(Image Comics, 2014)
Illustrated by Simon Roy
Written and Lettered by Ed Brisson
Colored by Simon Gough
The standard for listing creator credits in a comic book is writer, artist, then coloring and lettering if needed, along with the editors and any other illustration or creative help. When I opened The Field, the first thing I was struck by was that the artist was listed first. I’m not sure if, pre-reviewing, I would have noticed this, but now it struck out at me from the page. Why?
There could be no reason whatsoever. Is it merely the whim of the editors or creators (artsy people can be strange sometimes…striking out against convention and such) or an oversight? Read on, no worries, this is Image comics folks; they know what they’re doing.
Should the title page throw me this much? No. But it did. It puts me on edge from the first…made me think, “There’s something different about this book…” (I’ve been told once or twice that I’m “artsy”.) Then I continued reading, and Ed Brisson (Peter Panzerfaust, Prophet) pushed me further out onto that edge and held me there for the entirety of the story.
It opens with an amnesiac, in tighty-whities, running through a field, I suppose “the” field, where he finds a cell phone lying on the ground. “Do not get in the car,” flashes on the screen, and of course he gets in the car. At this point there are also new characters being introduced. Christian, a psychopathic bible salesman, and a group of bikers called “the Smoke Eaters”.
Christian is by far the most interesting character in the book so far, the dichotomy between what he believes and what he does makes him interesting to read. Add to that his speech, which makes him sound like a male version of Kathy Bates’ character in Misery. (“He didn’t get out of the cock-a-doody car!”) We don’t know anything more than our amnesiac friend, but no one seems to be what he presents. Why should we believe what anything, anyone, even the main character, says?
Upon reading this book a second time, I noticed that there was no dialogue until the tenth page. Perhaps that’s the reason for the artist credit first. I’ve not come across Simon Roy (Prophet, Undertow) before this, but I’m impressed with his style. It’s unique, and he has the ability to create movement and emotion in his drawings. You will learn to hate Christian right away, and that only becomes stronger as the book moves along. It is a feeling that is totally helped along with Roy’s artwork.
The Field releases Wednesday, and if you’re looking for something completely different, where you can’t trust anyone from the very beginning, where you begin to doubt even the editors of the book…than this is for you. Ed Brisson has instilled in me more than a shadow of doubt and Simon Roy has penciled this on to match. I have no idea where this book is going, and that is a refreshing change.
To Purchase “The Field” Issues #1 Please Visit Amazon.com here.