Cartonist: Rik Jackson Publisher: Self-Published
WHAT IS IT?
A noir/crime/mystery with a potential science fiction element from the mind of a single cartoonist, Rik Jackson.
It's like the movie Chinatown with a surreal element.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A man’s statue has been stolen before it was supposed to go on show at the museum. It looks like the women who stole it were wearing giant fake hands and cat heads, inexplicably.
That’s only the beginning of the strange things happening. Mass hypnosis, things stolen from locked rooms with no sign of entry, and other crimes start to pile up for private detective Steve Datsun, with no solution in sight.
Nothing seems to make sense, and each crime seems to point to these same girls...with those heads!
Datsun knows something's up, but can he solve these strange mysteries without completely alienating his partner, friends and family? And is solving this crime worth risking their lives?
Rik Jackson sets up a typical private-detective-crime-mystery in a way you'd expect, then throws the twist at you, with the girls...with those heads!
It's an effective hook, and talking about other criminals gives the feeling that this is all taking place in a larger, established world and makes you want to learn more about it
With the organic art and lettering style and the pencil shading, it gives everything a gritty, sketchy feel
Even the letters are from a hand-drawn font!
Jackson's panel balance is good, making plenty of room for the lengthy internal dialogue that plays such a major role in this genre
He also nails the genre's tone with the world-weary private detective who has a hunch he can't just let go
Cool Kirby dots around the women with the heads brings a cosmic element for readers in-the-know
The fact that Rik Jackson has accomplished so much on his own with HEADS! is truly impressive
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
With everything being hand-drawn, HEADS! can feel a little unpolished (but maybe that's part of its charm)
I wonder if something as simple as using the computer for lettering instead of hand-lettering could solve that issue
Cursing and smoking make this not the best comic for kids
No color, if that bothers you, but Jackson's effective shading makes you not miss it so much
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
HEADS! is a solid indie crime mystery with heavy noir and sci-fi elements. This first issue is just the beginning of a much larger storyline with smaller sets of miniseries'. Definitely pick it up if you're into the genre and want something with an indie, sci-fi feel.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Peek-A-Boo by Rik Jackson
Spencer & Locke, Vol. 1 by David Pepose & Jorge Santiago, Jr.
Stumptown by Greg Rucka & Matthew Southworth
If you like the art:
Rock in Purgatory by Rik Jackson
Deadbeat by Jed McPherson & Chris Shehan
Frankenstein Texas by Dan Whitehead & David Hitchcock
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Rik Jackson – Cartoonist
Multitalented: Wrote, illustrated and lettered all of HEADS!
Outlander: From South London
Is a big fan of low-budget horror films and is the singer for sludge metal band, Circus Diabolica
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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All Rik Jackson characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Rik Jackson or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED