Publisher: Dead Bride Comics
Written by Dan Barnes
Illustrated by Paul Johnson
I was browsing through the Wicked Comics Group page on Facebook when I stumbled on two comics promoted by independent publisher Dead Bride Comics called Starlex and Revenge is Geek. Something in the latter seemed to call to me. The artwork was certainly appealing, couple that with the fact that I’m a sucker for high school based rom coms, add some geeky violence and I was intrigued. So when Dan Barnes kindly sent us both books for a review, I immediately went for Revenge is Geek.
The book focuses on Prudence Page a female geek and her two sidekicks; the Phil Collins obsessed Daphne Eisenberger and chess wizard Howard Sprig. Together they’re the bottom feeders of Pepperville High School, and as you can guess they get picked on by virtually everyone else. The story starts brilliantly with Prudence going on a knife wielding rampage after which the reader is taken back in time to discover the events leading to this.
As a first issue Revenge is Geek introduces this premise in a nice and tight manner. I loved the way Dan Barnes handled the introduction of the premise and the main characters through good set pieces. The narrative is solid if unspectacular containing some good lines but there are others which appear a tad bleak. There are occasions when Prudence speaks directly to the reader, at times this works really well, but sometimes it also appears over-used. The pacing is pretty consistent and there is a healthy dose of humour throughout. The story is also well planned and ends with the type of cliff- hanger that leaves the reader wanting more.
Paul Johnson goes for a distinct twisted cartoony style which works particularly well in bringing the story to life. His style is well defined and is consistent throughout. It also lends a slapstick element to the humour, and is dynamic enough to capture the reader’s attention. The high school life is impressively well captured, and the facial expressions are particularly strong. The panels are generally speaking clear and well laid out. My only minor complain here is that towards the end there seems to be an over-reliance on short-wide panels.
My biggest issue with this book is the colouring. It’s not that it’s bad, but it isn’t good either. The best I can describe it would be as decent. It does highlight mood change and it does give each character its due identity but it never feels like doing that all important extra bit. Considering the remarkable artwork on offer and the type of comic this is, the colouring is found wanting in that it lacks the depth, sharpness and brightness to elevate the material. To be fair Dan Barnes did inform Wicked Comics, that due to deadlines and unforeseen circumstances the colouring had to be done by himself who is in turn still learning the ropes when it comes to colouring.
All things considered the first issue of Revenge is Geek does its work well, in that it sets the groundwork for future issues, and generates the right amount of interest. As far as independent publications go, this is certainly a solid effort and one well worth looking into. I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for issue 2!
Issue one can be downloaded for a minimal fee from: https://sellfy.com/p/XVTL
Reviewed for Wicked Comics by
Chris Le Galle