451 Media 2015
Created by George Pelecanos
Written by Andi Ewington
Illustrated by Mack Chater
Coloured by Dee Dunniffee
Lettered Jim Campbell
They should have known their caskets weren't the only things that would not stay buried. With the truth about Sarah and McQuade’s romantic past slowly coming to light, we now have a whole ‘nother set of explosives added to what was already a powder-keg of a situation. The coffee bean farm that Sarah and her son, Shaun, call home will soon be under siege by a ruthless Mexican drug cartel. The defenses are laid and the whole community is ready to take up arms in the showdown, however the problem with this particular powder-keg is that everyone is holding an entire box of lit matches, and no one seems afraid to get burned….
Okay so yes George who created this is an acclaimed novelist and writer/producer of The Wire is the creator of this but it’s Andi who is bringing it to life. There’s this real sense of action and danger in this series that a television drama has combined with that whole military-esque outcasts that really draws the reader in. The characterization and pacing of the story has been exceptional. We’ve seen a few series like this in the past but none have had the electricity this one has.
Aside from the interpersonal drama the characterization has been stellar. This team has had to face war in the harshest conditions and has left them with their own inner demons that need to be overcome. This kind of writing/characterization in the midst of trying to protect these innocents from a ruthless drug cartel is what makes this standout from the crowd. You can feel this is just the beginning of what’s possible with this team. That they found a cache, faked their deaths and are essentially ghosts only serves to heighten their anonymity and potential for discovery when in situations like this.
There’s a stark honesty to what we get here through the dialogue. A harshness and a brutality to what we see that pulls on the gut strings.
Mack’s linework on the interiors here has been beyond impressive. There is as much emotion coming from his work as there is from the writing. His attention to detail in the lines of the faces makes it hard to look away. The violence is all too real and not so much gore as it realistically portrayed. The flow through the pages and panels feels like expert storyboarding. There’s the right use of backgrounds here to highlight moments we need to see and pay attention to.
There are so many choices on the stands today with a wider range of diverse offerings. This one and 451 Media in general bring this more gritty, realistic and drama filled stories than the others. Look at the these smaller companies as an opportunity to find some truly great moments that rival some of the best dramas on cable.