REVIEW: 321 Fast Comics Vol. II

Creator: Felipe Cagno
Creative Team: Estevão Ribeiro / Pietro Proggetti / Luis Henrique Garavello / Pedro Sampaio / Marcelo Maiolo / Carlos Estefan / Raphael Fernandes / Daniel Esteves
Alex Mir / Renato Almeida / Gustavo Borges / Ben Shiffin / Sean Rowe / Paco Steinberg / Jason Wong

As a concept, I have to say 321 Fast Comics is pretty ambitious.

3 Pages

2 Characters

1 Twist

The fact that there are a total of 31 stories adds to the grand idea.  With so many stories, there are litany of creators, some like Renato Martins Zacaris and Isaac Tiago for example, handle both the writing and art duties where other stories feature the traditional writer/artist/inker etc. combination.

With so many involved, the quality widely differs; never more so true than with the different genres that are on show, some of which are fully realized in the allotted page count, whereas others seem like half thought-out ideas or a conclusion without the start and the middle bit. With so little wiggle room, the reader has to just accept the images and scripts as they are, without having the comfort of the backstory.  In some cases it works; I love Golden Circle by Isaac Tiago mainly because it feels like a slice of life;  but Redemption by Eduardo Cunha who appears to be going for the shock type of vibe, needs that backstory.

Having only two characters to work with is a bit a fallacy, to some extent.  Which is to say, that while a story such as Collateral Damage written by Felipe Cagno with art by Eduardo Pansica has two clearly defined characters, it still needs a third-party to act as the catalyst. This arrangement varies throughout the stories, allowing for different methods of storytelling.

Finally, the twist.  At times, this is actually a punchline, see Point of View by Renato Martins Zacaris as an example.  When the writers try to inject the horror shock element, for the most part it falls a little flat.  This may have something to do with readers being harder to shock, thanks to movies like Saw and TV shows like American Horror.  Or, it might be that three pages isn’t enough for the reader to invest in the characters, therefore diluting the impact of their individual fates.

The measure of the book’s success, I  think, lies in it ability to showcase creators.  The 321 focus, whilst in of itself may be constrictive, seems like a good idea with which to try to force that creative spark to light.  As such, as a means to that end, the book does work, across various genres.

Check out their Kickstarter, only a few days remain!

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