Writer: Matt Garvey
Illustrator: Eder Messiah
WHAT IS IT?
A slightly sci-fi story of crime and revenge complete with drugs, violence and body-hopping.
It's like a less futuristic, more revenge-y Altered Carbon.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Ever want to start over? Dodge whatever's haunting you in the past, or even the present? Get a new body? A new life?
Stephen Bannister can help, for a price. In the not-too-distant future, Bannister can transfer your consciousness into a new body. But when one of those consciousnesses is a mob boss who doesn’t want anyone to know he’s still alive, well, Bannister's gotta go.
But Stephen's the hero of the story, so he might have something to say about that.
Eder Messiah's art style is detailed without feeling messy or cumbersome, and Matt Garvey's (and later, Allison Hu's) flatter colors and more limited palette help ground it further while giving the book its own unique style.
Messiah, Garvey & Hu work well together, especially from an art standpoint. Messiah's details bring out the dirty city elements, the plainness of an airport, or the lens flares of a strip club, but he also knows when to cut the backgrounds in a panel and focus on the characters. Messiah leaves Garvey a good deal of white space, and Garvey's & Hu's flatter colors lead to pages that feel vibrant without sacrificing the grit of the world.
Messiah uses panels well to convey the length of a moment. This, with his focus on expressive faces, gives Transfer a cinematic feel. Overall, there's excellent page flow through the panel placement and actions.
The book's style has a classic-meets-modern feel, with just a few futuristic elements to make it unique and distinct among other supernatural/sci-fi crime stories. The old-school vibe to the lettering helps elevate that. Nothing gets too crazy with the lettering, but Garvey knows how to keep it interesting even within stricter style boundaries.
Matt Garvey excels at writing dialogue, and those skills continue to pay off in Transfer. Conversations are fun and intimate between some characters, dangerously playful with others, and downright scenery-chewing with our Big Bad. Often, we might not know what characters are talking about, specifically, but that captures our interest in following the story even more.
I love Garvey, Messiah & Hu's attention to detail. From the lens flares and dark, bubblegum pink lighting of the strip club, to the "36 hours" layer of time to keep things interesting, to dressing Tony in a suit unlike everyone else in the scene to help place him on the page, to the “Matt was here” easter egg, the two creators know how to build a scene. They are great at thinking both big and small, and that thoughtfulness comes through on the page.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
While the protagonist arguing with a disembodied voice was intriguing, it felt like the ball didn't really get rolling until about halfway through the first issue. That being said, once it gets there, Transfer is a non-stop thrill-ride. But don't worry – you won't want to get off it.
Personal preference warning, but I wish they held off on the last page of issue #2 for future issues. It'd let the tension build longer, seeing if Bannister would cross all those ethical lines, but I’m sure the plans for the next issues will have a different way the team does exactly that.
Covers are not indicative of the art inside. However, they’re pretty darn cool – Dizevez's surreal style plays up the terror.
I personally wish there was a little more leading between lines. Words can kind of run on top of one another.
Some cursing, violence and adult themes make it not the best read for kids.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Transfer is a thrilling, original sci-fi crime story that's as thrilling as it is charming.
These two issues definitely set the story up for one hell of a sequence of events to come. But be warned: by the time you're done with issue #2, you'll be begging to know what happens next!
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Prey For Us by Matt Garvey & J Francis Totti
Queen of Bad Dreams by Danny Lore & Jordi Pérez
Heart of Steal by Fraser Campbell & Katie Fleming
If you like the art:
Assassin & Son: Path for Vengeance by Shad Gaspard, Marc Copani & Eder Messiah
Casanova, Vol. 1 by Matt Fraction, Michael Chabon, Gabriel Bá & Fábio Moon
Peace of Mind by Callum Fraser & Emiliano Correa
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Matt Garvey – Writer, Colorist (issue #1) & Letterer
Often puts the first issue of his comics up for free. Keep an eye on his Twitter for when this happens!
Multitalented: You'd have to be to write, color and letter a comic this good!
Outlander: Lives in the U.K.
Eder Messiah – Artist
Is more of a traditional pencil & ink artist rather than digital or using color
Outlander: Hails from Brazil
Allison Hu – Colorist (issue #2)
Self-defines as "a recluse who likes music and colors stuff"
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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