Written by Luke Anthony
on Friday, January 03 2014 and posted in Reviews
Lost souls get their hay day.
There are three things I love: crime noirs, magic/fantasy, and post-mortem stories. So I feel privileged & excited to review Curse of the Vessel, the new Kickstarter project by writer/creator Michael Leal, pencilist Mike Wilson, and colorist Michael McElveen. It’s a trifecta of Michaels. That can only lead to good things. I have to say, not everyone does their Kickstarter right, and this project is one of the few that does. The work is already done -- all it needs is the funding. With cool stretch goals and rewards galore, indie funders are creaming their pants.
Michael shot me an e-mail, you get to guess which one, which included the full mastered issue #1. I read through it at work and decided I had to read it again later to do it justice. The thing that I love about comics is the instant gratification you don’t get in books. The scene is already drawn in front of you, so that means I not only see it, but sometimes I can hear what’s happening (in my MIND, man). So reading it at home was great, because when I took the time to really get into it, there’s a lot of really great imagery that didn't sink in at first. Dynamic panels show how well these issues were thought out. I went back and looked, and I realized hardly any panels were static or boring. Each panel came from different angles, so every single page was pleasing to the eye and really just fun to run through. So what’s it about?
Vincent is the grease and (in part) the muscle for an unseen crime boss I believe to be named Eddie, though it’s unclear as of yet. When Vince messes with the wrong guy, he gets a bit of blowback. I say a bit, but what I mean is his whole life is completely altered permanently. Now forced to be the conduit to a slew of vengeful ghosts through a magic sigil tattooed on his chest, he often finds himself unwittingly in the aftermath of his possessor. He wakes up in strange places, not knowing how he got there. It’s like waking up in Vegas, but instead of a hangover, he has bullet holes in his shirt.
After we get past the first unfriendly ghost possessing Vincent, who only wanted to pay for his daughters surgery with gambling money, we begin to follow what seems to be a major character, Garrison King; a family man with a heart wrenching story. I won't go into the specifics, but there were feels. So many feels. Yay sadness! Such a great plot point when redemption is involved.
Pencilist Mike Wilson won a contest for Wizard Magazine a while back, you can tell why. Whether it was Wilson or Leal, or both, the dynamic panels and constant change of pace really kicked this issue into gear. The colors by Michael Mcelveen are very rich, you can see the preview pages on the Kickstarter page
. It feels more animated than it does like a comic book, which makes for an interesting feel. Overall, I’m very impressed with the artists all around.
There’s only a week left on this Kickstarter
project, so now is the time to jump on board! I’ll be interviewing Leal before it’s over, any questions you want to ask him, make sure to comment, and I’ll add it to the list!
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