Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Grim Leaper #1

Grim Leaper
Writer - Kurtis Weibe
Artwork - Aluisio C. Santos
Publisher - Shadowline/Image 

Like many of the new titles I encounter, this purchase was inspired by a few recommendations from independent sources on twitter, and the fact that the writer generally comes across as quite a nice guy on there. It helps that it has a tag of line "a love story to die for" and that the dot over the i of Grim is shaped like a little skull. Sometimes, it's the little things that count.

The basic premise (as I picked up through the first book any way) is that Lou (or Blake, or Paul) has a rather bad tendency to get killed in unfortunate ways - truck tyre to the face, anyone? - then come straight back to inhabit another body in his dead end town. I must admit I am already hoping that we will find what out happens to the prior inhabitants of these bodies, as it seems to have been brushed under the metaphorical carpet for now. He seems to have adapted to this lifestyle rather well, and has quite a flippant attitude to the entire scenario. Not sure that I'd be so casual about facing yet another impending death myself. The story has pulled me in though, not so much caring for the main character (he's a bit of an arse to be honest), but wanting to know why he has made certain decisions, such as at what point he anthropomorphised Death, how he recognised that Ella - otherwise a complete stranger - has the same "curse" as him and so on.

Stylistically, the use of colours and textures gives depth to the story, flicking between what I am assuming is the world as we would see it, and the world as Lou sees it. This helps keep the reader grounded, as the protagonists unfortunate tendency to change bodies regularly could cause problems otherwise. Judging by the cover we can look forward to a lot more of the many faces of Lou Collins, some of whom (punk, little boy) could well as some more depth to the story.

One thing I mustn't forget is the extra story that takes up the final few pages of the book. I found the transition slightly jarring at first, as it cut from one story the next without so much as a by-your-leave, but the rather cutesy tale of office/traffic based romance acts as a nice counter to the somewhat graphic main tale, and I look forward to seeing what they use to back-up the next instalment of Grim Leaper, and whether the duo of Joey Esposito (scripts) and Jeff McComsey (scribbles) will be back in the next issue is an added bonus to look forward to.

All in all, [yet] another one for the pull list. At some point I'll have to trim it down, but while good books like this keep getting produced, I for one will keep on buying them.

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