Written by: Gary M. Kenny, CC2K Comics Editor
Every week, there are a multitude of books being released from multiple different publishers. And while we here at CC2K like to provide as many reviews as our limited numbers can provide, we typically can’t review everything. However, when an advanced copy of a book comes our way, we jump on the task of being one of the first to review it. This weeks: Footprints.
Joey Esposito – Writer
Jonathan Moore – Artist
I tend to hate movie monster books. They don’t convey the magic of their onscreen counterparts and often feel drab (the Incredible Hulk is a different story). Most books don’t have the right tone or flow, they don’t grasp what makes them famous movie (monster) stars in the first place. That’s why I’m a little taken back with Footprints; Esposito and Moore have created something here and I’m a surprised on how well their concept works. They took the fundamentals of a detective (film noir) story but had it star our beloved mythological creatures of the night. (Full disclosure: Esposito is the former comics editor of CC2K.)
Footprints is a murder mystery, someone decapitated Bigfoot’s brother the Yehti and Mr.Foot wants answers. With help from the Jersey-Devil, Nessie, and a gang of creatures he’ll find who’s responsible but he might not like the answers. The story takes place through various decades. We learn that Mr. Foot had a falling out with his brother and the rest of the monsters. He owns his own private investigation company and that he talks like a character from Mad Men. Each companion comes with an almost comedic persona, the Jersey Devil is a bit of a sleazeball and talks bad about woman, Nessie on the other hand uses her sex appeal to get answers, yet you don’t want to get on her bad side. Writing this, the characters almost sound funny, however Esposito’s scribed these characters as if these aren’t just monsters. The book could have worked as a great detective story without the ensemble being cast as monsters, but its just that quirkiness that makes it fun and original.
The art direction is dark and well detailed. Each comic box has different camera angled shot and it almost feels like you’re watching a 1940s crime drama. This type of direction isn’t in your typical modern comic. Maybe it’s because Moore put in a lot of time and hard work into this piece and wasn’t rushed like so many comic artists are nowadays. Most modern comics all share the same kind of flow: big fight scene, splash page. Footprints feels like it was drawn back in the 1970s where comics were just experimenting with different shots. Moore’s pace and detail make this book flow, without his art direction this issue might have lost some my interest.
Issue #1 isn’t a complete story like some issue #1s are. Most comics begin with an origin story or hint at the bigger mystery. Esposito took a page out of Alan Moore’s book and let the reader meet the characters and figure out what’s what (instead of just telling it, Esposito showed it). Esposito’s writing never felt forced. He let the characters be who they are and for the most part it works. The only downfall is that Bigfoot comes across as not the most likeable guy and for certain parts of the book I didn’t really care too much about Mr.Foot. Thankfully the list of crazy monsters kept my interest and the story as a whole is highly entertaining. Main characters don’t have to be likeable but they do have to be relateable, its hard to do that with monsters; though I will say that because Esposito made their personas so outlandish you do feel their humanity (or should I state their lack of).
All in all for a 1st issue i’m interested in seeing where this goes. The book has enough talent and originality that could make it a well developed title. Issue #2 needs to keep the pace and add a bit more mystery (maybe some double cross?) into this gumshoed monster universe. Footprints is an unique addition to the comic community, It’s one of the finest if not the first monster noir books i’ve ever read cover to cover.
4.0 out of 5.0
Footprints is debuting at this years C2E2’11, it’s a self-published creation and its one of the few self published stories I’ve enjoyed this year. For a preview of the book and to order a full copy for yourself go to www.joeyesposito.com
Placed inside a noir setting as they unfold a conspiracy that spans decades. It’s a fun trip through a unique modern setting that will appeal to fans of noir, comedy, and huge freaking sharks.
Written by Joey Esposito (IGN, the upcoming RIP NIXON) with art from Jonathan Moore (FUBAR), FOOTPRINTS is debuting at C2E2 2011, self-published by the creative team. The series is already getting great buzz from industry folk:
“A fiercely smart and wildly inventive take on the classic noir, FOOTPRINTS is everything you could want in a comic. Part Raymond Chandler, part Weekly World News, and part some brand new twisted voodoo ingredient cooked up by the frighteningly talented Joey Esposito and Jonathan Moore, this book is one of the most enjoyable reads I’ve come across in a long time!” – Scott Snyder (Detective Comics, American Vampire)
“FOOTPRINTS lead the way to murder and bedlam! Every clue drags you deeper to a mystery begging to be solved.” – Johnny Zito (Black Cherry Bombshells, Lamorte Sisters)
“FOOTPRINTS is an odd and welcome blend of adventure, horror, comedy, and mystery. Hilarious one moment, and sincerely gut wrenching the next, it brings a refreshing voice to comics. Can’t wait for the next issue.” – John Arcudi (B.P.R.D., A God Somewhere)
Gary is a husband, father, fireman, comic reader, gamer, body builder, and rocker. He also is a co-owner of a bakery in upstate NY. He likes to tell everyone his favorite band is the Beatles, when his actual favorite band is the Alkaline Trio.