but the talent in the team has the potential and skill to pull it off. Get this over at the Unthank Comics website…..don’t argue……just get it!! 😀
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