Friday, June 8, 2018

No 1 with a Bullet TPB Collected Review

Pick of the Pops

Written by: Jacob Semahn
Art by: Jorge Corona
Colors: Jen Hickman
Publisher: Image Comics
Reviewed by: 6 June 2018

Once in a while a book comes along and earns a special little place in your heart. Over the last year, for me it has been the relatively unsung gem of a book that was No. 1 With A Bullet. A really insightful story that managed to catch the zeitgeist of 2017-18 perfectly. A story with characters which were compelling, a plot which gripped and art that really looked quirky, contemporary and stylish without looking too cutesy. Colors to die for as well. Let's take a deep dive into what made this so special.

Well I mentioned above about capturing the mood of the moment. This book was almost predicting current affairs it was so on the money. The central plot point rotated around the type of incident that occurred a few years ago when the i-cloud was hacked and celebrities of all stripes saw their private lives splashed all over the internet. This book though added to that situation in two important aspect.

Firstly, it did the deep dive into the power dynamic that some women find themselves in the creative entertainment industry. In doing so it pre-empted the Weinstein allegations and the resultant Me Too campaign. A very interesting and multi-layered area of contemporary life, this book got down to the fundamentals by setting the media arguments to one side and showing the simple, personal effect on Nash Huang. That central character finds herself the victim of a leaked sex tape recorded using a new advanced technology called the iRis shutter contact lens. The book then goes on to show the ramifications on Nash at a quiet personal level, rather than the stuff we normally see fought out in the media.

The other second area where this book pre-empted the news was in its message about social media, and the desire to switch off online identities. This element of the story was addressed directly in the issue that came out the very day of the Zuckerberg Senate Hearings. Full credit then to this book in which Semahn's writing read the runes of contemporary concerns. The timing was impeccable.

Finally, it would be remiss of me to finish this review without paying special attention to the wonderful art by Jorge Corona and the colors of Jen Hickman. This book just bursts with life. The colors are eye-grabbing, the art very good at conveying the (sometimes traumatic, sometimes funny) emotions of the characters.

Bits and Pieces:

A really high-quality issue and this book is very interesting, particularly if you are interested in current affairs and the media landscape at the moment, a landscape where trust and facts are thin on the ground. May you live in interesting this book and make them more interesting.

9.4 / 10

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