Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Somewhere City 1

Written by Adam Clegg
Drawn by Michael Scott

Noir crime stories are filled with cliches: the missing girl, the tough-as-nails hardboiled detective who smokes all the time, the feeling that even if the hero wins the battle they've lost the war, and even more that I cannot remember. While lots of people are really into this genre they never really click with me unless the creators add something extra: a science fiction or fantasty element that makes it more interesting to me because I love monsters and robots.

Somewhere City takes an idea reminiscent of Dark City. There doesn't seem to be any way out, and nobody can remember who they are or why they're there. The inhabitants seem to have been there for several years, and try to live their lives as best they can in a town surrounded by forbidden zones and filled with sketchy areas. Of coruse all of that is background info that we learn while the main missing person plot is going on, and it works well. The hints suggest that that Clegg and Scott have a whole world and society built up and they'll reveal it as the story progresses.

This first issue features the detective talking tracking down informants and trying to find some clues. I generally liked the art and Scott manages to pull off all the talking heads used throughout the issue (though how much of that is down to the female lead having a Betty Boo haircut I'm not sure).

The major problem with the art is that many of the panels are lacking in backgrounds. This lack of detail leaves the characters floating in white space, and is especially noticable because some of the pages and panels do feature backgrounds, and they're quite nice ones that help to set the scene and show you more things about this mysterious city (a stall selling "books in lost languages" for example). I guess the artist either ran out of time before they wanted to print this or just decided it wasn't worth it. I hope future issues have more backgrounds as I'm looking forward to reading them.

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