Aftershock Comics 2019
Created & Written by Ollie Masters
Created & Illustrated by Eoin Marron
Coloured by Jordie Bellaire
Lettered by Hassan Otssmane-Elhaou
In 1970s Los Angeles, Jonny is one of the thousands of musicians trying to make it big while working a crummy bar job, and getting drunk with his whiskey soaked P.I. friend, Jackie. When Jonny gets tangled up with a local mob hit-man, he not only finds a new and violent career, but maybe the inspiration for his music as well.
Okay well I will say this right off the bat the boys NAIL the vibe they are going for! This is the 70’s and with the tacky clothes coming in and the 60’s hippies going out, the world I was born into is changing and that’s represented here in ways that I wasn’t expecting are thrilled by seeing and this book on the whole is so much better than I could have hoped for. The opening is intriguing and with the sparse dialogue we learn nothing, NOTHING, about what’s going on and I got news for that works beautifully in their favour! I am intrigued, now I want to know more so boom I am in like Flynn baby.
I like Ollie’s work and while I haven’t read all of it I will say that Snow Blind and The Raid are exceptional reads and should this go like I think it will he can add this one right on up there with those. This all makings of a sensational crime drama and while it doesn’t match up with anything else I have seen it does have the era’s vibe and sensibility so this for me is an original and unique new offering in the genre. That this stands out because of the way the book is structured and how the overall ebb & flow of information, revelations and unexpected events are revealed to the reader.
Speaking of, the way we meet the characters here is extremely well done there is a natural element to the way it’s done so that while we need to meet them so the story can start it doesn’t feel like a set-up it just feels like another day in the life. So that Ollie really manages to make this feel like the world is just being depicted in these pages and not a story to entertain, if that makes any sense.
Eoin and Jordie do some fabulous work on the interiors here. First let me just say the linework that we see and how it’s utilised to really make the most of how we see this book is utterly amazing. That first page after the opening and the peek behind the bar that we see that panel sums up everything I love about comic interiors and it says hey this is what your going to get from us. So kids let’s try to keep the blank backgrounds to as minimum as humanly possible. The attention to detail is really quite wonderful and the whole deal with Jonny and that is just linework or a moustache is freakin awesome, as is the blonde hair with the dark everything else.
The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show off a great eye for storytelling. The colour work from Jordie is exceptional as always. There are time when we forget and that shirt that has the colours, including the green!, is a prime example of her extraordinary skills. As is the use of shading, shadows and light sources.
So there are a few different arcs of story happening all at the same time which honestly excites me. Not only am I interested in seeing how they all interconnect with one another, because we know they will at some point, as well as seeing just how Ollie plans to do that. It’s a skills game, almost a confidence game really, being a writer able to convince the reader of the authenticity of what’s being read, so I am on board and waiting to see where Ollie, Eoin, Jordie and Hassan are going to take us next