Catalyst Comix #1
Writer: Joe Casey
Artists: Dan McDaid, Ulises Farinas, Paul Maybury
Publisher: Dark Horse
The planet has been in danger many times in the comic-book universe, but Catalyst Comix puts a new spin on the world ending. This issue is told from three different viewpoints, each laid out to be a chapter of the story. This issue involves Frank Wells, Amazing Grace, and the Agents of Change; each character reveals an important part of the story and a key to the planet’s demise.
I have never read a comic quite like this and I loved it. It reminded me of the movie Vantage Point; Catalyst Comix did a great job of retelling the story through other characters without it becoming tiresome or boring. Each chapter of the comic had a brand new piece of the plot, which kept the issue fresh. Even though this issue was 27 pages, it didn’t feel prolonged. Each piece of the story was drawn by a different artist, but the issue as a whole felt cohesive and the style change didn’t interrupt the reading. Artistically, the first chapter was my favorite, Dan McDaid did a beautiful job of using positive and negative space, letting panels overlap and interact with one another.
The concept of this story is really appealing to me and I appreciate that the re-telling throughout the issue didn’t feel slow or repetitive. Joe Casey kept this story exciting and refreshing; I am looking forward to the story unraveling more in issue 2. I am giving Catalyst Comix 4 out of 5 Nerdskulls.
Satellite Sam #1
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Howard Chaykin
Lights, camera, action! Satellite Sam goes behind the scenes of a TV show, but when the main actor goes missing the station falls to chaos. Carlyle White, who is the actor behind Satellite Sam, is found dead and his son, Mikey, is left to sort through a mess of provocative photos and mysterious death. Set in 1951, Satellite Sam did a beautiful job of showing the glamour and horror of the Hollywood life.
I have this strange love for behind the scenes storylines and being able to see the film world from both sides of the camera; you don’t see it very often with plotlines and I appreciate that Matt Fraction decided to write the story in that fashion. The readability is compromised due to the stark black and white color pallet and pattern use. I don’t mind reading a black and white comic, but the intense patterns were slightly overbearing. Less is more in some cases; I could have done without the harsh lines and extreme textures.
I love what this series is doing and that it mimics the 50’s TV era. A mysterious murder case is always an exciting story and finding out who did it is the best part. I hope that the next issue is easier on the eyes, but I want to see what Carlyle’s son decides to do next. After Mikey finds the boxes of provocative photos, I am curious to see how Carlyle’s secret life turned on him. I am giving Satellite Sam 3 out of 5 Nerdskulls.