QUEEN, ISSUES #1-2
Writer: Jamie Me Art: Bernard Gita Publisher: Self-published
This review covers the first 2 issues of the 4-issue run. We don't have insight into the entire story arc, like in my reviews of entire volumes, but this review should give you a nice peek into what the comic is about.
WHAT IS IT?
Corruption, politics and hacktivism abound in this British thriller.
Think House of Cards meets Mr. Robot. It also has a "black-and-white parts of the story vs the color ones" theme like Memento, and the benefactor/malefactor via phone, political subterfuge of the LifeAfter podcast.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Emily Green is the Deputy Prime Minister, and she's just been given a gift: the promise that she will soon take over the position of Prime Minister.
All she has to do is follow the instructions that a mysterious benefactor gives her, and not let on that she's taking orders from a stranger who promises her power, all while being under surveillance after threats against her and other politicians are made public.
For her rise to power to come to fruition, it sounds like other Parliament members will be purged along with the expulsion of the current Prime Minister. And another beneficiary and key player in all of this is NIDUS, a website that seems awfully similar to Wikileaks.
How is it all connected? Just who is this mysterious benefactor, and how do they know all of this secret or classified information? And just what will Emily Green owe to them if she makes it through this ordeal unscathed?
The opening visual is brilliantly attention-grabbing and sets the stage for the story to come
The use of numbers in this scene is reminiscent of a crime scene (see image below for reference)
The comic also calls back to these numbers throughout the series to draw attention to each and build suspense as we wait for (or see) each
You don't often get color in indie comics, so seeing a colorist of Callahan's caliber here is a treat
Gita gives great thought to his panels' layout in regard to pacing, and it pays off here
Also, his more true-to-life illustration style works for the more adult tone of the story
Visually, I love that Gita brought the NIDUS magnifying glass into the title for QUEEN
I like Jamie Me's lettering in this title, especially with his choice to use handwritten narration instead of the usual exposition boxes used in most comics -- it helps build a sense of a racing mind, especially when combined with the heartbeat sound effects
Some cool backmatter in each issue shows designs and sketches from the planning stages
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Me's writing shows so much vision and talent and love for the medium, I'm surprised he's not already writing superhero comics for The Big 2
There's a fun Easter Egg when Emily's son asks her for Jamie Me's other comic, START AGAIN
(Especially cinsidering its adult content)
The end panels nail the end of the first issue, making it feel like a solid pilot episode of a TV show and setting the hook for the audience
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
These two issues both start and end with a black-and-white scene, seemingly narrated by the main character. She starts a sentence in the first page and finishes it in the end of the issue. But it feels like too much happens to remember how the sentence started, and readers may have to flip to the beginning to make that connection once they've finished the story.
These greyscale scenes seem like they'll take place in the final issue when the you-know-what hits the fan
The comic refers to the NHS from the start but, as an American, I don't know what that is
It would be helpful to spell it out or add an asterisk and an author's note the first time, to help explain what group this is and give it context
Why is the comic called QUEEN when it's about the Prime Minister position?
The main character receives a very important package labeled SWORD OF DAMOCLES
While I love the Sword of Damocles allusion and what it potentially means for Emily Green, it poses 2 problems for me:
The package is stamped, with what looks like Postal Service ink over those stamps, though all it seems to say on the package is SWORD OF DAMOCLES. So how did it get to her in the first place, without her information on it and with none of her people opening her mail for her?
This feels like a threat, especially to someone who was already considering leaving politics altogether. If Green gets the symbolism, why would she want power if it could be taken from her so easily?
Only 2 issues in, we can only speculate. Maybe it's an oversight. Maybe I'm thinking too hard about something when I should just sit back and enjoy it. Or maybe the team has plans for these points in the next couple issues. We'll see!
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Jamie Me's a comics star in the making, and I expect him to get picked up by a major comics publisher any day. Check out his work before that happens, especially if you're into political thrillers. Plus, there's some really solid line art and color in here from Bernard Gita and Sean Callahan.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
START AGAIN by Jamie Me &
KINO by Alex Paknadel & Diego Galindo
Mayday by Alex de Campi, Blond & Tony Parker
If you like the art:
Original Sin by Jason Aaron & Mike Deodato
The Resurrected by Christian Carnouche & Crizam Zamora
Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Pia Guerra
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Jamie Me – Writer, Letterer, Creator & Designer
Multitalented: Is often hired as a letterer, but has also written some successfully Kickstarted comics (this being one of them!)
Outlander: Hails from England
Taught himself how to letter comics and wrote Queen as a coping mechanism during therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Bernard Gita – Illustrator
Outlander: Lives in Indonesia
Sean Callahan – Colorist
New Face: Has only been working in comics professionally for 4 years
Was taught by comics art & coloring pro, Chris Sotomayor
Dream Team: Also works with Jamie Me on START AGAIN
HOW DO I BUY IT?
You can only get this comic through Jamie Me's Kickstarters.
The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.
All Jamie Michael Evans characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Jamie Michael Evans or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED