Sunday, March 8, 2009

Dirty Mile Zuda Review/ I hope all those kids get ran over by a tank

The Dirty Mile is a comic by Jason Smith III fighting it out at Zuda this month.
Here's the Synopsis: Concrete ecology. Post-Collapse. That sliver of city along the river called the Dirty Mile. What looks like a strip of empty brownstones is really home to a community of children. One of those kids, Martine, heads their ad hoc line of defense, the Angels. While Marine is busy fighting off attacks from thieves, predators and outcasts like former Angels Melvin and Tookey, Mayor Cruz has her eyes on the Mile. She's seeking re-election, and Housing Director Robert Hausman's going to give it to her with a massive urban renewal project. They're going to raise Phoenix Lane from the ashes of the Dirty Mile, even if he has to burn the place down himself to do it. But even if the citizens have forgotten those kids, the city hasn't. And they've been learning some damn hard lessons.

It looks like you have a bunch of kid rebels fighting amongst themselves and of course against 'The Man' in the form of Mayor Cruz. It reminds me of DMZ, Freak Angels, and maybe a little of Gulch in these first 8 screens. The letters are fantastic I really enjoyed them. The art really fits the story well, their can be no real complaints about it. The colors have the faded look I associate with Lynn Varney before DK 2. So far it's 4/5 stars and a fav.

Some nifty examples from the comic that show you what I mean:

Screen 1 Panel 1: We open on an establishing shot (OMFG!!!!) -I like establishing shots because they help a reader figure out right away where the story is. It always helps if your first panel is well designed, establishes a good pattern to follow.

The dialogue we get to follow between Karen and Hausman in these first few screens is very well done, great job on that part of the writing.

Screen 2 Panel 5 Love the letters here with the 'Bang' sound effect, and the coloring job. White is the color that most pops out at you in comics, so just a well put together panel and screen.

Let's talk about Martine and company, and how the story is going to be set up in the future if it wins, or lives on elsewhere. Gulch and DMZ do a great job of leaving the question of who are the good guys open to interpretation. If the story goes the angels with dirty faces poor wittle heroes route, that would be predictable and not much of a thrill to read. If it's more of a mystery, (or even better for a twist the mayor is the hero) who to root for that would grab me as a reader. The fact they have other lord of the files wanna-be's who have turned on them is a very nice story element. It is a credit to the writing all of these various forces are intro'ed in the 8 screen limit so well.

The color scheme is more or less impressionistic which suites the comic so well especially on screens 3 and 4. From screen 5 one of the kid's is named 'Spanky' Little rascals -meet- the little radicals. I enjoyed the rainbow hues on screen 5, and I really enjoyed the last panel on this screen. top notch screen composition throughout. Screen 6 set's up the Tookey side of the equation and shows the great pace of this comic.

Screen 7 shows us the Mayor, and screen 8 gives us a nice little cliff hanger denouncement. "We only have the boxes we live in, and die in" My questions about who the author intends the heroes to be aside, we get a lot of action in these 8 screens, Everything is very well done most esp. the pace of the story -it fit's the 8 screens allowed like a glove. If only I could know some of these wild boys brats would meet their fate....


4/5 stars and a favorite it should be ranked better than it's current 8th place.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. This was one of my favorites this month also and thought it should be higher on the list. Would have been my pick if I wasn't a competitor.