It's a non-Big Two book this week, will those hipsters in the Review Group lap it up?
The Review Group is a collection of posters who get together and review a new comic each week. Our threads can be found in The Outhouse's News Stand forum and is open for anyone and everyone to participate.
Dieses woche, wir haben All-Nighter #1. Das ist sehr gut!
The main character is obviously at this point a bit of a cypher. I appreciated the efforts to flesh out her character, and you get a bit of a sense of what she's about. The other characters obviously weren't that interesting yet, but it's a first issue what can you do. The art was very nice, I thought it flowed very well, and even though I read it on a screen I liked it.
My two big problems:
The first problem is the tacked on mystery element of the plot. She killed her mother, I get that, but it comes across as cumbersome when she is talking about it. I get it has to be forced in sort of to create a bit of mystery, but it's really not that interesting as of right now.
The second is to do with some of the dialogue. Whilst most of the time it is fine if a little bland (honestly it's hard to tell in one issue) there's a few lines that stand out. "Dwane is like a bad penny you always find in your pocket" a poor metaphor which managed to sound very new yet cliched at the same time.
Also who is that blonde girl?
Overall, y'know one of the better comics I've read recently (really not saying much). It did everything it needed to in a serviceable way, and it didn't need to resort to a fight scene or hitting me with anything over the head. The characters are a bit on the thin side so far, but EVERY character will be a bit on the thin side after an opening issue.
I'm in a very good mood. This get 7.5 out of 10
Meh meh meh. I'm not a teenage girl so this didn't appeal to me in the least.
Nice art, but the writing ain't my thing. Since the rules are in place, the rest will just be filler. I don't care what happens to Kat or her on/ off boyfriend. They're "flawed", but they're not interesting. At least, the story's world makes sense.
5.5* out of 10*
All Nighter #1 is a sharply written book that introduces us to one of the most complex protagonists in comics -- a quirky, short-haired femme fatale who's homicidal and self-possessed and yet sweet and instantly likeable.
The book focuses on Kit, an art student by day and a lookout by night for her thieving ex-boyfriend. She's an odd character in a crime book that reads more like a teenage romance comic than a pulpy noir. She isn't particularly tough and by no means does she revel in her criminality. On the contrary, she's filled with guilt for the misdeeds she commits -- especially the small lies that she tells her friends.
Yet, there is a psychopathic nonchalance to her. She explains in the opening pages, for example, that breaking up with her criminal boyfriend was nearly as difficult as killing her mother. Kit should be repellant to us as soon as she makes this disturbing comparison and equally disturbing confession. But she has enough charm and easygoing humor to make us forget that she's probably a lunatic.
All Nighter also introduces a strong supporting cast, and promises to develop intriguing tension between Kit's friends, family, and roommates. Each of these characters -- from Kit's best friend to her brother -- are made instantly recognizable and three-dimensional. Writer-artist David Hahn is an efficient storyteller, managing to provide a clear sense of each supporting character in just a few panels.
The black-and-white art in All Nighter is straightforward, yet gorgeously detailed. Because it is a character-driven book, the character designs need to be lively and the illustrations exceedingly consistent. And Hahn accomplishes both. This is a book with a strong, unique look.
All Nighter #1 is an excellent read. This series promises to be one of the best, most original comics of 2011.
It was alright, nothing special but nothing as bad as we've read lately.
I'll admit that All Nighter #1 is a well written comic. All of the characters' motivations are clear and they seem like real people. Kit is a bit of an idiot, but she's a realistic seeming idiot. The plot also makes sense. Having said that, I can't say I actually enjoyed it. I'm sure that there are people out there who did enjoy it, and hey cool, I have no problem with that. In the end, it just isn't my thing.
I guess I'll give it a 6 out of 10 strictly because I can't give something that clearly isn't bad a mark below 5 simply because its not my cup of tea.
The main flaw in this issue for me is the main character. There's nothing to make her exceptional from any other garden-variety criminal, or indeed at all like-able in her narcissistic rationalizations for her stealing, lying to friends, and generally being useless or detrimental to the world around her and the people in it. Yeah, you're so punk rock, baby...
She's an artist, we're told, but there are no signs of her having artistic sensibilities or any artistic output, unless you count her fashion-sense (and I don't). In fact, although Dwayne tries to tempt her with the art supplies she'll be able to buy after their big score, all Kit thinks about are the new boots or jeans she could get with her ill-gotten gains. The publicity for this book mentions her transition to an adult--all I see in the first issue is a whiny narcissistic scumbag, so that's gonna have to be quite the transition upcoming for me to muster anything but scorn for a person who mooches from her "best friend" but feels comfortable lying to their face (with the trite so-called "truths" to bookend the lies, of course).
I understand the diner is supposed to be a center of activity in the book, but really, blabbing and exclaiming about one's plans for a burglary in a place like that is pretty dumb, then again so is going through the loot while sitting on the hood of your getaway car, or stopping to make a submarine sandwich during a home invasion. The only satisfying conclusion to this comic for me would have been the main characters getting shot by cops or the resident of the home while in the process of so ineptly pulling the caper.
As it is, I feel as apathetic toward The All Nighter as the main character does about her own life and actions.
