Fieldy Snuts takes a look at The Rinse #1, a brand new crime comic from Gary Phillips! And it's only a dollar!
Credits & Solicit Info:
The Rinse #1
Written by Gary Phillips
Artwork by Marc Laming
For a solid crime story, I can always count on Gary Phillips (Angeltown, Cowboys, High Rollers) to deliver, and this series, even from the first issue, is no exception. With all the fuss regarding the (in)famous DCnU (not a) reboot, this book had slipped under my radar til it was offered to me by the guy that runs my LCS. Thank you!
Without even going into the issue itself, here's the biggest selling point if you're not familiar with Phillips' work: the price for #1 is $1. Pretty reasonable price to take sample a reliable writer.
The Rinse #1 takes us into a part of the world of crime rarely seen in any fictional media: money laundering. Other than Breaking Bad I really can't think of an example where it's used as a story point, so this was intriguing to say the least. Enter the main character of the series, Jeff Sinclair, the best money launderer in modern day San Fransisco.
We open with a look at Sinclair's everyday life and a brief overview of the mechanics of money laundering, though not in a manner that would give the average reader an instant checklist on how to launder their money out of the reach of that damn tax man! Throughout all of this we get a feel for the character's lifestyle, what makes him tick, and some characters are introduced that may or may not become more prominent later on. In a nutshell, Jeff's persona is confident, suave, sophisticated, likeable and, like any master criminal, extremely paranoid and security conscious. And a big baseball fan to boot.
Characterisation is one of Gary Phillip's biggest strengths, and the first half of this issue does a hell of a job of building up the character of Jeff Sinclair from scratch into a character I could understand. If the character doesn't manage to click right for me, then it would take a hell of a good story to keep me stuck on a new series. It just so happens that The Rinse also has a promising story in it's early stages to boot. A man approaches Jeff requesting help laundering a fortune stolen from a dangerous Las Vegas casino boss, a proposition which epitomizes the expression "high risk, high reward" in every sense. Also thrown into the mix is a mysterious woman who could very well end up being the first strike in his otherwise perfect game.
On the art front, the book is illustrated by Marc Laming, perhaps best known for his work on Howard Chaykin's American Century. While I confess to not having seen many examples of his art, his work on The Rinse shows why he is a perfect fit for the book with his old-school crime comic style. Phillips' writing and Laming's art are a great combination here.
So in summary, The Rinse is a book that is well worth the dollar Boom is charging, definitely a bargain. With Phillips' rich characterisation, Laming's fitting artwork and the seeds of a solid gritty modern crime story planted, I can only ask myself one thing: Will #2 deliver on the promise that #1 has given us? Time will tell but until then, #1 is worth a look for any crime fiction fan... especially with that cover price.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Review by: fieldy snuts