ONI Press 2018
Written by Dylan Meconis & Ben Coleman
Illustrated by EA Denich
Coloured by M. Victoria Robado
Lettered by Aditya Bidikar
Five years ago, a cataclysmic event obliterated everything within a fifty mile radius of the Los Spinoza Convention Centre—including the attendees of Long Con, the world’s biggest (and longest) comic convention. But unknown to the outside world, the con-goers not only survived, they kept the convention going. When proof of their survival surfaces, reporter Victor Lai is sent to investigate—after all, he was covering the con that fateful day and escaped mere minutes before everything went kablooie… abandoning his nerdy pal Dez in the process. So clearly he’s the perfect person for the job, and he won’t get trapped inside like some kinda idiot. Right?
First thing I thought of when I finished reading this was Fanboy vs. Zombies and by no means is that meant as a slight. I loved that little series, I thought it was fun, interesting, well done and just made me excited for every issue that came out. That being said this takes a different approach and I cannot wait to find out what the Event was that occurred and see what it was, who claimed responsibility for it. I mean if you are going to do a terrorist style hit on the U.S. a huge comic book convention isn’t an unlikely place to do it after all there are a few whose record attendance would be a viable target.
I like the way that the book is structured. It would be easy to start at the moment of the Event and move forward so by putting into the story five years later and basically throwing us into the deep end is what I feel as the right thing to do. This allows for exploration of the past and how it ties into the present and as we’ll see of the campfire tales starting next issue that illuminate the past. The opening is fantastic and it involves both humour and a sense of foreboding in that this is definitely a shoot first ask questions later and there are plenty of monsters roaming the area. It does make me want to see more of what’s out there hiding if they can say something about baby hands.
One of the aspects that I found enjoyable here and of course have been the standard take away from pop culture history is the play on Star Trek. The lobster style creature with the face sticking out showing how bad the costumes were and such just make you smile. The best of the best have stolen from it and it’s truly the gift that keeps on giving. This is what is being shown when Victor’s boss tells him he has to go back to the Con, which is where the dude in the lobster man costume who got shot up on the opening is from. Doesn’t matter that he was there and somehow managed to escape when it all went down but now he has to go back???
The interiors here are bit less detailed than I like. I usually go for the clean, crisp and myriad of use linework but I will admit that what we see works really well for the story. It feels like a cross between a Sunday strip and something meant to be satire so there is something to sink you teeth into. The utilisation of page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective show a very nice eye for storytelling. I love when backgrounds are utilised effectively and I have to say they really here. I like how they expand the story and show us the scope of the world or at the very least he convention centre.
While maybe not post-apocalyptic in it’s truest sense something happened that rendered the area around the convention inhabitable and now we have a chance to see how and why there are survivors who have been having a con experience that lasts five years! Though c’mon crappy con food and comic books I could do that! Fun, witty, sarcastic and inventive I look forward to seeing where this is going next!