STROPER, ISSUES #1-4
Cartoonist: Eddie Porter Publisher: Self-published
This review covers the first 4 issues of a 10-issue series. We don't get insight into the entire story arc, but we still get a pretty good idea of where it's going.
WHAT IS IT?
A retro-neo-noir (I know, it sounds crazy, but it works) about one man's revenge for wrongful imprisonment, and the events leading up to it.
It's like a limited-cast Firefly meets The Count of Monte Cristo, done in a Blade Runner tone, '80s color and hairstyles, and old-school computer graphics.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A "stroper" is someone who illegally hunts and sells animal wildlife.
When the book opens, our hero is in jail, presumably for illegally hunting and selling wildlife. But his narration makes it sounds like he wasn't exactly put there fairly.
He tells us his name is Pak Booker, and he's going to break out of jail and get revenge on the captain who put him there.
Flashback to the mission where it all started going wrong. He's with his robot partner, hunting a giant space beast on an alien moon, but the mission went sideways. His bad luck continues when he meets a captain who we assume will be the one to eventually put him in jail
We jump back and forth in the story, between the events leading to his imprisonment and present day, as he plans to break out and get his revenge.
Though it's already 4 issues into this 10-issue run, the action is just getting started in Stroper.
Eddie Porter is the cartoonist on this comic, filling the role of writer, line artist, colorist and letterer pretty well for someone new to comics!
He knows when dialogue is important and when to let the visuals take control
The story itself is well-paced, and the issues flew by
I personally loved that we start out with the character's name, location and motivation right off the bat
This sets expectations of story and genre right away and plays up the classic action noir tones
The comic stars a kind of animal bounty hunter, and it's a revenge story -- what's not to like?
The art has such a unique, realized, retro video game/computer generated style and it works very well for this story
The large-scale galactic designs are especially a treat -- I want to make them my phone's wallpaper
Full, retro/'80s-inspired color brings so much style and energy to the art
Love the moments of social commentary (see the page below for an example)
Only $1.99 an issue or free on the Webtoons and Tapas apps!
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
The title could benefit from a professional letterer and proofreader or copyeditor
The Ps and Ds look a little too similar
The Ts are asymmetric and cause some kerning issues
A fair amount of grammatical (mostly punctuation) errors throughout took me out of it, but may not have the same effect for people less sensitive to this sort of thing
Characters' eyes in this art style always seem either surprised or enraged
While this may be harder to tell what emotion each character is feeling, the genre this story is playing in isn't exactly famous for strong emotion, so this didn't bother me too much
Some cursing, so be mindful of that if you're giving this coming to young readers
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
It's a highly stylish story that has some of the best aspects of futuristic scifi and retro design. Plus, who doesn't want to read a good tale of revenge?
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Serenity, Vol. 1 by Joss Whedon, Brett Matthews & Will Conrad
The Fuse by Antony Johnston & Justin Greenwood
V for Vendetta by Alan Moore & David Lloyd
If you like the art:
Stroper #5 by Eddie Porter
Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan & Rik Hoskin
The Long Tomorrow by Dan O'Bannon and Moebius
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Eddie Porter – Cartoonist
Multitalented: Has been working as a visual effects artist in the movie industry for 11 years
New Face: This seems to be Eddie Porter's first comic!
HOW DO I BUY IT?
Click one of these:
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