Story: Mark L. Miller
Pencils and Ink: Carlos Granda
Colors: El Comic En Linea Foundation
Letters: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Release Date: October 8, 2014
The word “circus” has a varied history. Most agree that our modern usage of the term is derived from a Greek root word that means something like “circle or “ring”. Whatever its etymology, contemporary understanding of the word usually falls somewhere between fun times, sweet fried foods and of course, clowns.
Well, Pirouette #1 by Mark L. Miller and Carlos Granda doesn’t address any of those things, really, except for the clowns. And that’s OK, because what it lacks in feel good funnies, this book makes up for in complexity and substance.
The first issue focuses on the titular character as she tries to come to grips with her lot in life. The opening pages are jarring images of Pirouette as she tries in vain to scrub off her clown make-up. The entire scene is a metaphor for the rest of our introduction to her dream deferred; that is, she sees herself as much more than just a clown.
Mark L. Miller’s storytelling is expansive and dark in that he is constructing a world full of mystery and deceit. The other characters in the book, though not fully realized yet, seem to have lives that go far beyond mere caricaturizations. These people, though entertainers by day, give off a distinctly wicked and jaded vibe.
As for the art, Granda’s work is crisp, bold and intricate. He excels at showing the full range of emotion that the characters experience, through not only movement, but facial expressions. The story is fairly personal, so we don’t really get to see much of the world that Pirouette lives in outside the tented prison that she calls home. Most of the panels focus on the interactions between a character or two, but despite that, Granda shows a subtle flair for background art as well.
This is only the first issue, but Miller does a great job of building anticipation for his readers, and you can’t ask for much more in a debut series. Will Pirouette live up to expectations? Only time will tell.
By Adam Cadmon