Alterna Comics 2018
By Bernie Gonzalez
Lettered by Wes Locher
Follow the strange adventures of detective Zeke King as he goes from case to horrifying case. In this issue: King's latest case goes from freaky to fatal when he's hired to find the lost son of a deceased horror host!
I am not sure how I first became aware of this book but right from the get go I was intrigued enough to ask my retailer to order it for me. While I may not like nor wish to support the owner of this company I have to say the talent that is putting out books through Alterna is amazing! This issue blew me away and I really liked how well Bernie tells the story. You become invested in the story pretty much right away and the opening is brilliantly done. It is important to have this kind of opening when it’s the first issue of a series ever since it is what people will see and then decide if they want to keep going.
The narration comes in the form of dialogue as Zeke is making a reel tape recording of his latest case i haven't seen this done before and it adds this certain flair that you can't stop thinking about. There is something about the way he talks and the words that are being used here that grab the imagination and create this wonderful curiosity that keeps the reader moving forward. I thought it was brilliantly done and how it leads into the story is extremely nice to see. This is a recanting of events that have happened until we get towards the end then things take a different turn of events.
The way that this book is structured is so incredibly well done. The ebb & flow of the book is great and we’re lulled into this false sense of security that Zeke’s job as a Detective, or Private Investigator, is just somewhat mundane even. Almost like Bernie is establishing Zeke, showing us his skills, talents and what makes him tick. We are introduced to a few of his associates and we get hints here and there about why he uses the tapes as well as getting to see his thought process. I have to say all this is so well done as I feel as if I am getting to know him on a personal level. The connection that we get to Zeke is unexpected and utterly delightful.
The interiors here are just as wonderful as the writing. The fact that everything we see and read here is done by one man is mighty impressive. There is this almost animated feel to what we see with the shapes of the heads and the jaw lines, almost like Batman the Animated Series. There is such confidence in the linework which exudes through the characters beautifully. The way that backgrounds are being utilised thrills me to no end and how detailed they are so they expand the moment and even the size and scope of the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off a strong strong eye for storytelling.
This is one of the strongest, most interesting and unexpectedly delightful introductions to a series. The writing here is mesmerising and the characterisation is excellent as is the pacing and the way that information is uncovered and revealed. The journey we’re being taken on here almost has familiar edge to it and while the client is looking for lost relative of a deceased man it’s what he did when he was alive that we can connect with. Personally growing up I loved watching television late at night or on PBS when all the cheesy “B-movies” horror classics were shown and here within these pages Bernie captures that mood, tone and feel of that in a way I couldn’t have anticipated.
This is utterly bloody effin brilliant.