I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked up this book. I hadn’t read anything about it, I didn’t look at the solicit, interviews, nothing. I just started reading, completely unaware. This is how I like to dive into a new series – especially if I am reviewing it. It paid off. My first impressions were in lock-step with the solicit, comic site expectations, and most importantly: the story’s intent – finally, a comic I understand!
The official description from Image:
A struggling artist, Willard Penn, scores an unlikely hit with his new comic. The story centers on a hero more concerned with his libido than serving justice. After an unexpected sell out, Willard can’t recall anything about his story. That night the book’s hero shows up outside Willard’s window refusing to return to the comic until he finds true love. Exasperated, Willard is forced to help the lovesick hero meet the perfect woman. But he’ll need to hurry because the book’s villain, a homicidal maniac, has entered his world as well.
My first thoughts were, “How Meta.” – a concept that is not lost in pop-culture. We have seen stories within stories about stories within stories before. And while the concept is not new, the “mix” in this issue (and I assume series) makes it stand out. What makes for this great “mix”? I am still figuring that out.
Maybe it is the fact that Glen Brunswick has created a relatable downtrodden main character immersed in some “close to my heart” subject matter that makes the story stand out? Or maybe it is the fact that this is a comic about a comic creator that meets his creation…has this been done before? Possibly. But this is today, and as Willard Penn (main character) learns, it is all about the NOW.
I really like Viktor Boydanovic‘s art for this story. It too is a great mix – but without question it is a perfect blend of main stream comic art with indie flair. There are subtle differences depending on which “meta” level has focus – or at least that is what it felt like to me.
Reality Check #1 is definitely worth picking up – go ahead, immerse yourself in a world that is immersing itself in itself.