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©2018 by Matt Ligeti the Comic Book Yeti. 

  • Matt Ligeti

THE SHOW


Writer: Jed McPherson Art: Joseph Velasquez & Robert Ahmad Publisher: Self-published


The Show, issue #1, cover, McPherson/Velasquez

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?

(Minor Spoilers)

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!


WHAT WORKS?

  • 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


The Show, issue #1, page 4, McPherson/Velasquez

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

  • If you're OK reading digitally, you can get free comics he's written at his Gumroad site or his website

  • 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?

Click one of these:

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 Jed McPherson characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Jed McPherson or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

#SelfPublished #McPherson #SiocJr #Ahmad #Velasquez #RealityTV #Dystopian #SciFi #Indie