Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: 'The Creators' Part 1 by Michael S. Bracco

Every now and then you come across an artist whose creativity is apparent at first glance.  There's depth to their work, sure, but it's also engaging and enthralling right off the bat.  Michael S. Bracco is one of those artists.  Years back I came across his work and his site, Spaghetti Kiss, and bought a shirt. When I saw he had a comic project on Kickstarter, I knew I had to back it because it would be detailed, engrossing, and wholly original.  The first part of The Creators finally came out (for backers), and it's nice to know I wasn't let down.

The premise of The Creators involves the titular group of Creators, select individuals who can bring drawings to life, often with disastrous results.  The Creators, often (always?) teenagers, are hunted by the Bureau of Creative Enforcement, ostensibly to teach them to control their abilities.  The plot itself is entertaining and there are enough characters and twists to keep things moving along quickly.  You can take the story as one of several allegories: something like the X-men, about teens who are different and struggling to fit in (the original subtitle was "Bully", one that was eventually dropped but fits the theme well; the resistance often imposed by society through history to artistic expression and movements; the overreaching control of copyright on creative works by corporations as portrayed by the B.C.E (that one might be a stretch).  Or, if you'd like, you can just read it as a story where people can make robots with teddy bear heads come to life and topple buildings.

Which leads us to the art.

Bracco's writing in The Creators is well done, dense but easy to read, but the art is where the book really shines.  The aforementioned Mr. Hugz, the Battle Tusk, and the other monsters we see are absolutely fantastic.  Creativity drips from each panel in which they're featured, and you're excited to see what will show up next.  It's punctuated by "down to earth" images of real people, providing an emotional base for the plot.  The colors are cool, a lot of greys and blacks but the things that need to stand out - the monsters and the blood - are colored violent reddish hues.  The juxtaposition works fantastically and makes each panel pop.

It's clear from this first issue of The Creators that there's a whole world out there waiting to be explored, and the best part is that it leaves you wanting to explore it.  We want to see society's reactions to the Creators, we want to see the many mysteries unravel, and we sure as hell want to see more monsters.  This is the first chapter of The Creators, but God willing, it won't be the last.

Pre-order The Creators, available September 2012, at Bracco's site.


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