Source Point Press/Comics Experience 2019
Written, Coloured & Lettered by Sean McArdle
Written by Jon Judy
Illustrated by Dexter Wee
The critically acclaimed, Eisner-nominated comic comes to print for the first time! Charlie Chaplin - comic, filmmaker, and raconteur - didn't become the world's biggest star by courting controversy, but when he comes face-to-face with the horrors of Hitler, he feels compelled to get off the sidelines and get involved. And then Charlie is approached by FDR himself with a special assignment. His mission, if he chooses to accept it: create a propaganda film to drum up public support for joining the war in Europe!
I really like the idea behind this. There is always something inherently interesting when you take something that happened and use that to create something else through pure imagination and chutzpah. Sometimes when something is removed as is WWII, by time of course, and from those who experienced first hand it can be easy to forget the hatred of a people such as the Jews. Sure we're seeing a resurgence thanks the current White House in America but as they say history is bound to repeat itself. So with a bit of levity, action and intrigue Sean manages to bring us the beginning of a tale that will be so much to many different people all of whom will get their own unique experience from it while sharing a much needed fun, silly and dramatic entertainment.
I am a huge fan of the way that this is being told. The story & plot development we see through how the sequence of events unfold and how the reader learns information is presented beautifully. The opening is spectacular and it is a snapshot of what we're going to see here, at least I am hoping that this is what we're going to see. It has that feel to it that I get from watching his films. Right away we see what the vibe of this is going to be and it is glorious. The character development is spectacular and the way that we get a sense of who they are off screen is more than I could have hoped for. The pacing is superb and the way it takes us through pages revealing the twists and turns along the way and works with everything else to create this fantastic ebb & flow.
I like the interiors here. The linework is phenomenal and how we see the varying weights being utilised to showcase the attention to detail is really something wondrous. The way that the characters are brought to life and how much they actually look like their real life counterparts but in a comic book style is extraordinary to see. I think this needs more backgrounds and more so when there isn't a visual aid for a gag or whatnot but to see the other viewers in the theatre would've been nice to add more atmosphere for what we see happening. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show this marvellous eye for storytelling. I am loving how we see the faces and facial expressions and how like in a his silent films they tell a story on their own. The colour work is really nice as well. I love the flesh tones that we see and how they can create musculature is sensational. The various hues and tones we see from within the colours to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is rendered beautifully. Though I am super sad that we didn't see his tallywacker because that would've been amazing.
There are some spectacular moments in this issue alone and if this what the rest of the series will continue this trend then we are in for one hell of a ride. This is the kind of storytelling that is first seen at a table at a convention and then word spreads, it wins awards and gets picked up for mainstream distribution and ya know what it deserves all the accolades. This is so incredibly well written with layers of story and unsaid potential as well as some superbly rendered visuals that further the experience and storytelling on it's own. You've got the time now so this HAS to find it's way into your reading.