I thought it was a fairly standard affair, with sprinkled bits of intrigue thrown in. Kit is only interesting when referencing her dead mother. Without the mystery, I wouldn't have cared for this much at all. I don't think the lead is very likable, but not because she killed her mom. (I'm willing to bet it's more like what AMS says) She's a typical teen or young 20 something person who is indecisive and hypocritical. I get enough of that from my friends in real life.
The dialog walks a very thin line of being clever on one end and overly cliche and cutesy on the other side. The penny line, the two truths with a lie, etc etc.
I dug the art, reminds me of a slightly more fancy Scott Pilgrim, which is fine
That's kinda how I would describe this, Scott Pilgrim, but without most of the fun. I did appreciate it being free.
My only regret with this comic is that my LCS didn't have any copies. Therefore I had to do my review by reading it online.
I really enjoyed the art. Nice, crisp lines, and solid storytelling. Kat is a "real" character in that I can easily see her as a real world person.
I liked the story, and I will be reading more when it becomes available. That in itself garners a good mark in my book.
I liked All Nighter #1 enough. It's a bit clunky in its storytelling, but it has a compelling hook and the relationships seem well-thought out. It's grounded in a particular sense of place and of mind and it works well as a character piece. I really liked Kat's troublesome relationship with her ex-boyfriend, as its complexity felt very true. It's really not difficult at all to see how a life like Kat's can turn out the way it has. It feels very universal. There are some narrative hiccups, and some of the writing doesn't quite do what it's trying to do, but it's a good, lived-in world and it's interesting enough to read about. It won't blow anyone away, but All Nighter #1 scratches a particular itch and works as a slice-of-life relationship drama. Also, this is probably David Hahn's best artistic work yet (despite some problems with faces).
If there was ever a failed business venture that could be described as well meaning, with unsatisfactory execution, it would have to be the Minx line that DC Comics took a chance on. Put succinctly, the Minx line was DC's noble attempt to break into the young adult female, which ended up failing mainly due to market not being there to justify its existence fast enough. The biggest tragedy from those events would be the brilliant pieces of work that would languish in obscurity, or never get released at all. Fortunately, some of Minx's creations have been able to find new homes where they'll get a second chance to be discovered. One of these titles is the recently finished "All Nighter" story, which finally found a home at Image Comics. Does this title have the potential to recreate the same magic that the "New York ____" Series? The answer is just below you.
Writing and Story
One of the things that impressed me about the "New York ___" Series as a whole is the amazing character work that each of the main characters had received by the time the story came to its end. The amazingly fleshed out, fully 3-dimensional characters were all so compelling that you hung on every scene they starred in, and it looks like "All Nighter" may recreate the same magic that Brian Wood had with Riley and her friends.
All Nighter #1 introduces us to Kit Bradley, a character who you could see wants to be a better person, but is struggling to make the necessary steps to make it happen. Within the 32 Pages of Story, we learn that Kit not only suffers from a guilt complex a mile wide, which stunts her growth as a person due to the fact that she can't let go of one of the main things that holds her back from doing better, but that her own moral system probably does just as much if not more damage to her. Despite those shortcomings, however, Kit has an aura around her that makes her instantly likable, something that I contribute to the fact that like any 20/30-something, she's going through the same journey of her own views on life changing, as she begins to have doubts about her own "carefully crafted" belief system. When it all comes together, you get a character that's extremely interesting, along with a story that while not perfect is definitely worth following.
Where is it not perfect, you might ask? Well, the biggest issue this story has is during the final quarter of the proceedings. While the first 75% works very well, the final 25% (except for the moment with Kit and her best friend Sally-O) feels like it was thrown together to make this story not seem too focused on the central character. What this results in is a scene that feels too out of the blue to be a natural cliffhanger and another scene that features Kit's future roommate, but seems like it won't matter in the grand scheme of things, possibly making it a complete waste of space in the long run. Another lesser flaw is some of the dialogue (especially in the narration) feels quite unnatural, which makes the reader take pause about what they're reading. Despite those two negatives, one of the other good things about the story is how the relationships between the characters are portrayed, giving the book another layer of credibility and adding to the point that the writing is definitely well above average.
Taking nothing away from David Hahn's writing and story structuring skills, there's no question that David Hahn's best trait has to be his art. Taking advantage of not having to color his work, David Hahn uses the labor to give us some of the best scenery and art transitions I'm fortunate to have laid eyes on this year. The amount of care and effort that went into virtually every panel is a sight to behold as the art gives an extra layer of life to the characters and the world around them. Faces emote in such a way that they take the good dialogue sequences to the next level and the backgrounds around them feel like they have stories to tell of their own as well. If there's anything that can take away from work is that some of the faces may seem a bit off, but that does very little to take away from an art job that's as nearly as great as I've seen in 2011, making it Mr. Hahn an early contender for my artist of the year award.
When you get right down to it, this reviewer can't say that this work blew him away like The New York Five #1 did, but I can surely say that this work was definitely worth my time. All Nighter #1 was definitely a good enough start to make me want to pull the next issues in hopes of the story meeting the expectations that have been set out for it. If it does, then we're in for yet another winner from a fallen imprint.
Final Judgment: 8.25
A strange week I think, some people were driven to write quite long essays on this title, whilst for others it only inspired one or two sentences. Still, it was cool to have Review Group Founder Twigglet pop back in, we have him to thank for all of this, and for the fact that All-Nighter got 6.36 out of 10. Next week is THUNDER Agents #8, return of the Nick.
Written or Contributed by: Niam Suggitt