Publisher: Labrat Comics
Writer: Matt Garvey
For our second instalment of ‘Comichaus Corner’ – a brand new weekly feature where we review some of the newly released self-published books available via the Comichaus App – we’ve decided to take a look at the first issue of white NOIR from Dizevez and Matt Garvey.
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White NOIR opens to our leading man, James, waking up in a crashed car with no memory of who he is or how he got there. Mystery abounds, and right from the opening page, the first thing that strikes you about this series is the truly stunning artwork of Dizevez. An expressive, painted style that works well to bring the confusion of the situation to the fore, and instantly sucks you into the intriguing mystery at the heart of Matt Garvey’s story.
As the issue unfolds, James manages to stumble his way through a blizzard to a nearby rural mountain down to try and get help, allowing Garvey to introduce us to a few of the town’s inhabitants along the way. It’s a slow-paced first issue that plays its cards incredibly close to its chest, only really tipping its hand in the closing pages as we’re provided with a flashback to someone else in James’ life whose fate may be directly linked to his own.
Garvey does a solid job with the story itself, keeping the reigns tightly gripped and letting the allure of the unknown keep the pages turning. Sure, there’s nothing particularly inventive or boundary-pushing at play here, but everything hangs together confidently throughout the course of the 28 pages, and the few hints we are given about the story to come certainly suggests some pretty darn interesting twists and turns in the future.
I’m fairly sure Garvey himself would be the first to admit it, but this is a visual comic first and foremost, with Dizevez doing the bulk of the heavy lifting with what is – as I mentioned above – some truly stunning work. There’s an almost photo-realistic approach at times which really helps to hammer home the grounded nature of the story, and while there may be the occasional unusual-looking facial expression along the way, there’s no denying that this one hell of an impressive book from a visual standpoint.
At the end of the day, White NOIR does everything it needs to as a first issue. It introduces you the characters and the world they inhabit, laying out what has the potential to be a tense, enjoyable crime thriller. But most importantly of all, it makes you want to pick up the second issue, which, when you think about it, is all any comic can really hope to do. Definitely one to keep an eye out for, and a new series which is already well worth a look for the strength of the artwork alone.