Review – The Long Con #1 (Oni Press)

Publisher: Oni Press
Writer(s): Dylan Meconis, Ben Coleman
Artwork: EA Denich
Colours: M. Victoria Robado
Release Date: 25th July 2018

Nobody has managed to get anywhere near the Los Spinoza Convention centre – the site of a cataclysmic event that obliterated everything within a fifty mile radius – for over five years.  The attendees of Long Con, the world’s largest comic convention, which was happening in the centre when it all kicked off, are all presumed dead.  But when the outside world discovers what appears to be signs of life, it’s up to failing reporter Victor Lai, one of the few people to escape the con just minutes before “the event” happened, to head back in figure out what the heck is going on.

While a lot of conventions I’ve been to may have felt at times to be fairly post-apocalyptic in nature, the idea of a community being formed out of the survivors of a comic con is definitely one worth exploring.  Thankfully, co-writers Dylan Meconis and Ben Coleman are playing things strictly for laughs, and there are definitely some laughs to be had here, including the opening pages where two witless guards discover the aforementioned “signs of life”.

The artwork from EA Denich underscores the light-hearted tone with a cartoony, slapstick approach.  Everything is exaggerated, from the action moments to the facial expressions of the characters.  And, while we’ve only really seen the tip of the iceberg here, it’s going to be fascinating to see what Denich comes up with – along with colourist M. Victoria Robado, whose work really injects some lively energy into the proceedings – as the story unfolds.

It’s definitely a solid idea, but the problem – for me, at least – is that leading man Victor doesn’t really generate any sort of feeling one way or another.  He’s not particularly likeable or unlikeable, he just kind of bumbles his way through the story, making the occasional dry one-liner.  And, as such, it’s difficult to be really be drawn into the issue at anything other than a superficial level, for the time being at least.

At the end of the day, there’s definitely a great story waiting to be told here, and hopefully once we get to venture a little deeper into the Los Spinoza Convention centre, Meconis and Coleman will get a chance to tell it.  As it stands now, The Long Con is a winning elevator pitch with quality gags and some lively artwork, which – while not exactly setting the world on fire just yet – should be more than enough to ensure that people who pick up this first issue stick around to check out the second.

Rating: 3.5/5.


ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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