REVIEW: Wild Bullets – Thanksgiving | FanboysInc

REVIEW: Wild Bullets – Thanksgiving

By Jeff Ayers

REVIEW: Wild Bullets - Thanksgiving

 

Writer: Greg Wright

Artists: Sean Seal, Jason Jimenez, Stephen Sharar, Joe Freyre, Sara Sowles

$1.99 (Digital Copy)

Michigan Comics Collective

Even if you have never read any true, old school pulp stories, you most likely know the genres from movies and television. Detective stories like Dick Tracy and adventure stories like Indiana Jones make up a lot of the more popular versions, but also science fiction and horror stories can be found in the pulp books of yesteryear. It is always interesting when someone tries to take a version of one of those genres and morph it into a new story all their own; but that isn’t just what Greg Wright did. Rather, he took all of the genres, and in true pulp storytelling fashion, crafted a unique and incredibly engaging one shot comic in Wild Bullets.

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The collaborators on this one shot read like a who’s who of The Michigan Comics Collective, a little upstart publishing company that has produced a few anthologies of stories showcasing various artists and writers from the State of Michigan. This book does the same, giving each artist a character to delve into with their own part of the larger story, all penned by Wright. The overall story arc is all the siblings of the Bullet family have come home for Thanksgiving, but alas, a murder happens before the table is ever set. Each of the siblings are the physical manifestation of a specific pulp fiction trope, drummed up beautifully in the context of the story. There is Steve Bullet, a freelance private investigator, Kelly Bullet, a famed archeologist, Archie Bullet, a veritable mad scientist, and Minerva Bullet, an occult investigator. If you couldn’t tell from their surname, they all like to use guns, regardless of their profession.

REVIEW: Wild Bullets - Thanksgiving

Jason Jimenez

As the story opens up, the maid has been found dead, and the siblings believe foul play is afoot. Each character has their own back story that pertains to a possible group of bad guys that might be responsible for the maid’s untimely death. So mobsters, aliens, grave robbers, and angry deities are all fair game among the pandemonium that ensues, with a lot of gunfire. Each character has their own artist to tell their story, with Sean Seal taking on the detective trope with Steve Bullet, Jason Jimenez taking on archaeology with Kelly Bullet, Stephen Sharar drawing the science of Archie, and Joe Freyre providing art for the occult with Minerva. Normally, a book with multiple artists that take turns falls flat immediately, but this four-pronged attack really adds to the strength of the entire comic. Each character is not only given their due with specific art to their genre, but also a small look into their history to see why their own Rogues Gallery could be behind this mystery murder. Very inventive, and very cool.

REVIEW: Wild Bullets - Thanksgiving

Sean Seal

The “Best There Is”: The idea to have multiple artists craft this story around the central script was a risky one, but it paid off wonderfully. The breakout sequence is definitely the crime noir of Sean Seal (Up The River), with his Frank Miller-esque depiction, but each artist brings their A-game to the table, all rounded out with talented colors and lettering by Sara Solwes. The story also took a huge risk melding so many different genres together, but again, it works nearly flawlessly. The characters are believable and seem to exist way beyond the page, each robust enough to carry their own story. The overall arc of the tale starts well and ends strong, with no sense of being rushed or slogging throughout. A true testament to good writing, good editing (Travis McIntire, also of Up The River), and well thought out artwork.

The “Isn’t Very Nice”: Even though the artwork works on some levels with multiple artists, the normal misgivings of such a choice are still present. Skipping from one style to the next is interesting and suits the storytelling, but also forces the reader to reset and get their bearings for each artistic change. The overall story continues to move through the changes, which keeps the pace and helps the reader to not get lost. But, a more cohesive look and feel, maybe with hints of artistic inflection for characters make the story gel more. A minor criticism, as the multiple styles do in fact add flair to the comic, so it is a double-edged sword.

FBI Score: 9 out of 10.

Truly a magnificent independent comic from some really talented folks. A genre and artistic mash-up that turns out to be heavy on fun with an interesting story. Be on the lookout for more titles from The Michigan Comics Collective, as well as the follow up to this one shot to be titled Wild Bullets: Christmas.

Jeff Ayers

Both my parents instilled in me at an early age the awesome power and incredible wonder of the written word. My father sat with me when I was four years old and taught me to enjoy reading with classic comic strips like SPIDERMAN, PEANUTS, B.C. and, later, CALVIN AND HOBBES. My mother exposed me to such classics of literature as Poe, Tolkien, Stoker and Doyle, and I started my own comic collection with allowance money from mowing lawns. I liked Wolverine before it was cool, I watched as Superman died and returned, and huddled under the covers as I turned the pages of SANDMAN. Reading is like oxygen to me, and all genres and formats are welcome and devoured equally. I am the co-host of The DW and Incredible Jeff Show, CEO of Permian Productions, and a reviewer at Graphic Novel Reporter. I am 34 and live in scenic Saratoga Springs New York, where I haunt coffee shops and dive bars and the best comic shop anywhere, The Comic Depot.

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