Publisher: Alterna Comics
Writer: Jon Parrish
Artist: Diego Toro
Colourist: Kote Carvajal
Lettering: Nic J Shaw
Release Date: 6th August 2014
The latest offering from Alterna Comics – the fantastically-titled Clusterf@#k – follows Jim Parker and Karl Latimer, two private investigators who find themselves dragged (or should that be dragged back?) into the world of the paranormal, becoming the targets of a shadowy government agency in search of a mysterious, powerful artefact. In spite of this potentially serious and dramatic-sounding storyline, everything is kept relatively light-hearted, with no shortage of snappy banter and third-wall breaking observations and to make sure that nothing here is ever taken too seriously.
The banter doesn’t always necessarily flow as well as it could, however, feeling a little forced in places, but there’s still more than enough charm in the interactions of our main duo to keep things interesting. Unfortunately, while the banter has its high points, the characters of Parker and Latimer themselves aren’t particularly well defined – with the exception of Latimer’s somewhat eyebrow-raising ‘gift’. While hints are dropped about their past, there really isn’t enough meat to the characters – at least not yet, anyway – for us to form much in the way of an investment in them, which is a shame given how creative and potentially gripping the story is.
One of the main selling points of Clusterf@#k is definitely going to be the bold, larger-than-life artwork of Diego Toro. Utilising a slightly exaggerated, cartoony style, he does a terrific job of painting a vibrant, kinetic world and of bringing the frequent physical set pieces to life. His skills bode extremely well for the future of this ‘action comedy’, as I have a hunch that there’s likely to be more than a few car chases, demonic showdowns and bone-crunching hand-to-hand brawls in the issues to come.
Overall, the first issue of Clusterf@#k sets up an interesting premise, but suffers slightly by not developing its lead characters well enough for us to really care much about them. That said, as the opening chapter of a six-part story, there’s definitely a huge amount of potential here, and this is a series I’m going to be watching with interest as it continues. It definitely looks the part, that’s for damn sure.
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CLUSTERF@#K is being published by Alterna Comics. Issue #1 is currently available on Comixology.
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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