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Thread: That Rare Thing, A Comic With A Largely Black Cast...

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    Default That Rare Thing, A Comic With A Largely Black Cast...

    Eliot Cole writes for Bleeding Cool;

    Shadowman #1 - by Justin Jordan, Patrick Zircher and Brian Reber

    Shadowman issue one is concise, punchy, and gets us where we should be, fast. It's also that rare thing in superhero comics, a comic with a largely black cast.

    Within two pages Jordan & Zircher have introduced vital characters, established a history, given explosive action, and deployed said characters as the devices that they are (or should be). Justin and Patrick push simple buttons, but it's not a bad thing. By giving us family and something at stake, we are immediately given something to care for. This was something which I lamented in The Telikos Protocol last week, which had little real character development and hinted at importance but I didn't have anything to hold on to. Here I do.

    This isn't to say that the word craft here is clunky and obvious, it's not. Equally, it's not going to blow your mind away with innovation, either. There are times that you might think it's not relevant like Jack's breakfast in the diner, and that *is* frippery. What this frippery does though is build an easy going element in to Jack's character, and, again, invests you in our guy. Expositionally speaking little is spelled out. Assumption is required, but why not? A large battle between a hero and a villain is a large battle between a hero and a villain, right? You've seen it before, you'll see it again. It's important what this means to the story. Again, it is there as a device, and the melee might feel like a jump at the time, but it gives weight to the principle cast member later. His strength is undoubted.

    Zircher's pencils are detailed enough, in that there's appreciable amounts of background business, which gets dialled back for the reaction shots. In other words another standard method utilised well. Speaking of which the character design is fantastic, and PZ has a great handle on the human form. These, and other elements of the storytelling are definably helped by the panelling. Again, this isn't some magical Mack masterpiece, but it's slightly different to the norm, with a simple and effective style. If I'm sounding over analytical I apologise, but I really think that on debuts you have some boxes to tick, and sometimes the easiest way to achieve that is through thinking laterally and logically. But anyone who doubt's Patrick Zircher's might should really just check out his Brubaker work, which you probably already own.

    The overall art style I'd probably put it up against would be Esquejo & Oback's in Mind The Gap over at image. There's obviously *way* more going on here, but I think the similarity is the colours and shading. Brian Reber's work there showing some distinction between (despite being similar throughout) the more horrific and more normal scenes. Perhaps it's the combination of his style with Zircher's. It does feel very accessible, though.

    So, I like Shadowman #1 a lot. It doesn't remind me of anything much, and this is a good thing. It's fresh, slightly dark and new.

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    You could just have said that Zircher is a great and sadly underappreciated artist.
    In fact his work with Brubaker isn't among his best. Cable/ Deadpool, Terror Inc. and the Thor Oneshots he did with Matt Fraction are all better and each has his own style. Which is also one of Zircher's strengths, he is able to pencil/ work in very distinct different styles.

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    I love shadowman =} I didnt take notice it was domiant black cast, just it was a great comic to read! Issue 2 should be fun

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    Oh my God!! Black people... RUN!!!!

    StarCruncher likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by botc76 View Post
    You could just have said that Zircher is a great and sadly underappreciated artist. .
    ...Why? Are you adverse to commentary longer than a one-line snark?

    Kids, learn to *read*. Large amounts of content is *good* for the brain.

    [shakes head in utter dismay]
    Mad_Man_Moon and fredmanson like this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by devious1 View Post
    Oh my God!! Black people... RUN!!!!
    "Ahhhhh! *****s! Help! Save Me!" - Quote from a fumetti on high school driver's ed films, and why you should always buckle your safety belts in unsafe neighborhoods. From an issue of National Lampoon, circa 1975 or therabouts.

    Side note: I've done inquiries and RFIs over the past half-decade that the pirate scanners have been in business, and *none* of them have scans of anything National Lampoon published save for the 1964 High School Yearbook. Then again, I'll Mea Culprit to only having retained that particular publication myself, mostly due to its link to a certain truthful and highly accurate documentary into college life in the 1960s. Go figger, eh?
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    Quote Originally Posted by _OM_ View Post
    ...Why? Are you adverse to commentary longer than a one-line snark?

    Kids, learn to *read*. Large amounts of content is *good* for the brain.

    [shakes head in utter dismay]

    That's kind of a harsh conclusion to reach by my remark. I'm neither a kid nor do I have any problems with more detailed and in depth commentary. I just happen to like snarky one-liners.
    You old fart.
    Mad_Man_Moon and _OM_ like this.

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    I am still waiting for the first ish. It's so hard to receive your comic books once a month after their releases...

    Valiant!! Valiant!! Valiant!!
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    R.I.P. Toena (2001-2013)

    Trade waiting: BPRD, Hellboy, Abe, Baltimore, Witchfinder, IMAGE COMICS and VERTIGO titles
    Singles: Marvel books, Batman-books, Superman-books, Grayson, New Teen Titans, New Suicide Squad, DC weeklies, Dynamite's Gold Keys

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    Always a first time to interact.
    I know I shouldn't but I thought 'why not?'

    Quote Originally Posted by botc76 View Post
    You could just have said that Zircher is a great and sadly underappreciated artist.
    In fact his work with Brubaker isn't among his best. Cable/ Deadpool, Terror Inc. and the Thor Oneshots he did with Matt Fraction are all better and each has his own style. Which is also one of Zircher's strengths, he is able to pencil/ work in very distinct different styles.
    Hi, yeah, I know, and you're right, I definitely could, but I want to try to dissect why or how I like something.
    I need to be told, though, if that's not coming across (love or disdain for a given book).

    And, yeah, those Thors are brilliant, too. Much love there.

    I love me a variable talent. IMMONEN!



    Quote Originally Posted by Cavemold View Post
    I love shadowman =} I didnt take notice it was domiant black cast, just it was a great comic to read! Issue 2 should be fun
    Oh, yeah, I thought it needed to be noted, that's all. In a good way.
    Mad_Man_Moon and fredmanson like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EliotCole View Post
    Always a first time to interact.
    I know I shouldn't but I thought 'why not?'

    Hi, yeah, I know, and you're right, I definitely could, but I want to try to dissect why or how I like something.
    I need to be told, though, if that's not coming across (love or disdain for a given book).

    And, yeah, those Thors are brilliant, too. Much love there.

    I love me a variable talent. IMMONEN!

    Oh, yeah, I thought it needed to be noted, that's all. In a good way.
    Nah, I thought your analysis was very interesting, just wanted to make a snappy remark. And who doesn't like a variable talent? Yeah, Immonen indeed. (As in Kathryn Immonen is a very variable writer... ).

    As for dominant black cast or not, I tend to not "see" the skin tones of the cast, as long as the book is entertaining, but that's not saying it isn't worthy to notice.
    EliotCole likes this.

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