Written by Brian Buccellato, Art by Toni Infante, Published by Image Comics
If there’s one thing every publisher needs to learn, your first page should always be a recap!
Sons of the Devil seems to be a contemporary murder mystery set in California. This issue starts with some kind of cult in 1989 and finishes in 2015 with our lead protagonist Travis being investigated for a murder I assume happened in the first issue, I wouldn’t know.
Despite the lack of catch up, the issue itself was easy to follow and interesting enough in that dry western way that makes you want a Jack Daniels and sit by a motel pool in short sleeved shirt and flip flops.
Clever composition coupled with good use of perspective and a clean but carefree line style by Toni Infante keep the reader invested in some of the dryer patches of the story. It’s never boring but it’s a comic that’s letting you get to know the characters so those with ADD may wish to jangle some keys through a couple of pages. Colour is used for setting mood rather than realism so you get some nifty uses of it throughout the comic. Like page 17, five cool and calm landscape panels in minty greens and blues followed by the fifth with a sudden burst of rustic reds as Travis reacts to the voice of a character, something we obviously can’t hear. It’s good stuff.
You know when the dialogue is strong when you can hear an actors voice in your head when you’re reading it, so I hope this doesn’t go to TV because they couldn’t afford Clint Eastwood in the role of the therapist/villain of the comic. Brian Buccellato is all about the dialogue here, there are two unboxed captions to tell you the place and year and that’s it, oh and a few sound effects. It’s good dialogue to, establishing character and mood in all the right places and really making you invest in the characters.
Something I always love in a comic is when the writer and artist know when to let the other do his thing. A pregnant pause here, a knowing look there, the odd murder to finish off, it’s a perfect blend of words and pictures, there’s a real sense of collaboration and it’s a great example of the medium as a story telling device.
This isn’t a comic I’d have picked up, I prefer my escapism a little fluffier but it’s good to broaden your horizons now and again and there’s a real chance I’ll pick this up because I quite liked Travis and I want to see the bad guy get his.
Now if only Image could learn to recap.