Friday, March 8, 2013

365 Comics... 67: Sex # 1 (2013)

Well, that title certainly grabs your attention, doesn't it?  It did it's job, getting my attention, and getting me to buy the book, if only to find out whether its contents would live up to the marginally scandaIous title.

Didn't Madonna put out an art book called "Sex" about 20 years ago?

I wouldn't actually have picked up the book for its provocativeness, nor would I have picked it up if I actually knew what it was about.  What sold me was the very striking cover design, perhaps taking a cue from Gaspar Noe title sequences.  The purple hue on the wrap-around cover, featuring the protagonist slouched in an office chair with all sorts of crap blanketing the floor around him, equally suggests debauchery, or perhaps it's only in association with the title.

I was disappointed to learn this was another alt-superhero tale.  A sort of "what if Batman gave up and decided to just try normal life as a billionaire for a change" situation (only Simon Cooke was more of an Iron Man-type hero).  But average life can't measure up to the adrenaline highs of crime fighting so what will Cooke do to fill the void?  Hint: see title.  It transcends what little genre trappings it uses for flavour, and also establishes an interesting environment far its characters to inhabit in Saturn City, a concentrated metropolis with a Singapore feel.  The main players are introduced without much background but the context of their appearance and their carefully crafted dialogue reveal as much as we need to know for now.

It's the brainchild of Joe Casey, but artist Piotr Kowalski is the star.  His figures are good, a sort of Sean Philips/Steve Dillon feel but his architectural details, ever present in Saturn City, are eye catching and utterly fascinating.  The city is a true marvel, perhaps the most visually interesting fictional city Ike sees in some time (that two page spread showing it off is worth staring at for a long while).

Colorist Brad Simpson is an absolute find.  He nails the perfect tone for this story with his magenta-infused color pallette.  I'm not sure what else he's done, but I've taken note and he's already on my superstar colorist list.

Sex also employs Sonia Harris as its graphic designer.  She, quite literally, sold me this book.  In recent years titles that utilise a strong graphic design compliment to the art grab my attention and keep it longer.  I'm not certain where I'm at with the story, but the presentation alone has me for at least another 3 issues.

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