Image Comics 2016
Written by Joe Harris
Illustrated by Megan Hutchison
Coloured by Kelly Fitzpatrick
Lettered by Michael David Thomas
Jackie Mayer knows what’s actually hidden behind the music and what the backwards messages really say….but he’s not the only one listening.
Well music has always held a special place in the hearts and lives of so many people. Whether they are groupies following their favourite bands around or wanting to physically be with the band, yes in a sexual manner, the myths that surround them. With backward messages and secrets in the recordings there’s been a long fascination going on. What struck me about this issue is that Joe kind of manages to blend aspects of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods with Douglas Adams Dirk Gently to create this weird offbeat kind of detective story that features those rock legends who’ve sold their soul for fame and fortune.
His characterisation of Jackie here is both mysterious and solid in that he’s projected as this unstable kid who sees conspiracies where there aren’t any and at the same time we can see he believes everything so firmly that he cannot possibly be anything but logical and reasonable. It’s a strange dichotomy that shouldn’t work but Joe manages to seem like it’s the most natural thing in the world. All through the opening I was wondering what the heck this whole story was going to be about and he does this absolutely marvelous job in getting you interested, invested and captivated by what’s going on.
As this story unfolds we get to see the story about two girls who sneak out to go to a concert. With the hopes of getting in with the band or something along those lines. Joe manages to show off the mystique of appeal that holds and then what happens to the girls is up in the air. What we see though is a great look at what lengths some people will go to to get what they want and how easy it is get in over your head without the life experience to back you up when you are doing something.
Megan has a very unique style all her own here. The use of page layouts through angles and perspective are well done. That she’s not afraid of using those old Rock Posters as inspiration to bring her visions to life is wonderful to see. She’s able to really kind of infuse this mysteriousness to the characters so that you aren’t sure if it’s something sinister, supernatural or just that imagery seen through a teenage girl’s eye. With the colouring that Kelly does here you really have this wonderful view of this world.
As Jackie goes out to discover the truth of what he’s looking for he meets his unexpected partner in crime. The two very distinct personalities don’t seem like they’d fit very well together but as you’ll see they be one of those unlikely duo’s who set the stage for the new norm. That Joe also wastes no time in getting these two into the thick of things is wonderful as well. The pacing and structure of the story is unique and something that will envelope the mind and imagination.