Anti-Chris is set somewhere between stupid reality and some really messed up kids dream.
We meet our protagonist Chris being coldly palmed off to a shady looking home for the wayward. Run by Theresa she perfectly presents herself in the old style of Nanny common in the Victorian era and is not to be trusted. Chris meets the other kids and characters in the home that all share something in common, their apparent lack of grasp on reality. Or so it seems.
Anti-Chris dances between the grim reality of their situation and a dark fantasy world. Here werewolves, vampires and demons supposedly exist juxtaposed against kids who have hotdogs as best friends, kids with no parents, self-harm and a janitor who indulges in necrophilia (that reference is subtle but it is there).
But scratched amongst the heaviness are glimpses of dark humor. The driver of the bus on the second page looks strikingly similar to the man in the newspaper the passenger is reading and Theresa is just as preoccupied as delivering smooth one-liners as she is working for the Secret Satanic Society (yes they exist and they use spy cameras powered by the blood of virgins).
The art style captures the atmosphere very well, blending with the storylines subject matter. The “sketch” style of the comic with no colour and stark black and whites could look at home on the pages of a diary one of these orphans might keep. The paneling is interesting and doesn’t keep to a neatness allowing its jarring nature to further enforce the mood.
On the down side sometimes the dialogue doesn’t flow as smoothly between panels and there is some confusion about who is who but that might be put down to first issue mystery syndrome.
Anti-Chris has some very interesting highlights (I’d check page 11 if you want to see the comic encapsulated in one shot) and doesn’t shy away from it’s dark subject matter. What makes a good first issue of any comic is it potential and how it gets that across. Anti-Christ feels like it could build up to something exciting but with it’s subject matter has to stay away from clichés.
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