Comic Book Reviews - The Price Review


Created on October 17, 2011 and written by
Category: Comic Book Reviews

The Price

Rating: 3.5/5
Publisher Name: 215ink
Publisher Website: http://215ink.com

Writer: Glenn Arseneau
Pencils: Allen Byrns
Number of Pages: 32
Price: 3.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: PARENTAL ADVISORY – 15 years and older. Similiar to T+ but featuring more mature themes and/or more graphic imagery.

Publisher’s Blurb:
When young, attractive, Erin Wheeler finds herself lost at a seedy roadside diner en route to a meeting with her business partner and an important client, her troubles are only beginning. Looking for directions, but finding only the lecherous advances of a seedy trucker and the unnerving stare of a sociopathic state trooper, Erin drives off alone into the fog. Followed by the ethereal forms of ghostly children reaching out for her at every turn, Erin soon finds herself alone on the highway after being involved in a brutal car crash. Wracked with guilt over causing the apparent deaths of a woman and infant in the crash, Erin reluctantly accepts help from the mysterious trucker and begins to fear for both her life and her sanity as the world around her begins to unravel. After a bizarre second encounter at the diner – now the location of an apparent rip in the fabric of time itself – Erin soon comes to realize that the strange truck driver may be much more than he appears, and that her own involvement in this particular location might be even more bizarre than she could imagine.

Reviewer’s Comments:
I really, really wanted to like this. It’s October, Halloween is one the way, and I was in the mood for some creepiness. The description and the art made gave me high hopes for some creepiness. But unfortunately this didn’t quite deliver what I hoped for, at least on the first read. Now, I did not hate this. I’m very far from hating this. I really enjoyed it in the end, but I had to read it three times to get to that point. I’m okay with that and don’t mind some thinking with my reading, but it may frustrate the average reader and drive them away from really appreciating what’s here. But don’t take that as a bad sign, keep reading to see what I mean. This is a complicated book that needs a complicated review. If you do want to stop reading now, I’ll tell you that this is very worth it if you’re willing to invest your time. It doesn’t hand everything to you, but if you want to use your brain there’s much enjoyment to be found here. If you don’t want to think, then walk away and go spend for a 20 page fight scene from some other company that you’ll forget about minutes later.

The first time I read The Price, I finished in complete confusion about what happened. It didn’t seem to make any sense. So I read it a second time, and with the knowledge of my first reading (and the ending) I started to pick up subtle things in the background and art. (Page 9 is a perfect example of this. If you’re reading digital, zoom in and check it out. I’m not sure if this would be as effective in print.) My third reading was just for fun and to see what else I could pick up between the lines. I can’t fault the story for my initial confusion, since all of the elements of understanding are there, you just don’t realize that until the end. I’d put it in the category of stuff like Sixth Sense or Inception, where multiple viewings are required to get the full picture.

After a few reads, I realized that my reaction to my first read was probably exactly what Arseneau was aiming for. I felt all the confusion and disorientation that Erin was feeling, taking the journey with her instead of just watching her as an observer. I was in the story and not just reading it. It’s not always a pleasant feeling for a reader, but once you realize what it is, it’s very rewarding.

I love the art here and it’s perfect for the story. The style reminds me a bit too much of Ben Templesmith, but I like Templesmith so I won’t complain. There’s some very subtle stuff in the coloring that hints at what’s really happening, but again, that’s something you might not notice the first time.

When I read a comic these days, I look at it through three sets of eyes—first as a lover and long time reader of comics. Second as a creator of comics trying to get my own creative work out to the world. And third as a reviewer and critic, whether it’s something I’m reading to review or just for my own pleasure. As a creator and critic I took the time required to look deeper and enjoy this. It’s my “common reader” eyes that worry me here. Maybe I don’t have enough faith in today’s common reader, but I don’t think they would give this the time and attention required to truly enjoy it.

I appreciate the story much more looking back on it now than I did while reading it. I’m having more fun going back and analyzing it than I did reading it. That’s a good time for me, but not for everyone. So I really can’t recommend it for everyone.

Final word—if you want quick, mindless fun, find it somewhere else. If you want to challenge yourself to think a bit, experience something a little different, and be left with a story that’s still in your head long after you finish reading, this book is for you.

 

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About the Writer: Brad Huffman-Parent (9 Posts)

Brad Huffman-Parent has been writing for a long time. It started with very, very bad comics in Jr High and blossomed with his love of screenwriting in his early college years. Due to extremely bad luck with computers, he has lost almost everything that was written between 1994-2006, including numerous short screenplays, one completed feature, and 2 features in progress. After a short break he renewed his love of writing in late 2007 and since then has completed 11 new short screenplays and begun 2 features. He is currently devoting most of his free time to “Steel Rising”, his entry from the 2009 Small Press Idol competition, and also working with several different artists to produce short stories. His next major project is a graphic novel that is in the plotting/outline stage. He's had one short story Published in the anthology "Blister" and one short screenplay optioned by two different directors (and not filmed by either).


One Response to “The Price”

  1. nothing

    Glenn Arseneau:

    10-18-2011 3:33 pm

    Thanks so much, Brad!

    I’m the writer of ‘The Price’ and I just wanted to mention that the book is currently available for pre-order until Oct 26 at your local comic shop using Diamond order code OCT11 1231.

    You can also order direct from TFAW at http://www.tfaw.com/Comics/Companies/215+Ink/Profile/Price-One-Shot___395099

    Hope you guys dig it!

    Reply

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