Fan The Flame 2018
Written by Jason M. Burns
Illustrated by Fernando Peniche
Coloured by Dustin Evans
Lettered by Nick Deschenes
There's an interesting story as to how I came by this book. At C2E2 this year one of the pro's had someone offer it to him, he in turn told him about me and said he'd get em to me. I love that folks think of me so nicely to do that. So here we are with a book from Neymar Jr. the soccer player in which he stars as Junior a young man who comes home to find the old neighbourhood in really bad shape.
I have to say that I was really impressed with this book. The way it's told, the premise that we see with Junior and how this whole thing kicks off is really extremely well done. Part of me wondered what kind of comics would come from a footballer, even of the best there is. It came like a little ego to me but this erases all trace of doubt in mind that it's something other than a damn good story with some amazing interior artwork. This grabbed my attention straight away and kept it through the last page. It has been a long time since a complete unknown quantity like this has come into my life that has the potential to become a bona fide industry hit.
I like the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented beautifully. There is a very specific way that the events lead into one another and it has a nice fluidity to them. Time passes and it's believable to have things go the way they do so it doesn't arbitrary. The character development is fabulous to see. While the focus is naturally on Junior we also get a nice sense of who Mariana is and then of course my favourite, Janitor and Tattoo Artist, soothsayer too if you read this and wanna add that in, Tacitus. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the twists and turns along the way as it works with everything else to create the books overall ebb & flow.
I am pretty darn impressed with the interiors that we see throughout as well. I will say thing however, Backgrounds, Backgrounds, Backgrounds. They are so important to the story, to how we see things happen, to help us feel what the characters do. It didn't feel like Junior was in a hospital, it didn't feel like enclosed space and neither did a lot of heading into that studio. When we do see them they are beautifully integrated into the story and I want to see more of that. The linework is superb and how the varying weights are being utilised to bring us this attention to detail is marvellous, I mean just looking at the faces shows you such talent. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show this strong and talented eye for storytelling. The colour work is gorgeous! There is some really nice utilisation of the hues and tones within colours to create the shading, highlights and shadow work. The neon pops like there's no tomorrow, also that Dobermann is beautifully rendered.
This has me excited. I want to see what comes next, I want to read the entire run in order to see how this keeps playing out. There is something completely and utterly fresh and new about this that captures the readers' mind, attention and imagination. This is pretty darn unique and if you catch a moment or two that makes you think, then add the engagement factor in as well. This is really nicely done and I want more.