Writer: Jed McPherson Art: Joseph Velasquez & Robert Ahmad Publisher: Self-published
WHAT IS IT?
A 4-issue miniseries about a man unknowingly trapped inside a reality TV show.
Think The Truman Show meets unReal on an especially gonzo episode of Black Mirror.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Johnny Teevee's been stuck in a small apartment for so long, he's forgotten any life before it. He doesn't know why who his captors are or why they won't let him leave.
He hasn't talked to anyone in who-knows-how-long, and there are other things his captors are doing to him, too...
But when Johnny gets pushed too far, and his captors make a series of missteps, Johnny might just see his escape route.
Then again, this could all be a part of the plan for "The Show" Johnny is unknowingly a part of. A play for ratings rather than a real way out.
Tune in for yourself to find out what happens next!
While the concept is dystopian, it also doesn't feel too many steps away from our current reality
The Show can easily be enjoyed for the suspenseful story it is, but I also appreciate having the deeper thought and meaning behind the concept
The Producer is very much like an evil Hunter S. Thompson, and wildly entertaining because of it
McPherson use of traditional reality TV tropes and phrases is a deft touch
The fake ads were a fun way of advancing the plot, adding humor and providing social commentary all in one place
Within those ads, the obnoxiously over-branded brand names with their font flourishes were an added bonus
I liked Velasquez's subtle touches, like the napkin folded across the Teddy Bear's lap or the tediously perfect portions of Johnny's day represented through 9-panel grids
F.P. Sioc Jr.'s colors are versatile, shifting easily from industrial to otherworldly, and it's fascinating seeing how the line art changes but the color stays the same across the issues
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
Cursing, adult themes and violence mean it's not the best comic for kids
There's a fairly dramatic art shift from the first issue to the remaining ones
Ahmad, who takes over art on issue #2, has a simpler, more cartoonish (yet still skilled) style that works better in issue #2 but might leave you missing Velasquez's hard realism and psychologically thrilling framing
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
The Show is not only an excellent suspense story, but also an indictment of the long leash we give corporations in the name of entertainment.
It also questions the cognitive dissonance between media that supposed to represent reality, and reality itself. The answer, however, may surprise you.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Deadbeat by Jed McPherson & Chris Shehan
Start Again by Jamie Me & Toni Doya
Gigantic by Rick Remender & Eric Nguyen
If you like the art:
Captives by Alexander Banchitta & Robert Ahmad
Spencer & Locke, Vol. 1 by David Pepose & Jorge Santiago, Jr.
Criminal by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Jed McPherson – Writer & Letterer
On the Rise: He's been publishing comics in the small press for awhile, but I have a feeling we'll be seeing more and more from him in the years to come
Inspired by the works of Elmore Leonard, Ed Brubaker and Warren Ellis
Joseph Velasquez – Illustrator
Illustrated issue #1
Also designed the logo for The Show
According to DeviantArt, his favorite movie is The Room
Robert Ahmad – Illustrator
Illustrated issues #2-4
Outlander: Hails from the U.K.
F.P. Sioc Jr. – Colorist
Outlander: Lives in the Phillippines
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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