I wondered why no one was talking about Snapshot. I mean, no one besides us (and that was awhile ago). It’s because the Image series (which saw #2 get released this week) is a reprint of the story already told in Judge Dredd Magazine (or megazine or something. I don’t get britgeek speak). I guess I understand why the reader isn’t told that he’s reading already published material, Image probably enjoys it’s crazy resell market, it certainly does make the publishing house look like the belle of the ebay ball, so let the casual reader and speculator see DIGGLE & JOCK and pee a little bit in their pants (like Kevin Smith) and think “A hot book by hot creators!” I suppose you don’t want people to know that they can get your product elsewhere. It shouldn’t matter, not really, after all when I found out that Zaucer of Zillk was a reprint of a UK strip did it bum me out? Yes. Yes it did. Because I wanted that goddamn story to go on for 60 issues.
I picked up Snapshot #1, unbeknownst to me at the time the story’s already told origins. To be honest, I wasn’t crazy about it. It pushed one of my many narrative buttons, raised one of my many storytelling red flags, the “ungrateful fat slob loser with the girlfriend who’s out of his league” trope. Now sure, we don’t see much of the (thankfully) not-long-for-this-world Steve’s girlfriend but we do see that she is not an enormous fat piece of shit like Steve. I don’t care that he’s rocking a Zenith shirt (that would be the Grant Morrison story, not the comic by the guy who wrote the Elektra movie), he refers to his girlfriend as “girl-thing” and could not be more pissed off by having to help out with her protest march. This dude who looks like you would need a pair of cell phone cameras to snap a shot of him is complaining because the woman who gives this fat, spectacled douche with a goat-tee sex needs him to pick up markers or something. This dude and his entire existence pissed me off so much that even the aeration of his face with a gun failed to comfort me.
So I picked up issue 2 thinking “Well the fat piece of shit is dead, maybe the comic will improve.” And it kind of has. Kind of. It’s a story with a hook, not a hugely original hook, but a hook nonetheless. It’s one of those “guy finds a thing with evidence of a thing and now is unwittingly a part of an even bigger thing that threatens to something all the things and everyone he loves if he doesn’t do this other thing first”. You know the type. The first issue had one of those “but wait! who’s the dead guy if you’re over there!” twists that gave me the twinge of bigger, headier conspiracy shakes. Which I guess is what we find out this issue, but not in a heady, out there kind of way, more in a vague, 21st century, business espionage kind of way. Like as the plot unfolds it starts to resemble a subplot from a John Cusack movie that’s really about him finding true love but first he’s got to prove to the grizzled detective that he didn’t steal the reports or something.
Also there’s a scene with the protagonist on the roof of an apartment building, right at the beginning of the issue. The building houses the apartment with the bodies of thankfully dead Steve and the other dead fella, our hapless protagonist (just once I’d like a protagonist with some hap) gets marched to the roof by generic, gun toting psycho in a suit guy and is about to fall to his death when he…jumps off the building to another building or something. Seriously. Look over those pages and tell me how the heck Jake manages from Roof A to Roof B. We’re not given anything by way of an establishing shot to tell us the distance between roofs or buildings and suddenly Jake is doing his best Neo impersonation, complete with falling down a staircase at the end of his cross building jump. Or fall? Really difficult to tell with this sequence.
So sure, it’s Jock art which is great, but it’s in black and white which is not so great, and it’s Andy Diggle, which is great, but it’s a fairly uninspiring crime story that tries to tie into the cultural zeitgeist of corporate criminals. It feels like a lot of stories you’ve encountered before with not enough to really crow about beyond the impressive creator names on the credits. I’ll keep buying it though, because who knows, the next issue could be the one where something unexpected and crazy happens as opposed to the previous two which blow promising leads on predictable follow ups.
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