Updated: Jul 3
Writer: Joey Capuana
Artist: Pablo Moreno Collar
Publisher: Scout Comics
WHAT IS IT?
An 18+, LGBTQIA+ murder mystery full of magic, romance, and sinistry (is this a word?).
Think The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets RuePaul meets Law and Order: SVU.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Trance follows the fabulous Marie L’Heaux (Altar), the NSFW Eden, and their found family as they navigate love, magic, and murder in the New Orleans drag scene. Supernatural without feeling unnatural, the story is relatable. Altar is trying to forget the man who broke her heart only to find he’s the prime subject in a murder. Eden on the other hand is looking to add another notch to his bedpost only to meet Isaac, a man who is a mystery in and of himself. The story delves into what we would do for love- whether it be putting aside our preconceived notions, or going as far as to confront a killer.
Capuana uses familiar tropes in a new way, bringing a spice to the standard who dun it murder. The pacing perfectly sets up parallel stories with both Eden, and Altar motivated by love (and lust).
Collar’s use of bold colors synonyms with New Orleans gives the whole book a true, but subtle magical feel without overtaking the story. The backdrop gives way to intimate moments within the city, giving it a character all its own.
Torres’ expert lettering set the pace of the story, pulling you through page after page looking for the next twist and turn.
Eden is what's known as a man slut. (Technical term for sure) While never using magic to get a man into bed, he does use it to give them the best night of their lives. It’s all fun and games until he runs into the first person immune to his charms. What happens when he has to learn how to be just a regular person? The charming story of Eden and Isaac.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK
Content Warning: This book does contain sexual content and nudity
Altar feels like a badass in the making. Her defining character is a woman scorned by a cheating lover. Relatable, two-dimensional, but she has moments of vibrancy that give her the potential to be so much more. Ex broke your heart? Do witchcraft about it. Ex missing? Find him. Police think he’s a killer? Prove them wrong. While her evolution is something to witness, the flip from broken hearted to pistol is a bit rushed and makes one wonder if the blind faith she has in his innocence isn’t a form of trauma bonding.
Give us more Coven! While the Coven makes several appearances, the spectacular characters one could expect to find in a group of drag queen witches are unfortunately not as prominent as one would like. With it only being the first issue, one can hope they all play a larger role within the story.
First issue blues. For a first issue, you want a pow. A wham bam boozle if you will. Something that turns you from a mild mannered reader into an eccentric fanatic with a string map that explores all the possible next plot points. While the overall concept is new, fun, and exciting there wasn’t anything in particular that made me Google Joanna Fabric coupons.
Who is Altar’s ex, Theo? While Altar might believe he’s not a killer this reader isn’t seeing why one would join Team Theo beyond the possibility of a t-shirt. I mean he cheated on Altar after being together for five years, broke her heart, AND kept her newt semen. Who does that?
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Mystery? Check. Murder? Check. Magic? Check. Glitter? Definitely.
As an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community, this reader felt like this Law and Order:SVU/Charmed-esque cross over event was a new spin on the same ole crime procedural that prominently addressed issues that are prevalent within the LGBTQIA+ community without lessening the importance with the addition of the supernatural. Religious opposition, community violence, and the Safe Space Movement are treated like same shit different day events yet are still poignant plot points. Even more so the book is about heart, and what we would do for love. From standing up for your found family to being vulnerable to giving someone who might not deserve it your blind, unwavering faith. Each panel asks you to think about what you would do in the character’s magical shoes. While not something this reader would naturally gravitate towards, the fanciful premise and burgeoning vigilante is more than enough to add the second issue release date to the calendar.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
Trance comes out later this June, you can preorder now through Scout Comics!
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All Trance characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright of Scout Comics or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.