Scott Snyder samples Western, Romance, YA Adventure in new titles from Best Jackett Press!


As Scottober came and went, Scott Snyder and frequent collaborators like Greg Capullo, Francesco Francavilla and Francis Manapul launched a series of titles through a partnership between Snyder’s Best Jackett Press and Comixology Originals. The three titles out of the gate – we have demons, night of the ghouland Clear – were all good releases for the respective teams who felt in tune with the creatives behind him. Now, Snyder has teamed up with three new artists to present the second wave of Best Jackett Press, bringing new genres and storytelling sensibilities to Comixology this Scotturday.

Canary #1: The hills have eggs

The first series of this wave of titles is Canary #1, written by Snyder, with art and color by Dan Panosian and lettering by Richard Starkings. The story follows Marshall Holt, a U.S. Marshal and dime novel hero as he investigates a series of bizarre murders in the western United States. A child is the murder culprit who opens the issue, inspired by a monster egg found by his school teacher. The storyline oscillates between the investigation of this murder and an earlier case Holt worked on, which involved a murderer named Hyrum Tell, a man who apparently has his throat lined with teeth. Snyder wastes no time establishing the genre twist of this seemingly simple western, revealing the horror of teeth chattering during the confrontation with Hyrum, then catches up with the child, who describes a monster hiding in one of the eggs. of his teacher’s lesson. It seems like this unfolding story is a weird western tale and a compelling opportunity for Snyder to work in horror again.

Snyder’s script is solid in this first issue, but it’s Panosian’s art and coloring that sells the book. The line art feels sprawling and controlled, giving a sense of scope and atmosphere to every page, channeling the cinematography and visual language that make Westerns so iconic. What’s amazing is that Panosian can do this in a less common setting for Westerns. Instead of vast deserts and endless gorges, audiences are treated to Utah in what feels like fall, with plenty of forests and verdant plains. This texture that Panosian plays with, mixing the greens and browns of falling leaves and endless grassland with the harsh red/orange hues of a seemingly ever-setting sun evokes that Western palette while signaling that something is different. The art and coloring are hauntingly beautiful and, like any good Western, are brain-burning.

Rating: 10/10

Barnstormers #1: A risk of escape, without fear of falling

The second title of what we call Scotturday is Barnstormers #1, written by Snyder with art by Tula Lotay, colors by Dee Cunniffe, and letters by Richard Starking, which follows in the footsteps of Canary, like a story in another place and another time. Here, instead of the Old West, the issue is set in 1927, following Hawk, a pilot who struggles to survive after the war, as he is forced to run the barn to fund his travels across the country. His theft and performance doesn’t go as planned and crashes into a wedding, inadvertently getting kidnapped by the bride looking for an exit strategy.

Just like in Canary, Snyder wastes no time setting up and then flipping the genre and story premise, as the celestial romance turns into a pulpy sci-fi revenge story, with Hawks revealing an automaton he met during the war (WWI will be exact) pursues him. It’s a great twist that builds on the already excellent historical fiction angle and serves as a compelling guideline. Snyder’s prose writing skills shine in this issue, which seems closer to works like AD after deathwhich was less of a traditional comic strip and more akin to an illustrated serial novel.

Barnstormers is a comic with clear sequential narration, but the prose shines as it escapes caption boxes and settles into background coloring. Snyder is smart enough to make sure Lotay’s gorgeous art and Cunniffe’s romantic colors are never obstructed. Lotay brings a romantic, painterly quality to the issue, with art that looks like it belongs on the covers of a swashbuckling romance novel. She gets a chance to stretch horror images with the automaton, but almost immediately she returns to quaint layouts and rendering. The world is so lush and inviting, encouraging readers to just drink in the details that, at first glance, seem simple. When Lotay manages to skip sequential compositions and give larger panels paired with longer prose snippets, the book sings, pairing Snyder’s fluid language with sequentially captivating imagery. Cunniffe’s colors go perfectly with Lotay’s style, capturing beautiful blue skies, scorching oranges and stunning grayish haze that elevate the art to a whole new level. Reach the end of the Barnstormers

Rating: 10/10

Dudley Datson and the Forever Machine #1: Strange (Sad) Science

Dudley Datson and the Eternal Machine #1—written by Snyder with pencils by Jamal Igle, inks by Juan Castro, colors by Chris Sotomayor, and letters by Tom Napolitano—is the simplest of the three books, but it’s also the weakest. The book focuses on Dudley Datson, a young but brilliant inventor with a sick father. Dudley invented Duds, a smart fabric made of woven led wires. After his father misses the Inventor Showcase due to health issues, Dudley decides it’s time to put off science and heads to the lab to quit, only to witness his mentor being attacked by armored morons. Things move fast, and Dudley receives a McGuffin who promises to play in the book’s metaphor for growing up.

Several times in the issue, Snyder’s dialogue or subtitles work to overstate information that might be on display, such as a character making it clear that they’ve been best friends since fifth grade. Snyder and his team are working on this story as a YA (Young Adult) riff on Fantastic Four/Challengers, but unlike the other two No. 1s, the lack of a genre twist hurts the issue, as he doesn’t have the ability to zag or surprise the audience. Snyder is seemingly too committed to the idea of ​​a YA story, and it shows in this exhibit as it’s clear the script doesn’t trust the reader to deduce fine details. Hopefully, with the first issue’s table set, the dialogue and exposition will feel a little less forced in later issues.

Igle’s pencils are the most typical of the three books, looking like they would fit right into a Marvel or DC lineup. The faces and proportions are fine and consistent, but the bottom line is that there’s nothing particularly sticking out about the issue. While Canary and Barnstormers both have distinct styles that evoke the genres and tones they perform in, Dudley Datson falls flat, seemingly a generic YA story about a youngster getting a MacGuffin that will help them come to terms with the harsh reality of adulthood. Hopefully, now that the team has cleared the first hurdle and thrown Dudley into the world of super-science, the art will keep pace and have a chance to stand out against the YA field. (Igle gets major points for making such a cohesive and fun corgi throughout the issue. More panels in the future, please!)

Rating: 7/10

All three series can be purchased through Comixology or Amazon Kindle, or read for free with a subscription to Comixology Unlimited.

Scott Snyder samples Western, Romance, YA Adventure in new titles from Best Jackett Press

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